What Will the Brits Make of Michael Waltrip?

By jamesharris
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip is about to cross the pond to spread the NASCAR message in front of 150,000 motorsports enthusiasts at the 20th Annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.

Being just up the road from me, I for one will be there to watch Waltrip burn rubber in a 2012 5-hour ENERGY Toyota. The No. 15 car being used also won three races in 2012 and finished second in the Chase for the Sprint Cup with Clint Bowyer behind the wheel.

As the fast and furious sport grows globally, Waltrip thinks it’s important to share his and NASCAR’s history. No stranger to the world-renowned Goodwood Festival, 2010 saw Waltrip showing off in a No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS car painted like the car he drove to Daytona 500 victories in 2001 and 2003.

I agree with Waltrip. For me, NASCAR being at Goodwood is essential in showing what the U.S. has to promote in motorsport and to dispel the myth about NASCAR racing as just “going around in circles.” The cars are also significantly different to anything raced this side of the Atlantic, so it provides a great insight into a culturally different approach to racing.

Some of NASCAR’s most famous names, like Waltrip’s brother Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Smokey Yunick have made appearances at Goodwood since the festival’s inception in 1993.

Waltrip recalled his past experience at Goodwood to Paddock Talk. “It is so cool to fire up a NASCAR Sprint Cup car and see the reaction on the faces of everyone there. You wouldn’t believe all of the people who are interested in NASCAR in jolly old England.”

Us Brits are passionate about motorsport and introducing more NASCAR here can only be a good thing.


James Harris is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com

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