When life hits the brakes, the biggest and the best relationships can come to a crumbling halt. Something similar happened with American professional stock car racing driver, Michael Waltrip, at the peak of his career, when he lost some of the most important people in his life, including wife, Elizabeth. Waltrip, who is a two-time Daytona 500 winner, is also a racing commentator and analyst and a race-shop owner. Read on to know more on the real reason behind Michael’s divorce and gossip on his latest girlfriend.
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Michael Waltrip Dating Emma
Michael Waltrip’s terrific career also established him as a prominent face in entertainment. The former racing star participated in the nineteenth season of the popular dance-based reality show, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ partnering with professional dancer Emma Slater.
The NASCAR racer was soon rumored to be dating his dance partner, Emma. The Star Magazine reported: “Dancing With The Stars partners Emma Slater and Michael Waltrip have fallen for each other since being paired up for the show in September. And while the Nascar driver, 51 and blonde beauty, 25 raised eyebrows when their relationship became official, friends say the 26 year age has never been an issue.”
While these relationship rumors have done well to dispel earlier rumors of the former racer being gay, Michael and Emma have both maintained silence over speculations circling the alleged affair.
Michael Waltrip Personal Life; Is Waltrip Married?
Michael met Elizabeth ‘Buffy’ Franks in 1992 when he was recuperating from a car accident in North Carolina. The couple fell head over heels in love with each other and tied the knots soon after, on November 27, 1993. The couple had a long-lasting marriage with a daughter named Margaret Carol Waltrip, born on September 29, 1997. However, the happiness was short-lived. In 2008, rumors of the couple’s split surfaced when Buffy was spotted with someone else. At the time, Buffy remained conspicuously absent from Michael’s race shop and barely turned up for events. The couple sought a divorce in 2010 and Buffy retained her daughter’s custody.
Eventually, Michael went on to confess publicly that his failed marriage was brought about by his own negligence and self-involvement. In a 2011 interview with sports network, ESPN, Michael said,
I don’t have a wife anymore. And I don’t live with my daughters. And so obviously, a lot has gone down in the last nine years for me.
Earlier, during the 2001 Daytona 500, Michael had lost his mentor, Dale Earnhardt, to a tragic racing accident which had left him in deep trauma and anguish. Michael has, at various instances, been known to talk about this tragedy being an underlying cause behind his estrangement with wife Buffy and his children. Michael never sought any counseling or help for the stress he was facing and it affected his personal life more than anything else.
Michael went on to pen his story in a book titled ‘In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything.’ The book, which talked about Michael’s personal tragedies, went on to become a New York Times bestseller.