CONCORD, N.C.– NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Michael Waltrip will be going after his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Daytona International Speedway next Saturday night with a little extra help. He’s putting his big brother, three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and 1989 Daytona 500 winner, Darrell Waltrip to work on the NAPA team. Waltrip thought it was a good idea since NAPA started implementing a new Honorary Pit Crew Member program this season for valued customers and clients at select races.
“I have enjoyed watching all the NAPA people take part in the program and I thought, ‘Why not Darrell,’” said Waltrip, who has two Daytona 500 wins and one Pepsi 400 victory under his belt. “In my opinion, he is the perfect candidate because he’s been a loyal NAPA customer since the day I was born and he comes with a lot of experience. Both of us have enjoyed a lot of success at Daytona so he’ll be a good addition to the NAPA team.”
“I believe my brother is going to win Daytona,” added the 62-year-old Waltrip who made his Daytona victory lane celebration memorable by doing the Ickey Shuffle. “I want to be a part of that from the pits not the broadcast booth. I don't get much time to be in the garage when I'm working so this will be fun for me to get my hands dirty and hopefully, help my little brother win another race in Daytona. He is one of the best restrictor-plate racers of all time. It should be fun!”
Darrell is the ninth person to take part in the popular program. A few perks include the placement of a decal with the Honorary Pit Crew Member’s name on the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota, an opportunity to assist with the crew during the race, and watch the event on the pit box with crew chief Bootie Barker.
“I haven’t told Bootie yet, but I’m pretty sure I know what job Darrell wants to help with on Saturday night,” elaborated Waltrip. “It would not surprise me if he gets on the radio, but it would mean a lot to me if he waves me into my pit box with my sign. Then my guys can put him to work by running gas or helping out with the tires. It should be a lot of fun for all of us.”
This season at 19 NASCAR Sprint Cup events where NAPA is hosting its popular Race Day Experience, a guest will be chosen based on different criteria determined by the NAPA management from that region. The Honorary Pit Crew Member program has been held at the Daytona International Speedway (Feb. 15) and New Hampshire Motor Speedway (June 28). Upcoming events are happening at Chicagoland Speedway (July 11), Indianapolis Motor Speedway (July 26), Watkins Glen International (August 9), Michigan International Speedway (August 16), Bristol Motor Speedway (August 22), Atlanta Motor Speedway (September 6), Richmond International Raceway (September 12), Kansas Speedway (October 4), Texas Motor Speedway (November 8) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (November 22).