Ep. 189: Darrell Waltrip reflects on a career in broadcasting and life in NASCAR

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The NASCAR Hall of Famer and Fox Sports analyst reflects on what he has seen change the most in NASCAR over the past 19 seasons as a broadcaster (2:30); whether he thought NASCAR’s popularity ever would wane from its high-water mark and the reasons why he believes some longtime fans “felt abandoned” (5:00); the encouraging signs he sees for attracting the next generation of fans (6:45); on the impact of the playoffs and stage racing (9:00); what he has seen change in how races are broadcast over the past two decades (12:15); how DW believes NASCAR might be overexposed … but by necessity (14:00); why the term “industry” drives him crazy, along with the many “councils” in NASCAR (15:30); DW’s best and most memorable races to broadcast (16:30); answering his critics who say he is disconnected from the garage and its major players (19:00); on how he relates to the new wave of youthful drivers and what remains constant about driver attitudes (21:30); “I was the best driver I could possibly be, but I was a damn crew member. I had to work on the car.” (23:45); how his relationship with NASCAR brass has changed as he’s “mellowed” (25:15); Mike Helton’s respect and thinking about the bigger picture (27:30); what blowback was like from the drivers and teams who disagreed with his on-air analysis (29:15); a regret he has about a recent description of Jimmie Johnson (30:15); his response to those who say Fox has too much fun (31:30); whether he knows who might replace him at Fox and why he thinks a two-man booth might make sense (32:30); becoming good buddies with boothmate Jeff Gordon (33:30); the active drivers who might make good broadcasters (34:30); his relatively perfect attendance record in TV and why the job is much harder than it seems (35:30); the legacy of fan education and relativity that he wanted to leave in NASCAR TV and his defense of “Boogity Boogity Boogity” as an appealing concept (37:00); why it’s harder to retire from broadcasting than driving … and why he might not be at the racetrack nearly as much in the future (39:45).

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