Jump to content

Legend of 'Jaws' began at 1977 Southern 500


Recommended Posts

hi guys,

hope not you would love this both them.. check out this stories from past:


that 1977 after 1 year I born in 76 as well..

Darrell Waltrip wants to set the record straight: he did not wreck Cale Yarborough while racing for the lead in the 1977 Southern 500.

"I actually wrecked D.K. Ulrich, who in turn wrecked Cale," Waltrip said.


Cale just threw that out there. And I don't think he or I really thought about it sticking, you know?



"It's not really important, because in the end, Cale got wrecked. But I was watching it the other day, and now that I've looked at it and thought about it, I didn't wreck Cale. I wrecked D.K. Ulrich."

It was an incident that not only took both Waltrip and Yarborough out of contention for the win, but ignited one of NASCAR's greatest rivalries -- and provided one of the sport's most memorable nicknames.

And on Friday night in Charlotte, Waltrip, Yarborough and Glen Wood -- who owned the car David Pearson eventually drove to a second consecutive Southern 500 victory -- will all be inducted into NASCAR's Hall of Fame as members of the Class of 2012.

After that race, Yarborough was mad enough to spit nails -- and when asked about the incident, uttered what longtime Charlotte Observer writer Tom Higgins listed as one of his favorite NASCAR quotes: "Jaws! Jaws! That talky Jaws! That's what happened."

It's a moniker that has stuck with the talkative Waltrip ever since.

"Where the Jaws thing came from, was that was about when the movie came out," Waltrip said. "Cale just threw that out there. And I don't think he or I really thought about it sticking, you know?

"But I have to say [former Charlotte Motor Speedway president] Humpy Wheeler probably promoted more for the legend of Jaws than Cale did. Because if you recall, we went to Charlotte and Humpy puts that chicken down the mouth of the shark and drives around the race track on the parade lap with a chicken hanging out of the shark's mouth."

It wasn't as if the Waltrip-Yarborough rivalry needed additional promotion. Waltrip said the animosity even trickled down to the crew chiefs on the two opposing Chevrolet teams: Herb Nab, who wrenched Yarborough's No. 11, and "Suitcase" Jake Elder, who worked on Waltrip's No. 88.

"They were big, big rivals," Waltrip said. "They were buddies. They played cards together and hung around together a lot. But, man, it was always about who had the best car and who had the best setup. On Sunday, all of that went out the window and it was all about who could beat who. It wasn't so much about just me and Cale. It was Herb and Jake as well. It ran all the way through their team and all the way through ours.

Class of 2012

Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Dale Inman, Richie Evans and Glen Wood honored with enshrinement.

Complete story

Photo Gallery

Shop: HOF gear

Complete coverage

"Cale was a little aggressive and he'd beat around on our car. We didn't have a lot of money and we didn't have a lot of extra cars. So it would really tick Jake off that Cale would get up there and start beating around on the car and bend the fender or knock the bumper off of it or something. He and Herb were always arguing about that, so it spilled over to Cale and I."

And that all came to a head during the Labor Day weekend at Darlington in 1977. Waltrip and Yarborough had swapped the lead several times during the afternoon -- and with 150 miles to go, it appeared the race was coming down to a two-car duel.

The way Waltrip remembers it, he and Yarborough came off Turn 2 at Darlington nearly side-by-side after Yarborough had passed him for the lead on Lap 227. But they were about to encounter lapped traffic in the form of Ulrich.

"We were having a heck of a race," Waltrip said. "[Cale] loves winning the Southern 500, and at that time, I hadn't won it yet although I had come close. And really, I was ticked off because when we come up on D.K., I was mad because D.K. wouldn't get out of the way.

"He moved down in front of me and blocked me. And I was just about ready to pass Cale. So I hit him on purpose, but I never thought about wrecking him. I was just trying to nerf him and let him know he was in the way. I got into him just a little bit, and I'll be darned if it didn't get him loose and knocked him into Cale. And then we both wrecked."

Yarborough eventually wound up fifth, five laps behind. Waltrip finished sixth after losing seven laps in the pits. Yarborough went on to capture the season championship, but it seemed from that point, the rivalry between the two only intensified.

"At the time, Cale had the best car and I was trying to make it with what I had," Waltrip said. "With Cale, it never got ugly. Because he was such a hard driver and so tenacious, you just knew he was the benchmark. If you were going to win a race, you usually had to beat Cale to do it. And that was part of the whole deal."

Given the benefit of 35 years of retrospection, Waltrip realizes now that the rivalries he had -- and the emotions created from moments like the 1977 Southern 500 -- are what helped grow the sport to another level. And it's part of the reason why Waltrip and Yarborough are preparing to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"It's funny when you look back on things like that -- whether it's me and Bobby Allison, me and Cale, me and Dale [Earnhardt], me and Richard [Petty] -- at the time, it was like the worst thing that ever happened and you were real angry about it, and you wanted to get in a fight and knock the guy's block off," Waltrip said.

"But as time goes by, you look back on it and say, 'That was some good racing right there, boys, I tell you that.' In the end, when it's all done, you give each other credit for being pretty good at what you were doing."

what you think about them? :confused:

thanks enjoy :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Darrell Watrip more:


AYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- You always knew Darrell Waltrip was there from his racing beginnings at the Nashville Fairgrounds through three championships, 84 victories and a broadcasting career with FOX Sports and SPEED.

He was never silent about his talents and had the ability to back them up with results.

More on DW

Listen to a special NASCAR Beat podcast with Hall of Fame historian Buz McKim.

Click to download podcast

McKim on lookout for items

Fellow NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Cale Yarborough famously called Waltrip "Jaws" as the pair jockeyed for NASCAR's top rung.

"We knocked each other out of a lot of races," Owensboro, Ky., native Waltrip remembers of the competition with his rival who, ironically, recommended Junior Johnson hire Waltrip. "So for all the bad things [i've said] about Cale, I forgive him."

Waltrip, along with Yarborough, Richie Evans, Dale Inman and Glen Wood, will be inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Jan. 20. They comprise the third class to gain membership into the Hall.

Waltrip, 64, made his NASCAR premier series debut in 1972 at Talladega, driving the updated Ford that had carried Mario Andretti to victory in the 1967 Daytona 500. He finished 38th after the car's engine failed.

Waltrip drove a self-owned Chevrolet to his first victory in 1975 in Nashville. He won 28 times between 1975 and '80 -- on short tracks, road courses and speedways -- at the wheel of a DiGard Racing-prepared car.

Driving for NASCAR Hall of Fame member Johnson -- succeeding rival Yarborough, who stepped away to compete on a part-time basis -- Waltrip's first series title came in 1981. He finished with 12 wins and 21 top-fives in 31 races. He won the title by 53 points over NASCAR Hall of Fame member Bobby Allison.

In his second championship season, 1982, he finished with 12 wins and 20 top-10s in 30 races, sweeping both races at four tracks (Nashville, Bristol, Talladega and North Wilkesboro).

In his third championship season, 1985, Waltrip finished with three wins and 21 top-10s in 28 races.

Between 1977 and '87, Waltrip never finished worse than fifth in the championship standings.

"This sport would be nowhere near where it is today without people like him," Waltrip said of Johnson in his autobiography, DW. A Lifetime Going Around in Circles, co-authored by Jade Gurss. "Junior taught me how to win more than just races. He taught me how to win championships."

He finally won the Daytona 500 in 1989 driving for Rick Hendrick and later scored five victories with his own team, which he operated from 1991-98. Waltrip retired following the 2000 season.

Waltrip grew up in Owensboro, Ky., where his father, Leroy, was a truck driver. As a youngster, Waltrip would help his father on a Dr. Pepper route loading and unloading soft drink cases. His grandmother, Oda Palestein, took him to races at several area dirt tracks.

At age 12, Waltrip and his father bought a go-kart which they raced for several years. The elder Waltrip bought his son his first race car -- a 1936 Chevrolet -- when Darrell was 16. He towed the car to a track called Ellis Speedway in Newman, Kan., but spun out on his first lap of practice and hit the wall, knocking out the radiator and tearing up the car's right-front suspension.

"I never made even one lap," Waltrip said. "I was crushed."

Fortunately, one of Owensboro's dirt tracks switched to asphalt and Waltrip quickly became a winner, talking his way into driving faster cars for others. "If I won the feature at Whiteville, my share of the winnings would be $150 and two cases of beer," he said. "In Owensboro, 150 bucks and two cases of beer were big time."

He and wife, Stevie, moved to Nashville where Waltrip won the 1970 Fairgrounds Speedway championship. With sponsorship from the company for which his father-in-law was employed, Waltrip started his first Cup Series race in 1972.

Third class receives it due

Yarborough: Larger than life

Waltrip: Something to say

Inman: Crew chief inventor

Wood: Still writing history

Evans: An orange chariot

Shop: Get your HOF gear

Complete HOF Coverage

Waltrip felt, from the beginning, the racing's stars were aligned in his favor. There were few new faces in NASCAR and he was 10 to 15 years younger than the established stars Yarborough, Richard Petty and David Pearson.

"You know, time was on my side," he said. "I guarantee I can wear 'em out."

He came close to winning his first championship in 1979, entering the season finale at the old Ontario Motor Speedway near the present Auto Club Speedway in Southern California, leading Petty by two points. He spun early in the race, lost a lap -- and the championship.

"There's no question in my mind: Petty didn't win it -- I lost the championship," Waltrip said. "It was a lesson that was seared in my brain: Never beat yourself."

Yarborough suggested Johnson hire Waltrip, who bought his way out what had been a tempestuous relationship with Bill Gardner, one of the three DiGard principles. It paved the way for Waltrip's road to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Since retirement, Waltrip has been FOX Sports' lead motorsports analyst. Those who listened to Waltrip's many interviews during the 1970s and '80s -- the "Jaws" era -- wouldn't have been surprised. Early in his career, Waltrip forged a friendship with Nashville radio personality Ralph Emery and frequently subbed for Emery on his The Nashville Network interview show.

"Show me the mic; I was ready to talk," Waltrip would say.

"When I look back at my life on and off the track, the same thought keeps coming back to me -- timing. It defined what I did as a race car driver but I've also been blessed with great timing all my life," he said in the forward to his autobiography. "So many things outside of my control fell into place at just the right moment. Some say it was luck but I've always been told luck is when your hard work and effort successfully collide. So in the end, you make your own luck."

Darrell Waltrip: Career highlights

• Waltrip was three-time Cup Series champion (1981-82, '85); he won all three with legendary driver/owner Junior Johnson.

• Waltrip ranks in the top five in wins with 84.

• His 59 poles rank fifth all time in Cup Series history.

• He competed from 1972-2000, which included a 1989 Daytona 500 victory in a Rick Hendrick-owned Chevrolet.

• He was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998.

• He currently is a commentator on FOX's NASCAR broadcasts.

so that all inform on him as well..

thanks enjoy :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.