One of the under-reported, as yet, elements of the 2010 season is how Michael Waltrip is really going to be all but absent from the track.
(Hey, where's all that cheering coming from?)
In all seriousness, Waltrip is a NASCAR fixture, like a fridge in the middle of the road that you have to swerve around to avoid a wreck. No, wait! That's not what I meant to say. What I meant is that Waltrip is a significant figure in NASCAR history, one as famous for what he's done and said off the track as for his successes on it.
And now, while I can't imagine Waltrip ever being away from the sport in any capacity, it looks like his days behind the wheel of a Sprint Cup car are numbered -- and that number is two. He'll run in the Shootout and then close out his career at the Daytona 500, a race he's won twice.
Starting Tuesday, Waltrip will be tweeting the Top 20 moments of his career over at his Twitter page, which is always fun to read if you can translate from Waltripese. In preparation for that, we humbly offer a few of his best moments off the track below.
So long, Mikey. I'd say we'll miss you, but we both know there's no way you're going away ... and judging from these clips below, thank heaven for that.
First, Mikey gets a bit more anatomical than Chad Knaus was expecting:
Next, a discussion of what exactly may be going on behind the scenes when things go wrong:
Mikey offers Chad some advice on how to break bad-luck streaks:
There are oh so many more -- please feel free to share your own in the comments below -- but we'll close with the classic shot from his stint on "My Name Is Earl":
Good thing you were a NASCAR driver, Mikey. You weren't ever cut out to be anything but.