Talk about last weekend’s race at Dover.
“It was a tough day for us. That’s the second engine we’ve lost in three races. I don’t find that to be very acceptable. Our car wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad in the middle of the race. At the start, it was really loose. We got it tuned up and I was pleased with how it was running. David (Reutimann) started out great and his car went away. We all know that these cars are really difficult to keep on top of. When you have one that starts out in the race good, it is easier because you just tweak on it. If you have one that’s off in the beginning like mine, or goes away like David’s did, it makes for a hard day. David finished 18th and he is still in great shape to make The Chase. That’s really our focus – to make sure David has all the resources – parts, pieces and people he needs to race his way into The Chase because that boy can drive. It is fun to watch that kid drive his car. We want to get him in The Chase.”

Pocono is one of your favorite tracks. Why?
“If you look in the Pocono stat book, it says the front straightaway is 3,740 feet. I am pretty sure a mile is 5,280 feet. If you measure the time when you mash your gas and until you let off the gas, you are on it for over a mile. What an awesome feeling coming off that third turn with your foot on the floor and looking at that long straightaway. Growing up racing on the quarter-mile tracks back in Kentucky, you have never seen anything like Pocono. Pocono is unique. The Tunnel Turn is awesome. The third turn leading on to the long front straightaway is certainly something you don’t see every day. I just love Pocono.

“A couple of years ago, they put a patch in the track so we went up there a few years ago and tested. It took just 10 minutes to figure out that the patch was stickier than the regular track. We just ran around the outside on that patch through turns three and four and it turned out to be the fastest way around. If you have a good car during the race, it is because you can go down low and find enough grip to pass someone up there on the patch. The key to Pocono is being able to go wherever you need to go. You have to adjust your line and be able to drive your car wherever the competition isn’t because it makes it really hard to pass a guy if you are following them.”

Michael Waltrip Fast Facts

  • NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Michael Waltrip will be competing in his 739th NASCAR Sprint Cup race when the
    14th event of the 2009 Sprint Cup season, the Pocono 500, gets underway at Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pa.
  • Waltrip will start in his 46th Cup race at the 2.5-mile track. His best start is first in the NAPA machine (June 12, 2005) and best finish is second (June 19, 1988). In total, he has three top-five and six top-10 finishes at
  • Waltrip has completed 7,747 of 8,908 laps (87%) at the track and has led a total of 64 laps in competition. His average start is 21st and average finish is 22nd.
  • Entering this week’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event, Waltrip is 32nd in driver and owner standings. He is guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday’s race.

NAPA AUTO PARTS Driver Michael Waltrip Sprint Cup Statistics - Pocono Raceway

6/8/1986 28 39 7/20/1997 25 22
7/20/1986 27 11 6/21/1998 29 14
6/14/1987 22 16 7/26/1998 10 10
7/19/1987 19 37 6/20/1999 13 37
6/19/1988 30 2 7/25/1999 16 12
7/24/1988 24 17 6/19/2000 12 43
6/18/1989 12 14 7/23/2000 21 17
7/23/1989 28 28 6/17/2001 17 30
6/17/1990 19 19 7/29/2001 23 19
7/22/1990 28 23 6/9/2002 17 8
6/16/1991 5 18 7/28/2002 3 18
7/21/1991 20 38 6/8/2003 13 18
6/14/1992 15 15 7/27/2003 17 4
7/19/1992 28 26 6/13/2004 22 33
6/13/1993 27 21 8/1/2004 11 36
7/18/1993 16 14 6/12/2005 1 5
6/12/1994 10 11 7/24/2005 24 26
7/17/1994 41 14 6/11/2006 36 28
6/11/1995 23 9 7/23/2006 39 40
7/16/1995 21 21 8/5/2007 39 38
6/16/1996 14 14 6/8/2008 19 37
7/21/1996 24 13 8/3/2008 42 43
  6/8/1997                         32 13


Shannon Myers Front Tire Changer
Chris Hall Front Tire Carrier
Tony Cardamone Jack Man
Andy Thurman Rear Tire Changer
Dwayne Moore Rear Tire Carrier
Art Harris Gasman
Shawn Soules Catch Can
Ron Otto Eighth Man
Mike Ellershaw Hose and Sign
Craig Harper Gas Runner
Mark Maloney Second Gas Can

Race: 14 of 36
Pocono 500
Pocono Raceway

Length: 2.5-Mile Tri-Oval

Distance: 200 laps/500 miles

Date: Sunday, June 7

Time: 12:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN; Sirius XM Satellite Radio, Ch. 128

2008 Winner: Kasey Kahne
2008 Pole: Kyle Busch

Cup Qualifying
Friday, June 5 at 3:30 p.m.

Cup Practices
Fri., June 5 at 12 p.m.
Sat., June 6 at 10 a.m. &
11 a.m.

This Week in NASCAR
Monday, June 8 at 8 p.m.
Only on SPEED

All Times Eastern