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Q+A Darrel Waltrip

April 21, 2003
April 21, 2003

Table of Contents
April 21, 2003

Sports Illustrated Bonus Section

Q+A Darrel Waltrip

Once the most hated man in NASCAR, he evolved into a fan favorite
and retired in 2000 tied for third on the alltime victory list,
with 84. At 56 he's winning new fans as Fox's folksy NASCAR
analyst.

This is an article from the April 21, 2003 issue Original Layout

SI: How much fun is talking about a race on TV compared with
driving?

Waltrip: TV's more fun because everyone has to listen. I'm
preaching to a 20-million-person choir. Driving, I just had a few
folks in the garage area listening.

SI: You open every race broadcast saying
"boogity-boogity-boogity" as the green flag drops. What's the
story with that?

Waltrip: As kids we'd say, "This car can really boogie." Well,
you can't say boogie-boogie. But boogity-boogity-boogity, it just
sounded right.

SI: In 1964 you set a Kentucky high school record with a 2:02.04
in the 880-yard run. How'd you manage that?

Waltrip: They threw me a hubcap and hollered, "Police!"

SI: When you were growing up in Owensboro, Kentucky, the police
once shot six times at your car. How come?

Waltrip: Me and my buddies were racing the cops, and it got a
little out of hand. I think they were just trying to send me a
message. And trust me, I received the message.

SI: You sometimes break into song in the booth. What's your
favorite on-air ditty?

Waltrip: When Dave Blaney lost his left rear wheel at Atlanta I
went into, "You picked a fine time to leave me, loose wheel."

SI: Do you own one of those shirts saying, i hate warm beer, cold
women and darrell waltrip?

Waltrip: No, but I have a lot that say, anybody but waltrip.

SI: How come the fans gave you such a hard time?

Waltrip: I was a kid from Kentucky who showed up and started
beating on the back bumper of their heroes. Plus, I was just
mouthy. I was rude and obnoxious. Cale Yarborough called me Jaws
because I ate up people. I was a good talker, and they wasn't.

SI: When you won Most Popular Driver in 1989 you said it was your
most important achievement. Why?

Waltrip: I felt I was given a chance to mend fences with fans.
Richard Petty had once said that I would win a lot of races and
break a lot of records, but I'd never be Most Popular Driver.
--Pete McEntegart

For more from Darrell Waltrip, go to si.com/scorecard.

COLOR PHOTO: GREG FOSTER (WALTRIP) Knows how to boogity