Darrell Waltrip's last ride

DARRELL WALTRIP --66-- Route 66/Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 34th) YOUR THOUGHTS? "I'm broken-hearted. I don't know. It's hard to believe, man, that I ain't gonna do this no more. It's just hard to believe. I have loved this and I've done so...

DARRELL WALTRIP --66-- Route 66/Big Kmart Taurus (Finished 34th)
YOUR THOUGHTS?
"I'm broken-hearted. I don't know. It's hard to believe, man, that I ain't gonna do this no more. It's just hard to believe. I have loved this and I've done so much -- fought it so hard and so long -- it's hard to walk away from. Racing has been my best friend, next to my wife. She's my best friend, but racing has been our best friend I should say. It's provided me with a lot of opportunity and for that I owe God. I've been so blessed in so many ways and I'm so grateful. My heart just hurts so bad right now. I just want to go home and eat a turkey. I think that's what I'll do."

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WHEN YOU TOOK THE CHECKERED FLAG FOR THE LAST TIME?
"It was a lot of relief. In some ways a lot of relief knowing that I made it through the day. I've gotta tell you, I've been nervous the last several weeks. Larry Carter, my crew chief, bless his heart he has held my hand and encouraged me. It's been hard getting in the car these last few weeks. When you've come this far, so many things can happen. I've got a great future ahead of me in TV and I didn't want to jeopardize that, so, at times, I think it may have hindered my performance a little bit, but my guys have stood by me all year. We fought through this thing, but I have one piece of advice. Unless you have very serious reason to believe that you're gonna win a race in your last year, don't call it a victory tour whatever you do. Find another name."

CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE RIDE FROM 1974-2000?
"You know, it's kind of like that old saying 'the more it changes, the more it stays the same.' The run I had today was very reminiscent of some of the runs I had early in my career and I think that's what careers are all about -- they go full circle. You start out just working your guts out trying to win a race. You finally win one and then you wonder if you'll ever win another one. Then when you go for awhile and you don't win, you wonder if it's over or not. You just spend a lot of time in your career chasing that dream and chasing those victories. I tell these guys all the time, 'capture the moment, the precious present. There's nothing like it.'"

WHAT WERE YOU CUTTING OUT OF THE CAR BEFORE YOU LEFT?
"I wanted my steering wheel. I got that old Mercury you know, that was my first Winston Cup car, and I've got that steering wheel, and now I've got the last wheel I held onto. I wanted to have that put on the mantle, so we were just cutting some of the wires loose so I could take it with me. I've gotten a lot of nice gifts this weekend, a lot of things I'll cherish and I just wanted that to kind of go home with me. That and my uniform. I might take my glove, I don't know. Maybe I'll just take that stool over there and my shoes, and then I've always got my dogs so I'm gonna be OK."

NOTE: After the race Waltrip was presented with the green flag and checkered flag, which had been autographed by all the drivers in today's race.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip