Michael Waltrip finishes eighth in final Daytona 500

Michael Waltrip (Getty Images)

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Michael Waltrip didn’t have the fastest car in Sunday’s Daytona 500, but he managed to avoid the prolific multicar wrecks that peppered the first 150 laps of the race.

And when he took the checkered flag, Waltrip was eighth in his 30th and final trip around Daytona International Speedway in NASCAR’s most important race.

“Yeah, it’s going to be a great memory to have a top 10,” Waltrip said. “I had so many times I was in the middle of a crash and just missed it. So you do a good job, and you get lucky—both. At the end, I just lost the draft, and that’s unfortunate, because I was able to weave my way past people.

“I had a really, really good handling car. I’m thankful that I survived, and I’m thankful for being able to run up front, and I’m happy about the finish. I’m ready for it to be my last one, so it’s going to be a good one to remember it by.”

About Greg Engle 7420 Articles
Greg is a published award winning sportswriter who spent 23 years combined active and active reserve military service, much of that in and around the Special Operations community. Greg is the author of "The Nuts and Bolts of NASCAR: The Definitive Viewers' Guide to Big-Time Stock Car Auto Racing" and has been published in major publications across the country including the Los Angeles Times, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He was also a contributor to Chicken Soup for the NASCAR Soul, published in 2010, and the Christmas edition in 2016. He wrote as the NASCAR, Formula 1, Auto Reviews and National Veterans Affairs Examiner for Examiner.com and has appeared on Fox News. He holds a BS degree in communications, a Masters degree in psychology and is currently a PhD candidate majoring in psychology. He is currently the weekend Motorsports Editor for Autoweek.