Two days ago, a lone gunman opened fire at the crowd attending the Route 91 concert in Las Vegas on its final night, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500 others.
Two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip was supposed to be at that concert, according to The Charlotte Observer, but the semi-retired NASCAR driver ended up changing his mind and went to bed early instead.
Waltrip said he was woken up at 4:45am on Monday after receiving a call from his 20-year-old daughter checking to see if her father was okay. Waltrip, who was in Las Vegas because he had announced the Camping World Truck Series race for Fox Sports 1 the night before, assured his daughter that he was fine and then took to Intagram to share a personal story.
To summarize, the day before the shooting, a NASCAR fan approached Waltrip, asking to have his picture taken with the former Daytona 500 champ. Behind the camera was the fan’s 21-year-old daughter, who came to Las Vegas with her father so the two could enjoy the Route 91 concert together. Waltrip’s own daughter had just turned 20 years old herself, but Waltrip couldn’t be with her due to his broadcast responsibilities. Waltrip said he envied the fan for the time he got to spend with his daughter and was hoping the two were safe.
Waltrip shared this emotional story that’s below via his official Instagram account.
Yesterday morning in Las Vegas, at the MGM, I met a man who was a fan. He asked me if it was ok if his daughter took a photo of us. They were in Vegas celebrating her 21st birthday. The whole family was in town, wife and sister too. Daughter was happy and excited to be headed to the concert. Route 91 was the reason she chose Vegas for her 21st. As they walked off I smiled and I was a bit sad too. My daughter Macy turned 20 just a couple days before and I couldn’t be with her. His daddy daughter time made me a bit envious.
At 4:45 this morning I was awaken by my phone ringing. It was Macy. ‘Are you ok dad?’ She asked. I was. I didn’t attend the concert as I had planned to. I called it an early night. After we shared our ‘I love yous’ and hung up the phone the first thing I thought of was the dad I met with his daughter. I prayed they were ok. I have no way of knowing if they are safe or not. I can’t stop thinking about them. So much joy, such beautiful family time and then….. This is my personal story to the unthinkable attack last night. I know there are many more who are hurting. I pray for everyone.
To the first responders that helped save lives and comfort the hurting, thank you. Your courage and commitment is amazing. I appreciate each and everyone of you.
My heart hurts for all who were effected by the horrific tragedy. I pray for everyone involved. Fortunately, friends that I know who were there are all physically ok. The emotional scars will likely never heal.
To the father I met who was doing what every dad dreams of, being with his girl celebrating a significant moment I will do all I can, pray.