Martinsville

October 28th, 2009

Hi Everyone –

It was another tough weekend for the NAPA AUTO PARTS team. We had NAPA Adaptive One Brakes on the car and they sure came in handy on Sunday. We saw quite a few teams lose tires and we were the first team to experience the problem. I think what we saw was typical contact at Martinsville that caused the tire issues. In my situation, I just got hit in the left rear. It flattened my tire. I was trying to get back to the pits to keep from spinning out. I just got in a little hurry and around went my NAPA Adaptive One Brakes Toyota. I appreciated having the NAPA brand on my car. You could see on the replay that my car came to a smooth stop. It also was a blessing in disguise. It I hadn’t spun out to cause the caution, we may have lost two laps versus just one. Regardless, we got behind and we could never really rally back because our car just did not handle well. It was so disappointing.

I want to give a shout out to Jimmy Spencer. If you watched Monday night’s This Week in NASCAR show, Jimmie was kind enough to stop by one of our stores. He gave NAPA a nice plug after having to pick up a brand new set of rotors and a set of Adaptive One Brakes. He said our parts are worth the money! I appreciate those kind words!

It was Denny Hamlin’s day on Sunday. The Virginia native was able to win another race in his backyard. It was his seventh-straight finish of sixth or better at Martinsville. Jimmie Johnson scored his 15th straight top-10 finish. They ended Sunday’s race first and second. That’s pretty impressive.

The one thing I noticed about Denny’s car was it had a tremendous amount of front grip. Denny’s car looked even better than Jimmie Johnson’s car. I was amazed at the way that thing would come up off the turn. When I came off the corner and he passed us, I would follow him. I could see how his car was hooked up. I only wished I could have had that same feeling. I couldn’t help but be envious.

There was definitely some tension out on the track. Jeff Gordon and Juan Pablo Montoya were not happy with each other. The same could be said about Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards. What I saw was nothing that was out of bounds. It was just competitors who were on the edge and were racing with their emotions. Emotions are a part of the equation. I thought everyone did a decent job of holding it together.

At the end of the race, we saw John Andretti spin with just a lap to go at the start-finish line. NASCAR did not immediately throw the yellow flag. I think what NASCAR did was fine since they threw the caution flag with the checkered flag when Denny crossed the line. That meant everybody’s position after that point was frozen. There was no sense in coming back to the line two or three wide. The drivers and the spotters know that where we were scored at that very point is where we finished. John Andretti was not put in any additional danger in my opinion. John Andretti and his race team did a good job on Sunday. They are a part-time team. They had a solid lead-lap run for most of the day. They lost some spots in the end, but they did a good job. They are doing what they need to do to keep their car in the top 35. They are racing Scott Speed for that 35th spot and it’s been a good battle to watch.

This weekend is Talladega. I can’t wait to race there. It is probably my best chance to win a race with what’s left of my career. I am going to be on it!

Bye for Now,

Charlotte 2

October 23rd, 2009

Hi Everyone –

We went pink on Saturday and I want to thank everyone who supported NAPA’s “All Out for the Cure” campaign to benefit the Susan G. Foundation. I attended the Komen for the Cure press conference with Bobby Labonte, Bill Elliott, Kyle Busch and Elliott Sadler. Bobby said he hopes to see 43 pink cars compete at Charlotte someday and that would be great to bring awareness to the cause, but from a competition standpoint, I don’t think I’d want to be a spotter for that one! It was really neat to see everyone come out and show their support for finding a cure for breast cancer.

Saturday night I had a fast car. The NAPA team gave me something I could work with and I passed a lot of cars. I had a lot of fun and I like to go fast. I went faster than a lot of cars out there, but we had a problem on pit road. We had a plan to come in on a particular lap, but did not anticipate Brian Vickers having a long pit stop. What happened was when I was pitting he was leaving his stall behind us. It caused him and me to have a minor scrape. It then triggered a very chaotic moment. The crew guys didn’t know what was going to happen and in reaction, my jack man went down. Tony Cardamone is OK, but he is out for the season with a hair-line fracture to his ankle and some torn ligaments. The whole ordeal cost us a crew member and three laps. It was a bad situation that we could not afford. We had to live with our circumstances and make the best of it. We took chances with the wave around when those opportunities occurred. We did everything we could, but it never got us back on the lead lap. It’s a shame because we had a fast car.

The race weekend was pretty amazing. We saw something that I don’t believe I have ever witnessed during my NASCAR career. 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. I Twittered during the drivers meeting and took a picture of Jimmie. He was so intense. No one really pays a ton of attention in the meeting. But, he does. He was on it. I Twittered, “Fourth championship coming up!” With that said, I do not think he is guaranteed the championship – at least not yet. Martinsville and Talladega have the potential to throw a wrench into things if something bad happens to him and his team. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

I really enjoyed watching Jimmie and his teammate Jeff Gordon go door-to-door on those final restarts. I don’t think anyone realizes how difficult restarts are. After our pit stop problem, I spent most of the night lining up 32nd. I watched 30 guys try and work their way down the front straightaway at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. First of all, it is flat so getting 850 horsepower hooked up in 35 degree weather was a little difficult. Secondly, drivers have to make two turns and everyone has to do it together. To me, it is surprising that wrecks don’t occur more often. I think sometimes the folks watching at home take what we do for granted. That’s how good the drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series are. It’s a difficult job to just get a restart going on, but we all manage and it’s impressive.

This weekend, we are off to Martinsville. It’s a track that’s tough on brakes which is why I am proud to be back in the NAPA Adaptive One Brake Pads Toyota. We’ll need them for sure this weekend!

Bye for Now,

California 2

October 15th, 2009

Hi Everyone –

It’s a busy week here at Michael Waltrip Racing as we are home this week for the race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Today I have a bunch of media interviews this morning and then we host our second Fan Appreciation Day. The weather isn’t all that good but that hasn’t discouraged the fans. They are lining up out front so it’s going to be a great day no matter what.

Last weekend at the Auto Club Speedway was a mixed bag for us. The NAPA AUTO PARTS team did a good job on pit road. I’m really proud of them. Gene Nead (crew chief) used strategy and got us a couple laps back. Then at the end, there was a huge crash. I got through it which was refreshing considering we’ve gotten caught up in our share of wrecks that weren’t of our own doing. I made a good move and got through it unscathed. 

This season we’ve seen the NAPA team run OK at times. But every time there’s a bumpy track like the Auto Club Speedway, our NAPA car is evil. It just bounces too much. I report it and we work on it but we were never really are able to improve on it. I’m disappointed in the way we performed, but I’m equally as enthusiastic about our work ethic. Sunday we worked hard and we didn’t give up. We knew there were options and opportunities. We took advantage of those and I couldn’t be happier about that for my team. Our top-20 finish was well deserved.

Before I go, I want to say how proud I am to be associated with the partnership NAPA has forged with the Susan G. Komen Foundation. I’ve been wearing the pink NAPA All Out For The Cure hat and it is amazing how many fans have come up to me and thanked me for supporting the cause. This weekend we’ll be going all out as I will be driving the No. 55 NAPA/Susan G. Komen Foundation Toyota. My car has a lot of pink on it and I really want to have a good run so that we can get the guys up in the broadcast booth talking about NAPA and Susan G. Komen. It’s a big weekend for us and I hope to have a lot to talk about next week.

Talk to you next week!

Kansas

October 5th, 2009

Hi Everyone –

The NAPA team has had bad luck two weeks in a row. I didn’t even get to break a sweat yesterday. Paul Menard spun. I slowed down and missed him. Then I got crashed. Not a whole lot to report about except I really believe we had a competitive car yesterday. I was fast from the start and that was very encouraging. I have to say we haven’t been running as well as I hoped this year, but we’ll keep at it and hope to get a win for you guys before the season is over.

On Saturday night, I went over to Lincoln, Neb., for a dirt race at Eagle Raceway. I got to meet a lot of fans. I signed a bunch of autographs and then raced a dirt car. I won my second heat race driving a pink NAPA/Susan G. Komen dirt car. I am really proud of what NAPA is doing with the Susan G. Komen Foundation this year. They really are all out for the cure and so am I. I have even started wearing a pink NAPA/Susan G. Komen hat at the track to help spread the world and I cannot wait to drive my NAPA/Susan G. Komen Foundation Toyota in the race at Charlotte. My car will be blue and pink.  

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Tomorrow I will be on “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?” It will be on at 8 p.m. Eastern on MyNetworkTV . I was asked that very question at the NAPA Race Day Experience. My answer was no, but I watched a couple of the other drivers who were playing and I am definitely smarter than them. Since we’ve had two bad races in a row, I’ve decided to do something a little different with the rest of this blog. I’d like to share with you some of the answers to the most asked questions I get at NAPA hospitality as most of those folks and maybe you would want to know. Did I recruit Martin Truex Jr. to come to MWR or did he come to us? It was 50-50. We have done some good things with our team. People started noticing. Not only guys like Martin, but guys like Pat Tryson, who is currently Kurt Busch’s crew chief. They are racing in the Chase. Kurt is currently fifth in the championship point standings. Pat is coming over to MWR to be Martin’s crew chief. A lot of good things have happened at MWR and we have made so much progress in our cars and they are running really well. So, some high-profile people have taken notice and have shown interest in joining our efforts. Are any of your children interested in being a driver? Do you see women drivers in the future of NASCAR?

I have seen women drivers in the past. They have been around forever, but none of them have accomplished everything that they had hoped. It is kind of confusing as to why since there is no physical reason why a woman couldn’t do our job. Mentally, they are obviously capable of doing the job as we are. I think maybe more so. I hope in the future that changes and a woman is able to accomplish a lot in the world of NASCAR.

My daughters Caitlin and Macy are not into racing so far. I think that is perfectly fine. If they wanted to drive I would try and help them. However, I am not going to volunteer it because I think there are more fun things that a little girl like Macy would rather do. Macy loves riding horses and running track. She’s just enjoying being a kid. That is right up there with me.

I did take Macy to the Richard Petty Driving School to get her a ride around Darlington Raceway. She thought it was pretty neat.

When will there be two NAPA Toyotas on the track?

NAPA is signed up to sponsor me at Daytona so there will definitely be two cars during the 2010 Daytona 500. My car and Martin’s car will be racing for the win. I hope to run a total of seven or eight races next season if MWR can get sponsorship to do so.

I’m off to tape This Week in NASCAR.

Take care,

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Dover

September 29th, 2009

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Hi Everyone –

Before I start this week’s blog I would like to wish my beautiful daughter Macy a Happy Birthday! She turns 12 today.

I also want to congratulate Ryan Truex and his No. 00 NAPA AUTO PARTS team for winning the 2009 NASCAR Camping World East Series championship at Dover on Friday. It was nerve wracking watching him race. I am proud of the kid as he did exactly what he needed to do to win MWR its first NASCAR championship. Big brother Martin was there as well and we had a nice celebration on Friday night. Now it’s Martin’s turn to win NAPA and MWR another championship!

Speaking of Martin, Ty Norris and I flew to New Jersey last Tuesday to play in Martin’s golf tournament. We had a great time and I enjoyed being an auctioneer at his auction. Larry McReynolds, Hermie Sadler and Bob Dilner also joined me at the podium to help Martin out. It was all to benefit his Foundation. It’s a great cause that helps kids so I appreciate him allowing us to join him.

Right now, I am currently testing with the No. 55 team at the Little Rock in Rockingham, N.C. We went there earlier this season and decided to come back. We are running some laps to prepare for Martinsville. It’s a nice fall day so we are all enjoying ourselves.

As for the Dover race weekend with the NAPA AUTO PARTS team, I have mixed feelings. I didn’t like the way my car handled on Friday and when it came to qualifying, it didn’t resemble the car we had in practice. It was so loose. It never seemed like we could make significant progress in getting it to handle right. Saturday was more of the same. Sunday, we were fast, but it was still a handful to drive. We avoided the big wreck with Joey Logano, but it wasn’t long until our day was done. I blew a right front tire when I drove off into Turn 1. If I had done that 15 years ago, it could have been career ending. A man by the name of Larry Pollard crashed at Dover and it ended his career. Joe Nemechek broke his shoulder and was out for a couple of weeks. I want to thank Dr. Melvin, Dean Sickling, NASCAR, Tony George – all those men went in and worked together to develop and make the safer barrier a reality. I appreciate it!

We saw a pretty spectacular crash on Sunday. Joey Logano barrel rolled over seven times. It shook the kid up a bit. Tony Stewart was genuinely sorry for what happened, but as we looked at it, Bobby Labonte pulled down and that sort of started the chain-reaction crash. Bobby did have a lane to himself, but he chose to go to the bottom. His move did result in a crash, but it is hard to blame a guy for just taking a lane that was there. It was just circumstances that led to the terrible looking crash. Joey said he had been on roller coasters and none of them were as crazy as the ride he took at Dover. Ty came over the radio when I was setting on the backstretch during the red flag to say that Joey’s crash would definitely make the highlight reel. Home Depot was in for some serious TV time. Ty was right. It’s been played a lot on ESPN Sportscenter.

In case you didn’t see the Truck race, you missed a good one. I didn’t go to Las Vegas for SPEED, but I followed what was going on. As soon as the green flag flew in the first practice, you could tell Johnny Sauter was going to be tough to beat. Phil Parsons and Rick Allen, who called the shots out there for SPEED, called me and said that Sauter was ‘the man.’ They were right. He drove straight to the front. It was good to see him get his first win and it was the team’s first one-two finish. That was a good accomplishment for the ThorSport Racing organization.

Congratulations to Jimmie Johnson for his win at Dover. He won there in the old-style car as well as the new car so that’s impressive. His accomplishment there can be attributed to a true team effort. Hendrick Motorsports is the pinnacle of race teams. They are the team that everyone has to beat. Three of their four cars are up front every week. At Loudon, all four cars were up front. As a team owner, I strive to get my cars to look like Mr. Hendrick’s cars. The way Jimmie’s car looked at Dover is exactly the way we strive to get our cars. I thought it was a fun show to watch. I just wish I would have been able to run the whole deal.

I’ve got to go now as it is time to climb back into my NAPA Toyota. We’ve got Kansas Speedway this weekend and I sure hope we can get the ball rolling in the right direction. It’s been a tough couple of weeks, but we are not giving up. It’s all about getting Martin as many points as possible for next season and it sure would be awesome to get a win for NAPA before I turn the wheel over to him.

As always, I greatly appreciate your support.

Bye for Now,

Hampshire Motor Speedway

September 22nd, 2009

Hi Everyone –

New Hampshire Motor Speedway is one of my favorite tracks so I really enjoy racing there. It has always been a place where I have performed well. I almost won that race a couple of times. I really look forward to going up there especially during this time of year – September. The weather is perfect. The fans are so enthusiastic and so into what is going on. They had over 100,000 people there. It was sold out. It was a great feeling and a great time in our sport to be able to celebrate such an event especially when people have to pick and choose what events to go to because of the economy. To be involved in the sport as a driver, a sponsor or a crew member and look up in the stands at New Hampshire and see all the people that want to be there and want to watch what we do is very humbling.

What a race it was. There was a bunch of side-by-side racing all day long. It was a good race for the fans. The finish was exciting with the double-file restarts. The racing all day long was intense. Our NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota was off. It was totally off when we started the race. When we practiced on Saturday morning, our car was a top-20 car. On the long runs, it was actually better than most. I was very happy. Then during the second practice, we made some changes and it hurt the car. I went from 19th fastest to 38th fastest. I just didn’t have the car under me in the second practice. Unfortunately, when the race started, our attempt to put the car back to where it was on Saturday morning, didn’t work. We didn’t quite get there. We spent all day chasing it. Looking back, it was disappointing to know that I was capable of running right up front but wasn’t able to do it with the set up we went with. We struggled early, but were able to improve all day long. We got better and better and were competitive in the end. We ended up finishing 27th. It is certainly not something to brag about, but at least we got it better. We were able to survive a big crash that happened in front of us and make it to the checkered flag.

We have a goal—a modest goal. It is important to us. We want to finish in the top 30 in the owner points. We are only 60 points out. If we can perform in the next nine races like I know we are capable of doing, I believe we can accomplish that. That is what the NAPA team is focused on. It means we have to get every position we can. We are just not riding the year out here. It has been a little tough, but we are head down, and focused on the rest of the season. We are going to try and get all we can out of it.

The addition of Gene Nead has been really positive. Gene works really well with the guys. I think we will continue to get better and better. The problems we had on Sunday when the race started were just adjustments that didn’t work out properly. That’s part of it. We’ll regroup and we’ll go to Dover. Dover is a place where I won my first Cup pole. I won the Nationwide race there a couple of times. I run well there and I look forward to going because of the history I have had. It’s a fun track. It will be another big event. There will be a ton of people watching the NAPA Toyota. We hope to be a part of the story on Sunday.

Bye for Now,

Richmond International Raceway

September 15th, 2009

Hi Everyone –

It was a tough race for the old NAPA Toyota at Richmond International Raceway. We thought we had a good car despite a bad qualifying effort. I really had a good car at the start of the race. We moved up. The first two or three stops in the pits really messed us up. We had some issues and it made for a long night. It would have been nice to have seen what the car would have been able to do if we would have had a normal night on pit road, but we didn’t. Now, we just need to put it behind us. Despite it all, I feel like we learned a lot. I really love working with my new crew chief Gene Nead. He is fun. I think he is learning and contributing a lot to Michael Waltrip Racing.

All and all it was a good week for us as we prepared to go to Richmond with all the team meetings and everything we did to prepare. I thought we showed up with a pretty good package. I am real proud of my team. I am just sorry we didn’t get a better finish. We’ll keep working at it and I look forward to going to Loudon. We always run well there. We need to work on getting better results and Loudon could be a good opportunity for us.

Yesterday, we announced that veteran crew chief Pat Tryson will be joining the NAPA Racing Family. He will be the crew chief of the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota with Martin Truex Jr. We feel very fortunate to have Pat joining us. He has made The Chase five out of six times. He is a passionate competitor, a winner and a championship contender. He and Kurt Busch will start The Chase in seventh place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and we wish him luck. Pat joins our team the end of season.

Meanwhile, I am currently in Italy to visit my partner Rob Kauffman. He and I are testing a Ferrari at a track called Vallelunga. If it goes well, we might do some Endurance Racing in 2010. You never know, you might see us at the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. This is the second time I have been to Italy to see Rob. I enjoy spending time with him and see how he lives in his world.

Ciao for now!

Last Week

September 9th, 2009

Hi Everyone –

I had a really fun time at the Michael Waltrip Racing Sponsor Summit last week. We had it at the Chateau Elan in Braselton, Georgia. I got to spend good quality time with a lot of our sponsors. What was great about it was we got to spend time in both a business and social setting. I think all of the attendees were pleased with everything they saw and heard.

I am really happy with the job Chris Marciani and all of the folks in our sales and marketing department were able to accomplish. I knew they were working hard on it and then to see the actual program that they set up and the direction they went with – the speakers and engaging our sponsors with information we felt can help us all in this world – was very impressive and rewarding to experience. I was also impressed with the attendees who wanted to be a part of our program. Mr. Gallagher from GPC, Paul Donahue, Mike Rearden and Gaylord Spencer from NAPA were all on hand. Mr. Butler and his folks from Aaron’s, Ed Laukes of Toyota and Best Western also played a huge part in the success. Mike Helton from NASCAR was also in attendance. My partner Rob Kauffman even came over from England.

I think everyone left our event feeling like it was worth their time to be there. Across the board, the comments were positive. The thing I am most excited about is the follow up with future meetings and discussions. Those meetings are going to generate even more interaction between us and our sponsors that will be beneficial for everyone.

When I started my team, I really wanted it to be a partnership between the race team, fans and of course, the sponsors. I think my goal has been accomplished. Folks are integrated into our program whether it is the sponsors who get to sponsor our car or the fans that get to come to Raceworld or the track. It is totally working and I am pleased with all that.

Fast forward to Saturday … we had a good qualifying run. We started 19th. We had a bit of a struggle in practice. We could never get the car to do what I wanted it to do. Atlanta is one of those tracks I generally love to race on. I have a really good feel for what I need and what the car needs to feel like in order for me to be competitive. We never could get it. I was optimistic that we could go over all of the teams’ notes and pull from it so that we could put a set up under me that was competitive. It just did not come to be for some reason. It wasn’t even close to what we were hoping. I slid around a lot and felt fortunate that we didn’t run into anything. The back end just would not stick to the road. We made it to the finish line, but that’s about all we did. It made for a very long night. We are getting ready now to meet and talk about what we did, what we might have done wrong, what we could have done differently and then make sure we are better when we head to the next big track like Kansas City or Texas.

Despite this past weekend, I am still very optimistic. I enjoyed working with Gene Nead and look forward to the rest of the season. I loved the way he worked on my car and how he is so passionate about racing. I feel like we can enjoy some success for the remainder of the year. I feel like we have some good races ahead of us. I look forward to racing my last 11 races in the NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota.

Bye for Now,

Bristol Motor Speedway

August 25th, 2009

Hi Everyone –

I always take the week leading up to Bristol off. Monday was a busy day with team meetings. We did the television show Three Wide Life. I also did the TWIN show on SPEED. After that, I left and went to the mountains for a few days to play golf. I love going up there with friends. It’s beautiful up there this time of year. That was basically my week and vacation before going to the track.

I always enjoy going to Bristol Motor Speedway. The fans are amazing. The track is a lot of fun. I appreciate the atmosphere. We didn’t have a very good Friday. Our car wouldn’t turn well through the center of the corner. It just would not rotate and go left as good as I wanted to. We qualified 36th, but Bootie and the NAPA team got with the other two cars and shared information. They traded notes. When the race went green on Saturday night, it was just a good car. It drove well. It turned better. It did everything that I needed it to do. Considering where we started, we were able to race up there pretty well. I was having fun and having a good night. Unfortunately, with a few laps to go, we blew a left rear tire. We had a tire rub and it blew out. It ended our night prematurely. That was very disappointing. Nevertheless, it was a pretty cool night to run well and be able to pass. It was nice to race people and do all the things you sign up to do as a race car driver.

Earlier in the day, we had the NAPA Race Day Experience. There were a lot of people and energy in the tent. It is really fun to hear how excited everyone is about Martin driving the car next year. It makes me feel good that the NAPA folks and everyone in the family are looking forward to him driving my car. That’s going to be pretty cool.

This weekend, the NASCAR Sprint Cup teams are off. I am going to Chicagoland to commentate the Truck race for SPEED on Friday. I will be at the track and looking forward to seeing what happens. The Truck race is a lot of fun for me to be a part of.

Tonight on TWIN, I am going to do something a little different. I am going to Twitter to everyone during the show. The show is taped at 4 p.m. on Mondays, but at 8 p.m. tonight, I will watch the show live with the fans. I will be doing a commentary of what we were talking about and how it played out. If you want to follow, my Twitter address is Twitter.com/mw55. Fans can ask me questions. I think it will be a lot of fun and I believe the show is unique and interesting. By me Twittering, I think it will make more people enjoy it. So if you want to follow along tonight, please do!

All My Best,

Michael Waltrip

Michigan 2

August 19th, 2009

Hi Everyone –

The CARFAX 400 was a bad day for the NAPA team. Our car handled really bad. We were really lucky that we didn’t spin out. On the last lap, I was able to pass five people which was kind of fun. We were at Michigan about a month ago and our car handled and ran about the same way. We are disappointed in our car and our performance on Sunday because we should have been a lot better than that. It’s hard to have a day like that. I love to race. I race to win. I race to pass people. I feel like there wasn’t a whole lot of that on Sunday.

The NAPA team needs to concentrate on points to make sure we can get as many as we can for Martin to start the 2010 season with. We beat most of the people behind us and around us in points so that was one positive about Sunday.

It was also a really hot day. I have been training really hard to make sure that when it is a hot day, I am ready to race all the way to the checkered flag. I felt really good physically when I climbed out of my car. Thanks Gio!

As for the other teams, I am really proud of David Reutimann and his No. 00 team. They were able to take their car and get a top-10 finish out of it. He and crew chief Rodney Childers did a good job getting it tuned up. The NAPA team was not able to accomplish that. We were about 30th in every practice. We qualified 30th and that’s pretty much where we ran. We finished 27th. That’s not acceptable. We just need to work really hard on our cars. We need to figure out what Reutimann’s team does that makes them go faster than us. Even Marcos Ambrose and his JTG-Daugherty team struggled at Michigan.

I want to say congratulations to Toyota driver Brian Vickers who won the race. He was one of the drivers favored to win and the “experts” said he could. It was good to see him come through and be fast. His first NASCAR Sprint Cup win was controversial so it’s nice to see him get one like that. He earned it.

Before I go, I want to talk about how fun our hospitality event was with the NAPA people from the U.S. and Canada.  We are really proud to represent them. As usual, the NAPA folks were there in full support. I really wished I could have run better for them. We’ll just go to Bristol and try to do it all over again – but only A LOT better. 

Bye for Now,

Michael Waltrip