New Hampshre Internatinal Speedway Chairman Bob Bahre says he would have discussed the sale of his racetrack to Kentucky Speedway co-owner Jerry Carroll, had it not been for Carroll’s relationship with Darrell Waltrip. Waltrip served as a paid consultant for Kentucky Speedway during its construction, and Bahre said yesterday that Waltrip’s criticism of NHIS in the aftermath of Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin’s deaths there in 2000 was a attempt to discredit the speedway and earn a Cup date for Kentucky.
Waltrip told the Nashville Tennessean that "something's... terribly wrong" at the Granite State oval. “I won't say we shouldn't race there anymore,” he added, “but I will say this; NASCAR better find some answers before we go back."
Bahre told the Boston Globe, “I wasn't ready to sell at the time, and I told Jerry Carroll that. But I also told him I couldn't deal with him because I couldn't stand Darrell Waltrip. Otherwise, I would have looked at the deal. It's not Jerry's fault. He knows I hate Darrell. Those two kids got killed here, and that man's got the balls to say that this track killed them. You know he was just trying to get a Cup date for Kentucky."
"Jerry Carroll is a guy I have a lot of respect for," said Bahre. "But I told him I didn't want anything to do with selling my track to them because of Darrell Waltrip."
Waltrip responded to Bahre's remarks this week, telling the Boston Globe, "There's not a racetrack that didn't come under some sort of scrutiny. If I made any comment, it was to be constructive, not destructive."
Carroll offered Bahre $360 for his track two years ago, and claims he was rebuffed only after NASCAR threatened to pull Bahre’s two Nextel Cup races from the schedule. Bahre has denied that claim, saying no-one from NASCAR ever pressured him not to sell to Kentucky.