"Ideally, for me, would be to get the type of sponsor that I could run the full Nationwide (schedule)," he said. "That’s what I’d love to do. Then I’m here at the races, here on Sundays, can be a team owner but still get to race."
As a driver, Waltrip is a non-factor. He has four wins in nearly 750 career starts, has furloughed himself on road courses in past seasons and has suggested for years that his days as a full-time driver are coming to an end.
As an owner, Waltrip’s business is picking up. His team picked up its first win this season. Martin Truex Jr. will replace Waltrip in 2010 and will keep Waltrip’s existing sponsors. Still, with an interest to race and enough personality for 10 current Sprint Cup teams, Waltrip wants to delay shuffleboard and early bird dinners and go the Crash Davis route instead.
"I still want to race really bad, and I never got the chance to run the full Nationwide before in my career," he said. "But it costs a lot of money. I need a sponsor. I gave mine to Martin so now I need to find another one."
No wonder Waltrip is chasing Danica Patrick. If she signs, the sponsorship opportunities could splinter into a full-time ride for Waltrip or his developmental drivers. That said, it’s probably a good thing for Waltrip to keep racing. His commercials are funny. His experience will help younger drivers. Just ask Robby Gordon.