Waltrip Confirms Team Sale

Waltrip confirms possible sale of team HARRISBURG, N.C. (March 19, 1998) Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owned by the three-time series champion, will be sold following this weekend's TranSouth Financial 400 at...

Waltrip confirms possible sale of team

HARRISBURG, N.C. (March 19, 1998) Darrell Waltrip Motorsports, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series team owned by the three-time series champion, will be sold following this weekend's TranSouth Financial 400 at Darlington Raceway and, according to published reports, Waltrip may or may not continue as the team's driver.

The most recent events put a vivid exclamation point to the last 10 days, during which time Waltrip, 51, voided his team's sponsorship contract with Ohio-based Speedblock, announced that his team was for sale and once again spoke on the record about his impending retirement after a career that is in its 27th year and contains 84 victories.

While Waltrip is the winningest active driver and is tied with Bobby Allison for third on the all-time victories list, he has not finished better than fourth since 1995.

"There have been reports that Darrell has had discussions with parties both in and out of the sport regarding the possible sale of the team, and those reports are true," said team spokesperson Keith Waltz. "Where the situation will go from here is far from being determined, though."

Waltz also said it is definite that, even though media reports accurately pegged Waltrip's own contribution to his race team's operation at $1 million to date this season, no deadline has been set to have a new owner or close the doors of the operation that Waltrip has owned for eight years.

While Waltrip plans a press conference Friday at Darlington, the proposed sale of the team is not on the agenda. The conference is to focus on the use of the team's Chevrolet this weekend to highlight the plight of NASCAR legend Tim Flock, who is suffering from cancer and whose medical expenses continue to mount, in the absence of insurance coverage.

Waltrip plans to run a No. 300 "Tim Flock Special" in Sunday's race, with proceeds from the effort assisting the Flock family. Flock is scheduled to participate in the conference via a telephone hookup from his home in the Charlotte, N.C., area. The last victory in Waltrip's career came in the 1992 Southern 500 at Darlington.

The latest episode in Waltrip's tumultuous season, in which he has taken provisional starting positions in three out of four races, began when a planned three-day test at Bristol Motor Speedway was canceled due to construction at the high-banked Tennessee half-mile. Waltrip opted to test at Nashville Speedway USA, a track that is similar in configuration to Bristol.

"Other than Salem or Winchester, Nashville was the closest thing to Bristol we could get on," said Waltz of the two high-banked Indiana short tracks. "That was the second year we've been canceled out of Bristol because of construction, but we did manage to dodge the rain enough to get in two days of testing."

While he was at the test, Waltrip spoke to Nashville newspaper reporter Larry Woody, who has covered the Franklin, Tenn., resident for most of his career, about the impending sale.

Since then, Waltrip has also revisited the topic of his possible retirement following the 1999 season, a subject that has been broached previously by the popular driver.

Waltrip said in an Associated Press report that a "farewell tour" similar to that conducted by Richard Petty in 1992, was an attractive idea. Waltrip, who has dabbled in television commentating for a number of years, has also said he may pursue a broadcasting career when he leaves the cockpit.

Source: NASCAR Online

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Richard Petty , Tim Flock