NASCAR: Darrell Waltrip Ready For His "First" Texas Race
31 March 1998
Last week, Dale Earnhardt Inc. named Waltrip the interim driver until Steve Park returns from injuries suffered in a March 6 practice crash at Atlanta. At Bristol, Waltrip finished 23rd in a car built by his former team and serviced by a combination crew of that team and DEI. Texas will mark the first time Waltrip races a Dale Earnhardt Inc. car.
Darrell Waltrip Joining Pennzoil, Dale Earnhardt Inc:
"This whole episode ought to be a good lesson to everybody. Don't ever say never. I probably have said that a few times and regretted it. Between Dale and I, there are 10 championships and a hundred and something wins. We bring a lot to the table. They give me a chance to rectify my situation with my team and I get a chance to help the Pennzoil team get headed in the right direction and help them cut down on some of their trial and error. I hate to keep saying this, but this is a win-win situation for everyone."
"I didn't get to run at Texas. We didn't qualify because of the rain and we were taken out on the first lap. So really, I feel like I never even went to Texas last year. I know the place is a lot like Atlanta where you are going pretty fast and you have to respect it. The guys tell me we have a great car and I'm excited about that."
Qualifying at Texas:
"It will just be up to the driver to step up and get qualified good. That is where I struggle. We just have to work real hard to get a comfortable car so when I pack it off in the corner it will stay with me. Once qualifying is over then I think we will race great."
Working With Crew Chief Philippe Lopez:
"If a coach named Tubby can take the (Kentucky) Wildcats to the final game of the NCAA tournament, then I think a crew chief named Philippe can help me win a race."
Darrell Waltrip As A Car Owner vs. Driver:
"All day Sunday I never thought about the Pennzoil Monte Carlo being Dale's car, my car, Teresa's car, or whoever's car it was. My goal was to do the best job that I could do. The relief for me is the whole weekend of not having to worry about running the show. I'm a lot happier than I was this time last week."