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Well, it is over for this year!

congrats to Jimmy Johnson on the Nextell Cup win. My son will certainly be happy-that is his driver.
Michael's year was pretty rough but he will do better next year! I have faith!

Waltrip Dodges Wrecks to Finish 11th at Atlanta Motor Speedway

Courtesy: Wasserman Media Group Release: 10/29/2007 courtesy of MichaelWaltrip.com View larger Courtesy: Autostock Images http://www.michaelwaltrip.com/ HAMPTON, Ga. – A very loose NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry did not deter the efforts of Michael Waltrip as he dodged two late-race accidents to finish 11th in Sunday’s Atlanta 500. The result was impressive considering the NAPA team had very little track time in Happy Hour after hitting the Turn 2 wall. The Top-20 finish is Waltrip’s third in as many races. Winning the Atlanta 500 was Jimmie Johnson. It was his second-straight victory and eighth of the season. “We really had our hands full today,” explained Waltrip after climbing out of his NAPA Camry. “We fought our way back to an 11th-place finish. The team put in a lot of effort and I put us behind the eight-ball when I ran into the wall yesterday in practice. From that point on, our car just wasn’t right. It was nice to persevere and get a good finish. I knew I didn’t have the car I needed today, and that made me mad. It also made me determined to overachieve, and try our very best to get more than we deserved today. We did that.” On Friday, the NAPA Racing team participated in practice as well as Bud Pole qualifying. In practice, Waltrip recorded the 22nd-fastest lap (29.487 sec./188.015 miles per hour). Then in qualifying, the driver picked up the pace (29.239 sec./189.610 mph) to earn the 24th-starting spot. “It was everything I could have asked for,” said Waltrip after his run. “I must have left a little bit out there. It was free and good, but I probably just didn't get all it had. I needed to be a little bit better. “It's fun to see an organization make some progress. We've definitely done that. We fought through some really difficult, trying times. It was good to come back with the ability to survive, hang around and give ourselves a chance to turn this deal into something. It's just a real honor to be part of the Toyota team, with the support they've given me along with NAPA. It's been amazing.” Winning the pole was Greg Biffle. His lap was 28.807 seconds (192.453 miles per hour). Rounding out the top-10 qualifiers were Kurt Busch, Michael Waltrip Racing’s Dale Jarrett, Kasey Kahne, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, David Stremme, Jeff Gordon, Ryan Newman and Elliott Sadler. A total of five Toyotas made the race. Besides Waltrip and Jarrett, Brian Vickers, AJ Allmendinger and Dave Blaney will start 14th, 31st, and 42nd, respectively. MWR teammate David Reutimann was 33rd fastest, however, due to NASCAR’s top-35 rule, he did not qualify for the race. Despite Reutimann’s setback, the rookie rallied back by winning Saturday’s Busch Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park --- the first of his Busch Series career. On Saturday, Waltrip and the NAPA Racing team took part in two practice sessions. In the first session, Waltrip was 31st fastest (30.069 sec./184.376 mph). However, in the second session, the NAPA Camry experienced a problem when entering Turn 2. It broke loose, hitting the wall and causing damage to the right side. The A-frame, tie rods, crush panels, tail pipes, track-bar mount and ride-side shocks were damaged. Since the driver really liked his primary car, he asked not to have the back-up car brought out. Therefore, the team was given an extra hour after the garage closed to repair the car. Then on Sunday in the opening laps of the Atlanta 500, Waltrip lost significant track position and a lap due to a very loose condition. The team battled back by making a series of adjustments on Laps 36, 41 and 60 under caution. Then on lap 66, the race was red flagged for an incident involving David Gilliland and Mark Martin. It was during this time that Waltrip came over the radio to say his NAPA Camry was 100 percent better. When the race resumed, Kurt Busch was the leader and Waltrip was 31st. The next run saw Waltrip make big gains on the track. The No. 55 machine was just shy of breaking into the Top 25 when the caution flew on Lap 99. The crew went back to work to tighten up the car with an air pressure change. The race went back to green on lap 104 and Waltrip took no time to climb back into the Top 25. Then on Lap 132 and in 22nd place, the driver came over the radio to say he was loose, but the car’s overall balance was finally getting better. Just 20 circuits later, a chance to tighten up Waltrip’s car came under caution when David Ragan wrecked. The pit crew went to work to adjust the air pressure. When the race restarted on Lap 154, Martin Truex Jr., was in the lead and Waltrip was in 19th place. The second half of the race saw the NAPA team run comfortably in the Top 20. The driver’s complaint remained the same ... the NAPA Camry needed to get tightened up. However, as the laps ticked away, the car picked up speed as well as positions on the track. Both driver and crew chief agreed, if the race remained green, their chances for a solid finish were good. A tense moment for the NAPA team took place with less than 10 laps to go. That’s when Waltrip radioed in to say he believed his right-front tire was going down. As luck would have it, the caution flag was flown one circuit later after Johnny Sauter experienced a tire problem. The yellow allowed the NAPA team to pit for an air pressure change, bolt on four fresh tires and take on fuel. The race restarted on Lap 322 with Denny Hamlin in the lead and Waltrip in the Top 15. However, as Hamlin was taking the green flag, he ran out of gas. The frontrunners got bunched up, but getting the worst end of the deal was Martin Truex Jr. He slammed into the back of Hamlin, ending his chances. Other drivers involved were Jeff Burton, Kyle Busch and Jamie McMurray. Fortunately for Waltrip, he was able to come out unscathed. A green-white-checkered-flag finish would determine the outcome of the Atlanta 500. Jimmie Johnson was the leader on Lap 327. However, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended the race when he lost a tire on the restart slamming into the Turn 1 wall. As before, Waltrip was able to dodge the accident and finish in 11th place. Waltrip continued, “In our finishes, it’s three in a row in the top-20, and three in a row on the lead lap. If you do that once, you get lucky. When you do it three times, you’re doing something right. I think this NAPA team is doing something right.” Following Johnson to the checkered flag and rounding out the top-10 finishers were Carl Edwards, Reed Sorenson, Matt Kenseth, Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers. In the Toyota contingent, Brian Vickers claimed the top spot by earning 10th place, just ahead of Waltrip. AJ Allmendinger, Dale Jarrett, and Dave Blaney finished 16th, 19th and 38th, respectively. In the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup Championship, Jimmie Johnson closed in on points leader Jeff Gordon. Gordon remains in the lead, but just nine points ahead of his teammate. Tomorrow the NAPA team will remain in Atlanta to take part in a two-day Car of Tomorrow test session to prepare for next season. Then on Thursday, the team heads to Texas for the running of the Dickies 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. The race gets underway at 3 p.m. ET on ABC and PRN radio on Nov. 4. Waltrip Rallies to Top-10 Finish at Lowe’s Motor Speedway

Courtesy: Wasserman Media Group

Release: 10/15/2007







CONCORD, N.C. – NAPA Racing’s Michael Waltrip finished 10th in Saturday’s Bank of America 500 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway to equal his best result of the season at Michigan International Speedway in June. Waltrip’s effort was impressive, as he overcame a frontstretch spin on Lap 206 and an ill-handling NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry throughout the 337-lap event.



“We really didn’t have a good setup, but I should have known because during the final practice, we kept battling back and forth -- loose and tight -- and we never could seem to get it quite right,” said Waltrip, who started 19th. “During the race, that was the case again -- we couldn’t get the car to do anything right. But there toward the end of the race, I got to run in the top groove. I wasn’t going to come to pit road because I could run solid lap times up top and get a better finish.



“I’m real proud of my team for the effort. They did a great job on the fuel cell to make sure we could pick up all we could. The team really deserved a top-10 tonight, which is a great way to top off what has probably been the biggest week in the small history of this race team.”



Jeff Gordon had just enough gas to claim his second consecutive win and sixth victory of the season.



On Thursday, Waltrip posted the 19th-fastest lap in Bud Pole qualifying with a time of 28.914 seconds (186.761 mph). The NAPA driver’s time was the quickest of the seven Toyotas attempting to make the race. Ryan Newman won the Bud Pole with a fast lap of 28.512 seconds (189.394 mph). Rounding out the top-10 qualifiers were Jimmie Johnson, Bobby Labonte, Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Casey Mears and Greg Biffle.



“We were a little free on that qualifying lap,” said Waltrip. “For some reason, the car just didn’t sound like it should. It’s been the best motor that I’ve had all season, and it sounded a lot different on that lap than during practice this afternoon. The weather might have changed and that might have changed it or maybe hurt it, but we had a good lap. The cooler temperatures during qualifying really gave the car more speed and more grip than we had earlier.”



Five Toyotas qualified for the Bank of America 500. Besides Waltrip, David Reutimann started 20th, while AJ Allmendinger, Dave Blaney and Jeremy Mayfield qualified 30th, 34th and 38th, respectively. Dale Jarrett recorded the 42nd-fastest lap but failed to qualify.



Friday saw the NAPA AUTO PARTS team participate in two practice sessions. In the first practice, Waltrip was 18th (30.119 seconds/179.289 mph) while Matt Kenseth topped the timesheets (29.845 seconds/180.935 mph). In Happy Hour, Waltrip was 30th (29.820 seconds/181.087 mph) and Greg Biffle was the fastest (29.403 seconds/183.655 mph).



When the Bank of America 500 started, it resembled Friday night’s Busch Series event as the track proved unforgiving to several seasoned drivers. A total of 15 caution flags were thrown during the race. Many were for single-car incidents, and drivers like Robby Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Elliott Sadler, Jimmie Johnson, and Michael Waltrip all experienced the wrath of Lowe’s Motor Speedway. At one point, the NAPA driver came over the radio to say NASCAR should re-evaluate when it holds testing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway.



Waltrip’s event was plagued by a very ill-handling Camry. The car started out loose but then moved to a combination of loose and tight as the race went on. The team toyed with a variety of spring-rubber adjustments and air-pressure changes throughout most of the event and kept the driver competitive as he comfortably drove in the top 25.



The scariest moment for the NAPA team came at the 206-lap mark. Shortly after exiting Turn 4, Waltrip lost control of his car, skidding sideways on the frontstretch. Waltrip did not hit anything, and the accident left the veteran baffled.



“That was so weird,” radioed Waltrip to his team. “I can’t explain it. This track is so different when it gets cold.”



The turning point for the NAPA team came just as leader Jeff Gordon put Waltrip down a lap. The caution was thrown on Lap 279 for an incident involving Juan Pablo Montoya and Scott Riggs. The NAPA team was awarded the Lucky Dog, and competition director Bobby Kennedy instructed the pit crew to remove all of the spring rubbers that were in the car. Air-pressure and wedge changes were completed. The crew refueled the car and hoped the NAPA Camry could make it the rest of the way without any more pit stops.



The Haas/CNC team brought out the 14th caution of the race on Lap 322. Johnny Sauter crashed and Jeff Green oiled down the track due to a blown motor. At this time, Waltrip climbed into the top 20, and Jeff Gordon was the leader. Kennedy left Waltrip out on the track to maintain track position.



NASCAR was forced to red flag the race in order to clean up the oil, and teams used this time to determine whether or not to pit. Kennedy gave the option to Waltrip to either stay out or pit for fresh tires. When the race resumed, the NAPA Camry remained on track and in the hunt for a top-10 finish.



The race went back to green on Lap 329 with Gordon in the lead and Waltrip in 12th place. However, just four laps later, Ryan Newman lost a tire to bring out the final caution of the race. It also set up a green-white-checkered finish. Waltrip stayed out and was able to score the NAPA team its second top-10 result of the season.



“I like Charlotte and I would have liked to have run better throughout the night, but we ran well there at the end and that’s what’s important,” remarked Waltrip. “Next week is a big deal for us because we haven’t made a flat-track race this season. Our team needs to figure out what we can take to Martinsville next weekend that is different than anything we’ve taken anywhere else. I’m a typical race car driver -- we got a top-10 tonight, had a great run, and I’m worried about next week already.”



Following Gordon to the checkered flag and rounding out the top-10 finishers were Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Carl Edwards, Dave Blaney, Tony Stewart, Kasey Kahne, David Stremme and Waltrip.



Based on Waltrip and Blaney’s performances, Toyota recorded its ninth and 10th top-10 finishes of the season. AJ Allmendinger, David Reutimann and Jeremy Mayfield finished 15th, 29th and 39th, respectively.



Gordon’s Bank of America 500 victory helped extend his points lead in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup by 68 points over his teammate Jimmie Johnson.



Next week Waltrip and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team travel to Martinsville Speedway for the second-to-the-last COT event of the season. The Subway 500 is scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. Eastern on ABC and MRN radio.

Tire Failure Ends Solid Run for Waltrip at Talladega

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Courtesy: Wasserman Media Group and Michael Waltrip.com
Release: 10/08/2007
TALLADEGA, Ala. – NAPA Racing driver Michael Waltrip started from the pole and never dropped lower than 20th during Sunday’s Talladega 500 before a right-front tire failure on lap 175 brought a premature end to an impressive weekend. He was classified 25th.

“I’m not sure what exactly happened,” said Waltrip. “I think I just ran over something, because the inside of the tire was fine. I brushed the wall on that big crash, and I thought something was rubbing, but the guys said it was nothing. And then, with no warning, it went flat. I was having fun, and I thought I was in pretty good shape, but it was not to be. It was unfortunate for the NAPA Camry. The car was good. It was fun to be up front again. It is a much better view from up there.”

Jeff Gordon won the Talladega 500 to earn his fifth win of the season and his sixth at Talladega in 30 races.

On Friday, Waltrip and the NAPA team practiced twice in preparation for Saturday’s Bud Pole qualifying session. All of the go-or-go-home teams completed single-car runs, while the teams in the top 35 ran in the draft. In the first session, Waltrip was second quickest of the “star” cars with a time of 50.863 seconds (188.270 mph). The time was good for 36th, with only Scott Riggs quicker with a lap of 50.734 seconds (188.749 mph). The fastest car on the leader board was Tony Stewart, with a time in the draft of 49.118 seconds (194.959 mph). In final practice, Waltrip was first in his single-car group with a time of 50.713 seconds (188.827 mph). The fastest car in the draft once again was Tony Stewart (49.347 seconds/194.054 mph).

On Saturday, 51 cars took part in Bud Pole qualifying. Waltrip drew 24th and posted the fastest lap with a speed of 189.070 mph (50.648 seconds) to earn the fourth Bud Pole award of his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career and his 11th top-10 start in 43 races at Talladega. His fast lap in the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry was 189.070 mph (50.648 seconds).

“I felt confident after practice that we would make the race,” said Waltrip after qualifying. “All the boys that worked on this NAPA Camry just did a great job. When we tested here, we drafted a little bit, and then we worked on our car for speed for two days. After that, we got back in the draft, and I liked my car best then. This is not a qualifying setup. It’s ready to go. We concentrated on qualifying more than the others, so I know that’s why we’re faster than them at this point, but this car is ready to go. We tested down here a couple of weeks ago, and we got our car as good as we wanted it speed-wise. After that, I got in the draft and was able to drive to the front and ride around in the middle of it, and I was happy. I told my guys last night that if we made the race, I think we can win. Now that we did, I have to show them we at least have a chance to win.”

Rounding out the top-10 qualifiers were Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers, Joe Nemechek, David Reutimann, Jacques Villeneuve, John Andretti, Bobby Labonte, Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler. Seven of the top-10 qualifiers were drivers who needed to make the race on time since they were outside the top-35 in owner points. For the third week in a row, all three Michael Waltrip Racing entries made the race. Dale Jarrett recorded the eighth-fastest lap but lined up 43rd due to NASCAR’s qualifying rules.

On Sunday, Waltrip led the 43-car field to the green flag and diced it up in the draft before the caution-flag flew on Lap 18. The driver came in on lap 20 for four tires and the removal of his windshield tear-offs, which had been causing a visibility issue. When he returned to the track, Waltrip was in 20th place and Denny Hamlin was the leader.

The green flag waved on Lap 23. Waltrip wasted no time moving back up through the field, and on Lap 28, the No. 55 was posted fifth on the leader board. The first green flag pit stops began on Lap 56. Waltrip pitted on Lap 62 for right-side tires and fuel. He returned to the track in seventh position before the second caution flag flew on Lap 63. Competition director Bobby Kennedy chose to keep his driver out on the track, but told him that a minor air-pressure change was in the works in order to improve tire wear on the left-side tires. The race resumed on Lap 68 with Hamlin in the lead and Waltrip in seventh place.

Lap 88 saw the NAPA Camry back in the top spot before the third caution flag flew when Chase contender Jeff Burton’s engine expired. The NAPA pit crew went back to work on Lap 94 to complete a two-tire stop in just 9.48 seconds. The fast stop kept Dale Earnhardt Jr. behind Waltrip when the race resumed on Lap 97.

Two more services were completed under caution on Laps 115 and 139. Both stops were for two tires and fuel. During this sequence in the race, Waltrip had a drafting partner in Dale Earnhardt Jr. Unfortunately their partnership ended when Earnhardt Jr. caused the fifth caution of the event when he lost an engine. Waltrip continued to persevere without him, running in the top-five. Waltrip went on to dodge the so-called “Big One” when an 11-car crash occurred in Turn 4 on Lap 145. The NAPA driver brushed the wall in order to avoid contact with Robby Gordon. Two laps later, the NAPA pit crew inspected the damage, which was minor, and bolted on four fresh tires. Waltrip returned to the track in 10th place.

During a caution that claimed Kyle Petty’s car on Lap 163, Waltrip came over the radio to say he did not like the set of tires that were on his NAPA Camry, but chose to stay out to maintain track position. The race resumed on Lap 167 with Waltrip in 12th place and Tony Stewart in the lead. Unfortunately, eight laps later, a blown right-front tire sent Waltrip into the wall and ended his day. Despite the disappointment, the NAPA team was proud of their pole and the way that the NAPA Camry performed in the race. Waltrip was credited with leading four times for a total of six laps.

Following Gordon to the checkered flag and rounding out the top-10 finishers were Jimmie Johnson, Dave Blaney, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, Casey Mears, Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart, Tony Raines and Reed Sorenson.

A total of six Toyota teams participated in the race. Besides Waltrip, MWR teammates David Reutimann scored 22nd and Dale Jarrett finished 41st. Dave Blaney, Jacques Villeneuve and Brian Vickers finished 3rd, 21st and 39th, respectively.

With the win, Gordon moved into the points lead in the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup, nine points ahead of teammate Johnson.

Next week Waltrip and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team visit their home track, Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The Bank of America 500 is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13 at 7 p.m. Eastern on ABC and PRN radio.

Michael wins Pole!

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WALTRIP WINS POLE FOR TALLADEGA 500








Courtesy: Wasserman Media Group

Release: 10/06/2007

thanks to MichaelWaltrip.com too!



WALTRIP WINS POLE FOR TALLADEGA 500
Courtesy: Wasserman Media Group
Release: 10/06/2007

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View larger Courtesy: Autostock Images
http://www.michaelwaltrip.com/

TALLADEGA, Ala. – NAPA Racing driver Michael Waltrip won the pole for Sunday’s Talladega 500 at Talladega Superspeedway to earn the fourth Bud Pole award of his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup career and 11th top-10 start in 43 races at the 2.66-mile superspeedway. His fast lap in the No. 55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry was 189.070 mph (50.648 seconds).

“I felt confident yesterday that we would make the race,” said Waltrip. “I really didn’t think about the pole. The two runs I got in the final practice were both wind-aided. We didn’t really know what we had. Our qualifying lap was faster than what we ran in practice. If I only had to worry about my car, I would’ve been happier, but I had to worry about Dale (Jarrett) and David (Reutimann) making the race, too. It is more important for me to have all three cars in. For me to be first is a bonus. To have all three cars in the race is very gratifying.

“All the boys that worked on this NAPA Camry just did a great job. When we tested here, we drafted a little bit, and then we worked on our car for speed for two days. After that, we got back in the draft, and I liked my car best then. This is not a qualifying setup. It’s ready to go. We concentrated on qualifying more than the others, so I know that’s why we’re faster than them at this point, but this car is ready to go. We tested down here a couple of weeks ago, and we got our car as good as we wanted it speed-wise. After that, I got in the draft and was able to drive to the front and ride around in the middle of it, and I was happy. I told my guys last night that if we made the race, I think we can win. Now that we did, I have to show them we at least have a chance to win.”

Rounding out the top-10 qualifiers were Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers, Joe Nemechek, David Reutimann, Jacques Villeneuve, John Andretti, Bobby Labonte, Kasey Kahne and Elliott Sadler. Seven of the top-10 qualifiers were drivers who needed to make the race on time since they are outside the top-35 in owner points.

For the third week in a row, all three Michael Waltrip Racing teams will be represented on Sunday. Rookie David Reutimann will start fifth, while Dale Jarrett recorded the eighth-fastest lap but will line up 43rd due to NASCAR’s qualifying rules.

A total of six Toyota teams will race on Sunday. In addition to Waltrip, Reutimann and Jarrett, Dave Blaney, Brian Vickers and Jacques Villeneuve will start second, third and sixth, respectively.

Live coverage of the Talladega 500 at Talladega Superspeedway begins tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. EDT on ABC and MRN Radio.


Michael Waltrip Quotebook provided by Toyota PR:

MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Starting Position: 1st Did you think you were going to be on the pole? “I felt confident yesterday that we would make the race. I really didn’t think about the pole. The two runs I got in the final practice were both wind-aided. We didn’t really know what we had. Our qualifying lap was faster than what we ran in practice. If I only had to worry about my car, I would’ve been happier. But, I had to worry about Dale (Jarrett) and David (Reutimann) making the race, too. It is more important for me to have all three cars in. For me to be first is a bonus. To have all three cars in the race is very gratifying.”

Can you talk about the car you brought here to Talladega? “All the boys that worked on this NAPA Camry just did a great job. When we tested here, we drafted a little bit, and then we worked on our car for speed for two days. After that, we got back in the draft, and I liked my car best then. This is not a qualifying setup. It’s ready to go. We concentrated on qualifying more than the others, so I know that’s why we’re faster than them at this point, but this car is ready to go.”

How is your car going to be in the race? “I’m ready to go. We tested down here a couple of weeks ago and we got our car as good as we wanted it speed-wise. After that, I got in the draft and was able to drive to the front and ride around in the middle of it and I was happy. I told my guys last night that if we made the race, I think we can win. Now that we did, I have to show them we at least have a chance to win.”

News from the homefront!

Going to Charlotte next week! Hopefully I will see Michael. I am leaving on the 10th and going to the race on the 13th. I am also planning on going to the Michael Waltrip Raceworld, so I'll have to tell you all about it when I get back.

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keep posted, more news as it comes!









pardon the fact most are love songs...lol! I am a sucker for a love song, and besides I had Michael on my mind when creating this song list...but hey, I am a chick, right? I did however toss in other songs too...