Bristol Motor Speedway

Hi Everyone –

Over 160,000 fans showed up at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was an economy booster. It doesn’t matter what is going on in the world, fans still need their Bristol. They all showed up and got to see a good race. You have got to appreciate what this sport is all about and what it has to offer. NASCAR means a lot to so many fans and it makes me proud. Bristol is a place that you just can’t explain to people. They have to go and experience it for themselves. If you haven’t been to a race at Bristol, I would highly recommend it!

We had a special guest join the NAPA team this weekend … Ron Capps was on hand Friday and Saturday. It was great to see him as he hung out in the pits with us the whole time. We even did an interview together after my qualifying run on SPEED Channel. Saturday, he watched my Nationwide team race from atop our pit box. Our crew chief, Jerry Baxter, was excited to have Ron up there with him. Jerry is a huge NHRA fan and a fellow Californian. Then after the race, the team got to see Capps climb into a Late Model for the first time and race it. He had to turn left for a change!

Bristol was a fun race to watch. From the very first lap, everyone was racing hard and not willing to give an inch. I really liked watching Travis Kvapil race Kyle Busch. It was incredible. Those guys really went at it and that’s the new Bristol. In the past, if you caught a guy and you were faster, you would hit him to move him out of the way. Now, a guy has an option. You can roll up high and keep that momentum going. There is so much side-by-side racing. It’s amazing how good the racing has become. I also noticed that the track has gotten pretty rough. It was bumpy in comparison to last fall. I thought it was a little bit more challenging. On top of that, we have learned more about these new cars so we are all going faster. When you go faster, it is bumpier. 

I thought it was interesting to see who ran well and who did not. The Roush teams did not have a good day. Greg Biffle lost a motor. David Ragan was three laps down. Carl Edwards finished 15th. Matt Kenseth, who has won there several times didn’t have a good finish either. I think it shows you how set up sensitive the organizations are. Kyle Busch is a great race car driver. He won the race. Denny Hamlin finished second right on Busch’s bumper. Gibbs had their package together for Bristol. Hendrick Motorsports ran well as Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and Mark Martin were all up front racing for the win. So if an organization gets on it, they can spread the information to the other cars. When they miss it, it is spread amongst the other cars as well.

As for Michael Waltrip Racing and our alliance with JTG-Daugherty Racing, I just love what Marcos did at Bristol. He was in the top five all day. We had post-practice meetings all weekend long. Both Marcos and David had cars they loved. We struggled with our NAPA car. It never did handle right. I wiped one of them out during Friday’s practice. That mistake was pretty much on me. I think the back-up car might have been a little worse in comparison to our primary car. What is a little bit confusing for me as a driver and owner is that I am out there battling my car and mad as heck because it won’t do what I want it to do. Then I look up and see that I have two cars up in the top five and in contention for the win. It makes it interesting. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Our organization has really grown. I like the direction we continue to move in. We are racing forward and I am really proud of everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing.

 

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