Born: February 5, 1947
Home: Franklin, TN
Darrell Lee Waltrip was born February 5, 1947 in Owensboro, Kentucky. DW’s storied NASCAR Cup career began in the Winston 500 at the Alabama International Motor Speedway (now known as Talladega Superspeedway) in May 1972. Waltrip rolled onto the track in his #95, 1971 Mercury Cyclone prepared by the legendary Ford powerhouse Holman Moody racing organization.
The car already had a winning pedigree, as it was built on the same 1967 Ford Fairlane chassis driven to victory in the prestigious 1967 Daytona 500 by legendary open wheel star Mario Andretti. Owned by Waltrip and sponsored by Terminal Transport of Owensboro, Kentucky, Waltrip entered five races that season. In 1975 Waltrip scored his first career Cup Series win at the Nashville Speedway and cemented himself as a championship caliber driver.
During his racing career Waltrip piloted race cars for some of the sport’s biggest and most well respected teams and owners, including Bud Moore Engineering, DiGard Racing, Junior Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports and for his own team, Darrell Waltrip Motorsports.
Brash, outspoken and always entertaining, Waltrip was voted NASCAR Most Popular driver twice (1989, 90’) and was named “NASCAR’S Driver of The Decade” (1980’s). He is a 3-time NASCAR Cup Series champion (1981, ’82, ’85), a 3-time championship runner up (1979, 1983, 1986), winner of the 1989 Daytona 500 and 5-time winner of the prestigious Coca-Cola 600 (1978, ’79, ’85,’88, ’89). Waltrip competed in 809 Cup Series races spanning 29 years (1972-2000), scoring 84 wins, 276 top five finishes and 390 top 10 finishes.
Waltrip became a lead television analyst and race commentator with FOX Broadcasting Company and SPEED TV, a columnist at FOXSports.com and an accomplished author…his autobiography was on NY Times “Best Seller List.” And of course, Darrell was the voice for Darrell Cartip in Disney-Pixar’s award winning animated movies…”CARS and CARS 2.”
Darrell Waltrip was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in January 2012.