Friday, April 30, 2010

Michael Waltrip Racing - Richmond International Raceway - Post Qualifying Report


Reutimann Scores a Front Row Starting Position at Richmond

David Reutimann secured the first front row starting position of the year for Michael Waltrip Racing during Coors Light Qualifying on Friday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway. Reutimann was second fastest with a lap of 126.618 mph, 21.324 seconds. Reutimann and the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota will start Saturday night’s race on the front row along side Coors Light pole winner Kyle Busch. Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota posted a lap of 125.302 mph, 21.548 seconds and will start 26th.

Saturday night’s running of the Crown Royal presents the Heath Calhoun 400 gets underway on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio 128 starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Friday Recap

David Reutimann, Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Qualified 2nd, Front Row
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Qualified 26th
Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award with a time of 21.247.
Reutimann joins Kyle Busch on the front row followed by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman
JTG-Daugherty Racing driver Marcos Ambrose qualified the No. 47 Toyota 20th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Qualified: 2nd, Front Row
How was your qualifying lap? “The lap was pretty good.  I kind of overdrove the second lap getting into (turn) three down there -- which actually under-drove it for me because generally I overdrive everything.  It ended up being a good lap.  From where we started to where we ended up finishing in practice, we struggled in our first practice.  In our second practice, it was like a totally different car -- in a good way. In the end we ended up having a good effort for our Aaron’s Dream Machine and the guys did a good job.  I was actually surprised that it held up as long as it did because the track did get a little cooler.  It felt like it got a little quicker.  I thought those guys were going to knock us down a few more.  Thankfully, we got a good starting position and a good pit selection for tomorrow.”

What do you do when racing under different conditions than when you practice? “We struggled so bad early, we were just shooting for anything that was going to drive decent.  In the end, I think you just try to make your car drive as good as you possibly can with the conditions that you have.  When the night falls you just have to rely on your crew chief to go back through the notes and find out what the tendency of the track is.  I’m not smart enough to remember what it does any way.  I just sit there and turn the wheel and tell them what it’s doing and I give them time and they adjust on it. That’s just how I kind of do it.  Jimmie’s (Johnson) got it all memorized.”

How much has changed for you since winning a Charlotte about a year ago? “Judging from this season, it hasn’t gone the way you want.  I’ve gotten older.  I haven’t gotten any better looking.  But, I’ve still got a great team.  I’ve got a good bunch of people surrounding me.  I still got the same group of people that got me to that position.  Although I heard Jeff Burton say today in an interview that he’s never run as well and had finishes as poor as he has, and I guess we can say the same thing.  We’ve definitely run really well and just haven’t had the finishes.  Not much has changed.  Still got a good team and a little more confident at some places, except for when we turn left and right at road courses. Still working on that.”

Are you happy with the way your car is handling? “At the first practice we were not very good at all.  We were way off.  The start of the second practice we got a lot better.   Progressively, we stayed a lot better as practice went on.  So, it ended up being pretty good.  It is two opposite ends of the spectrum from where we were when we unloaded, to where we are now.  We weren’t very good at the beginning of the practice.   We were way off to be honest with you.  I felt like we weren’t anywhere near where we needed to be.  We made some big adjustments that got us better.”

Does it concern you that your car was off in the first practice? “We unloaded with a little bit different setup than what we had run here in the past just trying to get better, and sometimes when you unload like that sometimes it doesn’t go your way.  I don’t have a problem with that.  The important thing is we were able to rebound and get it going in the right direction, which is not always easy.  A lot of times if you don’t unload good it’s really, really hard to make up any ground.  So, we were able to do that and I’m proud of my guys.”

MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Qualified: 26th
How did your car handle during qualifying? “It was kind of like practice.  We were pretty good in race trim, as far as speed and lap times were concerned.  I wasn’t happy with the way it was driving.  Then we went to qualifying trim and it did the same things it did in race trim -- it just wasn’t fast anymore.  The track is real slick and it’s hard to get a hold of, and I just couldn’t get the car to turn at all and can’t get no power down. So, we’ve felt the same thing all day and it did the same thing here in qualifying.”

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING FAN APPRECIATION DAY WEDNESDAY MAY 26

CORNELIUS, N.C. - Michael Waltrip Racing will hold its annual Fan Appreciation Day on Wednesday May 26 at NASCAR’s most interactive race shop in Cornelius, N.C.

MWR drivers David Reutimann, Martin Truex Jr. and JTG Daugherty driver Marcos Ambrose plus Nationwide drivers Trevor Bayne and Ryan Truex will join co-owner Michael Waltrip to sign autographs. There are a variety of activities scheduled including show car displays, pit stop practices, games, musical entertainment and food from Mac’s Speed Shop.

Team business partners plan to bring interactive displays and fan giveaways. The Waltrip Brothers Charity Golf Tournament will also conduct a silent auction featuring racing memorabilia beginning Monday.

"It's very important for Michael Waltrip Racing to show all our fans what their support means to us," said Waltrip. "Everyone here realizes that the fans are the reason we are where we are today. It's our turn to return the favor and invite them for a fun time at our race shop.”

Reutimann and Bayne will sign autographs 4-5 p.m. then Waltrip, both Truexes and Ambrose will sign 6-7 p.m. 

“It’s amazing how many people show up here in the Charlotte area for that race and a large portion of those folks come to the race shop because it’s so different and so unique,” Reutimann said.

“Michael Waltrip Racing has so much to offer as far as what fans can actually see and be a part of. Fan Appreciation Day is actually a really big day. We always get a good turn out with a lot of people and a lot of excitement. We have  a good time doing it.”

Michael Waltrip Racing is at exit 28 on I-77 in Cornelius, N.C. about 15 miles north of Charlotte, N.C. The team’s race shop and gift shop will be open to the public throughout the day. 




Trevor Bayne - Richmond Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. — Trevor Bayne, one of NASCAR’s rising young stars, is building momentum in the 2010 season. The 19-year-old driver has finished in the top 15 in three of the last four Nationwide races and has jumped from 17th to 13th in the points standings.


The Knoxville, Tenn. native hopes to continue that momentum this weekend at Richmond International Raceway where his seventh-place finish in September is one of three top-10 finishes in his 23-race career. Bayne also posted a seventh-place finish at Indianapolis last year but topped that with a sixth-place finish at Las Vegas in February.

During last year’s run at Richmond, he enjoyed a driver rating of 107.2, an average running position of 6.6, four fastest laps run, while running all 250 laps in the top 15. If history repeats itself, Bayne could be on the path to another career day. Bayne and his Diamond-Waltrip Racing teammates tested on the quarter-mile oval at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. on Monday.

QUOTES

BAYNE ON RICHMOND: “Richmond is a cool track. It’s a track that I have experience on. I love racing on short tracks like Indianapolis and Richmond. I have been racing on short tracks since I was 13 years old. I think I can excel at Richmond more than I have on the mile-and-a-half tracks this season. I think Richmond is a good place to turn around our luck and hopefully grab our first top-five finish of the year.”

BAYNE ON RACING UNDER THE LIGHTS: “Racing under the lights brings me back to my roots. Everything from racing go-karts to the East Series has been night races. It’s really cool for the fans as well. They can see our brakes glowing and see sparks fly when we make contact. It’s a lot cooler at night so it makes for a good day in the race car.”

BAYNE ON TESTING AT GRESHAM MOTORSPORTS PARK: “Anytime I can get in the race car is good. It keeps things fresh on my mind. We learned a lot about the car at Gresham. I also learned a lot as a driver. I worked with Martin Truex Jr. He got in the race car and drove some and worked with me on a lot of stuff. I think that was a great opportunity for me. He taught me a tremendous amount about braking and rolling the center of the corners which is going to be a big help at Richmond.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST


  • Currently, Bayne is the sixth highest series-only regular in the NNS driver point standings. He is only six points behind Brendan Gaughan, 11 points back of Tony Raines, 22 points away from Scott Lagasse Jr., 44 points behind Brian Scott and just 339 points away from Justin Allgaier.



  • The 19-year-old driver owns 23 NNS starts. He has one pole (Indianapolis), three top-10s (Indianapolis, Richmond and Las Vegas), 11 top-15s and has led 34 laps of competition.



  • Michael Waltrip enters the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Wednesday night joining notable inductees such as: Muhammad Ali, Tubby Smith, Adolph Rupp, Phil Simms, Johnny Unitas, Secretariat and other Bluegrass state heroes. Proceeds from the banquet benefit Kosair Charities. Tickets are $75 and may be obtained through Jo Barrett at Kosair Charities: (502) 637-7696, ext. 104. MWR cars will carry a special decal this weekend honoring Waltrip’s induction.



  • Steve Hallam, executive vice president and director of competition at MWR, will receive a degree of Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Huddersfield in England on July 12. The university has a globally respected automotive engineering department. Hallam, who worked in Formula 1 from 1982 to 2008 with Lotus and then McLaren, joined MWR in 2009.



  • This weekend, Bayne’s No. 99 Toyota will run a plain hood with Diamond-Waltrip logos on the quarter panels in hopes to show potential sponsors inventory is available. Currently, Aaron’s is scheduled to sponsor the No. 99 in six of the final 27 races. Those races include: Kentucky, New Hampshire, Chicago, Iowa, Gateway (2) and Phoenix.

Martin Truex Jr. Campaigning for All-Star Votes on SPEED-TV's Race Hub

Mobil One on the Grid Featuring MWR Dir. of Competition Steve Hallam

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Martin Truex Jr. Richmond Advance


CORNELIUS, N.C. — The Sprint All-Star race is just three weeks away and NAPA Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. is hot on the campaign trail seeking votes from race fans. Truex is officially launches his “Tried and TrueX” campaign this weekend at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). He’ll appear Saturday at the Sprint Experience as well as film segments for SPEED-TV’s NASCAR Race Hub, NASCAR Smarts and NASCAR Race Day asking fans to vote. Truex says he wants nothing more than to be a part of NASCAR’s no-holds-barred extravaganza.

QUOTES

Truex Jr. on the Sprint All-Star Fan Vote: “We are going to have fun with the “Tried and TrueX” campaign. We wanted to obviously include all the fans and let them know that we appreciate their votes. I have had the privilege of making it into the All-Star race all three ways, but the year I won the Fan Vote, I obviously didn’t know I had won the vote when we were running in The Open. I was out there trying to win. I could kind of tell how the race was going. My team was competitive, but we didn’t have a shot at winning it. When I took the checkered flag, my team told me that we were voted in. I couldn’t believe it. My day had gone from, ‘I hate that I have to drive home and watch it on TV’ to ‘Wow, I’m in!’

Truex Jr. on racing at Richmond: “I’ve had good runs at Richmond in the past and I like racing there. But right now, Pat and I are really focused on figuring out the MWR cars. We just aren’t where we need to be right now with that. We’ve lost some valuable track time over the last couple of weeks with Saturday practices being rained out. I think that’s hurt this new team when it came to places like Phoenix and Texas — places Pat and I normally run very well. We tested on Monday at Gresham Motorsports Park (Jefferson, Ga.) to prepare for Richmond and I hope the extra track time will bring us up to speed so we can run Richmond like we both are accustomed to.”

Reutimann’s Crew Wins Tissot Pit Road Award in Talladega

Third Tissot win of season for Michael Waltrip Racing

David Reutimann’s over-the-wall crew claimed the Tissot Pit Road Precision Award in Sunday’s (April 25) Aaron’s 499 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.

The fast pit stops by the No. 00 crew at the 2.66-mile tri-oval helped Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) attain its third Tissot win of the season. The No. 56 MWR crew for Martin Truex Jr. leads the Tissot standings with two wins.

Reutimann’s Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota spent the least amount of time on pit road – 208.560 seconds – during the 200-lap overtime race, which saw a maximum of three green-white-checkered restarts. David Ragan’s UPS Ford was second (214.115) and Kyle Busch’s M&M’s Toyota was third (238.719).

“It’s awesome too have the Aaron’s 00 crew get the Tissot award for Talladega,” said pit crew coach Greg Miller. “The entire 00 team has had its share of adversity this year, but they have kept digging and have never given up. The car has been great all year but we just haven’t been able to get the finish. Hopefully this will be a change of luck for us and we can begin to realize the results these guys deserve.”

Reutimann’s over-the-wall crew consists of: Ryan Langley (front-tire changer), Chris Hall (front-tire carrier), Eric Maycroft (rear-tire changer), Donnie Marvel (rear-tire carrier), Tony Cardamone (jackman), Aaron Pieratt (gasman), Jeff Seaberg (catch can) and Nate Kennedy (Eighth Man). The team’s crew chief is Rodney Childers.

The winning pit crew in each Sprint Cup race will earn $5,000 and a Tissot V8 Quartz Chronograph watch. The team with the most Tissot Pit Road Precision Award wins at the completion of the 36-race schedule will receive a $105,000 bonus plus Tissot watches for the over-the-wall crew members and driver.

Tissot has been the official watch and timekeeper of NASCAR since 2006. The company is also the official timekeeper for a number of other sports, including the MotoGP World Championship, the Ice Hockey World Championship and the Cycling World Championship.
__________________________________________
2010 Tissot Pit Road Precision Award Winners

Daytona, 2/14 Juan Pablo Montoya Team
Fontana, 2/21 Jeff Gordon Team
Las Vegas, 2/28 Martin Truex Jr. Team
Atlanta, 3/7 Martin Truex Jr. Team
Bristol, 3/21 Brad Keselowski Team
Martinsville, 3/29 Clint Bowyer Team
Phoenix, 4/10 Matt Kenseth Team
Texas, 4/19 Dale Earnhardt Jr. Team
Talladega 4/25 David Reutimann Team
###

David Reutimann - Richmond International Raceway Sprint Cup Series Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — The words “race shop” and “high school prom” are seldom found in the same sentence, unless of course you are talking about Michael Waltrip Racing. Hopewell High School, in nearby Huntersville, N.C., held its prom at Michael Waltrip Racing’s race shop in Cornelius, N.C., on Saturday, April 24. Nearly 700 students attended the Mardi Gras-themed event.

Michael Waltrip Racing shop employees began preparing for the special event late Friday afternoon. The crew cleared cars, equipment and tools then cleaned the shop before the Hopewell prom committee set up the decorations. Shop workers returned MWR to its normal working condition before the team began work Monday morning.

MWR hosted it’s first prom in 2009 for North Mecklenburg High School. In addition to high school proms, Michael Waltrip Racing has hosted a wedding on the catwalk overlooking the shop floor, wedding reception and a couple renewed their wedding vows with Michael Waltrip serving as the minister. MWR has also hosted two memorial services for local people, charity fundraisers, benefits and regularly hosts registration events for fishing tournaments on Lake Norman.

The prom will be the furthest thing from David Reutimann’s mind Saturday night when he races at Richmond International Raceway. Reutimann’s Aaron’s Dream Team pit crew earned its first Tissot Pit Crew Award Sunday at Talladega. It was MWR’s third Tissot Award of 2010 after the No. 56 crew earned the award in Atlanta and Las Vegas.

QUOTES

Dr. MARY LOUISE JONES - PRINCIPAL, HOPEWELL HIGH SCHOOL: “It is kind of unusual to have the Hopewell High School prom at a race shop, but Michael Waltrip Racing made a lot of sense to us. We normally have prom downtown Charlotte at a convention center, but wanted to have a space that was closer to the school and more convenient for the kids and their parents. We took a lot into account like parking and security. The race shop was very nice because it was big enough to accommodate our kids, have an area for dancing and an area for sitting and eating. I was impressed and the kids seemed to have a good time.”

REUTIMANN ON ATTENDING HIS OWN HIGH SCHOOL PROM: “I think I went to one and the only thing that remarkably sticks out in my mind is that I can’t believe that I did it cause I had to miss a race to go. That’s really the only thing that I can recall. I went, but I was miserable the whole time because I should have been and wanted to be at a racetrack.”

REUTIMANN ON THE TISSOT PIT CREW PIT ROAD PRECISION AWARD: “The Aaron’s Dream Team pit crew has steadily improved as the year’s gone on. They’ve been doing a good job, but to be honest I’m surprised they haven’t got it before now. That’s just how good they’ve been. I’m really proud of the guys and I know they work really, really hard on a lot of different areas to try and make things better. It’s really starting to pay off. I’m really proud of them and I’m sure it’s not going to be the last one they get this year.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• Michael Waltrip enters the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame Wednesday night joining notable inductees such as: Muhammad Ali, Tubby Smith, Adolph Rupp, Phil Simms, Johnny Unitas, Secretariat and other Bluegrass state heroes. Proceeds from the banquet benefit Kosair Charities. Tickets are $75 and may be obtained through Jo Barrett at Kosair Charities: (502) 637-7696, ext. 104. MWR cars will carry a special decal this weekend honoring Waltrip’s induction.

• Reutimann has finished 20th or better in five of the six races that he has been running at the finish in 2010—and 15th or better in four of the six.

• Aaron’s, sponsor of the No. 00, will give away an autographed hat to a lucky race fan through Facebook and Twitter following any top-10 finish. Follow Aarons on Twitter (@AaronsSports) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/AaronsSports).

• Aaron’s/Alabama Crimson Tide No. 00 Toyota Camry diecast cars available for purchase at any Aaron's store nationwide. Aaron’s stores throughout Alabama will host the Alabama National Championship show car and also have championship/racecar t-shirts and championship 9" plush Lucky Dogs for sale.

Aaron's, Inc. to Honor Armed Forces Foundation with Commemorative NASCAR Racecar at Charlotte

ATLANTA, April 24 - Aaron's, Inc. announced today it will honor the Armed Forces Foundation (AFF) with a commemorative NASCAR racecar at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte during the upcoming race Memorial weekend, Sunday, May 30. The paint scheme will feature a patriotic red, white and blue design.

In addition to the custom paint scheme for the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 00 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota, driven by David Reutimann, Aaron's will also donate a minimum of $10,000 to the AFF. However, if Reutimann finishes in the top five at Charlotte, Aaron's will double the donation to $20,000. If Reutimann wins the race, Aaron's will donate $200,000 to the AFF.

"As a longtime partner of the AFF, Aaron's never fails to find new and exciting ways to show their support for the nation's military," said Patricia Driscoll, AFF President and Executive Director. "A NASCAR racecar adorned with the AFF logo will generate tremendous visibility for our program, delivering more impact in a single day than anything we have done in the past."

Aaron's COO, Ken Butler, said, "The work of the AFF is vitally important because it supports not only military soldiers, but also their families and the sacrifices they make every day. So to take this program a step further, Aaron's has partnered with the AFF to raise additional funds through a texting campaign. We're encouraging partners, customers and friends to text 'AFF' to 50555 and contribute $10 that will support our country's military and their families." The text campaign will run through the end of 2010.

The red, white and blue AFF racecar will be unveiled today before the Aaron's 312 race at Talladega.

Monday, April 26, 2010

NAPA Employee Appreciation Day - April 23 - Atlanta Ga.

Video - Michael Waltrip Post Race At Talladega

Trevor Bayne - Talladega Race Report



Talladega, Ala. — Trevor Bayne narrowly missed the “Big One” at Talladega Superspeedway but was still able to muster up a 13th-place finish. The No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine started the Aaron’s 312 in the 39th spot and didn’t push the envelope during the first 75 laps of the 120-lap event. With just over 40 laps remaining, Bayne began making his charge toward the front of the field. He cracked into the top five on lap 98. With just two laps remaining in the event a multi-car incident occurred on the frontstretch forcing the race into overtime. Bayne restarted eighth and was on the move toward the front until he got collected in an accident in turn four on the final lap. The Knoxville, Tenn., native was able to limp to the finish line and finish 13th.


NNS Racing Results

  • Brad Keselowski won the Aaron’s 312, his seventh victory in 112 NASCAR Nationwide Series races

  • This is his first victory and seventh top-10 in 2010

  • Joey Logano (second) posted his second top-10 finish in two races at Talladega Superspeedway. It is his sixth top-10 finish in 2010.

  • Kevin Harvick, Jason Keller and John Borneman III rounded out the top five

  • The race featured one Green-White-Checkered

  • The race featured 33 lead changes among 14 drivers

  • The race was slowed by five cautions for a total of 16 laps

  • NASCAR estimated 71,500 race fans in attendance at Talladega
DWR NNS Race Results

  • Trevor Bayne, No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Finished 13th
DWR Driver Standings

  • Trevor Bayne, No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - 124 points, ranks 13th

  • 492 points out of the lead
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota

  • Bayne started 39th and finished 13th

  • Ran in the top 25 for the most part of the race

  • Bayne made his move to the front of the field with just over 40 laps to go

  • Cracked into the top five one lap 98

  • Was involved in the “Big One” on the final lap but was able to limp to the finish line and finish 13th

  • Gained three spots to 13th in the NNS championship point standings

  • This was Bayne’s fourth top-15 finish in 2010
BAYNE QUOTE: “Our Aaron’s Dream machine was awesome in the race. I was a little nervous after our qualifying effort by Jerry Baxter brought an awesome car to Talladega. I think I was able to gain some respect from some of the veteran driver today. We weren’t very good out front but we were a really good pusher. I was able to make some really good moves near the end of the race and get myself in the top five. We were just in the wrong place at the wrong time on the final lap and I had know where to go.”

Sunday, April 25, 2010

MWR - Talladega Race Report

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - finished 12th - now 15th in points.
 
David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship Dream Machine Toyota - finished 14th - now 27th in points.
 
Michael Waltrip PRISM MOTORSPORTS Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota finished 39th.
 
Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary: Martin Truex Jr. didn't lead a bunch of laps or beat and bang at the front of the field Sunday in the Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. But on the final of three green-white-checkered flag attempts to finish the race, Truex raced as high as fifth and looked to be in position to take the checkered flag less than two-miles away. But with no helpers to push the NAPA Toyota, Truex could not mount a charge and came across the finish line in 12th. Truex stayed patient throughout the race never showing his hand until the end. The NAPA Toyota gained two spots and is now 15th in points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Richmond on Saturday.
 
 
 
TRUEX: “I did all I could but my NAPA Auto Parts Toyota just wouldn't go there at the end especially when I got shuffled out of the draft. It’s a shame, but considering my finishes over the last couple of races, I’ll take it. We avoided all the wrecks and were in contention in the end so it was a good day.”
 
 Truex Notes:
  •  Truex Jr. started 17th and finished 12th.
  • Took it easy in the early going telling crew chief Pat Tryson he could “easily” catch the lead pack in the draft.
  • Truex stayed very patient in the early going riding mid pack.
  • The No. 56 pit crew turned in a 12-second stop midway through the race.
  • Jumped up to 10th on the lap 148 green flag pit stops.
  • Truex restarted race with nine laps to go in 20th but moved to fifth by the final green-white-checkered finish.
  • Couldn’t get anyone to push him to the front on the final lap and faded to 12th.
 David Reutimann Race Summary: David Reutimann’s Aaron’s/University of Alabama National Championship Toyota was a fan favorite in Sunday’s Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway. In addition to carrying the home state colors, the No. 00 was as fast as any of the 43 cars on the track. Reutimann led five laps but looked like he would leave with a poor finish after falling out of the lead draft. But a late caution enabled him to climb back into the lead pack. In the final green-white-checkered finish he couldn’t get the help needed to battle for the victory and finished 14th. Reutimann is now 27th in points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series moves to Richmond for Saturday night’s race.
 
 
REUTIMANN: “It seemed like I could give help, but no one seemed to really want to give me any. The 11 (Denny Hamlin) worked with us really good and there was a couple other guys that would. A lot of guys would work with you and then hang you out. That’s just how it goes – no big deal. We should have finished a whole lot better than 14th today. We had a good car. At least we didn’t tear anything up and we have something good to bring back.”
  
Reutimann Notes:
  •  Reutimann started 30th and finished 14th—his best Talladega finish.
  • Reutimann has finished in the top 15 in four of the five races he’s finished in 2010.
  • Led five laps and looked to be one of the fastest cars on the track.
  • Reutimann climbed into the top five around the lap 60 mark.
  • Pushed Jimmie Johnson to lead on lap 69 while running second.
  • Avoided a spinning Denny Hamlin on lap 75.
  • Led lap 154 as the field raced three wide.
  • Hung out in the draft with 30 to go and fell out of lead pack about 13 seconds behind leader.
  • A caution with 10 laps remaining allowed Reutimann to climb back into the lead pack.
  • Survived the three green-white-checkered attempts to finish the race.
 Michael Waltrip Race Summary: Sunday’s 188-lap Aaron’s 499 at Talladega Superspeedway wasn’t even 30 laps old and Michael Waltrip was the story of the race. The two-time Daytona 500 winner charged from the last starting spot to the lead and led four laps. When he wasn’t leading, the superspeedway ace pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr., Sam Hornish and Brian Vickers to the lead. Waltrip proved his Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota could drive from the back to the front in just laps. It appeared Waltrip would be one of the drivers to battle for the victory as the laps clicked off. But, a multicar-accident on lap 84 saw Waltrip’s PRISM Motorsports Toyota suffered significant left side damage and his day ended in the garage with a 39th-place finish.
 
 WALTRIP: How did it feel leading the race? “Honestly, at one point I looked up and it was me and Dale (Earnhardt) Jr. leading the race and I thought, ‘This feels great!’ I hope the fans are enjoying it. The car was fast. Kyle (Busch) just messed up and ran into a guy and crashed him. When you set yourself to the standards that he does, he’s really good and he’ll tell you about it, but whether it’s a tear-off or a caution flag, when you set yourself to those standards and then you make a mistake like that in front of the field, it’s kind of disappointing.”
 How did the spoiler feel out on the race track? “It was fun.  I’ve haven’t had a car in a couple of years that was that racey.   And whether it was just me relating to the spoiler because that’s how I won my races at Daytona and Talladega or if it’s indeed just the spoiler makes things more fun, I don’t know.  But I liked what I felt.”
 Did you have fun out there today? “I thought I could win.  I’ve raced 500 miles a lot of times and a win wasn’t in the cards.  A lap down and not running like you wanted and you just fight your way through it so that when the day comes along like this you’re ready and I was ready.  Golly, I wanted to do it so bad for my sponsor.  This is my first Cup race for Aaron’s and to be able to lead the race for them and be a part of the front of the pack, it was really fun for me.”
 
Notes
 
  • Waltrip drove the No. 55 Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota for PRISM Motorsports
  • Waltrip started last and rocketed to first place in the first 30 laps.
  • Waltrip led four laps and also pushed Dale Earnhardt Jr. to the front of the pack to the roars of the Talladega fans.
  • He also pushed Sam Hornish and Brian Vickers to the lead riding right on their bumpers.
  • Waltrip suffered some right side damage as the field avoided a spinning Denny Hamlin on lap 75.
  • The damage appeared minimal and he returned to the front of the field.
  • A multicar accident on lap 84 collected Waltrip ending his day.
 AARON’S 499 RACE NOTES:
  •  Kevin Harvick beat Jamie McMurray by 0.011 seconds.
  • Juan Montoya finished third. Denny Hamlin and Mark Martin rounded out the top five.
  • There were 88 lead changes among 29 drivers— a race record.
  • Rain cancelled qualifying on Saturday and NASCAR set the field based on points.
  • Saturday’s Nationwide race took place an hour after the Sprint Cup race.
  • In the DirecTV Head2Head competition Truex defeated AJ Allmendinger and will face Mark Martin in Richmond

David Reutimann hands out Aaron's/University of Alabama diecast on SPEED

Thursday, April 22, 2010

MWR's Steve Hallam To Recieve University Honor

Race car engineering legend Steve Hallam is to be honoured by a university for his work in the field.

Hallam, who worked in Formula 1 from 1982 to 2008 with Lotus and then McLaren, is to receive the degree of Honorary Doctor of Science from the University of Huddersfield, which has a globally respected automotive engineering department.

The honour will be conferred at a ceremony on Monday 12 July.

In 2009 Hallam moved to NASCAR and is currently executive vice president and director of competition at Michael Waltrip Racing

Michael Waltrip: Busier Now Than Ever

CORNELIUS, N.C. – In 2010 Michael Waltrip climbed out of a fulltime NASCAR Sprint Cup ride and climbed into a whole new world.

“Racing a car for 25 years gave me a tunnel vision. The only thing I thought about was my car and my team. This year I’m learning just how big the NASCAR world is outside the car,” said Waltrip when asked about his life of “semi-retirement” after life as a fulltime Sprint Cup driver. “Now that everyone knows you aren’t driving as much you get asked to do a lot more things. Fun things, but it keeps you busy.”

Waltrip’s job list is longer than his grocery list these days.

Ask someone to describe the 46-year-old Waltrip and you’ll hear everything from Sprint Cup car owner, part-time driver, young driver mentor, television host and commentator, charity organizer, worldwide sports car racer, Hall of Fame inductee, ticket salesman, corporate pitchman …….and the list goes on.

Nor will it shorten.

“I’m having fun and there is a lot more planned in the future that will be fun for the fans, too.”

A typical week in the life of Michael Waltrip would make George Clooney’s frequent flying movie character in “Up in the Air” shake his head in wonder.

Last Thursday afternoon he met his race team in Statesville, N.C. and flew to Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race. A few hours after landing he was on the stage with Track President Eddie Gossage at Fandango in front of 25,000 Texas race fans.

Friday morning Waltrip and daughter Macy left the track and flew to Los Angeles for prime seats to the sold-out Taylor Swift concert at the Staples Center. The Waltrips were up early and back to Texas Motor Speedway Saturday. That night he hosted SPEED-TV’s new television variety show “Fast Track to Fame.”

Sunday morning saw Waltrip early to visit the Sprint suite overlooking the track then back in the garage to wait out the rain. On Monday he divided his time watching the Sprint and Nationwide races as well as an appearance in Dallas for Showtime’s television show “Inside NASCAR.”

Waltrip flew back to Charlotte commercially picking up his car at the airport. The hectic schedule even causes him a bit of anxiety.

“Sometimes I get to the airport and wonder if my car is going to be there or if this or that is going to be done,” he said. “But in the end I have a lot of good people working for me and the car is there, filled up and even pointed in the right direction.”

Waltrip travels to races each weekend overseeing his Michael Waltrip Racing team and drivers Martin Truex Jr. and David Reutimann along with 19-year-old Trevor Bayne plus 18-year-old Ryan Truex. When he isn’t working with the race team and drivers he’s likely found in a corporate suite listening to the marketing plans of company’s like NAPA, Aaron’s, TUM’S, Best Western and Toyota.

On Saturdays he’s in the SPEED-TV booth commentating on truck series action and a few hours later on the set of “Fast Track to Fame” hosting the network’s new variety show. On Tuesdays, he’s in downtown Charlotte at the NASCAR Hall of Fame filming Showtime’s “Inside NASCAR.”

The time studying the sport has changed his perspective.

“I see these races from a different angle now,” Waltrip said. “I didn’t see it coming, but I notice that I walk around now and take a global view of what’s going on. It makes me appreciate that I did this for so long and that I still have involvement in the sport from an ownership side and television side. I’ve broadened my view of what’s going on around me and makes me appreciate what an awesome opportunity has been given me.”

Despite the success behind the microphone and in the board room, in his heart Waltrip’s first and foremost a racer. It’s that desire to race that took him to the Dubai 24 Hours sports car race to drive a Ferrari in January. It will take him to the historic Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium in late July where he’ll race the same car.

“Those cars are an absolute blast to drive,” said Waltrip who participated in his first 24-hour race in Dubai.

Before he takes on the high speed turns at Spa, Waltrip will return to the No. 15 NAPA AUTO PARTS car he made famous by driving to victory lane twice at the Daytona 500 for an exhibition run across the pond.

The 46-year-old Waltrip will drive the MWR-prepared Sprint Cup car on the twists and hills at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in front of 150,000 fans in England.

Some of the sport’s most famous names like Michael’s brother Darrell Waltrip, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Allison and Smokey Yunick also made appearances at Goodwood since the festival’s inception in 1993.

“That’s such an honor,” said Waltrip. “Just about everybody in the world knows about Goodwood and the racing that goes on there. It’s another sign of NASCAR’s acceptance all around the world. The really cool part about traveling to Dubai was to have people from all over the world come up to you and ask you about something that happened in NASCAR. I was amazed how knowledgeable and up on NASCAR they were. It’s eye opening how closely they follow everything we are doing back home.”

Speaking of back home, the Owensboro, Ky. native joins seven other sports stars in the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame on April 28 in Louisville. Waltrip joins notable prior inductees Muhammad Ali, Denny Crum, Pat Day, Paul Hornung, Dan Issel, Tubby Smith, Pee Wee Reese, Adolph Rupp, Phil Simms, Johnny Unitas, Secretariat and other Bluegrass state heroes.

In June, Michael and Darrell host the inaugural Waltrip Brothers’ Charity Championship benefitting Motor Racing Outreach and The National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Opryland’s Gaylord Springs Golf Links in Nashville, Tenn. plays host to both events.

“Darrell and I have always talked about doing something like this,” Waltrip said. “We just didn’t have the time to do it right. Now we’ve been able to put some effort behind it and have already raised a bunch of money. I think this will be a lot of fun and hopefully do some good.”

He’s still the sport’s super-salesman. Track promoters at Daytona, Infineon and Richmond crafted ticket plans featuring Waltrip as another step in experiential marketing. Daytona capped its ticket promotion when fans scooped up the 500 tickets within weeks.

Whether Waltrip is at MWR in meetings, on the shop floor with the race crew, or on the phone with the team’s partners, there are a few things Waltrip always adheres to no matter where he is or what he is doing. You’ll find him in the gym each day rigorously working out or sitting with his Smartphone tweeting to his 40,000 followers his take on the news of the day.

No matter what, it always goes back to NASCAR with Waltrip.

“Second to my family, nothing is as important to me as this sport,” said Waltrip. “I’ve had a lifetime of wonderful experiences in NASCAR and can’t wait to see what is ahead. There is so much more I want to do.”

Apparently resting isn't on that list.

###

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Michael Waltrip/PRISM Motorsports Talladega Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — Two-time time Daytona 500 winner Michael Waltrip climbs behind the wheel of the No. 55 Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota this weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. The 46-year-old driver won on the 2.66-mile restrictor plate track in 2003. Waltrip owns four restrictor plate victories in his 25 years of Sprint Cup competition.

PRISM Motorsports -owned by Phil Parsons and Randy Humphrey- will field the No. 55 for Waltrip and the No. 66 for Dave Blaney at Talladega. Michael Waltrip Racing sells cars and technology to PRISM. Waltrip owns 762 Sprint Cup starts and finished 18th in the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14.

WALTRIP ON RACING AT TALLADEGA: “Just having the chance to go to a place where I have won before like Talladega and being in a car that I know I can win again is a wonderful feeling. Daytona was cool. We got up to 12th on the last lap, had a solid shot for a top 10 on the final lap but got banged around a bit. I know we are going to be that competitive on Sunday at Talladega.”

AARON’S 499: “It’s a big weekend for Aaron’s. Aaron’s has been a great partner of MWR and the community over the years. Not only do I get to race the Aaron’s 55th anniversary car in the Aaron’s 499 on Sunday, but (MWR driver) David (Reutimann) gets to run the Aaron’s “University of Alabama National Championship” car. It’s going to be a busy weekend at Talladega.”

ON PRISM: “Phil (Parsons) and (co-owner) Randy Humphrey are getting started at PRISM Motorsports and I hope I can help them move through the learning curve a little bit faster. I think it is going to be a lot of fun. Talladega is some of the best racing in the world and I’m glad I’ll get to be part of it in the Aaron’s 55th Anniversary Toyota.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• This season Waltrip has devoted more time to ownership of Michael Waltrip Racing which fields Toyotas for David Reutimann’s No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine and Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS entry. In addition, Waltrip’s time is spent as an analyst on Showtime’s “Inside NASCAR” (Wednesdays at 10 p.m.) and SPEED’s weekly talent show “Fast Track to Fame” (Monday’s at 8 p.m.) as well as joining Parsons as a television commentator in SPEED’s coverage of truck series races.

• Sunday marks the first time Waltrip has raced with Aaron’s as his primary sponsor in a Sprint cup race. The Atlanta-based company has long served as primary sponsor on his Nationwide cars.
• The Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame will induct Waltrip on April 28 in Louisville.
• Waltrip and brother Darrell will host the Waltrip Brothers Charity Golf Tournament and Dinner on June 2, 3 in Nashville.
• Waltrip will participate in the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England on July 1.
• Waltrip along with MWR Co-owner Rob Kauffman will drive a Ferrari sports car at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on July 31. The pair raced in Dubai in January.
• Waltrip (@mw55) has more than 37,000 followers on Twitter.



Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Trevor Bayne - Talladega Nationwide Series Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. — Diamond-Waltrip Racing driver Trevor Bayne gets some help this weekend from a seven-year-old Alexander Kovach of Wilson, N.C. who designed the No. 99 Toyota Camry’s paint scheme. Kovach won the grand-prize in the Aaron’s “2010 Color Your Way to Talladega” contest. He and three guest will attend the Aaron’s Dream Weekend in Talladega to watch Bayne drive his design in Saturday’s Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide race.


Bayne hopes this special paint scheme brings him luck when he makes his first start on the 2.66-mile famed Alabama track. The 19-year-old driver’s only restrictor-plate start came in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. The youngest fulltime driver only made six laps before he was wrecked and finished 41st.

QUOTES

BAYNE ON TALLADEGA: “I haven’t race at Talladega yet. However, I did get to make some laps there last season at the new car test. It was cool to get to make laps there and see how smooth the track was compared to Daytona. I really don’t know what to expect because I hear it’s a lot different than Daytona. I know that Diamond-Waltrip Racing will have a good car for me to drive. They always tend to bring really strong race cars to superspeedway tracks.”

BAYNE ON THE AARON’S DREAM WEEKEND: “I think its really cool that Aaron’s did a coloring contest to get the paint scheme for my car this weekend. It’s a really cool weekend for Aaron’s and I am just glad to have them back on the car. We don’t get the pleasure of having them on the car every weekend so it would really be cool to bring home a win for them this weekend.”

BAYNE ON WHAT HE LEARNED IN DAYTONA: “Honestly, I didn’t get to learn a lot at Daytona since we got wrecked on lap six. I kind of see this as my superspeedway debut again. I really didn’t get to learn a lot in Daytona. We didn’t get to qualify we didn’t get to race so I am going to Talladega kind of blind. I think the best spot to run is out front. If you are one of the lead cars 90 percent of the time you will stay out of the wrecks. I know am going to be relying on my spotter Brett Griffin a lot this weekend to just keep me out of trouble.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

  • The 19-year-old driver’s only experience at Talladega Superspeedway came last season when he tested the new Nationwide car. The Knoxville, Tenn., native was one of eight drivers to participate in this test. The majority of the time the teams worked on single-car runs, but Bayne joined in some drafting practice at the end of the test session.

  • Bayne is tenth in points among the fulltime Nationwide Series drivers. He is only 31 points out of the top five.



  • Bayne owns 22 NNS starts. He has one pole (Indianapolis), three top-10s (Indianapolis, Richmond and Las Vegas), 11 top-15s and has led 34 laps. The youngster owns an 11.9 starting average and has qualified in the top 10 in 12 of his 22 starts.



  • Bayne will be the In Race Report for the Aaron’s 312 that will air on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. ET.



  • Aaron’s, sponsor of the No. 99, will give away an autographed hat to a lucky race fan through Facebook and Twitter following any top-10 finish. Follow Aarons on Twitter (@AaronsSports) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/AaronsSports)

Martin Truex Jr. Talladega Advance


CORNELIUS, N.C. — Talladega Superspeedway has produced mixed results for NAPA Racing’s Martin Truex Jr. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver has always been fast, but for some reason he’s found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time when racing in the Cup Series. Truex hopes the success he had in his first outing in his NAPA Toyota in the Daytona 500 (sixth) will be replicated at Talladega. However, Truex points outs even though they look alike, the two restrictor plate tracks drive dramatically different.

QUOTES

Truex Jr. on Talladega: “In the Nationwide Series, we have always seemed to find a way to get ourselves in contention to win at Talladega. I enjoy racing there. For some reason, Cup Series racing at Talladega hasn’t been good to me. I have had good runs going, but I always seem to get caught up in the big wreck. It’s been kind of a crap shoot. It’s a lot of fun to race, I just need some luck.”

Truex Jr. on Daytona versus Talladega: “At Daytona, we had a good NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota, but Daytona and Talladega are completely different. Daytona is all about handling. We weren’t the fastest car there. We actually struggled a little bit for speed throughout the week. As the track got slicker and slicker, it became more of a handling track. It really came to us.

“Talladega on the other hand is completely opposite. It’s all about speed. Everyone handles well. It’s about how good your body is on your car and how good your motor is. It’s all about raw speed. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens. We had a test there (March 16). We weren’t really fast by ourselves which was like Daytona, but in race packs, it really was good and fast. I am looking forward to going back and getting a good finish.”

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

The driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be competing in his 162nd NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway.

This will be Truex’s 11th race at the 2.66-mile track. His best start is third (April 26, 2009)and best finish is fifth (Oct. 8, 2006).

During his career, Truex has earned one top–five, two top-10 and three top-25 finishes at Talladega. His average start is 20th and his average finish is 28th.

He has completed 1556 of 1897 laps (82%) and has led 29 laps in competition.

The DIRECTV Head2Head Knockout promotion enters its second week. Truex advanced after finishing ahead of Jeff Burton at Texas. He now takes on AJ Allmendinger at Talladega. The head-to-head “races within the races” plays out over the course of the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, and in classic “bracket-tournament” fashion, fans can enter their own bracket predictions at www.DIRECTV.com/NASCAR for the chance to win $1 million or a car. Drivers are competing to raise money for their favorite charities. Truex is racing for the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation.

Next Monday (April 26), the NAPA Racing team will be testing at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga., in preparations for the upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway.

HELP MARTIN: The first annual Catwalk for a Cause: A Celebration of Fashion Benefiting the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation takes place May 18 at River Run Country Club in Davidson, N.C. For more event information, visit martintruexjrfoundation.org or lavendarboutique.com.

David Reutimann - Talladega Sprint Cup Series Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. — Race fans attending the Aaron’s Dream Weekend at Talladega Superspeedway this weekend might yell out “Roll Tide!” as David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine, takes to the racetrack. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver’s No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine will sport the 2009 National Champions Alabama Crimson Tide logo on the hood and a crimson paint scheme to celebrate the University of Alabama’s victory over Texas in the college football BCS Championship game.

QUOTES

REUTIMANN ON UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP PAINT SCHEME: “I grew up in Florida, so I am pretty sure there are going to be some people I know that aren’t going to be real happy to see me in an Alabama Crimson Tide car, but I think it’s a pretty cool deal. I’m sure I’ll become a pretty popular driver this week—a lot of people who may not normally root for me will probably be cheering me on because of this paint scheme.

“Aaron’s does a great job with things like this. They have a Color Your Way to Talladega Aaron’s car for the Nationwide race with Trevor Bayne this weekend, a 55th Anniversary car that Michael (Waltrip) is driving and I’m driving an Alabama National Championship car this weekend. Aaron’s is always looking for new ideas and creative ways to have fun and Aaron’s Dream Weekend at Talladega is a lot of fun that is for sure.”

ELI GOLD, MRN BROADCASTER (BROADCASTER, UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA FOOTBALL)
“Obviously, with Alabama winning the National Championship and Aaron’s as a partner this was a natural fit and a great opportunity to celebrate the accomplishment. As a matter of fact, last weekend the car was in Tuscaloosa (Ala.) when the Crimson Tide played their annual spring football game in front of a sold out crowd of more than 92,000, and when they brought the car out and fired it up it sounded as though Bama had won the national title again. The fans just couldn’t believe it and I think its going to be that same sort of reaction come this weekend when the Crimson Tide car, through the Aaron’s associated sponsorship gets out on to the racetrack. This has been a wonderful run for the Tide and this is a great way to cross promote to all the NASCAR fans that live in Alabama and those who will be coming to visit.”

ON THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AARON’S AND THE UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA: “The University of Alabama is tickled to have a nice relationship with the folks from Aaron’s and for Aaron’s to be so generous to allow the Crimson Tide colors and the National Championship logo on the car this weekend. That just shows you what kind of people they are. They are great folks who appreciate sports and appreciate the Alabama Crimson Tide.

ROBIN LOUDERMILK, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF AARON’S, INC.

“Aaron’s couldn’t be more proud that two of its partner universities were represented in this year’s national championship game. While Alabama clinched the title, Texas put up a tough fight making the game one of the most outstanding in BCS history. We are honored and excited to take Alabama’s triumph a step further with the opportunity to put this commemorative racecar in victory lane at our race this weekend in Talladega.”

LARRY MCREYNOLDS, TV HOST/FORMER CREW CHIEF
“Being from Alabama, and I’m careful with this statement, there is really only probably two big or major things when it comes to sports in Alabama, because there is no professional teams there. There’s no Major League Baseball team, no NFL team, no NBA team; so at the end of the day honestly its Alabama and Auburn football and racing at Talladega.

“When I cut myself shaving I promise you it’s Crimson red … it’s not regular blood red. Even though I’ve been gone from Alabama for 30 years I still live and die Alabama Crimson Tide football. Outside of racing it’s probably my next passion and my next love as far as sports.

“So I guess with knowing that’s the two biggest things in the state of Alabama when it comes to sports and then by virtue of Aaron’s and David Reutimann running the paint scheme recognizing the Crimson Tide’s National Championship from last year—to marry those two things together in one, which is kind of hard to do. How do you marry racing and college football together. To be able to do that with the Alabama paint scheme, I promise you—you have Dale Earnhardt Jr. when he hits the track to qualify or when he takes the lead on Sunday they are going to be ripping the grandstands apart as they do every week. But I’d be willing to bet if that No. 00 when he goes to qualify on Saturday or if he happens to take the lead—which is a good possibility considering how they ran at Daytona– I think you’ll probably see close to the same reaction as you’d get with Dale Jr.“

ON HAVING A FLORIDA NATIVE DRIVE AN ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE PAINT SCHEME: “I’ve already given (David Reutimann) a little bit of a hard time. It just goes to show me that there is hope. There is hope for people from Florida. That they really do truly indeed get it. I talked to David on Trackside Live a couple weeks ago about that."
ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• The Aaron’s/Alabama National Championship program kicked off at the University of Alabama A-Day game on April 17 at Bryant-Denny Stadium where the racecar was unveiled and displayed prior to the football game.

• Aaron’s/Alabama Crimson Tide No. 00 Toyota Camry diecast cars available for purchase at any Aaron's store nationwide. Aaron’s stores throughout Alabama will host the Alabama National Championship show car and also have championship/racecar t-shirts and championship 9" plush Lucky Dogs for sale. (Aaron’s Alabama Crimson Tide Show Car Schedule Attached).

• Reutimann has six career starts at Talladega Superspeedway and has led a total of eight laps. Reutimann’s best start is fifth (2007-2) and finish is 20th (2008-1). He led six laps in his last appearance at Talladega. Reutimann retired due to engine troubles in two races (2007-1 and 2008-2) and a crash in one (2007-2).

• Aaron’s, sponsor of the No. 00, will give away an autographed hat to a lucky race fan through Facebook and Twitter following any top-10 finish. Follow Aarons on Twitter (@AaronsSports) and become a fan on Facebook (Facebook.com/AaronsSports)


Monday, April 19, 2010

Bayne Scores Top-15 Finish at Texas


Fort Worth, Texas — After waiting for two extra days to race at Texas Motor Speedway, Trevor Bayne and the No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip team grabbed it’s fourth top-15 finish of the season. The Knoxville, Tenn., native started the 200-lap event in the 14th position. He was able to crack the top 10 by lap 32 but a tight-handling condition halted his progress. Crew chief Jerry Baxter made several major adjustments during the race to help ease the ill-handling conditions on the No. 99 Toyota but nothing really corrected the problem. The 19-year-old driver was able to race in the top 15 all day despite the handling issues. Bayne and the No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip team crossed the finish line 14th and gained one spot, to 16th, in the NASCAR championship point standings.



NNS Racing Results

  • Kyle Busch won the Texas Motor Speedway 300, his 33nd victory in 180 NNS starts

  • This is Busch’s fifth victory and 10 top-10 finish in 11 races at TMS. He joins Jack Ingram and Dale Earnhardt as winners of five straight races at the same track.

  • Joey Lagano (second) posted his second top-10 finish in four races at TMS. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2010.

  • Reed Sorenson, Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick rounded out the top five

  • The race featured 13 lead changes among eight drivers

  • The race was slowed by four cautions for a total of 24 laps

  • NASCAR estimated 44,500 race fans in attendance at TMS

DWR NNS Race Results

  • Trevor Bayne, No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Finished 14th
DWR Driver Standings

  • Trevor Bayne, No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - 121 points, ranks 16th

  • 446 points out of the lead
TREVOR BAYNE, No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip Racing Toyota

  • Bayne started 14th and finished 14th

  • Suffered from a tight-handling race car for the majority of the race

  • Great pit stop by the over-the-wall crew on the lap 28 pit stopped allowed Bayne to gain six spots

  • Cracked the top 10 on lap 32

  • Bayne ran in and around the top 15 for the majority of the race

  • This was Bayne’s fourth top-15 finish in 2010

BAYNE QUOTE: “The No. 99 Diamond-Waltrip Toyota was just a little off today. However, we were a lot better today then we were during Thursday’s practice. We aren’t where we want to be right now but we keep making improvements each weekend so I think we can be a top five car soon. I just have to thank all my guys for all the hard work they put in this weekend. We made a lot of changes to the car during practice on Thursday and Friday and we were able to make it a lot better for the race today.”

MWR Texas Race Report


Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - finished ninth - now 17th in points.
David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - finished 37th - now 30th in points.

Martin Truex Jr. Race Summary:

Martin Truex Jr.’s No. 56 NAPA Toyota wasn’t the fastest car at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday, but nobody did a better job improving their car throughout the race or avoiding all the carnage on the track. Truex worked to cure handling issues early in the race then used some nifty driving to avoid a spinning Sam Hornish on lap 110. Truex appeared destined to finish about 20th, but he and crew chief Pat Tryson kept working on the car. Truex managed to avoid a nine-car accident with 17 laps left in the race. The wreck allowed Truex to return to the lead lap and restart 13th with 12 laps remaining. Truex drove from 13th to ninth in the closing laps. The ninth-place finish allowed Truex to move from 19th to 17th in points as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Talladega this weekend.

  
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota
  • Truex Jr. started 14th and finished ninth.
  • Struggled early dropping to 33rd after a lug nut malfunction on the first stop.
  • Truex and crew chief Pat Tryson battled handling issues early in the race.
  • Truex narrowly missed a spinning Sam Hornish on lap 110 and ran 25th at the halfway mark.
  • Truex fell a lap behind the leader on lap 190 while racing in 23rd.
  • He in 20th on lap 317 when a chain-reaction wreck involving nine cars brought out the red flag for 20 minutes.
  • Truex narrowly missed the carnage and earned the free pass to return to the lead lap. .
  • After the delay, Truex restarted the race in 13th-place with four fresh tires.
  • Truex moved from 13th to ninth in the 12-lap shootout.

 TRUEX QUOTE: “Merry Christmas to us. We have more work to do. That last run was tough. The NAPA Toyota wanted to go straight on exit when it hit the bumps. The whole race our car was good for two laps and then the handling would go away. We'll figure it out. Pat and I are still getting to know one another and that's part of the process when building a new team. We'll get it worked out. We'll take ninth and keep digging.”

David Reutimann Race Summary:

David Reutimann’s 2010 hard luck story played out at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday when another great performance ended with a disappointing finish. The No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine raced in the top five throughout most of the 334-lap race. But with 30 laps remaining, Reutimann began reporting something amiss under the hood as he gave up fifth-place to Tony Stewart. Just a few laps later the day came to a close amid flames and smoke under the hood as Reutimann coasted down the backstretch. NASCAR credited Reutimann with a 37th place finish. Reutimann raced in the top six at the moment he encountered race ending problems in three races this season. He dropped five spots to 30th in points. The Sprint Cup Series heads to Talladega this weekend.”

  
David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota

  •  Reutimann started 16th and finished 37th.
  • Moved into the top 10 on the lap 83 restart.
  •  Jumped to fourth at the lap 110 caution then ran comfortably in third.
  •  Stayed in the top five throughout most of the race.
  •  Dropped to ninth with 100 laps to go during a pit stop sequence, but climbed back into the top five with 50 laps remaining.
  •  Reutimann began reporting engine problems with about 40 laps remaining giving up fifth-place to Tony Stewart.
  •  With 24 laps remaining, the car burst into flames on the backstretch. Reutimann made it back to pit lane but his race was over.

REUTIMANN QUOTE: “That’s about as frustrating as it gets. We had  a great car all day and ran with the leaders and we have a problem with 20 laps to go and can’t finish the race. That unfortunately has been the story of our season so far. I don’t know what we need to do to turn it around, but this is getting old. We’ve had some good finishes go up in smoke … literally.”

  
RACE NOTES:

  •  Danny Hamlin beat Jimmie Johnson by .153 seconds to win Monday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.
  • Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Kasey Kahne rounded out the top five.
  • A massive nine-car wreck among the leaders with 17 laps remaining brought out a red flag for 19 minutes and 13 seconds.
  • Thirteen cars finished on the lead lap.
  • Race took 3:30 hours and saw 31 lead changes among 12 leaders.
  • NASCAR estimated 90,000 fans attended Monday’s race.
  • In the DirecTV Head2Head competition Truex defeated Jeff Burton, but Clint Bowyer edged Reutimann. Truex will face AJ Allmendinger at Talladega.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Michael Waltrip Racing - Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway - Post Qualifying Report


Martin Truex Jr. posted the fastest lap of the two Michael Waltrip Racing Toyotas during today’s Coors Light qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. He’ll line up 14th. Meanwhile, David Reutimann will start 16th. Sunday’s running of the Samsung Mobile 500 gets underway on FOX, PRN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio 128 starting at 3 p.m. ET.
Friday Recap

• Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Qualified 14th
• David Reutimann, Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Qualified 16th
• Tony Stewart won the Coors Light Pole Award with a time of 28.224.
• Hornish Jr. joins Stewart on the front row followed by Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne in the top five
• JTG-Daugherty Racing driver Marcos Ambrose qualified the No. 47 Toyota 32nd
• All Michael Waltrip Racing affiliated Camry’s qualified for Sunday’s race—six cars in total.
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Qualified: 14th

How was your qualifying lap? “It was decent. We had a good pickup from practice. You know how it is when you qualify, you’re happy that you picked up and things went well, but you’re always thinking about what you left and what went wrong. I was really good in (turns) one and two and I felt really good going into the back. Off into three I got wide open and when I hit the bump down there in (turns) three and four, it just knocked me up the hill and got me tight and I had to lift. I lost a good bit of time there. If it wasn’t for that we would have had a shot at it. It was a good job by the guys, a good pickup.”

DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Qualified: 16th

How does going out early in qualifying effect your starting position? “Sometimes the draw doesn’t go your way and sometimes it does and today it just didn’t go our way. Hopefully it’ll hang in there. The odds are the track will get a lot quicker as the day goes on for sure.”

What do you think of the spoiler here at Texas? “Overall it doesn’t feel like it drives a whole lot different. My car seems a little tighter on entry and stuff than what we’ve had here in the past. Of course we’ve changed a lot of things to help that as well. All in all, I think it has been good so far.”

Meet MWR Employees Rocky & Glenn

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Martin Truex Jr. Texas Preview


CORNELIUS, N.C. —  Martin Truex Jr. is looking to get his numbers back up. A top-20 finish at Saturday night’s Phoenix International Raceway was not what he had in mind especially at one of his favorite tracks. Despite his disappointment, this weekend’s stop at the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway has the driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota ready to rebound.

QUOTES

Truex Jr. on Texas: My driver ranking heading into last season was third. But somehow I struggled at both Texas events and I don’t know why. I really like racing there. I expect to turn things around. What I like about Texas is it takes a complete package. You have to have a great motor, a great aero package and a great chassis. Downforce is also important. It is one of the fastest places we go to and you have to like to go fast. That’s what I like about Texas. You spend a lot of time in the throttle and during the race, the key is to get your car turning well.

Truex on the Texas spoiler: I think Texas will be the ultimate test for the new spoiler since it is one of the fastest tracks we go to. It will also come into play with all of the side-by-side racing we do. We’ll definitely see how this new change effects all of us and obviously, the teams that can figure it out should do well and I hope that is us.

Crew Chief Pat Tryson on success at Texas: Last year Michael Waltrip Racing had good cars at Texas and I look for more of the same. We had a really good test at Charlotte (March 23 & 24) which I think will really help us with the new spoiler. It’s just a matter of me understanding what will make Martin happy with the combination of what I used to run and what we learned at the Charlotte test. I think we have the potential to have a really good weekend.

Tryson on the keys to Texas: You have to be able to really turn well in the center. It makes your exit a lot easier so you don’t get too loose off.

ADDITIONAL NOTES OF INTEREST

• The driver of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota will be competing in his 161st  NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway.

• This will be Truex’s 10th  race at the 1.5-mile track. His best start is first and best finish is third. Both took place on Nov. 4, 2007.

• During his career, Truex has earned one top–five, four top-10 and eight top-25 finishes at TMS. His average start is 19th and his average finish is 15th.

• At TMS, he currently ranks 12th amongst drivers in performance over the last nine races.

• He has completed 3004 of 3016 laps (99.6%) and has led 20 laps in competition.

• The DIRECTV Head 2 Head Knockout promotion kicks off this week. In round one, Truex will take on Jeff Burton. The head-to-head “races within the races” will play out over the course of the next four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events, and in classic “bracket-tournament” fashion, fans can enter their own bracket predictions at www.DIRECTV.com/ NASCAR for the chance to win $1 million or a car.

• The first annual Catwalk for a Cause: A Celebration of Fashion Benefiting the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation takes place May 18 at River Run Country Club in Davidson, N.C. For more event information, visit martintruexjrfoundation.org or lavendarboutique.com.