Stock Car Racing Nascar Michael Waltrip final Daytona 500 Last Race
Waltrip: Daytona 500 will be final NASCAR race
Thursday, 26 January 2017
Kelly Crandall / Image by LAT
Michael Waltrip will call it a career following the Daytona 500.
The news came Thursday afternoon from Waltrip, who has four Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series wins, including two in the Daytona 500. Retirement will come after making 784 career starts, and 30 in Daytona 500.
Waltrip will drive for Premium Motorsports in the No. 15 Aaron's #ThanksMikey Toyota. Premium Motorsports does possess a charter, which guarantees Waltrip a spot in the race.
"I can reflect on my career with a lot of emotions, and one company that has been there for me is Aaron's," Waltrip said. "I started working with Aaron's almost 20 years ago with some commercials and six Xfinity Series races when I had a team behind my house. We have been together ever since, and it makes my heart smile thinking about all the great things we did together."
After making his Cup debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1985, Waltrip earned his first career win in the 2001 Daytona 500. He followed it up by winning his second Daytona 500 in the rain-shortened event in 2003. Each of his other two Cup wins also came in restrictor plate races: the 2002 July race at Daytona and the 2003 September race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Waltrip is also an 11-time winner in the Xfinity Series as well as having one win in the Camping World Truck Series. Although he has made limited Cup starts the past few season (his last full season was in 2009), the 53-year-old Waltrip has served as a Fox Sports analyst since 2012.
"The Daytona 500 in a lot of ways defines a racer's career, and I am proud to have been able to win our sport's most prestigious race twice," Waltrip said. "I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows at the Great American Race. But when you are a NASCAR driver who has the privilege of racing here, you love Daytona no matter what happens.
"In my 30th and final Daytona 500, I am just going to enjoy every moment and be happy that Aaron's has given me one more opportunity to hoist the Harley J. Earle trophy."
Michael Waltrip will retire from NASCAR after 30th and final start in the Daytona 500
By Nate RyanJan 26, 2017, 6:51 PM EST
Michael Waltrip will call it a career after one final start in the race that made his NASCAR career.
Running the No. 15 Toyota for Premium Motorsports (which has a guaranteed spot via charter), Waltrip, 53, will retire after making his 30th start in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 26.
The four-time winner in Cup has won the Great American Race twice (2001, ’03) and also won in July 2002 at Daytona International Speedway. His most recent victory came at Talladega Superspeedway in October 2003.
He will be backed by longtime sponsor Aaron’s in a “Thanks Mikey” paint scheme.
“I can reflect on my career with a lot of emotions and one company that has been there for me is Aaron’s,” said Waltrip, who hasn’t raced full time since 2009 and has been working as a Fox Sports analyst in recent years. “I started working with Aaron’s almost 20 years ago with some commercials and six Xfinity Series races when I had a team behind my house. We have been together ever since and it makes my heart smile thinking about all the great things we did together.”
Aaron’s will release a video next week highlighting Waltrip’s top five moments with the sponsor.
Tags: 2017 Daytona 500, nascar, Michael Waltrip
01-27-2017 03:11 PM
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