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Waltrip To Drive For Swan In Upcoming Daytona 500

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 10 2013

Michael Waltrip will be back in the driver's seat at Daytona. (File photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Michael Waltrip will drive Swan Racing’s No. 30 car in next month’s Daytona 500.

Waltrip will be reunited with former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. in the race, which will mark Swan Racing’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut.

The partnering of Waltrip, who is a two-time winner of the 500, with Swan is for just the one race.

“I am thrilled to drive the No. 30 Toyota for Swan Racing and the chance to win a third Daytona 500,” Waltrip said. “Reuniting with Tony Jr. and Steve Hmiel (who, like Eury, worked for Dale Earnhardt Inc. when Waltrip drove for that team) brings back a lot of good memories and is going to create new ones.”

“Swan Racing is here to compete and to build a championship contender,” said Swan Racing owner Brandon Davis who has vowed to end the practice of habitual “start and parks” for the team. “This one-race partnership with Michael puts a two-time champion behind the wheel and the No. 30 in the mix at the Daytona 500.”

Waltrip qualified for 25 consecutive Daytona 500s between 1987 and 2011 winning his first in 2001 and a second in 2003. In 2002, Waltrip won the July race at Daytona International Speedway, bringing his total to three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series wins at the “World Center of Racing.”

“This is a great move for Swan Racing,” said David Stremme who will be the regular driver of the No. 30 Toyota.”Michael and I have been friends for a long time. We got to talking last year and from my perspective I thought this would help to further our relationship with Toyota and be a good building block for Swan Racing.”

Swan Racing is hiring veterans of the sport.  Hmiel, named competition director last week, has over 35 years of experience as a crew chief, car chief and competition director. He has worked with NASCAR greats such as Richard Petty, Mark Martin, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Waltrip. Hmiel was Waltrip’s crew chief for 12 races in 2001.

“Michael is a familiar face for a lot of us here at Swan Racing,” said Eury. “We know each other’s habits, wants and needs on the track. We’re going to Daytona to compete and hopefully we’ll make a mark for Swan Racing.”

| , RacinToday.com Thursday, January 10 2013
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