"Long" shot pays off for DW By Brett Borden NASCAR Online CONCORD, N.C. (May 26, 2000) Darrell Waltrip will be behind the wheel of the No. 85 Ford for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Darrell Waltrip will get one more shot at...
"Long" shot pays off for DW
By Brett Borden
CONCORD, N.C. (May 26, 2000) Darrell Waltrip will be behind the wheel of the No. 85 Ford for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Darrell Waltrip will get one more shot at the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. It may be a "Long" shot, but at least it's a shot. "Everybody wants me in the race," Waltrip said. "I want to be in the race. Kmart wants me in the race. The fans, the track, everybody wants me in the race."
Including driver Carl Long, apparently. Long made the field on speed and a lot of effort and preparation. But he was willing to part with his just reward for just the right offer.
"You don't think I had to make a few promises, do you?" Waltrip said. "I personally will make it worth his time -- I don't mean monetarily -- but I'll make it worth his time. If he can run that good every week I may just get him to follow me around."
The multitudes of fans who follow Waltrip will get to see him tackle the circuit's longest race one more time, courtesy of Long's ability and amenability.
"Carl Long -- that is an incredible story in itself," Waltrip said. "To do what he did, and what he has had to do just to be here, and then to say 'I'll let DW drive the car instead of me,' I can't tell you ... That's a real human interest story, if you ask me. He graciously agreed to let me drive the car.
"They bought that car at an auction. Jack Roush had an auction and they bought that car. They wouldn't tell me how much they paid for it, but they said it wasn't a whole lot. Carl's brother-in-law, I believe it is, built the engine and there are two guys that work on it along with Carl. Carl works on the car, drives the car and drives the hauler, so he's in the show and we weren't. It's a great story, I think.
"The number 85? I mean '85 was a good year here for me, so the number is fitting and the paint scheme is gonna look good when we put that red Kmart on the side of it."
Waltrip said the details were still being ironed out Friday.
"(Car owners) Travis (Carter) and Thee Dixon are working out the details of that now -- how much of their car we're gonna use and how much of our car we're gonna use as far as crew," Waltrip said. "You can imagine the details that are involved to try to get this thing ready to go for the race on Sunday, but it looks like that's gonna happen and I'm really excited about it. Things like this, they kind of raise your interest level, raise your excitement level a little bit."
So Waltrip's final Coca-Cola 600 did not go flat after all. His swan song once looked like an ugly duckling, but he's sold on a car that was bought at an auction. And now he's bidding on his sixth victory in the race.