HARRISBURG, N.C. (Sept. 2, 1999) - Over the course of his career, Darlington has turned out to be a pretty good racetrack for Philips Chevrolet driver Michael Waltrip. Two of his 17 career top fives have come at the "track too tough to tame,"...
HARRISBURG, N.C. (Sept. 2, 1999) - Over the course of his career, Darlington has turned out to be a pretty good racetrack for Philips Chevrolet driver Michael Waltrip. Two of his 17 career top fives have come at the "track too tough to tame," while almost half of his starts there have resulted in finishes in the top 15.
This weekend, Waltrip heads to Darlington in the same car he raced at Charlotte, Pocono and Michigan. During those races, the car has been fast, steady and improving every week. Waltrip is hoping all those factors will come together this Sunday at Darlington, and produce a strong finish to help the Philips Racing Team rebound from last week's disappointment at Bristol.
Michael Waltrip at Darlington...
Starts: 28 Top 5s: 2 Top 10s: 7 Top 15s: 12 Ave. start: 22.14 Ave. finish: 18.18 Winnings: $412,545 Best start: 7th ('98); Best finish: 3rd ('91); 1999 (race 1): 21st
Michael Waltrip on Darlington Raceway:
"It's a pretty cool place on race day under the green. But, it's a very difficult place to qualify. When we get there on Friday and practice starts, we basically get one lap to see how fast we can go on stickers. Then we run a couple times on scuffs, and know you're going to be slower, and then you put on stickers again, and hopefully guessed right on your set-up. You make your simulated qualifying run, and then you qualify. So, you basically only get three laps to prepare for qualifying, where a lot of places we go you get 100 laps to prepare for qualifying. That's what makes it tough.
"But, once the race starts, I enjoy it a lot. It's narrow, and there is not a lot of side-by-side racing, but there are a lot of opportunities to pass. That's why you usually see a pretty good race there."
...the mental aspect of racing at Darlington:
"You have to continuously remember that you are at Darlington, and there is not a lot of room for error. There is not a lot of room for error when you're dealing with driving just your car. Then, when you come up on another guy, and you've got to drive your car and figure out how to get around him, there is even less."