NASCAR fans should enjoy Darrell Waltrip’s trademark “Boogity boogity boogity!” while they still can.
Waltrip, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and broadcaster since 2001, will officially be retiring at the conclusion of the 2019 season, Fox Sports said Thursday. Because Fox splits NASCAR television rights with NBC, Waltrip’s final race will be at Sonoma on June 23. Waltrip’s retirement was first reported by The Tennessean.
“I have been blessed to work with the best team in the sport for the past 19 years, but I’m 72 and have been racing in some form for more than 50 years,” Waltrip said in a statement. “I’m still healthy, happy and now a granddad, so it’s time to spend more time at home with my family, although I will greatly miss my FOX family.”
Waltrip, who won three Cup Series championships and 84 races during his career, joined the Fox Sports broadcast team for the 2001 Daytona 500 — the race in which Dale Earnhardt infamously died in a last-lap wreck. Waltrip will finish his career having called more than 330 races for the network.
“Darrell has been the heart and soul of the FOX NASCAR booth since day one, so it’s incredibly bittersweet to know this is his final season,” said Eric Shanks, Fox Sports and executive producer. “DW’s unmatched charisma and passion helped FOX Sports build its fan base when we first arrived at Daytona in 2001, and he has been the cornerstone of our NASCAR coverage ever since.”
Waltrip currently splits the booth with announcer Mike Joy and co-analyst Jeff Gordon. Fox Sports has yet to name Waltrip’s replacement for 2020, but an announcement is expected to come following the conclusion of the network’s race season.