If you’ve been watching NASCAR for some time, you’ve probably heard the phrase “boogity, boogity, boogity, let’s go racing boys and girls” to kick off the start of a race. You also probably know that Darrell Waltrip introduced that phrase into NASCAR’s lexicon, because he wanted to spice up the starts with something more original. Waltrip has been around NASCAR for quite some time now, and we’re going to dive a little more in depth on his career.
Born in Owensboro, Kentucky, Waltrip is most known for his career as a former NASCAR driver, former national television broadcaster, an American motorsports analyst, and author. He even managed to become a three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, and grabbed the NASCAR Cup Series runner up three different times, as well. Let’s dive a little bit more into Darrell’s career as a racer and broadcaster.
Darrell Waltrip’s Racing Career
Like many drivers, Darrell Waltrip started his career as a go-kart racer around his Kentucky birth place at the tender age of 12. It only took four years before he ran his first race as a stock car racing driver. He started racing on dirt, but after a pretty wicked crash, it didn’t take long before he transitioned to the asphalt. It was there that he really proved what he was worth.
Amazingly, Waltrip actually used his own cars at the beginning of his NASCAR career. He did this up until about the middle of the 1975 Winston Cup Series season, when he landed a contract with Bud Moore Engineering, piloting their No. 88 Digard Chevrolet. He posted three top-five finishes and four top-ten finishes during his 1975 season with Digard.
Waltrip has an astonishing history, winning 84 NASCAR Cup Series races and racking up 59 pole position finishes. With a record-breaking five wins at the Coca-Cola 600, Waltrip also won 13 NASCAR Busch Grand National Series races, seven ASA races, three IROC races, two ARCA races, two All Pro Racing Association races, two All-American Challenge Series events, and a USAC race. He even holds the all-time track record at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville with 67 wins.
If you think Darrell’s accomplishments stop there, you’re wrong. The 1989 Daytona 500 winner also won NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver award in 1989 and 1990 while he was with Hendrick Motorsports. He also won American Driver of the Year three different times. Perhaps the most incredible award was when he earned NASCAR’s Driver of the Decade during the 1980s. Not only that, but he managed to get Bill France’s Award of Excellence in 2000.
For all his accolade, Waltrip earned not just one, but three Hall of Fame inductions. He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2003, the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012.
Needless to say, Waltrip is one of the greatest drivers to represent the United States.
Darrell Waltrip’s Broadcasting Career
Darrell Waltrip retired from racing in 2000, and soon after, he signed a contract with Fox Sports to be a lead NASCAR analyst. He had actually appeared on several race broadcasts even before he made the full-on transition. His focus was mainly to be a color analyst for the races.
He started his new career in 2001 at the Daytona 500. His younger brother, Michael Waltrip, actually won the race that day, but it was overshadowed by the tragic death of Dale Earnhardt Sr. Talk about a roller coaster of emotions during your first day on the job.
Waltrip was actually a big supporter of motorsports safety and tried to push improvements following the multiple crashes that were going on at this time.
Waltrip had multiple phrases that he popularized during his time as a broadcaster, including the classic “boogity boogity boogity, let’s go racing boys and girls,” which he said at the start of every race, and his unique word “coop-petition” which he used when racers worked together to benefit from each other while also keeping an eye on each other. Additionally he used the word “s’perince” while talking about veteran driving skills and “using the chrome horn” in regards to a driver that purposefully bumps the driver in front.
After a long second career, Waltrip said goodbye to his colleagues Jeff Gordon, Mike Joy, and Larry McReynolds, and retired from the commentary box at the conclusion of Fox’s broadcast schedule at the end of the 2019 season.
Darrell Waltrip’s Net Worth
Due to his extremely successful career, Darrell Lee Waltrip has an estimated net worth of $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That’s a huge net worth, and in my opinion, the former race car driver worked his tail off to achieve that. Talk about one busy guy. On top of his previous careers, Waltrip also Waltrip currently owns Honda, Volvo, Subaru, and Buick/GMC automobile dealerships in Franklin, Tennessee in partnership with Rick Hendrick.
Waltrip is legendary in my books, both as a driver and an announcer. He just made the races that much more entertaining to watch, and he cultivated a huge fan base during his years in NASCAR. It’s unfortunate that we won’t be hearing his voice anymore during the races, but I think it’s finally time for him to relax and reap the reward of all his hard work.
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This post was originally published on June 23, 2020.