May 27, 2006

Waltrip Buys Start for Coke 600: NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip bought his way into a starting position from Derrick Cope because he didn't qualify on time and is not in the top 35 in driver points.

posted by houston2006 to auto racing at 06:29 AM - 18 comments

I didn't know you could buy your way onto a grid. Obviously, it's not that big a deal, otherwise they'd not allow it.

posted by chicobangs at 07:13 AM on May 27, 2006

It's cheap. His consecutive race streak is based on money rather than achievement, as is anything he does as a result of being in a race he didn't qualify for. I didn't know NASCAR allowed this. That's a strange rule.

posted by rcade at 07:13 AM on May 27, 2006

waltrip's never been a top notch driver altho he won a daytona 500 rainout a couple of years ago. but he is a character and good for nascar. i don't think that you should be able to buy your way in if someone qualifies better. cant stand his brother at all.

posted by ptluigi at 07:53 AM on May 27, 2006

On Preview: Yeah, this is some cheap shit, and my respect for Mikey has taken a nosedive.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:59 AM on May 27, 2006

If I were Derrick Cope, I would have told him to "Pack Sand" and work harder next time in order to qualify, but I guess when you're a has been Daytona 500 winner like Cope, the money looks much better than having no chance at winning a big race. But then what chance does Mikey have to win with a second rate ride? Obviously, he needs to at least start to get in the top 35 for next year when he will have support from Toyota to help him qualify and run. Still, if I were Cope, I would have told him to "Take a Hike!".

posted by usroute17 at 08:49 AM on May 27, 2006

Has anyone noticed that the few races that Cope gets in, he usually starts 43rd, and yet with 42 cars in front of him, he is usually the first to crash and get a DNF. You're totally right TBH - Mikey has taken a nosedive if he can't qualify ahead of Cope.

posted by drevl at 09:27 AM on May 27, 2006

How is this a sport? You're not good enough but can buy your way in? And it's part of the rules? How much did it cost? The article doesn't say. So, if I couldn't make it into the Olympics, I could conceivably buy some athlete's position? Or if I didn't qualify for Tour de France, I could buy one of Lance Armstrong's teammates' slots? Ridiculous. Does F1 allow this sort of nonsense? If I had any respect or interest in Nascar, I would have lost it after this article. Thanks for posting this, Houston.

posted by worldcup2002 at 09:39 AM on May 27, 2006

Ahhhh this is just horrible! I guess the only "good" part of this is that he still has to drive Cope's car...which makes me wonder why Mikey would even wanna buy in in the first place. Not sure I agree with him being allowed to duplicate the paint/number of his own car...but then again I don't even agree that he should be allowed to buy his way in anyway. Just poor sportsmanship all together. Personally I don't agree with the whole qualifying rule anyway...of being automatically locked in if you are in the top 35. I think you should have to qualify for the race no matter what...but I guess it would give some bad ratings/piss off some fans who sat through hours of traffic, stood in long ass lines, and paid a shitload for tickets if their boy Jeff Gordon wrecked his car in qualifying and didn't make the race because of some misfortune. It's like the little rich kid in school that wasn't good at any sports, but always made the team because his parents had money and contributed. Only good things about Mikey were his commercials with Junior!!! Hmmmm....ya know now that I get to the end of this...I just thought...Cope, Waltrip...who cares? Doesn't matter whose car it is or who is driving...that car is gonna either DNF or end up toward the very end of the field anyway! Pff....Mikey....sad, sad Mikey!

posted by Griff23Jordan at 10:10 AM on May 27, 2006

Wow, its sad how people have to make this a personal attack on people they don't even know. I first met Derrick Cope more than twenty years ago and I can tell you he is a very nice man. I have also seen both of the Waltrip's go out of there way to spend time with young fans at race tracks how many baseball players can say that about. As for buying the car, this has been going on at Indy forever. A.J. Foyte is the king of buying and selling cars that have a paid entry. Racing is after all a SPORT that runs on money. The business side of racing has become huge, and I'm sure this is more about NAPA being in the race than Mikey.

posted by CB900 at 11:29 AM on May 27, 2006

I don't see this as a personal attack on Derrike Cope. It's an attack on his ability to drive a car fast, which is fair game. Cope seems like a very nice guy. And we all know where nice guys finish.

posted by chicobangs at 11:32 AM on May 27, 2006

the drivers today have to basically buy their way on team via sponorship dollars,i mean in F1, there was this british doctor,i can't remember his name, who joined a team by giving the team 10 million and a small sponsorship..just so he could drive.. he didn't have the talent,didn't earn it,just bought for mike waltrip,this is shameful,and for nascar, either qualify or go home..that's the way racing should be, just like at the local tracks...

posted by ktown at 12:43 PM on May 27, 2006

Thank you Chico for spelling Derrike correctly. Also, I love your "Leo the Lip" reference.

posted by drevl at 12:44 PM on May 27, 2006

It's all about sponsors. He buys his way in so he can put the sponsor's colors on the car. I remember Darrell buying his way in through Carl Long a few years back, and it's been done a few times since by others. That's how much it means to have those sponsors colors going round and round in circles. Mikey has a new team, and they're not nearly as good as his DEI team. They're also shunned by the manufacturer he drives for since he's going to Toyota next year. Personally, I wish NASCAR would give up the provisional BS. If it's not the 43 fastest cars every week (and it isn't), it ain't racing. The racing in NASCAR isn't really as good as the IRL anyway. There's where the close finishes are, and they can race wheel to wheel without nearly the amount of banging.

posted by bkennamer at 01:04 PM on May 27, 2006

Money talks......

posted by chrisly13 at 01:53 PM on May 27, 2006

Oh what's funny is on the Yahoo NASCAR qualifying section, it shows Waltrip's name in the 43rd least saying it's the 74 car. Down the list for the people that didn't qualify..there's Cope's name. Hey with all this talk about Barry Bonds having a * next to his name...shouldn't Mikey have one next to his name on that list???

posted by Griff23Jordan at 02:43 PM on May 27, 2006

Without the money, then the racing would have never went on. But the money should be used to work on the teams and the cars, not to get you onto the track on raceday, that is the driver's part. Guess what each one is saying is right, it is not racing cars anymore, it is the money that puts the gas in it.

posted by aresram at 09:36 PM on May 27, 2006

The official website for Waltrip is curiously silent on this. Obviously there's sufficient embarrassment for it not to be worthy of mentioning...

posted by etagloh at 05:34 PM on May 28, 2006

Turned out to be a waste of Mikey's money, as he went out of the race relatively early.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:45 PM on May 28, 2006

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