Michael Waltrip: Can He Continue as Both Driver and Team Owner?

Jeremy TurnerSenior Analyst IJune 10, 2008

It has been a wild run for Michael Waltrip, both as a driver and as a team owner.

At the beginning of the 2007 Sprint Cup season, Waltrip was found to have an unusual substance within his fuel. It was later found that some sort of fuel addative was placed within his car.

NASCAR brought strict penalties upon Waltrip...docking him 100 owners points. This would prevent him from being within the Top 35 for the entire season.

Waltrip only qualified for 30 of the 36 races in the 2007 season. He finished 45 in points and out of the Top 35 in Owner's Points.

However, at the beginning of the 2008 season, Waltrip showed his resilience by qualifying outside of the top rowNo. 2 positionfor the Daytona 500. Sadly, Waltrip has not had the season he hoped for, and currently finds himself out of the Top 35.

David Reutimann has become one of MWR's most powerful drivers. He has shown dominance within the Nationwide Series and has maintained a Top 35 position throughout the current season.

The question that comes to mind is...can Michael Waltrip sustain his ability to be both a team owner and Cup driver and still be proficient in both?

My answerNo.

Waltrip has neither the ability, nor the financial security to continue to be both team owner and driver.

Sooner or later, one of the two jobs will win and he will have to make a choicekeep running Cup and turn ownership over or find a replacement driver for the No. 55 NAPA Toyota and become a better team owner.

Waltrip now finds himself in the "Go or Go Home" drivers that must rely on time to qualify for the race.

Hopefully something will happen for MWR, and he will get a surge of confidenceand good finishes to give him that much needed Top 35 position.