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Darrell Waltrip’s Missing Ring
Ronda Rich
Chances are, that if you’ve ever heard me speak more than once, you’ve heard me tell the inspiring story of working with Darrell Waltrip in 1989 when he won his only Daytona 500 by taking a big gulp of a risk. Here’s a sub-chapter of that story which I rarely tell but it’s every bit as good: Stevie Waltrip, Darrell’s wife, is one of the dearest friends I’ve ever had. Our friendship goes back over 30 years. Stevie, sweet and kind-mannered, has always been terrifically amused by me which encouraged my storytelling. I cherish her. The week leading up to that Daytona 500 was dominated by Kenny Schrader who won the pole position with a stunning speed. Darrell qualified second. There’s not near as much pressure when your speed is the second fastest. Schrader controlled the week, winning every race possible and easily outpacing the field in daily practice.