DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – What are your expectations for this weekend?
“Our car was really good at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. I was really proud of my NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. In my opinion, Indy is a whole lot like New Hampshire. Hopefully, we can figure out how to get the NAPA Toyota up front at Indy.”
What makes Indy a unique track?
“It is basically symmetrical. It might be a foot or two different, but both ends are alike. However, because of the grandstands, it looks like you are going to go into a tunnel with all the people. It makes Turn 1 look twice as tight as Turn 3, when in reality, they are exactly the same. For some reason, it is tough to get that in your brain that there are no differences. You have to fight yourself to try and drive both ends the same way. The corners are also sharp which just makes momentum be the name of the game. If you can somehow get your car set entering the corner a little bit before the guy ahead of you, and get that gas down and hold that inside, the momentum you make off the turn is how you pass people.”
What do you need to run well at Indianapolis?
“It takes everything to run well at Indy. The car needs to handle well. It needs a lot of downforce to get through the corners and it has to have a lot of power. Indy is a track where the teams with big power usually run well. The car has got to handle well because it has four turns that require you to get through them well so that you can carry your momentum heading into the long straightaways. It is a lot easier to run well there when you have a car that has a lot of horsepower. It is definitely a horsepower track.”
Heading into Indy are you happy with MWR’s on-track performance so far?
“When I was going to the airport after the Chicago race, I read where Hendrick Motorsports got its 27th one-two finish. MWR hasn’t had any yet. I realize that Mr. Hendrick has been doing this for 25 years and we have been doing it for just over two years. We have a lot of good people at MWR that are trying to figure out what we need to make these cars even better. David Reutimann remains in contention for that top-12 bid to get into The Chase. Our organization is focused on that. We’ll just keep plugging away to get better and to figure out why those other cars can go faster than ours. I believe that David, Marcos Ambrose and I can drive better than where we are finishing. We are competitive, but we can always do better. We just need to keep tweaking on the cars and it will come to us.”
Michael Waltrip Fast Facts
NAPA AUTO PARTS Driver Michael Waltrip Sprint Cup Statistics – Indianapolis Motor Speedway
2009 NAPA AUTO PARTS PIT CREW
|Shannon Myers||Front Tire Changer|
|Chris Hall||Front Tire Carrier|
|Tony Cardamone||Jack Man|
|Andy Thurman||Rear Tire Changer|
|Dwayne Moore||Rear Tire Carrier|
|Shawn Soules||Catch Can|
|Ron Otto||Eighth Man|
|Mike Ellershaw||Hose and Sign|
|Craig Harper||Gas Runner|
|Mark Maloney||Second Gas Can|
Race: 20 of 36
Indianapolis Motor Speedway
Length: 2.5-mile oval
Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
Date: Sunday, July 26
TV Coverage: 1 p.m. ET
2008 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
2008 Pole: Jimmie Johnson
Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m.
Fri., July 24 at 2 p.m.
Fri., July 24 at 3:30 p.m.
Sat., July 25 at 2 p.m.
Sat., July 25
This Week in NASCAR
Monday, July 27 at 8 p.m. SPEED
All Times Eastern