BRICKYARD 400 INDIANAPOLIS MOTOR SPEEDWAY


NAPA RACING PRESS BOX FEATURING MICHAEL WALTRIP

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 will be competing in his 744th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
    when the 20th event of the 2009 Sprint Cup season, the Brickyard 400, gets underway at Indianapolis Motor
    Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
  • He will start in his 14th race at the Brickyard. His best start is third (Aug. 7, 2005) and best finish is eighth
    (Aug. 6, 1994).
  • Waltrip has completed 1937 of 2081 laps (93.1%) at the track and has led a total of one lap in competition. His average start is 17th and average finish is 23rd.
  • The NAPA AUTO PARTS team is guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday’s Brickyard 400. The team is 30th in the owner points standings.

 

NAPA AUTO PARTS Driver Michael Waltrip Sprint Cup Statistics – Indianapolis Motor Speedway

DATE START FINISH DATE START FINISH
8/6/1994 15 8 8/5/2001 14 25
8/5/1995 7 14 8/4/2002 14 16
8/3/1996 30 28 8/3/2003 5 16
8/2/1997 18 39 8/8/2004 28 20
8/1/1998 29 21 8/7/2005 3 16
8/7/1999 5 27 7/27/2009 34 43
8/5/2000 14 20


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
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

EVENT FACTS
Race: 20 of 36
Brickyard 400
Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Length: 2.5-mile oval
Distance: 160 laps/400 miles
Date: Sunday, July 26

TV Coverage: 1 p.m. ET
TV:ESPN
Radio: IMS

2008 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
2008 Pole: Jimmie Johnson

NOTABLES
Cup Qualifying
Saturday, July 25 at 10 a.m.
ESPN 2

Cup Practices
Fri., July 24 at 2 p.m.
ESPN 2
Fri., July 24 at 3:30 p.m.
SPEED
Sat., July 25 at 2 p.m.
SPEED
Sat., July 25
ESPN 2

This Week in NASCAR
Monday, July 27 at 8 p.m. SPEED

All Times Eastern