Darrell Waltrip will retire from the television booth at the end of the FOX broadcast portion of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
Waltrip’s final race broadcast will be the weekend of June 23, when the Cup Series runs its first road course race of the season at Sonoma Raceway.
“My family and I have been talking this over the past several months, and I’ve decided to call 2019 my last year in the FOX Sports booth,” said Waltrip, whose trademark ‘boogity boogity boogity’ catchphrase has become synonymous with NASCAR coverage over the past two decades. “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.
“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 debuted in the broadcast booth as a member of the original FOX NASCAR broadcast team along with Mike Joy and Larry McReynolds. The 2001 Daytona 500 – in which victory for Waltrip’s brother Michael was overshadowed by the death of Dale Earnhardt – was the first race for the network as an official broadcast partner.
Waltrip ran his final NASCAR Cup Series race in 2000 and later made eight appearances in the Truck Series from 2002-05, along with one start (2006) in the Xfinity Series, where he was already a 13-time winner, before finally hanging up the helmet with 809 starts under his belt.
Waltrip was inducted into the 2012 NASCAR Hall of Fame and is tied for fourth on the all-time wins list with Bobby Allison at 84 victories.
“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 CEO 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. We look forward to celebrating DW at Sonoma.”