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Darrell Waltrip on Track Instincts

Racing drivers must use all their senses. When you're in tune with the car, it speaks to you with a small voice. When something's happening, you smell it; you hear it in the changing tone of the engine. If my car was starting to go, my senses would come alive. As I hit the pit, the crew chief would ask, "What's wrong?"

"It's getting ready to blow up," I'd say.

"Are you sure?" he'd ask.

I've driven for people who wouldn't believe me. I'd have to let the car blow up before they did. That usually meant a wreck; it sometimes meant getting hurt; it always costs lots of money.

Several times I've had the crew pull an engine out of a car when it was running fine. "I don't know what's wrong," I'd say, "but something is." They'd pull the engine. "You were right," they'd admit later. "We were scuffing a piston," or, "It was losing a lobe on a camshaft," or, "The rod bearings were about ready to fly out of the thing."

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