Preseason Thunder from the Daytona International Speedway was barely underway before the first big announcement from the weekend.
Swan Racing announced that two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip will pilot the No. 30 Toyota in a one race deal for this year’s Speedweeks at the 2.5-mile track.
Waltrip joins his former crew chief Tony Eury Jr. and direction Steve Hmiel. Eury was Waltrip’s crew chief 2005 and Hmiel was a top of the pit box for 12 races in 2001.
David Stremme will pilot the No. 30 Toyota for the remaining 35 races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup calendar. He said, “This is a great move for Swan Racing. 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 great building block for Swan Racing.”
The team decided to bring in veterans and turn this start and park team to a full-time legit team in 2013. Hmiel brings with him 35 years of experience in NASCAR and Eury was brought on to make their cars contenders.
Waltrip is always a threat at Daytona as he’s won the Great American race twice. With having the old band back together I think he will thrive and give this small team a real shot at an upset victory. He qualified for 25 consecutive Daytona 500′s from 1987-2011 and has won three times in Daytona.
Toyotas are getting stronger and stronger on restrictor plates and Waltrip is one of those that are great on these type of tracks. He can lean on his three cars in his own stable at Michael Waltrip Racing and make all four a threat for the victory. If he’s around in the last 10 laps I wouldn’t be surprised if the No. 30 is in victory lane.
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