After 19 seasons on the air, ABC’s ultra-popular series Dancing With the Stars will feature a NASCAR star as one of their representatives.
According to a report from New York Daily News, two-time Daytona 500 and current Fox Sports analyst Michael Waltrip will be a contestant, the first time NASCAR has a driver on the show. The closest racing-related contestant on the show was when Verizon IndyCar Series driver Helio Castroneves competed and won in 2007 and returned to the show in 2012.
Isn't this a great view? pic.twitter.com/Znl1ZqREZ5
— Michael Waltrip (@mw55) September 3, 2014
Other expected contestants are Betsey Thompson, Tommy Chong, and Jonathan Bennett, among others.
Along with his television duties, Waltrip is also the owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, which fields cars for Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers. This weekend the series heads to Richmond International Raceway, a year after Bowyer and Vickers were involved in a scandal in which NASCAR penalized the entire organization for altering the outcome of the race. A late-race spin by Bowyer along with a timely pit stop by Vickers were seen by many as intentional actions in order to help then-teammate Martin Truex, Jr. to better position himself to make the Chase. In fact, it was these actions that caused NASCAR to add an unprecedented 13th car to a 12-car Chase field. The controversy resulted in the loss of NAPA as a sponsor and Truex left the team for Furniture Row Racing at the end of the season.
Currently, Bowyer is 12th in points and might be able to make the Chase under the right (and legal) circumstances while Vickers is mired 18th in points.
The official cast announcement for DWTS will air Thursday morning on Good Morning America.
Coverage of the final regular season race begins September 6th at 7:45PM ET on ABC.