Thursday, February 11, 2010

MWR Gatorade Duels Race Report

First Race:
Michael Waltrip finished 25th after an accident in the first of two Gatorade Duels at Daytona. He will start Sunday’s Daytona 500 in 43rd.

Second Race:
Martin Truex Jr. finished sixth and will start the Daytona 500 in 14th.
David Reutimann finished ninth and will start the Daytona 500 in 26th.

Jimmie Johnson grabbed his first career Gatorade duel win by beating Kevin Harvick by .005 of a second.
Michael McDowell and Max Papis raced their way into the Daytona 500 by finishing 14th and 15th respectively.
Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer and Regan Smith rounded out the top five.

Michael Waltrip, No. 51 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota
Started 10th and finished 25th
Waltrip has two scary moments early while racing the middle line in the draft and worked his way to seventh by lap 4
Reported over the radio that the car was really pushy followed by real loose on lap 13. Raced in the top transfer spot by lap 17.
Came to pit road in 14th while under caution on lap 27 for major handling adjustments. Restarted 16th on lap 29.
No. 51 narrowly avoided the No. 46 car as it spun in front of him on lap 34 to bring out a second caution.
Stayed out during second caution and restarted 13, remains in top transfer spot with 25 laps to go.
Gets hung out of the draft on lap 37 to fall from 11th to 17th
Raced in 15th position with 10 laps to go, but followed closely by Reed Sorenson and Todd Bodine.
Spun and hit from behind by the No. 78 with seven laps to go causing damage to the front of the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota when he hit the inside wall.
Scott Speed raced his way into the transfer position on the final lap of the second race. Speed’s performance enabled Waltrip to grab the final starting spot in the Daytona 500.


“Scott, we're racecar drivers, and he did his job. I'm so grateful and thankful that it worked out. You know, obviously the teams that won the race were locked in, too. You know, people show up to race. Just because you're locked in doesn't mean you roll over or there wouldn't be a race. So I knew Scott would race. I knew he wasn't gonna think about quitting or give up. I'm just thankful that he had a car there at the end he could do the job with.”

“Well, you know, six cars that we built in Cornelius at MWR that are in the 500. Prism racing with Phil Parsons, they're a customer of ours, as is Germain. Then our four cars there with Brad and Tad. You know, our customers that buy parts and pieces and cars for us made the race. So we got happy customers, and that's good for any business. You know, it's real important to be able to diversify and figure out how to bring money into the company in order to help pay the bills. We have great partnerships with the Germains, Max in the Geico car, and Phil and Randy Humphrey with Prism buy stuff from us, as well. I'm mostly proud of all that because there's a bunch of men and women, fabricators, engineers, that figured out how to make cars competitive for this place. So when those guys send us a check for the cars they bought, you know, it's gonna feel pretty good to them to know that we were able to provide them with stuff to have the success they did down here.”

Well, I guess I've come to expect it a little bit. I know for some reason, for me, this place, it defines my career. It certainly is my first memories of NASCAR racing, was coming here as a kid. I figured when I woke up this morning I'd be crying before the day was over. I just didn't know if it would be because I was happy or because I was sad. And then I damn sure didn't know it would be both within an hour of each other. To be able to smile now, you know, it really feels rewarding because, you know, we took a part-time car, Bobby Kennedy, my buddy, who has helped me out so, so long, put a crew together and gave me a car on Saturday that we qualified fast enough to make the 500 with.”

“I was real disappointed today because my car didn't handle right. It didn't handle like it did yesterday. You have a pretty good gauge on if your car's like it was or not. That's the splitter. Yesterday, I was just scrubbing the splitter in a perfect way. Today it felt like it was a foot off the ground, and we didn't change anything. For some reason, the car just didn't go back to the ground like it was supposed to, and it wouldn't drive right. I think it eventually messed up my tires.

“So we'll regroup and figure out what David had, what Marcos had, what Martin had, put that setup into our cars. All three of those cars were really competitive. We seemed to be a notch off. We can't do what Penske or Hendrick cars or even Kasey's car did. So that's a little bit concerning. I know we've got a lot of smart people that will work on that and try to figure out how to get us some speed before Sunday.”

Kasey Kahne won his first career Gatorade duel win by defeating Tony Stewart
Mike Bliss and Scott Speed raced their way into the 52nd Daytona 500 by finishing 13th and 14th respectively
Speed, racing his way in, opened the door for the fourth-fastest qualifier on time — Michael Waltrip
Michael Waltrip makes the Daytona 500 for the third time since 2007 without a guaranteed starting spot.
The No. 51 is also the seventh MWR car since 2007 to make the field without a guaranteed starting spot.
Six Toyota Camry’s associated with Michael Waltrip Racing will now race in the Daytona 500.

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota
Truex started 17th and climbed to 9th in the first ten laps.
Truex reported his car was very loose over the bumps and the entry was ‘wild’ up top midway through the race.
The first caution of the race on lap 27 Truex raced in 13th - the crew made air pressure adjustments during stop.
The No. 56 restarted 8th on lap 30.
Truex came close to getting to the front three times but was shuffled back.
The No. 56 battled in the top-10 with 10 laps to go and finished sixth.

TRUEX QUOTE: ““It was a lot of fun. The NAPA Toyota was really good. It was much better than it was in practice. We got to the front a few times – got shuffled back. Would get to the front again and get shuffled back. I was about three or four inches a few times from getting that hole that I needed to get to the front and stay there. It was a lot of fun. I learned a lot. The pit crew was phenomenal. Our pit stop was smoking fast so I was excited about that. We’ve got something to work with for Sunday now.”

“A few, but at the end everybody just does what’s best for them. Tried to work with Marcos (Ambrose) and David (Reutimann) a little bit. It seemed like every time we would get near each other, we were in bad positions to help each other. Either they had a run coming and I couldn’t get with them or I had a run coming and I couldn’t push them. I had to go by them because I was coming so fast. It was good, the car was good. Made a lot of changes last night that made it a whole bunch better than it was yesterday – that’s encouraging. I think we’ll be even better for Sunday.”

David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota
Reutimann, in a backup car, started at the rear of the field and quickly worked his way to 12th in the first 10 laps.
Reutimann climbed to 10th by the lap 28 caution.
Reutimann reported that the car started slow, but was fast on the bottom later in the run.
The Aaron’s Dream Machine pitted for four tires, fuel and returned to the track in 12th.
The No. 00 Toyota needs work on sucking up in the draft.
Reutimann, Truex and Marcos Ambrose drafted together several times during the race.

REUTIMANN QUOTE: “That was a big race for Michael Waltrip and Michael Waltrip Racing. Congrats to Michael and the No. 51 NAPA guys! I know it means a lot to Michael and to NAPA for the No. 51 to get into the show. Daytona has played such a big part in his career and I know that he didn’t want to go out like that, so I know there is a big sense of relief on their part.

The Aaron’s team also did a great job. Our car wasn’t as good as we’d have liked starting out, but it kept getting better during the longer runs. We need to work on our Camry a little to make sure that we can get it to suck up in the draft to the car in front of it, but I’m sure we’ll get that fixed up and be ready to race on Sunday.”

DAYTONA 500 Starting Lineup (UNOFFICIAL)
1 Mark Martin
2 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
3 Jimmie Johnson
4 Kasey Kahne
5 Kevin Harvick
6 Tony Stewart
7 Kyle Busch
8 Juan Pablo Montoya
9 Clint Bowyer
10 Kurt Busch
11 Regan Smith
12 Elliott Sadler
13 Jamie McMurray
14 Martin Truex Jr.
15 A J Allmendinger
16 Marcos Ambrose
17 Ryan Newman
18 Matt Kenseth
19 David Ragan
20 Joey Logano
21 Jeff Gordon
22 Brian Vickers
23 Greg Biffle
24 Brad Keselowski
25 Denny Hamlin
26 David Reutimann
27 Carl Edwards
28 Mike Bliss
29 Michael McDowell
30 Scott Speed
31 Max Papis
32 Paul Menard
33 John Andretti
34 Robby Gordon
35 Travis Kvapil
36 Sam Hornish Jr.
37 Robert Richardson
38 Boris Said
39 Jeff Burton
40 Bill Elliott [PC2]
41 Joe Nemechek
42 Bobby Labonte [PC1]
43 Michael Waltrip

Results Race One
1 Jimmie Johnson
2 Kevin Harvick
3 Kyle Busch
4 Clint Bowyer
5 Regan Smith
6 Jamie McMurray
7 A.J. Allmendinger
8 Ryan Newman
9 David Ragan
10 Jeff Gordon
11 Greg Biffle
12 Denny Hamlin
13 Carl Edwards
14 Michael McDowell
15 Max Papis
16 John Andretti
17 Todd Bodine
18 Joe Nemechek
19 Travis Kvapil
20 Terry Cook*
21 Mark Martin
22 Bill Elliott
23 Robert Richardson Jr.
24 Reed Sorenson
25 Michael Waltrip
26 Jeff Burton
27 Jeff Fuller

Results Race Two
1 Kasey Kahne
2 Tony Stewart
3 Juan Montoya
4 Kurt Busch
5 Elliott Sadler
6 Martin Truex Jr.
7 Joey Logano
8 Marcos Ambrose
9 David Reutimann
10 Brian Vickers
11 Matt Kenseth
12 Brad Keselowski
13 Mike Bliss
14 Scott Speed
15 Paul Menard
16 Casey Mears
17 Bobby Labonte
18 David Gilliland
19 Robby Gordon
20 Derrike Cope
21 Dale Earnhardt Jr.
22 Aric Almirola
23 Dave Blaney
24 Mike Wallace
25 Norm Benning
26 Sam Hornish Jr.
27 Boris Said

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