The winner of the annual award is presented the Mario Andretti Trophy on a special episode of SPEED Center in February.
“Adding Darrell certainly gives the panel one of the definitive voices in all of NASCAR," said Andretti. “One of the best in the business on the track during his driving career, he continues to maintain a connection with the sport through his television work and keeps an active link with race fans. His perspective during the selection process for this award will be invaluable."
Waltrip, whose career spanned nearly 30 years, won championships in 1981, ’82 and ’85, finishing second in 1979, ’83 and ’86. He won the Daytona 500 in 1989 and the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway a record five times. The first driver to win $10 million in career earnings, Waltrip is a two-time winner of NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver of the Year award (1989 and ’90) and was named NASCAR’s Driver of the Decade for the 1980s.
“Joining Mario and the other distinguished members of the voting panel is an honor," Waltrip said. “I look forward to helping select the next SPEED Performer of the Year. Choosing a winner from all disciplines of motor sports makes that person the best of the best. Let's go racing boys!"
After finishing his racing career in 2000, Waltrip immediately became a leader in the television booth, becoming the face of the NASCAR on FOX broadcasting lineup and contributing to multiple SPEED programs, including Trackside and the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.