NASCAR & Auto Racing

Waltrip, fire crew were waiting to see who would make the first move after California crash

Michael Waltrip walked away from a fiery wreck in last Sunday night’s race at California Speedway, but there were a few worrisome moments after his No. 55 Toyota came to a stop in the infield grass and the flames continued to grow.

On his satellite radio show this week, he talked about what happened as things got hotter in the cockpit.

“As soon as I stopped I said, ‘I’m cool. ... (The safety workers) are gonna be here to put me out,’ and so they came there and they were looking at me and I’m like, ‘I’m good,’ and I take my helmet off.” He explained.

“I’m taking my stuff off, I’m taking my time. ... I wanted to be patient because I knew I wasn’t gonna burn up.

“But they are standing there, and then I noticed that there are more flames coming, and so they said, ‘Are you gonna get out?’

"... I said, ‘Are y’all gonna put that out? ... Y’all put that out and then I’ll work on getting out.’ ... As the flames got bigger they began to squirt them out and the smoke got more intense and I got more desperate about getting out then.”

Waltrip escaped without injury.