Tag:Michael Waltrip
Posted on: April 26, 2011 12:05 pm

Waltrip to compete in triathlon

Posted by Pete Pistone

From Team News Release

Michael Waltrip will compete in the Monticelloman Olympic Triathlon in Lake Monticello, Va. on Sunday just hours after watching his two NASCAR Sprint Cup teams race Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway. The two-time Daytona 500 winner enters his first triathlon after competing in several marathons including the 2000 Boston Marathon. Sunday's triathlon includes a .9-mile swim course, a 24-mile bike course and 6.2-mile running course around Lake Monticello. The competition comes a week after Waltrip tested a Ferrari in France for the 78th running of June's 24 Hours of Le Mans - the world's most famous endurance race. He and MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman will join Rui Aguas as the three drivers in the #78 AF Corse Ferrari in the GTE class. Waltrip will also race in Thursday's Short Track Showdown late model race at Richmond to benefit the Denny Hamlin Foundation and in July's inaugural Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. In 2011, Waltrip won the truck race at Daytona and he's raced in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series races at Daytona and Talladega.


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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: March 14, 2011 11:32 am

Video of the Day: Waltrip's 1990 Bristol crash

Posted By Pete Pistone

Bristol Motor Speedway has seen its share of accidents and crashes over the year but maybe none more devastating than the 1990 wreck involving Michael Waltrip. During practice for the then known as Busch Series, Waltrip caught the outside retaining wall of the backstretch with the contact completely destroying his car. Fortunately Waltrip walked away uninjured in the very violent and scary looking accident:

Posted on: February 23, 2011 6:31 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 6:31 pm

Waltrip penalty sparks rules debate

Posted By Pete Pistone

NASCAR may have a new championship points system but there’s a very familiar problem plaguing the sanctioning body only one week into the 2011 season.

How to handle a winning car – or truck – that doesn’t pass post-race inspection.

Michael Waltrip’s ride was found to have a broken spoiler after he took the checkered flag in last Friday night’s thrilling Camping World Truck Series opener at Daytona.

The spoiler on the back of Waltrip’s deck lid was lying flat when he pulled into victory lane and did not meet the minimum angle requirements by NASCAR.

On Wednesday NASCAR took 25 owner points away from team head Billy Ballew as well as fining crew chief Doug Howe $25,000 and placing him on probation through the of the season.

Since Waltrip is not planning to run the entire truck series season it apparently made no sense for NASCAR to dock driver points. And if the 25 markers Ballew was hit with sounds light remember there’s a new 43-8 system in place for the trucks this year so based on the old points format the penalty was more along the lines of 75-100.

Whether or not the flat spoiler helped Waltrip to win the race or not is up for debate. There’s one camp that believes without having to deal with rear drag Waltrip’s truck could drive faster down the straightaways and have added speed in his run around Elliott Sadler for the lead and victory.

Others think without that down force Waltrip’s truck was on the ragged edge and nearly impossible to handle at speed of more than 190 mph so the malfunction would have been a definite hindrance.

While it’s doubtful a spoiler could be rigged to collapse on command there is no doubt this controversy has cast a shadow over Waltrip’s feel good triumph which came ten years to the day of his 2001 Daytona 500 victory, the same race his owner Dale Earnhardt lost his life in a last lap crash.

The court of public opinion is huge in this sport and there is already an outcry from some fans that Waltrip’s win was crooked.  NASCAR’s contention is that what happened was a part malfunction but I can guarantee you a group of fans are sitting around at a bar right now discussing how a smart team member could easily develop some sort of trick system to flatten a spoiler and help a team cheat its way to victory.

That kind of debate has been part of this sport from day one.

Regardless of the circumstances NASCAR has to police a race vehicle that leaves pit road legal but doesn’t come back the same way. The bigger question is should the victory stand if indeed the winning machine flunks post race inspection.

NASCAR has never taken wins away, a policy dating back to founder Bill France Sr. who believed fans should go home knowing who the race winner was without having to read about a different outcome in the paper days later.

It’s interesting in this case Waltrip got off without any type of penalty while his team owner and crew chief were hit.

Until NASCAR has a firm rule in place stating a car or truck that fails post race inspection negates the win for a driver this murkiness will continue.

We’re only one week into the year but the controversy of rules violations is in mid-season form.

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 23, 2011 5:34 pm
Edited on: February 23, 2011 5:34 pm

Waltrip penalized for Daytona spoiler

From Official Release

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 23, 2011) – NASCAR has issued penalties and fines to the No. 15 team that competes in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, as a result of rule infractions found during post-race inspection Feb. 18 at Daytona International Speedway.

The No. 15 truck driven by Michael Waltrip was found to be in violation of Sections 12-1 (actions detrimental to stock car racing); 12-4-J (any determination by NASCAR Officials that the race equipment used in the event does not conform to NASCAR rules); and 20B-3.1.2E (rear spoiler did not meet specifications in post-race inspection) of the 2011 NASCAR Rule Book.

As a result, crew chief Doug Howe has been fined $25,000 and placed on NASCAR probation until Dec. 31. Owner Billy Ballew has been penalized with the loss of 25 championship owner points.

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 18, 2011 11:25 pm
Edited on: February 18, 2011 11:41 pm

Waltrip scores emotional Daytona win

Posted By Pete Pistone

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Tony Kornheiser  probably won't believe it.

Ten years to the day Dale Earnhardt was killed in a crash on the final lap of the 2001 Daytona 500 while Michael Waltrip took the checkered flag there was Waltrip back in Daytona's victory lane.

Listen to Michael Waltrip's post-race news conference (14 minutes, 46 seconds)

Waltrip took the checkered flag in Friday night's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season-opening NextEra Energy 250 his first career start in the series.

After a relatively clean first half the second half erupted into a crash-filled affair with several multi-truck accidents knocking out several contenders.

But Waltrip survived the carnage and out dueled former Sprint Cup regular Elliott Sadler to the finish line.

Waltrip has been preparing for the ten year return to Daytona and the anniversary of Earnhardt's death with several tributes. He'll run a black NAPA-sponsored No. 15 entry - the same number and sponsor he carried to victory lane in 2001 - in Sunday's 53rd running of the Daytona 500. Earlier this month he released a book entitled "In the Blink of an Eye" which chronicles the events of the fateful 500 and Waltrip's emotional roller coaster since February 18, 2001.

"For nine years people have been asking me about that day," Waltrip said recently. "And I just avoided the subject. I would say something brief, something sort of scripted in my mind. Never dug into it at all. And I didn't want to."

But the decision to write the book which Waltrip considered as therapy, has helped him come to terms.

"And so in order to try and figure out how I felt about it, because honestly I hadn't thought in depth about it at all - I thought I better figure out what happened."

Maybe the sign things were going to turn out as eerily as they did Friday night came long before Waltrip took the checkered flag. The opening night field was led to green by a black truck carrying the number three - the identical look and color scheme of Earnhardt's legendary Cup ride - driven by defending Rookie of the Year Austin Dillon , who happens to be the grandson on Earnhardt's long-time team owner Richard Childress .

But that was only the opening act of goosebumps.

Waltrip provided the rest.

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: February 10, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: February 10, 2011 5:18 pm

Waltrip to race Daytona trucks

Posted by Pete Pistone
From Team Release


Mooresville, N.C. (February 10, 2011) - With 25 plus years in the sport, it isn't often Michael Waltrip experiences something new in NASCAR.

But next week in Daytona the two-time Daytona 500 champion enters his first Camping World Truck Series race on the 2.5-mile Florida highbanks.

Vision Aviation Racing (VAR) announced today that Waltrip will pilot the No. 15 NASCAR.COM RaceView/Wounded Warrior Project/Vision Airlines Tundra in the Feb. 18 truck race.

"I love Daytona and I've always wanted to race a truck there," said Waltrip. "Those races are so fun to watch on television or be a part of in the broadcast booth. Last year's winner hit the wall on the last lap and the guy who finished second spun out. It was an amazing last lap. I want to be part of that."

The No. 15's sponsor NASCAR.COM RaceView is the most comprehensive Sprint Cup race experience online allowing fans to watch the action and listen to live in-car audio right from a computer. The brand new and improved RaceView gives fans control of live race coverage with the ability to customize their entire experience. RaceView features upgraded virtual video and even more camera angles including pit road.

NASCAR.COM will also be launching Truck Race Buddy, content which will provide live feeds of racing action from four different camera angles and a mosaic view, all featuring the natural sounds of the at-track action . Waltrip is always happy to be a part of getting fans closer to the action. "There is so much action in the truck series, and it is really difficult to capture it all. NASCAR has always been all about getting fans closer to the action and now with this new content from NASCAR.COM they will be able to do just that."

Vision Airlines and The Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to honoring and empowering wounded service men and women, will also be partnering up with VAR and Waltrip for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 in Daytona.

The Vision Aviation Racing team begins its first season of truck racing after sweeping the top two spots with drivers Justin Johnson and Dusty Davis in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series. The team won 74% of the 19 races it entered last year and plans to make an impact in the ultra-competitive truck series.

"With Michael's proven track record at Daytona and our exciting partnerships with NASCAR.COM RaceView, The Wounded Warrior Project, and Vision Airlines we at VAR are looking forward to great things in Daytona," said team General Manager, Tom Davis.

The VAR announcement also means Waltrip will race in all three major NASCAR series in Daytona - another first for Waltrip. Waltrip will also race the No. 15 NAPA Toyota in the Daytona 500 and the No. 99 Pastrana-Waltrip Toyota in the Nationwide race.

"On my way to retirement I seem to have gotten really busy," laughed Waltrip who owns two top-five finishes in eight truck starts. "I've always wanted to run all three races down in Daytona so now after 25 years I get my chance. I've come so close to winning truck races and I would like to get that accomplished."

Waltrip's VAR Tundra carries a special paint scheme to commemorate his 2001 Daytona 500 victory driving for car owner Dale Earnhardt who died in a turn four accident on the final lap. 

While he's reduced his NASCAR schedule he hasn't slowed down. Waltrip raced in Dubai earlier this month and took the "Michael Waltrip Comedy Garage" to appearances in Kansas and Canada. He plans a handful of superspeedway races in 2011 and more international racing. On Feb. 1 Waltrip's book "In the Blink of an Eye" went on sale chronicling the events of the 2001 Daytona 500 as well as his life and the challenges building Michael Waltrip Racing.

The RaceView truck is 1-0 in NCWTS competition.

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Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: January 31, 2011 6:43 am
Edited on: January 31, 2011 6:44 am

No point deal for Waltrip

Posted By Pete Pistone

Michael Waltrip will have to qualify on speed to compete in next month's 53rd running of the Daytona 500. Waltrip and his Michael Waltrip Racing NAPA No. 15 entry had hoped to have a guara <script src="http://images.cbssports.com/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js" type="text/javascript"></script> nteed spot in the race with the purchase of the ow <script src="http://images.cbssports.com/tinymce/jscripts/tiny_mce/themes/advanced/langs/en.js" type="text/javascript"></script> ners' points from TRG Motorsports and its No. 71 ride, which finished in the Top 35 in the 2010 Sprint Cup standings and has a berth in the first five races of the new season including Daytona.

But TRG president Kevin Buckler told last week's gathering on the NASCAR Sprint Media Tour he intends to run a full season in 2011 and has a sponsorship plan in work that he hopes to announce in the next few days. Buckler also will name a full-time driver with speculation on former Team Red Bull pilot Scott Speed, who was released by TRM when Kasey Kahne was signed and Brian Vickers returned from medical issues.

The development leaves Waltrip to get into the biggest race of the season on speed. He will be attempting to qualify for the tenth anniversary race of his bittersweet victory when his team owner at the time Dale Earnhardt lost his life on the final lap.

Category: Auto Racing
Posted on: January 7, 2011 9:28 am

Waltrip hopes to make 25th straight Daytona 500

Michael Waltrip will try to make another run in the Daytona 500.

The two-time Daytona 500 champion told the Daytona Beach News-Journal of his plans to race in the Feb. 20 season opener. Should Waltrip, who make four Cup starts in 2010, qualify, it would mark his 25th straight season in the Great American Race.

"I think two people have started that many," Waltrip told the paper. "Richard Petty and Dave Marcis come to mind. Our plan is to race the Budweiser Shootout and 500. I'm looking forward to it."

Waltrip also has a book due out in February,  "In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona and the Day that Changed Everything," in which he shares his emotions of the 2001 Daytona 500, the day Dale Earnhardt Sr., the owner of his race winning car, died in a last lap crash.

"People were asking me about that day, and I knew I couldn't tell them in five minutes what that day meant to me," Waltrip said. "I decided it was the perfect time to tell the story."

Category: Auto Racing
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