After a 29-year racing career, Darrell Waltrip's NASCAR journey continues in 2001 as a full-time NASCAR on FOX television commentator, doing what some say he does best: talk. Soon after Waltrip joined the Winston Cup circuit at the 1972 Winston 500, he earned the nickname "Jaws" for keeping his big mouth open despite failing to win his first race until his 50th start.
Darrell Waltrip quickly developed into one of the nation’s top short-track drivers and made his first NASCAR Winston Cup start in 1972 at Alabama’s Talladega Superspeedway. He continued to make sporadic NASCAR starts while earning a living as a barnstorming short-track racer. Finally in 1975, Waltrip decided it was time to become a full-time NASCAR Winston Cup competitor.
He recalled: “Wherever I would go, I was almost assured I was going to win one or two races a week and I made a good living doing that. It was difficult to step to the big leagues and be just another fish in a big pond. So it took some time for me to make up my mind that I needed to get in there, give it 100 percent and make my mark.”
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