Friday, February 24, 2017

Flashback Friday: Phoenix Raceway Celebrates Michael Waltrip’s Last Ride

“Everything that’s right about NASCAR is at PIR.” – Michael Waltrip

We couldn’t be more grateful to have a friend of the track like Michael Waltrip. His friendship and personality are what make the sport so near and dear to our fans. In honor of his 30th and final Daytona 500 this Sunday, let’s take a look back at his history at Phoenix Raceway – both on and off the track.

A two-time Daytona 500 winner, Michael has raced at Phoenix in three of NASCAR’s national series including the Monster Energy Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR K&N Pro-Series West. Michael got his first start racing on the one-mile oval in the 1998 Checker 500. In his 24 starts since, he earned two top-five and four top-10 finishes en route to completing a total of 6,743 laps. His last race in the desert earned him a runner-up finish in the 2010 3 Amigos Tequila 125 NASCAR K&N Pro-Series West race in 2010.

Denny Hamlin and Michael Waltrip shared Daytona 500 stories with the
MLB Network before Arizona Diamondbacks 2016 Spring Training
Off the track, Michael has been a huge ambassador of the track throughout the Valley of the Sun. Recently, he helped Phoenix Raceway and 2016 Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin kick off the NASCAR Season at the Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training Season Opener. Denny and Michael talked NASCAR with the team from the MLB Network, before Denny traded jerseys and took in the game against the Colorado Rockies. Waltrip also spoke with ABC 15 about why everyone should share his love of NASCAR. Check out the video here!

In November 2016, Michael was on hand for a very special event as Phoenix Raceway Charities unveiled its renovation project of the Ronald McDonald House in Downtown Phoenix before the Can-Am 500 NASCAR race weekend. The FOX broadcaster helped commemorate the event with NASCAR drivers William Byron and Erik Jones.

After 32 years in the sport, we offer a sincere congratulations on his final start in the Daytona 500. Michael, we know your passion for NASCAR will keep on spreading across the country and around the world. We can’t wait to see you back in Phoenix this March 17-19 for the Camping World 500!

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