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 Sprint Cup Statistics – Martinsville Speedway
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
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