Anybody who follows this blog on a regular basis knows I have the utmost respect for Darrell Waltrip, both as a person and as a NASCAR personality. The guy is second-to-none when it comes to showing generosity towards fans, and he’s forgotten more about NASCAR than I can probably ever wish to know.
One of Waltrip’s unique characteristics is his firey personality. It’s a wonderful trait of his that many fans adore. Unfortunately, sometimes I think it causes him to say things before his brain knows what his mouth is doing.
In a recent article of Waltrip’s, entitled “Cheap shot”, The 3-time Cup champion takes his own shots at Carl Edwards’ win at Gateway on Saturday night:
“I believe what we saw Saturday night at the end of the Nationwide Series race with Carl Edwards were actions that are detrimental to the sport. To me, when you cheap-shot someone to win the race, well that cheapens the sport. There is supposed to be honor in victory. There’s no honor in wrecking someone to win a race.”
In this case, Waltrip forgets that he once won races in such a fashion. You’ll see an example of that in the video below momentarily.
“The kind of “Have at it” I want to see is two guys going off into the corner rubbin’ and bangin’ with smoke flying. I don’t want to see someone cheap-shotting a driver coming off the corner by hooking him and putting him in the wall. That’s just not professional. There’s nothing to be proud about when you do something like that.
“When you take that “win at all costs” attitude, there definitely are costs involved. People are going to be critical of what you do. People will lose respect for you. I can look at this from all angles because I have “been there, done that.” What I don’t want to see happen is NASCAR racing turned into NASCAR demolition derbies.”
Very interesting points by Mr. Waltrip. And in his defence, there is a little phrase that goes, “to each his own”, meaning that everybody is allowed to have his/her own opinion about a matter.
But here’s why I believe Waltrip is being hypocritical in his article. In April 2009, back when NASCAR was made up of a bunch of sissies who were afraid to muster up the guts to go get a win, it was Waltrip himself who started a highly-publicized rant that got NASCAR Nation up on its feet, demanding a change:
We got our change, but Waltrip apparently wants things changed again.
When you watch the video, it’s hard to even imagine that the same person actually condemned the acts he at one time wanted to see. And at the same time, it’s kind of unfortunate. Darrell Waltrip isn’t supposed to be soft and mushy in the public eye. He’s supposed to be fired up, looking for excitement.
Come on, Darrell. Don’t go soft on us now. Don’t be a hypocrite. I hope you’re listening.