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Michael Waltrip

Michael Waltrip in 2000 labored to another mediocre 27th place finish in the points, with one top-5 finish for Mattei Motorsports. His season-best third place came at Martinsville in the spring race. He announced in September that he would be driving for Earnhardt in 2001.

This puts Michael Waltrip on the spot in 2001. In 16 seasons his best points finish is 12th, twice. He has two pole positions, the first of which came at Dover in 1991 and his best career finish is a single second place.

Michael Waltrip has known exactly what he wanted to be since he was 11 years old. From that point on, he has pursued his dream and established a career as a race driver, like older brother Darrell, who retired last season after winning three Winston Cup championships.

The younger Michael Waltrip spent the early part of his career racing in Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee. In 1983, he won the Charlotte-Daytona Dash Series championship, then moved to North Carolina, where he lived with the Petty family for a time while trying to establish his career.

Since then, he has been successful in the Busch Series where he continues to field a team -- with eight wins and 11 poles -- but a first Winston Cup win has been elusive. He did win The Winston all star race in 1996, when he became the first driver to win the special event after transferring from the Winston Open.