Waltrip eyes retirement after '11 Daytona

Updated: February 14, 2010, 6:43 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Michael Waltrip wants to make the 2011 Daytona 500 his last competitive event in the Sprint Cup series.

"I want the Daytona 500 to be my last race,'' said the owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, who won this event in 2001 and 2003. "I just [don't] want this one to be it. So we'll work on trying to figure out if we can talk someone into sponsoring me for 2011.

"Twenty-five is a nice even number. Well, not an even number, but it's funny.''

Waltrip, who already plans to run at Talladega later this year, hinted several times during Speedweeks he wanted this to be his last 500. But as he sat through a second red flag to repair a hole in Daytona International Speedway he said the plan is for one more.

"I'd like to run Talladega and run here one more time and then be done,'' he said. "That would be 25 of them in a row. That would be cool.''

Waltrip's first win in a Sprint Cup point race came in the 2001 Daytona 500 when his owner, Dale Earnhardt, was killed on the last lap. He barely made his way into Sunday's field on speed after crashing in his 150-mile qualifying race on Thursday.

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

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