on May 21, 2004
An interesting book but the book doesn't finish as well as Darrell Waltrip did on the racetrack. I'm a recent NASCAR enthusiast/fan and I thought this would be a good read in getting some background and learning about the sport from someone with a great deal of experience. On the positive side the book is an easy read and Waltrip and accomplished storyteller. The main problem I had with the book is that we go through life with Waltrip but neither the reader nor writer seems to "learn" from that life. The point of life experience is to learn. Through different experiences(crashes, sponsor politicking, family) Waltrip says he has changed but you never get the feeling that he really has. The book excesses with self-confidence and bravado which makes sense considering Mr. Waltrips profession. But almost to the point that he comes off as not being self-aware. He rarely owns up to mistakes and when things do go wrong someone else is to blame. If that's the worst part of the book then its a minor complaint. I only wish I could have learned more about and from Darrell Waltrip. The book is entertaining and gives a great overview of the growth of NASCAR from dirt to Daytona all in the span of one entertaining mans lifetime.
on April 15, 2004
Describing a life spent in a NASCAR driver's seat, Waltrip steers a straightforward course from his life as a grade-school go-cart champion through a gifted yet crash-prone upstart driver to 84 NASCAR victories. Full of the same bravado and confidence that made him a natural driver and NASCAR's biggest villain, Waltrip tells his story just as he raced: all out. Though his need to prove his worth still leads him to put his foot in his mouth now and again, more often than not he is candid enough to acknowledge when he was good, bad, scared or dumb. NASCAR fans will have flashbacks when he conjures up his memories of his highs (the 1989 Daytona 500) and lows (crashing three times at Daytona). He does take the time to open up the world of NASCAR to nonfans; he gives an informative overview of NASCAR's growth from some good ol' boys in the South to a sporting and cultural phenomenon that has put down roots in the entire nation. Having been through the sport's formative years, Waltrip (who is now a commentator for Fox NASCAR coverage) also shares stories of some of NASCAR's greats from Petty to Gordon. His feelings about the fans embracing him later in his career and his honesty about his lack of success in his last years behind the wheel spotlights the bittersweet retirement of an athlete who continued past his prime. Appropriately, this strong finish is representative of Waltrip, whose book, like his career, has its ups and down and will end up being embraced by racing fans.
on February 28, 2004
I have a couple of moments in NASCAR history that stand out to me, as a fan, more than any others...I guess #1 would be that infamous day when Bobby and Donnie Allison and Cale Yarborough got into it, then there was Davey Allison's tragic death...well actually I have a lot of memories, but right up at THE TOP with all of them is DW doing the icky shuffle after winning the Daytona 500. These things solidified my love of the sport and Darrell Waltrip. A lot of this is in the book , with some witty outlooks on life and the pursuit of dreams. DW tells about his beginnings, his hometown life, and of course his love of racing. The book is great, and provides a lot of insight into the man, as well as the world of NASCAR. A GREAT book, i rate it right up there with Junior Johnson's bio. If you are a racing fan, more importantly, a NASCAR fan this is required reading, if you just have a passing interest...read this, it may change you.
on February 17, 2004
Darrell Waltrip is known today as the "Boogity, Boogity, Boogity" guy on Fox Sports who opens every race with those famous three words. However, back in the 70's and 80's, he was an aggressive driver on the NASCAR circuit who was feared by drivers and hated by fans. Over time, he won over the hearts of many and is now one of the most recognizeable faces in the NASCAR family. This book gives the reader an inside look into his career and life which has been anything but boring. This is a wonderful and exciting book that brings the reader into the great races of old and shows the reader why "DW" is one of NASCAR's most colorful and likeable personalities. A great read for any racing fan.