Michael Waltrip’s run on the latest edition of Dancing With The Stars lasted longer than perhaps some observers were expecting.
But after eight weeks in the competition, the two-time Daytona 500 champion and dancing partner Emma Slater were eliminated last night following their 25-point foxtrot as Tarzan and Jane, set to Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be In My Heart.”
After their dance, the show’s judges showed their appreciation of Waltrip’s improvement over the course of the contest. Waltrip and Slater were also grateful for their experience together.
“It was a chance to do something that was more emotional that it was physical,” Waltrip said according to NASCAR.com. “To get to experience the wonderful cast, the folks that we danced with and to get to know Emma’s heart and who she is as a person.
“I just grew so much emotionally, and I’m a better person because of my tenure here. And I’m happy that I got to be here and I’m sad I have to go.”
In her own thoughts, Slater said that Waltrip had made her a better person.
“You meet these people and they have the biggest heart and you want to be like that,” she added. “He’s touched me in a way that I’ll be a better person for the rest of my life, and I want to thank [him] for that.”
Upon news of Waltrip’s elimination, many in the NASCAR community have tweeted their support for him.