NASCAR

Competitive day ends with tough turnaround

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Darrell Waltrip

Darrell Waltrip — winner of 84 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races and a three-time champion — serves as lead analyst for NASCAR on FOX. He was selected for induction into the prestigious NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2012. Want more from DW? Become a fan on Facebook or follow him on Twitter.

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I was running just outside the top-15 with less than 25 laps to go, and I got turned around. I had a guy back there banging on my bumper a little bit. He got underneath me and instead of turning me loose, he turned me around. We would've finished in the top-15, but instead we finished 28th.

We made a good call (for four tires) and the guys had a good stop (at Lap 166 under caution). We were able to move up through the field. We had a decent car. On a restart at 198, Waltrip was 20th and moving forward. About 20 laps later while Waltrip was running 19th, the No. 33 car of Ron Hornaday made contact with the Aaron's Dream Machine. Coming off of Turn 4 (on the restart at Lap 198), I gave him the inside and he tried to drive over my hood. I was trying to let him go, but I said if I keep trying to let him then he's going to wreck both of us. So, I just had to hold my ground and it hooked his right rear and spun him around. Tim Sauter got underneath me and he ended up turning me around. He went on to finish 19th, and I finished 28th. I've never been able to get that aggressive for a 15th or 20th-place finish. I guess all those years of winning and running up front, you just don't think about what guys are willing to do to finish 18th, 19th or 20th. To me, it is not worth it. I'm not knocking them, but I'm just surprised how aggressive guys are and how much they would do to gain one spot when they are that far back.

Ask DW

It's too bad we didn't get the finish we were hoping for, but I'm still happy with everyone's effort. We had a decent race car, and I thought we were going to leave Martinsville with a top-15 finish. I'm still happy. I can't say enough about the boys. They worked hard all weekend and never complained one bit and it was hot. It felt like it's been over 100 degrees every day. They gave me a good car, and I'm glad I did it. It was fun. After three years of aggravating Michael to drive the Aaron's Dream Machine, I think it paid off. I stayed on the lead lap, and I was competitive. To be able to come wandering down out of a television booth and jump in a race car to compete with these boys makes me pretty happy.

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