Share This Episode
Focus on the Family Jim Daly Logo

Marriage in the Stressful World of NASCAR (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
July 1, 2021 6:00 am

Marriage in the Stressful World of NASCAR (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 626 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

July 1, 2021 6:00 am

Darrell and Stevie Waltrip share some amazing stories from the NASCAR world and talk about how their marriage endured during his rigorous racing career.

Get a CD of today's broadcast with your donation of any amount:

Get more episode resources:

If you've listened to any of our podcasts, please give us your feedback:


Yes using your marriage seem insurmountable. You can break free from cycles of pain with help from Focus on the Family's hope restored marriage intensive. We helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over. Find out which program is right for you and hope is coming to battleship shall be is a jealous God no gods before me. Well my racing career Stevie and my marriage cometh to God and are renowned and you know when I need help I race is one thing I did. It was things and none and I wouldn't give my God. Any glory for driving champ in this current answered Darrell Waltrip describing spiritual condition. At one point in his racing career and today on Focus on the Family you'll hear more about the Waltrip's faith journey as a couple. Your hostess book president Jim Daly I'm John Fuller and Jim going back to a conversation recorded in Charlotte North Carolina yeah John, we visited with their own Stevie at the door. Waltrip Museum in front of a live audience with friends of focus their work bunch of Darrell's old racecars in the room they're in good shape. Don't get me wrong, he fired up a couple of. It was a lot of fun, but the racing banners photos of his great victories. All of it. Darrell was one of the most successful drivers in the 1980s. He tied for fourth on the all-time winless for NASCAR and we really had a great time while getting to know this couple who've been married for over 50 years and we heard about their ups and downs in their relationship, and in the racing business and Darrell and Stevie Waltrip have volunteered for a number of years with motor racing outreach, which is a Christian organization holding chapel services for drivers and their families and crew and MRO also distributes literature and other support in the NASCAR community and we really appreciate their work last time Darrell talked about a crash at Daytona in 1983 that really changed his life and led him to re-dedicate his life to Christ today this Focus on the Family broadcast ring pickup with the discussion as Jim is asking Darrell about his second big crash at Daytona that happened in 1990 Darrell again at Daytona you had the flipper crash. He had the big one described that what happened and again how that added momentum. Knowing and thinking about eternity will what you know and I always like to tell people that want to give her life to the Lord, you know it, then solve all your problems. You know you it's not a bed of roses being a Christian is the hardest thing I've ever done, and is not something that is just you know you flip a switch and you go from not serving the Lord to all the sin you serve the Lord and that's all there is its progression evolves over time and that Lee sets away always love it when there's probably some folks in this audit incentive when somebody tells me yeah man, 1983, 5 o'clock Saturday afternoon I was here in a and on got down on my knees and prayed that prayer and not man. I got a chill stood up and I never felt that way before my life not well that's good to know but it didn't quite happen that way for me and that I remember what myself and my dear friend. It was a MRO for years health help us start MRO.

He said don't matter about all that is what matters.

Where are you right now. That's what Max would always say now you know you have to have a one of those moments what really is important is where are you right now when you're sitting here in this chair are you know is your relationship with the Lord, or should be. So 1990 I had another serious record Daytona turn for the terrible terminate that turn of Rick Moore and Aaron have all the other terms put together an and I was messed up on broke my legs shattered my femur wrote mom ribs concussion now is pretty messed up. I got it in the drivers door by another car. I was sitting still in the car. It may run hundred 80 miles an hour. Oh my goodness, so that should probably been the end of my career. I could've many in my career, but nonetheless, by the grace of God and God felt like I think he had other work for getting that I was supposed to do. I was able to overcome those injuries and get back to my car and race but all those times that things like that happen. It really just drew me closer to God. I just knew my dependence on God dependent on my car at the Panama crew opinion on me and not none of those things could help me. The only thing he could really help me was our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ went.

When I started to get that that in perspective, I really I didn't worry about anything. I don't worry about being hurt because I knew that the Lord would either. He would heal me down and I would be able to race again or he would have something else that he wanted you know as you describing a Darrell. It sounds like that that parable that Jesus talked about when the seed is cast, how it'll take root. Hopefully and it sounds like these experiences really deepen the roots of your faith. Every time only will you know you when you do what we do.

You need to have a good relationship with the Lord I'm in and I say that it's kind of funny I know but it really and truly, you better have your priorities right.

A year later one year later to the day I had another serious Rick at Daytona for that was her flipper was that was going down to turn out to get in there that crash you see on the wall up there. That was one year to the day later after my serious record Daytona I got back on again and that's 4 July race and I got clipped coming off turn to about halfway down the back straightaway in the car went into the infill grass there and just started flipping and toward all part of the city as barely a car versus a shell, let me ask you this. There was an experience there, Stevie, were you were providing Darrell the Scripture card for every race and put in on the basher and then you started doing it for someone else.

Talk about your relationship with Dale Earnhardt. All three of you and what that meant to him when he was at Daytona in turn for that I had started pitting scriptures in Darrell's car on the just getting words of encouragement. If we had a caution flag the cars salon was relentless. She really is a drag. I get to the drink and I get ready get my car now. My get the Scripture she was relentless, but in a good way for you.

Yes, so, so I started doing that in the early 80s and then in the 90s not remember what your kneeled bag Neil Bonnett was our competitor 9594 9094 and he had a terrible record Daytona and he died and Dale Earnhardt and Neil Bonnett were really good friends and it just did it really affect what affected the whole community right. It is truly is. And I always made it kind of admission.

I didn't want to have feuds with other wives or other race teams. It's just not who I am so I have made every effort to just leave whatever happened on the racetrack. There and have be able to have good relationships with me on the via friend to your enemies yeah yeah actually keeping cold Scripture. We were having some very strong feelings about a certain driver at the time, and when Dale still at the head was reading Proverbs out loud to us and I think it's in Proverbs. Many lights where the bid to your enemies. It's like pouring whatever calls your hand and in whatever Darrell listened and that you cannot let this is going to motivate you to lead this particular driver. So anyway that acted Dale.

We were at the racetrack at Daytona and I had on was writing madly this Scripture because I was late getting out on pit road and Dale and and Darrell had qualified relatively close to the road getting lined up for the race to start and going to their cars to get in and Dale saw me with that with the card and he said what you doing and I said why these are scriptures that I write for Darrell and I put them in the car every week and he puts out any civil wears nine and so you know the Lord just used Neil Bonnett's death to probably soften Dale or something to say I want this. And so we both like just a second ago get you one. So anyway, going forward 94 until 2001 and Darrell and Dale got scriptures and sometimes every right at every race that went all the races that Darrell raced in I was out the window sincerely thrilled about this. You want to be the only I would write depending on what the circumstances were in our lives in and in Dale's the Scripture sometimes would be the same but sometimes they work and Dale would grant both of them and read them both and he'd say a need to pick one anything at the Goodman did not know about everything I my name on nine so what did the Scriptures mean to each of the guys what you know now is not good luck. It was not a good luck charm.

It was just a message and Stephen just throw some together Sunday morning signal card and put in the car give a lot of thought and normally it would be some Scripture that was related to maybe something is going on and that we can make that had problem with another driver and it would leave you know, forgive your enemy or you know whatever and so the Scriptures were real dedicated to what was going on at times in and a lot of times during a caution flag you always put them on the will know Carlotta times in a caution flag.

Maybe things were going so great and you look already agreed that Scripture and you get some encouragement you have time during the competition of a race to look at the and redescription.

That's why crashed in turn for not just by how intense that situation I was texting well, there's a Scripture for. Normally we would do it under probably do it under a caution flag you know we going slow but anyway not 100 would be not at racing speed, but in another.

Another thing that was, along with the Scripture would like speed is good friend of ours and one board member tomorrow so me and him and Bobby Hill and that you know were trying to be good examples of the other drivers and you know drivers have a lot of hand signals. I do a lot of single-digit waves shaking your fist and all that kind of thing and so cruel each other you guys get motherly love so late, I think, like Saul, me, maybe do one of those single-digit waves at somebody and after the race is always that you know he's in the den because it likes his psyche as he will confront your heartbeat is what you mean. He said what I did notes and some very good example.

You know you're a member racing outreach on the board you claim the name of Christ like you say are Christian and then then look like it out there today. I said so what would you do for now.

You're going after every driver I said so what would you do like he so will instead of going up your finger like you did just hold up your cup do want he said hold up your cup. He said God cannot bless you.

If your cup is upside down and apparently there's been upside down. He said so my suggestion is when you get matter you want to send a message to someone, make it a message of encouragement and hold up your cup today. God can fill it with blessings that need to be a NASCAR driver to do this and is that to be filled with the spirit you rather yeah yeah yeah I want is better than some the other thing we did. I do want to catch me in that story that last race for Dale Earnhardt that you gave him that Scripture do remember the Scripture.

It was yes it's Proverbs 1810 the name of the Lord is a watchtower the righteous run to it and are safe and he would've read that before that race and he put it on his and then Darrell you were calling it race for Fox. It was on television. I was actually watching that race as well. The 2001 Daytona race talk about the emotion that because Michael your brother was involved with the end of that race.

What happened you know this is an unusual weekend for us as a family, my girls and Stevie and I were on the motorcoach like we had been for years, but I don't have a racecar I'm not going to pit road will have a team. I'm not going to the garage are not going down to hang out with the team before the race starts to put on a coat and a time and I'm ready go upstairs in the TV booth and so the girls Sarah Jessica and Steve either sit there looking at me will like what we supposed to do as well go out on pit road you and you know all the drivers just go out on the pit road like you always have an and she said you think they'll still want me to giving Scriptures.

I so honey, I know we would I sent you got to do that for him even though you don't have to do it for me and we got to keep going for him.

He still race well I don't know I just don't feel really tell me I don't feel good about that Isa but will pray about and think about because I didn't have a husband to go out on pit road for it was just a was a huge life change for the felt really awkward it was for all. Anyway nice well I do go blessed.

Think about it pray about it and in you come up with something open up your Bible, you'll find something that that that is appropriate.

She came up with Proverbs 1810, she went on pit road that day without me.

Her Jessica. They saw Dale and Teresa and Dale saw Stevie, he had her to come over early she gave him a Scripture and they hugged and and and get to telling my lending and he told me he loved me, so that's a wonderful comfort and in memory to have. Yes, describe the end of the race was so so Dale has the Scripture needs it's on the dashing sit on the the car. You signal she does it for Dale Junior knows well at his request. It's not like she's out there promoting this. She's not that way, but Dale Junior wanted to Scripture, like my has been doing the Scripture same way, but yeah the last few laps of that race were insane. We had the we had a big rack with about 25 laps ago.

I think huge rack 20 car pileup. We always talk about the big win at Daytona and Talladega what we had it in the actually odd because Tony Stewart was running up front. His teammate Bonnie was running in the back and they ended up on top of each other. That's how crazy the wreck was and how hard it is to avoid one of so the cars are stopped on the back straightaway in this the first race for my brother to be driving for Dale Michael Michael Lees in the Napa number 15 car in my and Michael's leading Dale Junior's in the eight Budweiser carton and seniors in the three the Goodridge car and the cars are stopped on the back under the red flag because had to clean up the track from the big rack and Dale like he always like to do. You had or protested direct everything you know if he was here he would have rearranges whole room and in the end he said while you sit there you need to sit over here and this is how he was always thought it was a control freak, but people just said he wanted to be sure you know he was trying to help you want to be sure he had a right and so I headed think about that, but the control flag guilty was a control freak, but anyway so he's telling Michael and Dale Junior how to run these last few laps of this race. Michael, if you're going to be your leading Dale Junior do not pass him you stay behind the menu pushing and if anybody gets a run on this. I'll take care of that. You have to worry about that and so they go back to racing and are just of the race is winding down. Dale was driving defensively, he was blogging blocking which for Dale is totally out of character for Dale.

He's used to people pushing him and helping Hillman get him to the front and but he was really just cottage helping Michael and and Dale Junior win the race and but in the in his wildest dreams. I'm sure he never thought about getting wrecked and I'm sure that because my brother never want to race people were saying why did you put him in a car. All the drivers you could find out there and you had to put human that car. Dale love to be one of those kind guys.

I told you so. In the last thing he saw as they came into the third turn in start off turn four.

He saw his two cars headed for the checkered flag but because of the way he was driving he blocks writer to block sterling and he finally team just made one move too many and Shirley got into him a little bit going in this down in the third turn there in the car got loose on up to track and smacked the concrete wall not a safer barrier like we got now concrete wall probably about 170 miles in the head on the head on the race was finishing. I remember watching that everybody was excited for Michael because it was the first big race. Daytona, but everybody's I kinda went back to that crash behind them. In fact, you are on Fox and you asked what happened to Dale will a couple things when a car is a concrete wall hit on its just like if I walked over in front you went just like that the force of force dumbing your head can't stop. It's brutal and that's what happened to Dale, and I was watching Michael now. I'm so excited my brother who's going to win his not only is first race but the biggest race we have the Daytona 500 is first time in the car my first time to do a race. We had talked about an off-season. Wouldn't it be cool if I was calling the race and you wanted wow that be a cool moment. And that's what's happening and he's coming down to get the checkered flag in June is going to run second and I saw the black car go up the hill up the track at the corner lab and I'm focused on Michael, babe you can do it. Bringing home the litigant by union oaks and Michael cross the start finish line. I'm so I'm euphoric. He won the race. Now this is perfect to celebrate victory circle school be so much fun and in our booth. We have a lot of monitors and they showed a replay of Dale Rick and I knew right in thinking under the victory circle because I think is pretty bad and they came to me and us and hope it was okay and I knew he would.

I knew what and for a couple reasons.

First of all credible crash didn't look that bad on TV but I knew the effect and and Kenny Schrader really dear friend Kenny is a tough guy race all of the country. He walked around a Dale's carding drop that when the net down and when he did he jumped back like that and started waving for the safety crew and I knew right then it was something very seriously wrong. So now my brother, who headed for Victory Ln., Dale, who's being put in an ambulance and one the most eerie sites I think I've ever seen was that ambulance comes out of the track starts up with the 92 there headed toward Halifax hospital in about 20 miles an hour. No urgency whatsoever that was just another indication to me that it was much serious and everybody thought, you know, there's so many life applications to that you guys have lived in the fast lane and one big races have a beautiful career and great memories for that to happen on that one day it really sums up so much of life doesn't yell a lot of ways it doesn't.

And I tell you something if you want to think all of you realize this or not.

Maybe not at the time but you kinda feel guilty, you know that I survived. I survived the some tough wrecks and Dale. It survived all the tough wrecks to but that when Gotti and you always wonder know how come I survived and he didn't and I think sometime you feel guilty about that to some degree, but it's true for each of us that were all kind of running the race.

Like Paul said and something's going to get everyone of us.

We can't outrun death of Stevie knowing what you had done there for Dale talk about the comfort in your heart that he thought about God before he passed away.

He didn't lead head talked about the Lord and I'm convinced he is in the arms of Jesus.

Right now, and so just knowing that I had prayed and asked the Lord and he specifically gave me that scripture because I read it and you number and reading Proverbs all of that chapter and then I got to that one and I thought this is it not never use that scripture before and so that then I kept on reading because I kinda doubt it.

You know I wasn't real sure and then I went back to it and asked Darrell about it.

What he thinking. I said I just really believe this is the Scripture that I'm supposed to give Dale today and so eroded out. So knowing those things knowing that went to the Lord and that I think I was prompted by the Holy Spirit to take that scripture that that gave me tremendous comfort. It gave his family comfort. It gave his racing family comfort. It gave race fans comfort just to read those words know they were specifically chosen for Dale and that situation and for each one of the silica gave us all tremendous comfort.

It's a beautiful thing to know about from both of your perspectives. Can I just asked you to speak to that person that's living that hardcharging life Darrell that business guy, the doctor. Whoever might be the person.

This is fully consumed with their environment and themselves.

I'm speak to that person. Well, I had the privilege of doing and I am second video I was one of first or second people he did and I am second and that's the hardest thing for someone successful to be able to do is to say that I'm going to be.

Second, it just is not in your nature to feel that way. But when you realize that when you do put God first and when you are second and when there are no other gods before him, then you can start to live the real life life of athletes with a lot of professional things are selfish people they support about themselves and now I was one of those kind guys. I worry about myself and didn't really care what Anybody else but when God got inside of me and got in my heart that all changed and that's what it's about change. If you haven't experienced a change in your life because of your relationship with Jesus Christ and you might want to go back and try again because something has to change. You gotta see a change got to see the change you so that's what I stated when someone and another thing I think support when someone like your wife is on praying for you. Are your friends. I am praying for you.

Don't take that lightly. That's I love it once people say is my privilege to pray for you that that's huge there thinking of you and taken you in your name and your situation to the Lord and are doing it for you. And when you're right wing when you're in a position where you can finally say to someone I'm praying for you. I'm not just praying for my selfish self but I'm praying for you think it's a big turning point man Darrell Waltrip known as DW and his wife Stevie thanks for being with us.

You welcome good to be here. Thanks all you folks. Myself, I thought, as Darrell noted, it really was a nice audience and what a great conversation we had featured today on Focus on the Family with Daryl and Stevie Waltrip recorded at the Darrell Waltrip Museum in Charlotte North Carolina that the Waltrip's that really had some fascinating stories about NASCAR and their faith in marriage of more than 50 years, and I hope our listeners will contact us and get a copy of the CD of this today broadcast and share with others. When you call, please consider making a generous donation to the worker Focus on the Family to help us share Christ with others and encourage them in their marriages. And when you donate any amount today will send you the CD of this conversation as our way of saying thank you and then most importantly, if you don't know Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Maybe not really sure what that means we'd be happy to tell you more and will send you a free booklet called coming home an invitation to join God's family and tens of thousands have requested this booklet or have it online.

It's a privilege to send it to you just call 800 K in the word family or look for that online link in the episode on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back again help you and your family thrive in Christ. Get involved in promoting the sanctity of human life.

With Focus on the Family's see life 2021.

It's a six episode digital experience to help you embrace the pro-life cause with truth, compassion and empathy. See like 2021 premieres on Focus on the Family's website and social media channels on Friday, July 16 at 7 PM. Then each week will debut a new episode equip you on the pro-life issues of our day you'll hear from respected leaders and see amazing testimonies from women and men whose lives have been impacted. So join us for this life-changing six week experience online. Premiering on Friday, July 16 also mark your calendar now for the culmination of sea life 2021 with the celebrate life live experience in Dallas-Fort Worth on August 28 for more details, visit Focus on the life

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime