Michael Waltrip, two-time Daytona 500 champion, is a MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES driver and former team owner who serves as an analyst for FOX NASCAR’s coverage of the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES, NASCAR XFINITY SERIES and NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES.
A member of FOX NASCAR’s Cup Series coverage since 2012 and its Truck Series team since 2004, Waltrip contributes analysis on FOX NASCAR SUNDAY, the network’s prerace show, alongside host Chris Myers and fellow analysts Darrell Waltrip and Jeff Gordon, in addition to in-race commentary and updates from the Hollywood Hotel.
FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT TO THE TV BOOTH
Waltrip originally joined the broadcasting world with the launch of FOX Sports-owned SPEED in 1996 as a panelist for what began as INSIDE WINSTON CUP in 1996 and eventually became known as THIS WEEK IN NASCAR, leading to roles on TRACKSIDE, FAST TRACK TO FAME and NASCAR NATION. He also co-hosted Showtime’s Inside NASCAR program from 2010-‘12. Waltrip is nationally renowned for numerous commercial appearances for major marketers, including Aaron’s, NAPA, Dominos, Best Western, UPS and Toyota.
ON THE TRACK
In 2007, Waltrip ushered Toyota into the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES as team owner for Michael Waltrip Racing and driver of the No. 55 Toyota, leading the manufacturer’s efforts in its first year of Cup competition. Waltrip opened the doors of his one-of-a-kind race shop and fan experience in a former movie theater in Cornelius, N.C., and welcomed Rob Kauffman as co-owner in the fall of 2007. In 2012, MWR earned its first two berths in the Chase for the NASCAR Cup with Clint Bowyer, who finished second, and Martin Truex Jr. In 2010, Waltrip segued to a part-time driving schedule and scored two top-five finishes in only four starts in 2013. MWR campaigned fulltime in the Cup Series through the conclusion of the 2015 season.
The Owensboro, Ky., native spent 30 years as a driver in the MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES. He won the 2001 and 2003 DAYTONA 500, making him one of 10 multi-time winners. Waltrip owns four Cup wins and four pole positions, alongside 11 career NASCAR XFINITY SERIES wins and one NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES victory – at the 2011 Daytona race in a last-lap pass. He made his Cup Series driving debut in the 1985 COCA-COLA 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where he also won the 1996 NASCAR ALL-STAR RACE, as well as the 1991 and 1992 Winston Open and 1995 Winston Select.
His best-selling book, “In the Blink of an Eye,” marked the 10th anniversary of his 2001 DAYTONA 500 victory. After hitting the shelves in January 2011, it soared to fourth and spent 11 weeks on The New York Times Best-Seller list. With dance partner Emma Slater, Waltrip advanced to the seventh round of competition in Dancing with the Stars in 2014.
Waltrip, a member of the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the world’s most prestigious sports car race, in June 2011, and raced in the Rolex 24 in January 2012 with Kauffman. Waltrip has two daughters, Caitlin and Macy, and two grandsons, Bryson and Jaxon, and resides in Huntersville, N.C.