Waltrip finishes sixth despite using back-up Dover, Delaware (June 6) - You'd be hard pressed to find a NAPA NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team member that is not gleaming with pride after a long, exhausting weekend at Dover International Speedway. The No....
Waltrip finishes sixth despite using back-up
Dover, Delaware (June 6) - You'd be hard pressed to find a NAPA NASCAR NEXTEL Cup team member that is not gleaming with pride after a long, exhausting weekend at Dover International Speedway. The No. 15 team scored its fourth consecutive top-10 finish on Sunday afternoon with a sixth-place even after starting at the back of the line.
Michael Waltrip had a great qualifying run on Friday. He put up the eighth quickest time on just his first lap around the Monster Mile. On the second lap the Monster got him. Waltrip lost control of the NAPA Chevrolet in turn two. The damage was severe enough to bring out the team's second-choice racecar and start from the rear of the field.
Despite the disadvantage, a couple of red-flags and 11 cautions for 90 laps that made the race over four hours long, Waltrip had his best race at the Monster Mile since 1991.
"It was crazy day at Dover (International Speedway)," Waltrip said. "The race had everything a race fan would want to see in a race. There was a 15-car pile-up at one point and an oil leak that took out several cars and a good race by the leaders until the end. We started last, but we used pit strategy to get us up front right away. We ran around in the 10th to 12th spot for most of the day, then a caution came out during green flag stops that put us down a couple of laps. We made one lap up, but we were unable to make up the second one and it cost us a top-five at the end of the day. The NAPA car was as good as third-place and better than fourth and fifth-place, but we didn't get an opportunity to race for it. We survived though and we've moved into the top-20 in points."
"I am really proud of the commitment and perseverance of the team," Waltrip continued. "This race is an excellent indication of how determined this team is to win a race and catch the top-10 in points. I am pleased with what we are doing and what we'll do in the next few weeks."
Waltrip has a reason to be proud of the entire NAPA team. In just two weeks, the team has moved 10 positions in the Chase for the Championship. Waltrip now holds the 20th position and trails the 16th spot held by Dale Jarrett by 99 points. Waltrip is 261 points out of 10th.