Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Waltrip Previews The Autism Speaks 400 at Dover International Raceway

What all has happened to you since winning your first NASCAR Sprint Cup race as a car owner?

“I got a bunch of messages. It was a record for me when I turned on my phone after the race. I had over 163 messages and I have probably gotten another 100 since then between texting, instant messaging and e-mailing. It is just really nice when people care. The thing that’s special to me about the whole deal is the smiles that are on all of the faces of the people who work at MWR. Whether they work on the No. 55, No. 47, No. 99, or No. 00 teams, they are a winner now. It’s the way we built this company. There may be four or five cars, but there is only one team. Everyone in this organization is responsible for Monday’s victory and they all understand that. That’s awesome and that’s what we strive for when running our organization. We want everyone to be happy when there is success – regardless of what team experiences it.”

What has the win done for Michael Waltrip Racing?

“It might be too early to answer that. It certainly has meant a lot to our sponsors like Aaron’s who has been with us for 10 years. NAPA AUTO PARTS has been with us for nine years. Best Western has been with us for five years. Toyota has been with us for three years. It means the world to the folks that have stepped up and made MWR a reality. We had to have a manufacturer first and then sponsors. After that, we had to have people. If it weren’t for all of the support, we would not have gotten all the right people into place. Sports is extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. That’s what happened on Monday. David Reutimann was in contention and Rodney Childers made the call that won the race. I am really proud of those guys.”

What grade would you give MWR heading into this weekend’s race at Dover?

“I believe we have a grade of “C”. We were an “F” in 2007. We were a “D” in 2008. We are a “C” now. That’s progress. Our team got TRD a win which was their first. Their plan was a three-year plan. They wanted to get their feet under them in 2007. Contend for a win in 2008 and win in 2009. We contended for a couple of wins last year as an organization. They have a master plan and MWR is a part of that plan. I am happy that we were able to deliver for them.”

Michael Waltrip Fast Facts
  • NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Michael Waltrip will be competing in his 738th NASCAR Sprint Cup race when the 13th event of the 2009 Sprint Cup season, the Autism Speaks 400, gets underway at Dover International Speedway at Dover, Del.
  • Waltrip will start in his 47th Cup race at the one-mile track. His best start is first (June 2, 1991) and best finish is fifth (Sept. 16, 1990 and Sept. 15, 1991). He has two top-five and nine top-10 finishes at Dover. Waltrip has completed 17,691 laps of 20,704 (85.4%) at the track and has led a total of 31 laps in competition. His average start is 23rd. His average finish is 21st.
  • Waltrip ran his first Nationwide Series race at Dover and won on Sept. 17, 1988. In total, he has raced in 19 Nationwide events at the Monster Mile. He has collected one pole, two victories (Sept. 17, 1988 and June 2, 1990), two top-five and eight top-10 finishes. He’s led 253 laps in Nationwide competition at the track.
Entering this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, Waltrip is 31st in driver and owner standings. He is guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday’s race.

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