Michigan

Hi Everyone –

I had a really good week. It started off by going to Kentucky for a couple of days for my sponsor Aaron’s. I spent time with their folks. It was really enjoyable. Then it was off to Michigan for the race. On Saturday I had the good fortune of doing the Truck race on SPEED. That’s a lot of fun talking Trucks with Phil Parsons and Rick Allen. Those guys make the Truck coverage so much fun for me to be a part of.

Then on Sunday morning, I spent time with my NAPA friends up in their suite. What a view and way to watch the race. We took a bunch of pictures and they really seemed to have fun.

Then it was off to the race for me and as you already know, it was a tough day for us. We survived. I thought we had a decent car after Saturday’s final practice. Then in the race, none of our three cars really ran all that great. I guess from time to time we are going to have days like that because we are a young, relatively new organization. We are still learning and getting better. Our three cars were really loose from lap two on. We were all just sideways. Our finish was certainly not what we were hoping for. We had a faster car than that. It just wouldn’t get any traction in the turns so it made for a challenging day. My arms were really tired. I am just happy to have survived to the finish. It allowed us to move up in the standings. It is my goal to get the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota in the top 20 in championship points by the end of the season.

We’re now getting ready to head off to the NAPA Valley – Sonoma and the Infineon Raceway. Patrick Carpentier is going to drive my NAPA Toyota. He is a great road racer and has won races all over the world. I am really fortunate to have had some success on road courses. I have had some top-five and top-10 finishes. I just was never good enough to be in the fight for a win. As an owner, I want to win. Winning at Charlotte with David as my driver and me winning as an owner was as gratifying as anything I have ever done. It would mean a whole lot to me to see my NAPA car in victory lane. We’re going to take our best chance to win and that’s with Patrick Carpentier.

I am looking forward to watching the race this weekend especially when it comes to the double-file restarts. They are really cool. I think it is visually appealing for the fans. The cars are all stacked up and lined up on top of each other. It is just fun to watch. We raced that way on the big old Pocono track and at Michigan. A lot of cars got to race against each other. I think it is fun and it introduces a whole new strategy. It will only get better. Plus, we’ve never had a double-file restart at the road races. We’ve always done single-file restarts. I am really going to get to be a fan at Sonoma and get me a good spot so I can watch those crazy restarts and just enjoy the race.

I’ll be back in the NAPA Toyota when we go to Loudon – which is a place I finished second last year. It’s a track I really love to race on. I am looking forward to getting up there and getting back on track before we head to Daytona and try and win us a race.

Bye for Now,

Michael Waltrip

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