Ownership proves tricky for DW

Tuesday, March 17, 1998 – Darrell Waltrip, the three-time NASCAR premier series champion (1981-82, ’85) and winningest active driver announces that he will put his single-car organization up for sale following the March 22 TranSouth 400 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Waltrip said he did not know how the sale would impact his own driving career going forward but that he is exploring all options.

With financial problems arising surrounding sponsorship from Speedblock and Builders Square, Waltrip was forced to dip into his own bank account to help keep his Darrell Waltrip Motorsports (initially DarWal, Inc.) organization afloat. But after the season’s first four races, Waltrip made the call to put the team up for sale.

At Darlington, his No. 17 Chevrolet carried a final paint scheme paying homage to former NASCAR champion Tim Flock, who was battling cancer.

Waltrip would go on to compete in 13 races for Dale Earnhardt Inc., subbing for the injured Steve Park, before joining Tyler Jet Motorsports for the season’s final 15 races.

In his final 10 years as an owner/driver Waltrip won five times during 1991-92 – at North Wilkesboro, Pocono (twice), Bristol and Darlington. The Southern 500 victory was the 84th and final Cup win of his career.

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