Michael Waltrip Racing had two cars finish in the top 12 at Bristol. What does that say about your Cup program?
“I just love what Marcos Ambrose did. He was in the top five all day. We had post-practice meetings all weekend long. Both Marcos and David (Reutimann) had cars they loved. We struggled with our NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. It never did handle right. I wiped one of them out during Friday’s practice. That mistake was pretty much on me. I think our back-up car may not have been as good as our primary car. What is a little bit confusing for me as a driver and owner is I am out there battling my car and I am mad as heck because it won’t do what I want it to do. Then when you compare it to our team’s other two cars, they are racing up in the top five. It makes it interesting, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Our organization has really grown. I really like the direction we continue to move in. We are racing forward and I am really proud of everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing.”

What does it take to be successful at Martinsville?
“It takes a special talent and technique to tickle that gas pedal. You have to be able to fly down into that corner, and let off the gas, and get on the brakes hard, and just tease the gas pedal to get going off the corner. Driving at Martinsville is controlled chaos. What we ask these cars to do and how we ask them to do it is not natural.”

How hard is Martinsville on brakes?
“There are two or three tracks that we go to that are hard on brakes. Martinsville is certainly one of those tracks. The more the teams cool the brakes, the harder the driver uses them. If your brake pedal feels good then you are going to challenge it a little bit more. In order to be fast at Martinsville, I think it is important to use your brakes hard on the initial hit and then get away from the brake pedal and let the car roll through the center. The better the driver can do that, I think the better his lap times are going to be and the better it is on the brakes.”

Martinsville has held its charm over the years. What makes it special to you?
“One of the things that I love about the place is you can go there and see firsthand one of the key places where NASCAR got started. The history is literally living with us. I especially like to go there and find a guy like Richard Petty or Bobby Allison and ask him about what used to go on around the track at Martinsville. I like to listen to his reaction on how it was and how it has changed and grown through the years.”

Michael Waltrip Fast Facts

  • NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Michael Waltrip will start in his 731th NASCAR Sprint Cup race when he competes in the Goody’s Pain Relief 500 at the Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Va.
  • He will start in his 46th race at the .526-mile track. His best Martinsville start is seventh, three times (Sept. 25, 1988, Sept. 23, 1990 and April 24, 1994), and best finish is third (April 9, 2000).
  • During his career at Martinsville, Waltrip has earned one top-five and five top-10 finishes. His average start is 25th and average finish is 21st.
  • Waltrip has completed 20,823 of 22,366 laps (93.1%) at the track and has led a total of 17 laps in competition.
  • Entering this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, Waltrip is 21st in the driver and owner points standings. The standings are extremely close. The NAPA team is just 40 points out of the top 15 and 78 points out of The Chase. The NAPA is guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday’s race.


NAPA AUTO PARTS Driver Michael Waltrip Sprint Cup Statistics – Martinsville Speedway

4/27/1986 25 11 9/29/1997 27 32
9/21/1986 11 14 4/20/1998 27 21
4/26/1987 18 10 9/27/1998 27 20
9/27/1987 20 18 4/18/1999 29 39
4/24/1988 23 22 10/3/1999 18 33
9/25/1988 7 25 4/9/2000 34 3
4/23/1989 12 25 10/1/2000 42 24
9/24/1989 15 12 4/8/2001 35 24
4/29/1990 23 8 10/14/2001 34 19
9/23/1990 7 30 4/14/2002 33 13
4/28/1991 29 7 10/20/2002 37 18
9/22/1991 17 25 4/13/2003 30 23
4/26/1992 8 27 10/19/2003 15 26
9/28/1992 18 29 4/18/2004 39 15
4/25/1993 10 16 10/24/2004 30 19
9/26/1993 24 8 4/10/2005 31 30
4/24/1994 7 17 10/23/2005 39 27
9/25/1994 31 19 4/2/2006 33 29
4/23/1995 35 15 10/22/2006 33 34
9/24/1995 9 25 10/21/2007 29 18
4/21/1996 27 17 3/30/2008 16 35
9/22/1996 26 14 10/19/2008 31 18
4/20/1997 34 26

Michael Waltrip Racing drivers finished the 52nd annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway as follows:

MWR Race Results:

David Reutimann, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota - Finished fifth.

Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota - Finished and sixth.

Michael Waltrip, No. 51 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota - Finished 18th.

Race: 6 of 36
Goody’s Fast Pain
Relief 500
Martinsville Speedway

Length: .526-mile oval
Distance: 500 laps/263 miles

Date: Sunday, March 29
Time: 1:30 p.m. ET
FOX, MRN, Sirius XM Radio

2008 Winner: Denny Hamlin
2008 Pole: Matt Kenseth

Sprint Cup Qualifying:
3:30 p.m. ET
Friday, March 27

Sprint Cup Practices:
12 p.m. ET
Friday, March 27

10:30 a.m. & 11:50 a.m. ET
Saturday March 28

This Week in NASCAR
8 p.m. ET, March 30