Meet Michael Waltrip: Driver, owner, broadcaster
September 04, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
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Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip began racing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR's top level, in 1985. He has run at least one race every year since then, and in 2002, he became a Sprint Cup car owner. In 2012, Waltrip joined the NASCAR on FOX team in the Hollywood Hotel as a prerace analyst.
A native of Owensboro, Kentucky, Waltrip followed in the tire tracks of brother Darrell, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and three-time premier series champion who also owned his own team and is a broadcaster for FOX. Before joining Darrell on Sprint Cup races, Michael became an analyst for Camping World Truck Series races and continues in this role for FOX Sports 1.
"I'm just a normal kid from Kentucky that grew up admiring his older brother," Waltrip said. "My brother was my hero, and I wanted to be just like him. I started racing cars, and I'll be darn, I was pretty good at it, was able to win races and won the Daytona 500 a couple of times and started my own race team."
Waltrip won NASCAR's Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, in 2001 for his first Sprint Cup points victory after starting his career 0-for-462. He won the Great American Race again in 2003. Waltrip has two more wins at NASCAR's highest level. His 775 career Sprint Cup starts ranks ninth all time, and his 1,065 starts across NASCAR's three national series -- Cup, Nationwide and Camping World Truck -- ranks fourth.
Michael Waltrip Racing began fielding teams in Sprint Cup full time in 2007 and earned its first win with David Reutimann two years later. In 2012, MWR placed two drivers -- Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr. -- in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR's postseason. Bowyer finished second in the championship standings and returned to the playoffs again the following season. In 2014, Brian Vickers joined Bowyer as full-time Sprint Cup drivers for MWR.
In 2014, Waltrip finished 19th in the season-opening Daytona 500, and he's scheduled to run again next month at Talladega Superspeedway. Waltrip won at NASCAR's longest oval (2.66 miles) in 2003, and he finished fourth there last year.
For the Oct. 19 race at Talladega, Waltrip has teamed up with sponsor Janssen to give fans the chance to get their face on his No. 66 MyAfibStory.com Toyota Camry. For every eligible photo, Janssen will will make a contribution to the American Heart Association to make a different for the millions of Americans living with atrial fibrillation (Afib). Click here for more information.