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It's -- Michael Waltrip 463.
NASCAR races before he made it to Victory Lane and when he finally did win the biggest day in his professional life was.
The same time one of the most tragic days in racing history and in his life as well he wrote about it all in his new book.
It's out today it's called in the blink of an I and Michael Waltrip is here to bring kids in your silence.
About that they well this was the Daytona 500 February 18.
It would have were it not for the tragic ending it would have been probably that the race and everybody was talking about right.
It was an amazing day so competitive than that I've battled near at the front all day long we we had on Friday a team meeting.
I was on dale earnhardt's team and he and I and some of the government team sat down he -- here's how we're gonna win the race.
But the rules the way they are this year you got to work together we end -- supporting each other gonna push each other.
We're gonna -- together all day long and at the end.
We'll race to the front.
And -- I looked in my career with a couple laps ago Dale Earnhardt junior -- are right on my bumper.
-- -- played out just like he'd forget his son right behind you in the father behind him and it was marching toward the perfect day in NASCAR and then in that last quarter mile just in the last quarter mile the tragic accident happen which again you look at that we're seeing it on the on the right of the screen here and a lot of us looked -- and said.
You know it's it's a shame it's a bad accident but it didn't look particularly deadly piano but the cars are just we're just going so fast.
And it veered right into that concrete -- had another car riding in riding him -- that wall and it just was more than his body could taken.
We've seen so much advancement of safety since that -- -- you talk about 2001 that was back in the day that was old school with the rules compared to where they are now.
And unfortunately we lost four racers with -- years' time up to the Daytona 500.
And we worked really hard since then and and haven't had a about a fatality since so let's say the sports come along way think he's come a long way but.
Became an ultimate product nobody wanted to talk about that understandably nobody wanted to talk about the race because it was so tragic you love Dale Earnhardt most most racers I know -- Dale Earnhardt.
Why now why he finally break the silence about it well I think in the book -- people ask me about that that would change the subject -- leave the room.
But at the tenth anniversary approached more and more people were asking him what is now announced -- and nobody at that.
I'd have to write a book to tell about that day and he said why don't just so.
I thought -- that's a great idea because it gives me the chance to sort it.
Investigate think and talk about that -- myself I've always had the philosophy that if something gets on your nerves ignored and on the go away.
That's not a healthy doesn't happen I didn't live my life a healthy in -- in that aspect.
I'm not married in my life anymore because of that so I had some issues.
Dealing with hurt and with tragedy.
And so diving into it and trying to understand it I think with healthy for me.
But one thing I didn't accomplish I still don't understand how it happened or why it happened that day samurai know close to perfect -- -- Christians -- everything happens for a reason.
But darn I'm gonna have to understand this when a lot better than I do today we were it was -- so perfect and so close one of those.
Mysteries and there are some mysteries we never discover the answer to but you've you've raced in in 25 Daytona 500 is it has hasn't doesn't memory -- this come back to -- you while you're driving some of these races black -- as a kid admiring those high banks of Daytona when I was twelve years -- mom -- mom -- -- -- there for the first time and that place inspired me to be a race car driver I didn't know how is gonna get there.
But I knew I wanted to and so racing on those banks mean the world to me and I use the return to Daytona in July -- 2001.
As sort of inspiration again to get my life on track.
I hadn't been focusing on -- racing I was distraught I couldn't put everything together.
After the event in February and has -- -- back to Daytona the last said I might not have things together on the personal cloud over this but I'm gonna get my racing career back together.
And how it down there and Dale Earnhardt junior not finish 12 reverse order from the just from the February event and it was the most special night -- my whole life and ever since then.
I've always looked forward to going back that they -- and -- -- 2003 you wanted to get right after a phenomena get this place back I'm gonna put this place back.
Where it belongs then and the win and that there EL 3500 was something that was really special to me because that you can appreciate.
I'm never celebrate the one from 01.
But the one promote the react and certainly wasn't was Dale Earnhardt your best friend.
He was one of my best buddies we were friends we fish together we hung out together he actually.
Gave -- the endorsement I needed.
To get my wife to go out with me we -- -- we first started dating fellow.
He with a friend on many different levels and I think a lot of people looked at the two of us and they would say why the did in the weird sorts that's me.
Hanging around with a guy with a funny mustache that was dale we were different we are opposites but we certainly enjoyed each other's company and he believed in me he believed -- -- win races if I got to raise his car.
And you know he'll he'll -- -- his spirit was sort of guide -- on I know what was an off I don't know the last thing he knew on this earth was.
There goes might just like us that he would he's a -- win this race and that.
That that brings me a smile when I think about it but most of the time when I think about that day here.
Or the events that led up to it to hit it that makes me crack.
Boy oh boy well you you you certainly know how to sell the book I tell -- I wanna read it now Michael Waltrip the book is called in the blink of -- night.
Congratulations on right I'm glad you could come to this me -- it's healthy on them thanks a million for being.
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