Shortly after he'd begun to celebrate his first win in 463 races, Waltrip learned that Earnhardt had died after crashing during the final lap of that race.
As Dr. Phil blurbed for In the Blink of an Eye, "Can you imagine spending decades pursuing your dream, finally achieving it - then having that day turn into a 'mixed emotion' heartbreaker?"
When we spoke this week, Waltrip reconciled the extremes by maintaining that one day he would go to heaven, and he was sure he'd see Dale Earnhardt there.
Though much of In the Blink of an Eye is about the 2001 Daytona 500 and its aftermath, Michael Waltrip also provides the story of his childhood and some righteous promotion of NASCAR, which Waltrip maintains is safer than it has ever been. He's now the co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, for which he also drives, and ten years after his mentor's death, Waltrip is still saluting “The Intimidator.” The book's final words are "Glad you're still with me, Dale."
This segment aired on February 19, 2011.