Tag:Michael Waltrip
Posted on: November 4, 2011 11:44 am
Edited on: November 4, 2011 12:31 pm

MWR signs Mark Martin to 25-race deal

By Pete Pistone

Rumor and speculation became fact on Friday when Michael Waltrip Racing officially introduced Mark Martin as the new driver of the No. 00 Toyota.

The veteran will end his tenure at Hendrick Motorsports at season's end and then shift over to MWR beginning next season for a limited schedule as part of a two year deal with an option for a third.

Martin will drive in 25 Sprint Cup events each of the next two seasons including 24 points events as well as the Sprint All-Star Race. He'll share the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine with Michael Waltrip, who will drive five events including four races at Daytona and Talladega as wel as the July Kentucky Speedway race. Martin will join Martin Truex Jr. and recently acquired Clint Bowyer in the MWR stable next season.

"It is the perfect schedule for me, and it gives me an opportunity to catch my breath," said Martin, who will effectively replace David Reutimann with the team.

Waltrip explained the deal to bring Martin on board came together in a relatively short period of time but was pleased with the new addition to his race team as well as extended the relationship with Aaron's for continued sponsorship.

“This is a big day for our organization, announcing a sponsorship extension and adding a future first-ballot Hall of Famer like Mark Martin," Waltrip said.

“It is very rare that a young organization gets an opportunity to hire a driver with Mark’s incredible talent, experience and insight into what it takes to be a winner. Mark will be competitive but also a great teammate to Clint, Martin and me. I’m thrilled he will be in our cars, but just as thrilled he will be in our meetings.”

Martin has been looking for the right opportunity to remain in the sport since earlier this year when he knew his contract at Hendrick would expire. He's looking forward to a chance to perform well with MWR as well as helping the organization reach the next level.

"The performance level is not where they'd it like to be right now, but they're making a serious move toward stepping that up," Martin said. "I'm really excited to have a chance to be a part of that. Everybody knows I like to help people. Getting a chance to work with some of the young drivers that come along and come through the program is something that really means a lot to me." 

Waltrip said the team is actively looking for additional sponsorship to keep the car on track for the balance of next season and that all options, including drivers and sponsors, are open.

"We're open to suggestions," Waltrip said. 

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Posted on: November 3, 2011 3:10 pm

David Reutimann officially out at MWR

By Pete Pistone

Michael Waltrip Racing officially confirmed the dismissal of David Reutimann in a press release distributed on Thursday. The news paves the way for what was reported earlier this week with the team bringing in veteran Mark Martin to drive the MWR No. 00 Toyota in a limited schedule in 2012. The organization has a press conference scheduled Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway where Martin will be introduced:

From News Release

Michael Waltrip Racing announced today that driver David Reutimann will not return to the team for the 2012 season.

Team officials notified Reutimann this week.

“David has been a significant part of Michael Waltrip Racing since the very beginning and will forever be a part of our heritage,” said Co-Owner Michael Waltrip. “We want to thank David for his contribution to our growth and success over the past five years and wish him well in the future.”

Reutimann will remain with the team for the final three races of the 2011 season.

In 168 Sprint Cup Series starts, all for Michael Waltrip Racing, Reutimann recorded two wins, 12 top-five, 25 top-10 finishes and won four pole awards.

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Posted on: October 21, 2011 5:55 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 5:59 pm

NASCAR confiscates Waltrip Racing's windshields

By Pete Pistone

NASCAR took the windshields belonging to the three Michael Waltrip Racing entries Friday at Talladega Superspeedway.

The sanctioning body termed the three windshields from cars driven by David Reutimann, Martin Truex Jr. and Bobby Labonte of JTG Daugherty Racing as having "unapproved modifications." The windows were put on display behind the NASCAR hauler during Friday's practice sessions.

NASCAR officials expect fines and penalties to be handed down to the team later this week.

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Posted on: October 14, 2011 12:06 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 12:21 pm

Michael Waltrip to drive DW tribute car at 'Dega

Posted by Pete Pistone

DW Tribute Car

From News Release

Michael Waltrip owns 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup starts at Talladega Superspeedway, but he'll reach back into family history when he makeshis 766th start on Oct. 23 at the Alabama track. With the support of long-time sponsor Aaron's Inc., Waltrip will celebrate the election of his brother Darrell to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. He'll race a brown-and-gold paint scheme similar to the Terminal Transport car Darrell drove in his first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega on May 7, 1972. Michael's Talladega paint scheme includes a large photo on the hood taken after Darrell's first Sprint Cup victory at Nashville Speedway in 1975. The deck lid carries a picture of "DW" during the 1989 Daytona 500 victory lane celebration as the three-time series champion dances the "Ickey Shuffle." Waltrip honored Darrell's first victory with an orange and white scheme at the inaugural Kentucky Speedway race in June. Rain cancelled qualifying depriving Waltrip the chance to start the race despite posting a fast qualifying speed before NASCAR halted the session and set the field by points. 

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Posted on: September 21, 2011 5:37 pm

Michael Waltrip Racing adds new comp director

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

Michael Waltrip Racing named industry veteran Scott Miller as executive vice president of competition effective at the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Miller has served in several roles throughout his 16-year stint in NASCAR, most recently as director of competition at Richard Childress Racing. Miller has been a winning crew chief and has repeatedly guided teams into the Chase for the Sprint Cup from his management role. Miller will manage all competition aspects, including design, manufacturing and engineering, as well as the technical relationship between Toyota Racing Development's resource facilities in Salisbury, N.C., and Costa Mesa, Calif.

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Posted on: August 22, 2011 2:16 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 2:25 pm

Waltrip team apologizes for hair pulling incident

Posted by Pete Pistone

The damage control went into play on Monday when Pastrana Waltrip Racing issued a formal apology for Saturday's incident during the Montreal Nationwide Series race when crew chief Jerry Baxter reached in and pulled Steve Wallace's hair while the driver was sitting in his car.

The altercation took place in the aftermath of Wallace and driver Patrick Carpentier making contact on track during the event on the twisting Montreal road course.

Monday's statements came from Baxter and team co-owner Michael Waltrip:

JERRY BAXTER – “I’m sorry for what happened after the race on Saturday and I take responsibility for my own actions. I called Steve (Wallace) today and apologized. I was just very frustrated and let my emotions get to me. That was Patrick’s (Carpentier) last race and we wanted to make it special. We really thought he had a shot for the win and everything boiled over when that chance went away in the wreck. Everyone was just racing hard and there was no intent to wreck anyone. There’s no excuse for what I did after the race and I apologize to everyone.”

MICHAEL WALTRIP – “Pastrana Waltrip Racing prides itself on racing hard, but we always want to be good sports. Jerry Baxter is very passionate about our race team, but what Jerry did after Saturday’s race was wrong and he knows it. I talked to him about it that night and again today. Believe me, I understand how emotional you can get behind the wheel or up on the pit box, I’ve been there. But, you have to draw a line and Jerry crossed that line. It’s not what we are all about. I apologize to Steve Wallace and all his fans as well as all NASCAR fans.”

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Posted on: July 29, 2011 3:04 pm
Edited on: July 29, 2011 3:09 pm

Waltrip knew risks of X Games for Travis Pastrana

Posted by Brian De Los Santos

Michael Waltrip
, co-owner of the car Travis Pastrana was scheduled to make his NASCAR Nationwide debut in on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Raceway, held an open session with the media Friday to discuss the team's new plans after Pastrana broke his right ankle and foot while attempting a Moto X trick Thursday at the X Games.

Was Pastrana-Waltrip Racing prepared for this possibility?

"We understood he might get hurt.  Now, I wouldn't tell you that I'm naïve and when I think of Travis Pastrana I think of Superman.  I just assumed it would all be okay.  I sat around a big table with a bunch of Michael Waltrip Racing employees and friends and when he fell over the first time and got back up and went again, I'm like, 'Perfect.  That's Travis.  He'll get there.'  And then on the second attempt, obviously we weren't so fortunate.  But, I got an amazing, sweet email from him last night saying how devastated he was, but how passionate he was about putting that behind him and getting on with his NASCAR career.  We're targeting Richmond as our next start.  He's going to work with his doctors and find out if that's realistic and make sure that that is something that we can look forward to.  His debut is delayed.  I sent him a note and said, 'I'm old now, so having something to look forward to is really important to me.'  When I knew I was going to run Kentucky since Talladega in April, I've been looking forward to going to  Kentucky.   Now, I'm looking forward to going to Talladega and racing.  I told Travis, 'This is just something else on list that I have to look forward to.'  He really had a good couple of weeks leading up to coming here.  Testing -- he ran at LOR (Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis) with David Stremme in a Late Model.  Got some laps there and ran some Nationwide cars testing as well.  He was prepared.  Just couldn't quite land the jump."

How did you decide to not run the car this weekend?

"Boost Mobile -- we all were aware of the risks.  They wanted to not run the car and just wait for Travis (Pastrana).  I support that decision and agree with that decision 100 percent.  It's a Pastrana-Waltrip sponsor and Pastrana is the big part of Pastrana-Waltrip -- it's the reason why we've got this opportunity.  It was an easy decision to make, just disappointing. The main thing is Travis' health -- he gets his foot fixed and we're going to give him four wheels for a while, we hope, and he probably won't fall over in the dirt on four wheels."

How do you determine when to get Travis back in the car?

"I think it's pretty simple.  The doctors will put him on a timeline and he will abide by what their direction is and see what happens.  Get him in a car, test, make sure he's comfortable and happy and when it's time, it's time.  If it isn't Richmond, we'll move it back to when it's appropriate.  If you could read this email that I got from him last night, you just want to -- I wanted to cry, because he just was so beat up and down over not only his foot being broke, but the fans that were looking forward to it, breaking their hearts.  Our team looking forward to and all the support we've given him, making them not have the opportunity.  He was just really sad.  I did my best to cheer him up, as did Ty (Norris) and all the guys on the team. We just look forward to continuing this relationship for a long time to come.  He's a great guy."

Has a date been set for Travis' surgery?

"I don't have those details."

Do you still plan to have Travis in seven races?

"We would hope to and it depends on the recovery process.  If we get squeezed down to where it won't fit, we'll have to deal with that.  I guess Richmond is 11 to go in the Cup, right, so maybe nine or 10 are left in Nationwide, so we'll have to see how it fits."

Will Travis attempt to test at Richmond before debuting?

"We just want to make sure we don't do anything wrong, but yes.  If it's okay to take a Late Model there and run it, that's what we'll do.  We both -- he (Travis Pastrana) ran a Late Model there, as did I in Denny's (Hamlin) thing this past May. Unfortunately, got into a crash on the first lap, so he didn't learn all that we had hoped he would.  And then he ran the K&N car there.  Our history shows us that if you look at what he did at Irwindale (Speedway) last year, he got a chance to test there for a day before he went back and raced and, man, was he ever competitive and did he do a great job at that race. We're learning that laps are very important for somebody like Travis that has a great feel for a race car and great car control, but he just doesn't have any experience.  Richmond would be a great place to make his debut and we feel like with his history there and whatever other testing we could do leading up to that event would be beneficial."

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Posted on: June 29, 2011 3:55 pm
Edited on: June 29, 2011 3:56 pm

Michael Waltrip pays tribute to brother Darrell

Posted by Pete Pistone

From News Release

Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip has enjoyed many special races in his career, but few will be as meaningful to the Owensboro, Ky. native as the July 9 inaugural NASCAR Sprint race at Kentucky Speedway. With the support of long-time sponsor Aaron's Inc., Michael will celebrate the election of his brother Darrell to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. He'll race an orange and white paint scheme similar to the Terminal Transport car Darrell drove to his first NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Nashville Speedway in 1975. Michael's Kentucky paint scheme also includes a photo of the Nashville victory lane celebration on each of the car's rear quarter panels and a picture of "DW" on the hood also taken at Nashville. The race at Kentucky marks Waltrip's 766th career start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. It marks his 1,054th combined start in the Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. He and Mark Martin are the only drivers to win in those series in four different decades.

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