Michael Takes Prerace Seat Next to Big Brother Darrell
Hammond Brings Crew Chief Expertise to Garage & Pit Road
New York – All-Waltrip, all season. Alright!
Bonded by blood and their limitless passion for NASCAR, Michael Waltrip, driver, owner and pitch-man extraordinaire joins the FOX NASCAR SUNDAY prerace team next season, taking a seat in the famed Hollywood Hotel alongside big brother Darrell and host Chris Myers. And in an innovative new role for NASCAR’s No. 1 prerace show, veteran analyst Jeff Hammond takes his extensive experience as a former championship-winning crew chief to where the action is, in the garages and pit road. Both moves were announced today by FOX Sports Media Group President, Co-COO and Executive Producer, Eric Shanks.
“Michael is simply one of NASCAR’s most gregarious, genuine personalities, and we loved the dynamic between him and Darrell when we paired them up on occasion last season,” said Shanks. “Michael has also been featured in numerous television commercials over the last decade, which makes him familiar to a much broader audience. I expect a lot of ‘gotta see’ TV coming out of an all-Waltrip Hollywood Hotel next season.”
In addition to his FOX NASCAR SUNDAY prerace work, the younger Michael also contributes analysis and updates in-race as time permits.
Michael Waltrip adds NASCAR on FOX to on-air positions that already include FOX’s sister network SPEED and Showtime’s “Inside NASCAR.” He joined the broadcasting world with the launch of SPEED in 1996 as an analyst for what is now titled THIS WEEK IN NASCAR. Additionally, Waltrip’s credits at SPEED include FAST TRACK TO FAME, TRACKSIDE, and NASCAR NATION. He’s nationally renowned for numerous commercial appearances for major marketers including NAPA, Aarons, Best Western, Coca-Cola and Toyota. Waltrip is a co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, the first full-time three-car team to field Toyota Camrys when Toyota entered the Sprint Cup racing in 2007. Currently, MWR features Sprint Cup drivers David Reutimann (#00) and Martin Truex Jr. (#56). Waltrip made his NASCAR Sprint Cup series debut in 1985 at the Coca-Cola 600 and is a two-time Daytona 500 Champion (2001, 2003). His first book, “In the Blink of an Eye,” marking the 10th anniversary of his 2001 Daytona 500 victory, was released in February 2011, and spent 11 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Shifting to Hammond, the plan is to use his extensive experience as a former NASCAR crew chief to work the pavement and mine the grease pits for the latest news and go wherever big stories develop all race-day long. Having a former crew chief serve in this role is a first for network television’s NASCAR coverage.
“We’re excited about Jeff’s new role,” said Shanks. “It’s a first for televised NASCAR coverage, and no one knows more about cars than Jeff does. Now he’ll be in a much better position to cover and humanize that side of the sport for viewers.”
Hammond has been a member of the NASCAR on FOX broadcast team since 2001 the network’s first covering the sport. He’s also a frequent contributor on SPEED, nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle. Hammond received a Sports Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Analyst in 2006. In 1982, he became a NASCAR Cup crew chief, working for Darrell Waltrip at the pinnacle of the legendary driver’s career. Together, they saw Victory Lane an impressive 43 times, including Waltrip’s memorable Daytona 500 victory in 1989.
Hammond, known as a methodical strategist, was Waltrip’s pit boss in two of his three NASCAR Championship seasons (1982 and 1985). In total, he has 508 NASCAR Cup races on his crew chief resume, while his television credits also includes work for FX, ESPN, Turner and TNN.
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