Chicagoland Speedway

Hi Everyone –

Well, it’s Saturday night about midnight. We just finished up the running of the 400 at Chicagoland Speedway. Mark Martin won and some lucky fan won $1 million. How crazy is that?

We finished 20th and David Reutimann and Marcos Ambrose were 12th and 11th. It was a great week for Michael Waltrip Racing and NAPA. It was great to finally announce what we are doing for the next few years. Martin Truex, Jr. is going to wheel the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota. I am proud of NAPA’s commitment to the team and Martin’s decision to come drive for us. He is a former NASCAR Nationwide Series champion – two times. When he showed up to race NASCAR, he was a guy who was fast. He understood what you needed to do to win. He is going to be driving our car in 2010. I couldn’t be more proud.

The whole organization at Chicago – starting with Trevor Bayne who finished 12th on Friday night in the Nationwide race — then all three cars finished in the top 20 tonight — that’s a good weekend for us. We still are a couple of rungs down the ladder of where we need to be. Hendrick Motorsports has it going on. They are all over it. David remains in contention for that top 12 in points to be a part of The Chase. We are certainly focused on that and we will just keep plugging to get better. We will keep trying to figure out why those other cars can go faster than ours. David, Marcos and I can definitely drive better than where we are finishing. We are competitive. Don’t get me wrong, we can always do better. We just need to get the cars tweaked. Hendrick Motorsports had Martin first and Gordon second – I think I read that it was their 27th one-two finish. We haven’t had any of those yet. Granted, Mr. Hendrick has been doing it for 25 years and we have only been doing it for two and a half years, but our sponsors don’t care about that. They need to win and we know and respect that. We have really good people at MWR who are trying to figure it out. Steve Hallam, Rodney Childers, Frankie Kerr and Bootie Barker have been great additions to our organization. They are pulling hard and working together to figure out what we need to do. We will get there. I am confident about that.

Overall, I had a good week like I said. We were on Trackside, NASCAR RaceDay and we were live on SPEED with our press conference. I am really proud about everything we were able to accomplish. I am proud of Traci (Hultzapple) and all of our people for the press conference. I don’t think I have ever seen a sponsor-driver announcement with anymore flair or pizzazz than that one. When Dale Jr. announced he was going to Hendrick Motorsports it wasn’t as cool as our press conference. So I thank everyone involved for that. I thank NAPA for their commitment and I thank SPEED for showing it live and all the other opportunities they gave us for coverage this week.

Next week I am off for a few days. I’ll spend the weekend in Kentucky broadcasting the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Then I am off to Los Angeles for some media commitments. I will be back on the east coast on Tuesday for a NAPA appearance at Raceworld. I’ll follow it up with more appearances on Wednesday for NAPA and Toyota in St. Paul, Minnesota and Indianapolis. Busy week coming up so stay tuned.

Before I go, I want to say that I appreciate all your support – mainly for the opportunity. It means a lot to help work with NAPA and sell more parts over the next few years. It means a lot to me. Thank you.


Michael Waltrip

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