Michael Waltrip's first wife was Elizabeth "Buffy" Franks. The pair met in 1992 and were married less than a year later. They have a daughter named Margaret Carol.
The life of being a race car driver and owner of a racing company wore on Waltrip's marriage. Signs of estrangement between Waltrip and Franks first became apparent in 2008 when Waltrip stopped wearing his wedding ring and the couple was never seen in public together. There were also rumors that Buffy was seeing another man. The couple divorced in 2010.
In retrospect, Waltrip revealed that the death of his mentor Earl Earnhardt, Sr., in 2001 made him withdraw into himself, and Franks felt even more distant from him than from the busy schedule alone. Despite their troubled past, Waltrip and Franks apparently remain friends as of 2015.