You have had success at Pocono Raceway. It has a challenging layout. What does it take to run well there?

“It is a lot of fun to drive. You have the big, long front straightaway. It has a nice high-banked first turn. Then there is the tunnel turn and when you go through there, you are going so fast that it seems extremely flat. That’s what I like. You go from a high-banked turn into a flat one. Then the third turn is even flatter yet. They put a patch of new pavement around the top of the third turn that drivers will go up there to try and get more grip.

“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. Pocono Raceway is just really fun to drive.”

For teams that ran well at Indianapolis, is it safe to say that they have a decent shot at running well at Pocono?

“I don’t think you can necessarily count on that. In the past, you could maybe think that, but now I don’t believe it is the case because of the splitter and how difficult it is run the splitter as low to the ground as possible. At Indy, the track is so smooth. It is easier to get the splitter close to the ground. But at Pocono, it has a lot of bumps and you are still trying to do the same thing. It is pretty hard to get it to match up at Pocono.”

When you first saw the track, what was your impression especially of Turn 1 and the long, front straightaway?

“When I was about 21 years old, I remember watching the drivers go into Turn 1 and they went in there for what seemed like forever. The drivers were wide open all the way into the middle of the corner. It was a learning experience watching. I went on to try it. When I finally caught my breath about an inch away from the wall, I thought to myself how different sound travels. The sound was a little bit delayed. I have had a bunch of fun times at Pocono. I’ve had some great races up there. I finished second in 1998.”

Michael Waltrip Fast Facts

  • NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Michael Waltrip will be competing in his 745th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race
    when the 21st event of the 2009 Sprint Cup season, the Pennsylvania 500, gets underway at Pocono
    Raceway in Pocono, Pa.
  • Waltrip will start in his 47th 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 7,947 of 9,108 laps (87.3%) at the track and has led a total of 64 laps in competition.
    His average start and finish is 22nd.
  • Earlier this season at Pocono, Michael Waltrip Racing and its alliance with JTG-Daugherty Racing had a very respectable day at the Pocono 500. David Reutimann and Marcos Ambrose finished third and sixth place.
    NAPA AUTO PARTS driver Michael Waltrip rallied back from problems on pit road to persevere to a 17th-place finish.
  • The NAPA AUTO PARTS team is guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500. The team is 31st in the owner points standings.


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 7/7/2009 32 17

Media Alert:
Chris Hall, front tire carrier for the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, will be sporting a helmet camera during Sunday’s broadcast coverage of the Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.

All Times Eastern


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: 21 of 36
Pennsylvania 500
Pocono Raceway

Length: 2.5-Mile Tri-Oval

Distance: 200 laps/500 miles

Date: Sunday, August 2

Time: 1 p.m. ET

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

2008 Winner: Carl Edwards
2008 Pole: Jimmie Johnson

Cup Qualifying
Friday, July 31 at 3:30 p.m.

Cup Practices
Fri., July 31 at 12 p.m.
Sat., August 1 at 10 a.m. &
11:30 a.m.

This Week in NASCAR
Monday, August 3 at 8 p.m.
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