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Michael Waltrip switches car number to honor Sandy Hook victims

February 14, 2013|By Houston Mitchell
  • Michael Waltrip poses with the car he will drive in this year's Daytona 500.
Michael Waltrip poses with the car he will drive in this year's Daytona… (John Raoux / Associated…)

Two-time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip will honor the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting by switching his car number to 26 car for this year's Daytona 500 on Feb. 24. He will also have a decal reading “text NEWTOWN to 80888” on his car. You can use that number to donate $10 via text to the Sandy Hook School support fund.

"Driving the No. 26 Sandy Hook School support fund Toyota is like nothing I have ever been part of in my NASCAR career," Waltrip said Thursday. "It will be an emotional week knowing that we have the potential to do so much good for the Newtown community. I’m racing for a reason."

Waltrip usually uses No. 30, but will change it to honor the 20 first-graders and six adults who were killed by a gunman Dec. 14.

Waltrip and NASCAR President Brian France visited Newtown, Conn., the site of the shooting, last week and donated $50,000 to the fund.

"Being in Newtown last week and delivering a moment of happiness to that community was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced," France said. "Looking out at a room of smiling faces amidst the aftermath of a horrible tragedy was very powerful. It hit me that the NASCAR industry and our passionate fan base, which always help those in need, have an unbelievable opportunity to rally around this cause and make a huge difference for a community in need."


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