Press Releases

Former NASCAR Champ Endorses Haslam for Governor

Press Release from Bill Haslam for Governor; Aug. 18, 2010:

Waltrip Cites Haslam’s Proven Leadership as the Right Experience to be Governor

NASHVILLE – Former NASCAR driver and three-time Winston Cup Champion Darrell Waltrip today endorsed Republican gubernatorial nominee and Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam in his campaign for Tennessee Governor.

Waltrip’s endorsement comes three days before Haslam presides as the Grand Marshal of the Food City 250 on Saturday, Aug. 21 at the Bristol Motor Speedway. A Haslam campaign TV commercial featuring Waltrip will be focused around the Bristol race weekend.

The ad will premiere on Haslam’s Facebook page,, at 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. CDT tonight.

In his endorsement, Waltrip emphasized Bill Haslam’s success in running both a smaller and smarter government in Knoxville and his experience creating jobs.

“I see Bill Haslam’s outstanding record as a businessman as a sure and necessary qualification to be Tennessee’s next governor,” Waltrip said. “The next Tennessee governor faces difficult challenges with unique opportunities, and Bill Haslam is the candidate with the right experience to lead our state now.”

“As a former driver, I know a thing or two about endurance, and I greatly admire the endurance, energy and enthusiasm he has shown on the campaign trail as he discusses his ideas to make our state better,” Waltrip added.

Winner of the Daytona 500 and 84 different NASCAR Winston Cup races, Darrell Waltrip competed in hundreds of races spanning nearly three decades. Waltrip was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2005 and named one of NASCAR’s 50 Greatest Drivers in 1998. Recently, Waltrip was nominated for the 2011 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. He currently resides in Franklin, Tenn. where he owns a number of auto dealerships.

“Darrell Waltrip has undoubtedly had an incredible impact on the sport of NASCAR, but more importantly, he’s involved with and cares deeply for his community and those in it,” Haslam said. “I look forward to having his support on the trail as Crissy and I campaign through Nov. 2.”

Mayor Haslam is the two-term Republican Mayor of Knoxville, reelected in 2007 with 87 percent of the vote. A hardworking, conservative public servant, Haslam led Knoxville to become one of the top ten metropolitan areas for business and expansion, while reducing the city’s debt, tripling the rainy day fund, reducing the number of city employees to the lowest amount in 15 years and bringing property taxes to the lowest rate in 50 years.  An executive leader with a proven record of success, he helped grow his family’s small business from 800 employees into one of Tennessee’s largest companies with 14,000 employees. For more information on Bill Haslam, please visit

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