Today on the Glenn Beck Radio Show, Glenn talked to NASCAR driver Michael Waltrip about his new book, with co-author Ellis Henican, In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything. In this book Waltrip shares his experience of winning the Daytona 500 but at the same time losing his close friend, driving legend, Dale Earnhardt.
Ellis Henican is a columnist for Newsday and a political commentator on the Fox News Channel. His books include “Home Team: Coaching the Saints and New Orleans Back to Life” (with Sean Payton).
Here is the final few laps of Waltrip’s win and unfortunately the crash that killed Dale Earnhardt:
Waltrip was hired by Dale Earnhardt, Inc. to drive their new #15 NAPA Chevy entry. In his first race with the team, the 2001 Daytona 500, Waltrip broke a streak of 462 consecutive Cup races without a victory and won his first career points-paying Cup race. After the death of his boss Dale Earnhardt in a crash on the final lap of the aforementioned race, he did not have another top-ten finish until returning to Daytona for the Pepsi 400 (which was won by Dale Earnhardt Jr.), and finished 24th in the standings. The next season, he picked up his second career win at the Pepsi 400 at Daytona and moved up to fourteenth in the standings. In 2003 Waltrip won the Daytona 500 again and also took victory at the EA Sports 500 at Talladega (his only non-Daytona win), while running in the top-five for most of the season before falling back to 15th in points. Of trivial note, Michael Waltrip won the first three races at Daytona on Fox (2001, 2003 Daytona 500; 2002 Pepsi 400) with Waltrip’s brother Darrell in the broadcast booth.
In 2004, Waltrip went winless and dropped five spots in the standings. Despite one pole and seven top-tens in 2005, Waltrip announced he and sponsor NAPA would depart DEI to drive the #55 Dodge Charger for Bill Davis Racing. After the former #77 Jasper Motorsports team closed its doors at the end of 2005, Waltrip split unofficially from Davis and assumed the former Jasper team’s owner’s points in order to be guaranteed a spot in the first five races for the season. Running under the banner, Waltrip-Jasper Racing, the team would be used to set up Waltrip’s new Toyota operation in 2007. Waltrip failed to qualify for the first time since 1998 at the Coca-Cola 600. He bought a slot from the #74 McGlynn Racing Dodge from Derrike Cope to drive in the race and to keep his streak of 262 consecutive races. Waltrip ended up missing three races total in 2006 and did not have a top-ten finish. (from Wikipedia.com)