New Book, Racing, TV, Comedy Garage On Tap As New Year Begins
If you thought Michael Waltrip’s 2010 season was a bit out of the mainstream just wait until you see what 2011 has in store for the two-time Daytona 500 winner and owner of Michael Waltrip Racing.
Book and comedy tours, welcoming an action sports star to NASCAR, tons of television work and a return to racing are on tap for the 47-year-old Waltrip as he begins his second full season of what he calls “semi-retirement.”
Waltrip’s first book “In the Blink of an Eye” marking the tenth anniversary of his 2001 Daytona 500 victory hits the shelves in February. “DALE, DAYTONA AND THE DAY THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING,” is the book’s subtitle describing Waltrip’s minute-by-minute account of the day that saw him break a 0 for 462 slump and climb to the pinnacle of his racing career. Minutes later he learned of the tragic loss of his car owner and NASCAR great Dale Earnhardt. Waltrip’s struggle to come to grips with the aftermath and build a successful career and race team also highlights the manuscript.
You’ll not only find Waltrip in bookstores across America promoting the book this year but in comedy clubs as well. The Michael Waltrip Comedy Garage tour begins its second season with shows featuring topflight comedic talent like John Reep, Henry Cho, Tim Wilson plus a standup routine by Waltrip. The tour includes even more dates in 2011 including stops in Kansas City, Ontario, Canada and Las Vegas.
If you can’t find Waltrip in a bookstore or comedy club near you then you’ll certainly see him on television. Waltrip continues his television work in 2011 as host of Showtime’s weekly “Inside NASCAR” program and he’ll return as a popular television personality on SPEED-TV as an analyst for its NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Also, count on Aaron’s to feature Waltrip in its commercials airing during race programming.
Despite his full schedule with the book, comedy tour and television work, Waltrip’s priority remains guiding Michael Waltrip Racing in its fifth full year of NASCAR Sprint Cup competition. In 2010 MWR visited victory lane with David Reutimann at Chicagoland in July and won its second consecutive K&N Pro Series East title with 18-year-old Ryan Truex. Capitalizing on the speed Martin Truex Jr. showed winning the pole at Dover, Sprint Showdown at Charlotte and in the final weeks of the 2010 season will be a priority for Waltrip and MWR as they work to return longtime sponsor NAPA AUTO PARTS to victory lane and a place in the “Chase for the Championship.”
Waltrip will also play a key role in the newly formed Pastrana-Waltrip Racing Nationwide team owned by MWR, action sports star Travis Pastrana and Gary and Blake Bechtel. The team expects to field Toyotas in seven races for Pastrana in 2011 and 20 in 2012. The Truex brothers will likely drive in the non-Pastrana Nationwide races for the team formerly called Diamond-Waltrip Racing.
At heart, Waltrip isn’t an author, comedian, or television personality. He’s a racer and the 2011 season promises a variety of races. He’ll join MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman in a Ferrari sports car in Portugal, Dubai and probably several other tracks across the globe. He’ll climb behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car for another shot at the Daytona 500, the new race at Kentucky Speedway and possibly a few more races along the way. He’s doesn’t race to just ride around. In 2010 Waltrip led laps at both Talladega races and finished 18th in the Daytona 500.
Despite his limited NASCAR schedule, Waltrip’s still a fan favorite with a growing Twitter following exceeding 45,000 and at sponsor appearances across the country for the Aaron’s, NAPA AUTO PARTS, Toyota, TUMS and Best Western.