Waltrip also extended kudos to NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Kyle Larson, who came up inches short of catching Busch in Saturday's Nationwide Series race. "He kind of went from the outhouse to the penthouse with me," said Waltrip, who had seen Larson take out C.E. Falk on the final turn to win a modified race at Daytona in February. "He showed a lot of restraint. He had a reputation for being pretty aggressive to win a race. I think he gained back a lot of respect from people like myself who thought he was a kid who needed to be a little more respectful."
Celebrities in the House
New University of Tennessee football coach Butch Jones might have been attending his first NASCAR race, but knew to keep his command to start engines short and sweet. "I know, being a coach on the sidelines, I don't want to hear somebody talk. The drivers want to get the race going and they want to compete," said Jones, who did reference his school's checkerboard end zones during his command. Jones said he's "all in" as a fan. "You watch it on TV or you may sit in the stands and watch it but you really never know what goes on behind the screens until you experience it. So, to be here in Bristol, go to the drivers' meeting, that really made it rewarding. I'm officially a fan."
Charlie Daniels, whose band provided pre-race entertainment, received a $30,000 check on Sunday from Darrell and Michael Waltrip to benefit his Scholarship for Heroes charity at Lipscomb University. Daniels will headline the fourth annual Waltrip Brothers' Charity Championship dinner in Franklin, Tenn. on Oct. 23, part of a two-day fundraiser with a golf tournament to benefit Feed The Children, Motor Racing Outreach and Scholarship for Heroes.