WALTRIP AND REUTIMANN LOCKED INTO DAYTONA 500 JARRETT SET TO RACE INTO THE BIG SHOW DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 10, 2008) - Both Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann are able to relax a little after locking their Toyota Camrys into the Daytona...
WALTRIP AND REUTIMANN LOCKED INTO DAYTONA 500 JARRETT SET TO RACE INTO THE BIG SHOW
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 10, 2008) - Both Michael Waltrip and David Reutimann are able to relax a little after locking their Toyota Camrys into the Daytona 500 today.
Waltrip's #55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry will start on the outside of Jimmie Johnson in row 1 for the 50th running.
"I didn't expect to sit on the front row," Waltrip said. "I knew we would have a chance, but what I hoped was that we could be the fastest car with a star beside it (go-or-go-homers). There is much relief for everybody."
Reutimann posted the fourth fastest time in his #00 Aaron's Dream Machine, which was good enough to secure him a spot for his second appearance in The Great American Race. Reutimann will find out his starting position after the Gatorade Duel 150 qualifying races on Thursday.
"I didn't care coming into this if I started dead last, as long as I started," Reutimann said. "I can't take any credit for today. Ryan Pemberton and my entire Aaron's Dream Machine team and Toyota deserve it all. We ran a 48.468 (seconds) yesterday in practice and picked up quite a bit (48.267 seconds) today"
What a difference a year makes according to Reutimann.
"It was just a different feel coming into the garage this time," Reutimann said. "I felt really good. We all have a different mentality at the track and back at the shop. We have great people in place that have wonderful work ethic. Last year, we had our struggles and we are putting all of that behind us. Thankfully, Toyota hasn't given up on us. I'm a firm believer in Toyota and I feel like we will be in the position to win this year."
Today was near perfect for all three Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams.
"Today was almost a perfect day and it would have been, if Dale was locked in too," Reutimann said. "I wanted so badly for him to be. All of us did. We'll be rooting for him. I am confident he will race his way in with his UPS Toyota Camry."
"Our entire organization will be pulling for Dale to race his UPS Toyota Camry up through the middle and have a good race, Waltrip said. "Dale is a racer. We feel confident about what he will accomplish on Thursday."
The three-time Daytona 500 winner is prepared to do just that.
"We'll just have to race our way in on," Jarrett said. "The car rode good and we just lacked a little bit of speed we needed to be in the Daytona 500. It's amazing to think that at the end of five miles of qualifying, the times were going to be that close."