Listen to the Spirit – Track Instincts
Who Said It … Darrell Waltrip
Darrell Waltrip started racing go-carts at age 12 and entered his first stock car race just four years later. During his NASCAR Winston Cup career from 1972 to 2000, “D-Dubya” won 84 races, fourth on the all-time list. Now an analyst for Fox Sports, Waltrip dishes up colorful commentary with a Southern accent for NASCAR Nextel Cup telecasts.
DW and his wife, Stevie, live in Franklin, Tennessee, where he hosts a weekly Bible study in his garage.
What He Said … Track Instincts
Racing drivers must use all their senses. When you’re in tune with the car, it speaks to you with a small voice. When something’s happening, you smell it; you hear it in the changing tone of the engine. If my car was starting to go, my senses would come alive. As I hit the pit, the crew chief would ask, “What’s wrong?”
“It’s getting ready to blow up,” I’d say.
“Are you sure?” he’d ask. I’ve driven for people who wouldn’t believe me. I’d have to let the car blow up before they did. That usually meant a wreck; it sometimes meant getting hurt; it always cost lots of money.
Several times I’ve had the crew pull an engine out of a car when it was running fine. “I don’t know what’s wrong,” I’d say, “but something is.” They’d pull the engine. “You were right,” they’d admit later. “We were scuffing a piston,” or “It was losing a lobe on a camshaft,” or “The rod bearings were about ready to fly out of the thing.”
Adapted from PreachingToday.com (Fall/80).