Former NASCAR Driver Calls Out Darrell Waltrip for Defending Same Tactics Used in Cars Movie

Published 12/23/2021, 7:54 AM EST
BRISTOL, TN – APRIL 07: Darrell Waltrip waves the green flag prior to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 7, 2019 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)


When Pixar released Cars in 2006, it quickly became popular and helped introduce NASCAR outside the United States. The movie had one particular scene which referenced a controversial move in the sport. Back in 1991, Harry Gant received a bit of a helping hand from teammate Rick Mast at Talladega to win the race. Needless to say, second-placed Darrell Waltrip was not too happy.

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Years later, Mast compared his situation and the scene from Cars. He said, “after years of listening to ⁦Darrell Waltrip fuss about me helping Harry, it turns out he’s ok with Lightning McQueen doing it”. This was a reference to the climax scene where Lightning McQueen pushed Strip “The King” Weathers across the finish line.

The commentator characters questioned whether the move was legal. However, Darrell Waltrip’s character, Darrell Cartrip said, “He’s not pushing him, he’s just giving him a bump draft.”

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Darrell Waltrip responded to Mast’s criticism

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Of course, Waltrip responded to the accusation and insisted that it was okay in the movies. What Mast did in the real race was not okay at all. In the end, Harry Gant won the race ahead of Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt. Sterling Marlin and Michael Waltrip completed the Top 5.

DARLINGTON, SC – SEPTEMBER 04: NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip speaks in a press conference during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on September 4, 2016 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo by Blaine Ohigashi/Getty Images)

Behind them were Geoff Bodine, Ken Schrader, Bill Elliott, Jimmy Spencer, and Mast completing the Top 10. Over the course of their respective careers, Waltrip has amassed three Cup Series titles. He won the 1981, 1982, and 1985 Cup Series titles.

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Meanwhile, Rick Mast has failed to win a NASCAR Cup Series race, and his best finish was 2nd at North Carolina in 1994. On the bright side, he does have nine Xfinity Series wins under his belt. All of these wins came between the 1987 and 1990 Xfinity Series seasons. In other words, Rick Mast is fairly familiar with visiting Victory Lane in his NASCAR career.

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Dhruv George

12559 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.

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