What is the update on Tony Cardamone who was injured last Saturday night at Charlotte?
“After a visit to his doctor yesterday, he was diagnosed with a hair-line fracture of his ankle and has torn ligaments. He won’t be able to jack the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota for the remainder of the season. I called Tony Saturday night after the race and asked him how he was. All he wanted to talk about was the messed up pit stop. The NAPA team was running good up to that point. We were fast and on the lead lap. We had a chance to get a good finish. He hated that he fell. I had to remind him that his ankle was broken and to get over it. I just love his type of attitude and it’s the attitude all my NAPA guys have. They are awesome.”
What are your thoughts on The Chase going into this weekend’s race?
“At Charlotte, Jimmy Johnson won the first, second and third practices. He won qualifying and then the race. He currently has the biggest lead that anyone has ever had at this point in the Chase which is 90 points. But I do not think he is guaranteed the championship.
“The last time we were at Martinsville, we saw one of the best drivers in the world, Kyle Busch, wipe out Scott Speed. The same thing can happen this weekend. The next two of the five races – Martinsville and Talladega – can change the face of this championship. Nothing can be taken for granted.”
How difficult is it to pit in a curved pit stall at Martinsville?
“It’s a challenge, but it is just another dynamic we have to deal with. Drivers are used to dodging cars and getting into the box in a straight line. At Martinsville, you have to be turning, dodging cars and getting into your box. It is more difficult. I think if the folks at Martinsville saw what Bristol did first – making two pit roads become one – I think Martinsville would have done the same thing.”
What additional challenges do you face at Martinsville?
“At Martinsville, I always like to say it is controlled chaos. What we ask our cars to do and how we ask them to do it is not natural. We are always on the edge for 500 laps and working our brakes a lot harder which isn’t easy so I am glad I’ve got NAPA’s Adaptive One Brake Pads paint scheme on my Toyota for this weekend. It’s appropriate for this place. Another new element to consider is this will be the first race at Martinsville where we will have double-file restarts. It’s going to be a shootout on Sunday.”
Michael Waltrip Fast Facts
NAPA AUTO PARTS Driver Michael Waltrip Sprint Cup Statistics - Auto Club Speedway
2009 NAPA AUTO PARTS PIT CREW
|Ryan Langley||Front Tire Changer|
|Eric Wakeland||Front Tire Carrier|
|Getty Cavitt||Jack Man|
|Lee Cunningham||Rear Tire Changer|
|Britt Caulder||Rear Tire Carrier|
|Shawn Soules||Catch Can|
|Ron Otto||Eighth Man||Craig Harper||Gas Runner|
|Mark Maloney||Second Gas Can|
Race: 32 of 36
Tums Fast Relief 500
Length: .526-mile oval
Distance: 500 laps/263 mi.
Date: Sunday, Oct. 25
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
ABC, MRN, Sirius XM Radio
08 Winner: Jimmie Johnson
08 Pole: Jimmie Johnson
Sprint Cup Qualifying:
Friday, October 23
Sprint Cup Practices:
Friday, October 23
Saturday, October 24
10:00 a.m. &
6:30 p.m. (Tape Delay)
This Week in NASCAR
8 p.m., Monday, October 26
All Times Eastern