Atlanta II: Waltrip race report

Engine failure halts Waltrip halfway. Hampton, Georgia (Oct. 26) - Michael Waltrip was preparing to enter the top-five just past the halfway point of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Monday afternoon, but the NAPA...

Engine failure halts Waltrip halfway.

Hampton, Georgia (Oct. 26) - Michael Waltrip was preparing to enter the top-five just past the halfway point of the NASCAR Winston Cup Series event at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Monday afternoon, but the NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet pulled into the garage on lap 173 due to an engine problem.

Rain cancelled Sunday's running of the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500. The race was rescheduled for Monday at 11:00 a.m. EST and Waltrip restarted the No. 15 car 10th. A slight altercation on the second lap of the restart involving Waltrip and the No. 54 car driven by Todd Bodine forced Michael to bring the NAPA car down pit road to fix body damage on the right front. The NAPA crew stopped twice to make sure the car was in the best possible condition, then restarted 35th.

Forty-nine laps later, Waltrip entered the top-five.

"I just need a slight air pressure change," requested Waltrip. "My car is a little too tight and I have found I can run the bottom of the race track better now. My car is really fast - just a minor change is all I need."

The NAPA crew gave Waltrip what he asked for on lap 151. Waltrip was thrilled with the way his car was handling and held the sixth position on lap 173 when with no indication, the engine folded.

"The adjustments my team made to my car today were right on," explained Waltrip. "We had a really great car, and for the NAPA guys to keep us as competitive at the beginning of the day as we were at the end of the day is just admirable. Something broke on the lower end, which is unfortunate and very unusual for us, but I am looking forward to the next three races. We can still accomplish a lot of our goals. We are still in striking distance of the top-10 and we look forward to trying."

Waltrip is 14th in the NASCAR point's championship, 152 points from the top-10.

The next stop for the Winston Cup Series is Phoenix International Raceway on Sunday. Live broadcasting will begin at 3:00 p.m EST on NBC and MRN Radio.

-dei-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Todd Bodine