Tyler Walker: A Man Who Had Potential To Be GreatBy Ryan O`Hara
Just who is Tyler Walker? Just what happened to the Tyler Walker that won four California state karting championships with 200 victories? At just the tender age of 16, Walker had already moved up to the All Star Circuit of Champions and won seven races in his rookie season. Walker then moved up to the World of Outlaws, winning their Gumout Series in 2002 with 16 wins in that season alone.
It was in fact Walker who started doing the back flip off of his race car before Carl Edwards. Walker began racing in the Truck Series in 2003, scoring just one career top ten finish before being suspended for violating NASCAR’s substance abuse policy. Where did things go wrong for Tyler Walker? I see a driver that was absolutely a star in the lower series, but struggled in his transition to NASCAR.
Since his suspension from NASCAR, Walker had run mostly in small heat races at local tracks across the country. His last win was the 2011 King’s Royal at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway. However; he had stopped racing for a while due to an inner ear injury that was causing him to have vertigo.
As recently as July of 2012, Walker was involved in an altercation at the Williams Grove Speedway following an on-track incident at a qualifying race. Walker broke a track rule by going off the racing surface. Walker stormed through pit road to the officials stand to scold them for the ruling, but also made obscene gestures to both the officials and fans of the event. Walker was suspended following the outburst. It was ugly. There was a female official that was struck by two different men and Walker threatened to beat up a couple of people. And it was hard to even recognize Walker if you look at his 2007 team photo.
Then there came January 30th, 2012. Walker was arrested after leading police on a high speed chase across three states before police set down spike strips to apprehend Walker. After running over the spike strips, Walker fled on foot, but was apprehended. Police found meth, marijuana, and paraphernalia inside his vehicle. This man needs some serious help before it’s too late. And heck, it might already be too late. But there has been success after stopping drugs. Tim Allen and Josh Hamilton are two examples that I can think of. I wish Walker the best and I hope he recovers and gets his life back.