Rockingham: Michael Waltrip makes 500th WC career start

Mooresville, NC--- Michael Waltrip will pilot his NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet at North Carolina Speedway on Sunday, February 23,2002 in his 500th NASCAR Winston Cup career start. Waltrip debuted in the Winston Cup Series in 1985 finishing 28th in...

Mooresville, NC--- Michael Waltrip will pilot his NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet at North Carolina Speedway on Sunday, February 23,2002 in his 500th NASCAR Winston Cup career start. Waltrip debuted in the Winston Cup Series in 1985 finishing 28th in the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

499 races later, 38-year old Waltrip is as on top of his game as ever. Waltrip ended the 2001 season with a second-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway and started the 2002 season with a bang when he crossed the start/finish line fifth at the Daytona 500 after spinning across the frontstrech with five laps to go. Waltrip owns one victory, 20 top-fives and 86 top-10s in his 16-year Winston Cup career. Highlights include winning his first points race in the 2001 Daytona 500, winning the 1996 "The Winston" all-star race and proposing to his wife, Buffy, in victory lane following a Busch Series win at Bristol in 1993.

"500? Really?" questioned Waltrip. "Man time goes by fast. I just love to race and my entire life as revolved around NASCAR. 500 starts is more of a reminder of persistence and effort over a number of years than anything. It has been important just to show up and compete week in and week out. I love being a part of this sport, and watching it grow like it has since 1986 has been really special. The expansion of NASCAR during the last 15 to 20 years with the addition of new venues and all the hundreds of things that have been implemented so that fans all over the country can enjoy our sport is very exciting makes me proud."

Waltrip will be honored during pre-race activities prior to the start of Sunday's Subway 400 at North Carolina Speedway.

-mwr-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip