Michael Waltrip talked with Auto Racing Daily about Dancing With The Stars and his first couple of weeks of training. While dancing he’s hoping to bring new fans to racing. Below is more including thoughts from Dale Earnhardt Jr…..
“Well, it’s been amazing,” Waltrip said of his first couple weeks of training for the show. “I agreed — we got together about two weeks ago and were able to finalize the details of being on the show. It was kind of challenging because obviously owning a team is first always for me, it’s my main focus to me, it’s what means the most to me. Having partners like Janssen and Aaron’s and 5-hour ENERGY and taking care of their needs is really important.
“We looked at this at Michael Waltrip Racing as a way to expand our brand and talk about NASCAR to millions of people that might not know as much about our sport as we would like them to. The opportunity to go to LA and dance is something that I’m very serious about and I can’t wait for my opportunity to get on the dance floor with Emma (Slater), my partner. To me it’s bigger than just that, it’s more about this sport and continuing to try to grow our team at MWR to the millions of people that will be watching ‘Dancing With the Stars.’
“It’s interesting, when I walk into the coffee shop near my apartment in North Carolina, everyday there’s people in there sitting and I figure a few of them know who I am because I’m kind of tall and am a race car driver and I’m in North Carolina. Everybody just smiles and I get my coffee, but now when I go there, those people that I thought knew who I was are all like, ‘Golly, can’t wait to watch you dance.’ Those are things I never thought I’d hear — those words.
It’s like Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. said on Jimmy Kimmel the other night. They said, ‘What do you think about Michael dancing on ‘Dancing With the Stars?’ He said, ‘Could you repeat that back to me one more time? I still haven’t gotten my arms all the way around that.’ And, that’s fair. I never have been a dancer and got into it that much, but over the last two weeks I’ve taken a crash course and it’s a good thing for my partner Emma is that the sheet was blank. The thing that I know for sure, when the music starts and it’s time for me to start dancing, I can’t take three or four steps and say, ‘Hold on a minute.’ It’s live and real, it’s just like a NASCAR race — when they throw the green, you’ve gotta go.”
Will this goofy guy — and as a fellow-Kentucky native, I mean that in the best possible way — draw more fans to NASCAR? I’m not sure. I mean, I watch the show, and I didn’t magically become a figure skating fan after watching Meryl Davis and Charlie White last season. But I don’t guess it could hurt.
Will NASCAR fans who didn’t previously watch Dancing with the Stars watch this season, because Michael’s on the show? Maybe, maybe not.
Whether NASCAR or DWTS benefits from this cross-pollenation is unknown, but one thing’s for sure, I’m betting Waltrip will be entertaining to watch. He does look rather goofy (in an entertaining way) in the promos, and I distinctly remember him saying something about skid marks during the big cast reveal on Good Morning America. Just hope he wasn’t talking about THAT kind of skid marks, and I think most of you know what kind of skid marks I’m talking about.
To read the full interview, see Auto Racing Daily. Also, Amy Purdy sent Michael and Emma some advice. See below! So cute! Here’s to Michael and Emma tonight! Read more..