In Sonoma, the longtime NAPA man grabbed the enormous goblet and took a deep gulp of cabernet.
How else would he celebrate a NASCAR win in wine country?
In this case, NAPA stood for auto parts, not rival wine makers. But team owner Michael Waltrip made the most of the moment after the upset victory by driver Martin Truex Jr. in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350.
At the post-race celebration and news conference, Waltrip took extra care with the 2-foot-tall glass goblet, awarded annually to the race winner. One just like it was presented to Waltrip's 2012 Sonoma winner, Clint Bowyer, but its stem broke during the post-race toasts.
"That was Clint's fault, not mine," Waltrip said before another swig. "The goblet is very fragile, so one must treat it that way. Clint was a little bit reckless with it last year and he broke it, not me."
Truex got a taste from the goblet in Victory Lane, then nursed a beer while Waltrip savored more winner's wine. The goblet then became his celebratory prop.
Waltrip tweeted photos of the half-full glass to fans and crew in North Carolina. He toasted co-owner Rob Kauffman, car maker Toyota and sponsor NAPA.
"They really, really support the sport we all love and make it possible for us to race our car," Waltrip said. "And I got a goblet."
Said Truex: "It's mine; he's just borrowing it."
Waltrip teased Truex that he'd take special care of this prize.
Said Waltrip: "I'm going to make sure this thing gets right back to North Carolina for Martin or however it works out."
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