Michigan: GM Racing Saturday notes, interviews

Chevrolet Success - NASCAR Modern Era Stats: On June 18, 2004, Hendrick Motorsports became the first team in NASCAR's Modern Era (1972 - present) to take the top three qualifying spots for a Cup race when Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevy) won...

Chevrolet Success - NASCAR Modern Era Stats:

On June 18, 2004, Hendrick Motorsports became the first team in NASCAR's Modern Era (1972 - present) to take the top three qualifying spots for a Cup race when Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevy) won the pole position, Brian Vickers (No. 25 GMAC Chevy) qualified 2nd and Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevy) qualified 3rd for the DHL 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Other teams have qualified first and second, but never first, second, and third.

Also in NASCAR's Modern Era, Hendrick Motorsports was the first team to sweep the top three positions in a NASCAR Cup race. That race was the Daytona 500 on February 16, 1997 when Jeff Gordon (No. 24 DuPont Chevy) won, Terry Labonte (No. 5 Kellogg's Chevy) finished 2nd, and Ricky Craven (No. 25 Budweiser Chevy) was 3rd.

MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Note: Waltrip held a brief Q&A session with the media on Pit Road this morning on Pit Road while training for the Las Vegas Marathon. By participating in the Marathon on January 30, 2005, he hopes to raise $1 million for the Victory Junction Gang Camp. Kyle Petty was also on hand to lend his support for Waltrip's effort.

MICHAEL WALTRIP:

"I felt like it was important for people to remember that Kyle (Petty) and those folks have done such a great job raising all the money to build the camp. It's going to take a real commitment from the whole community to maintain the camp. We wanted to draw attention to the fact that if the kids come there for a year, it's going to cost $2 or $3 million. The donations need to continue to roll in. When you do something new, it gets a lot of attention. We want to make sure that attention remains on the camp and what Kyle and the whole Petty family have built. I thought this was a neat way to draw attention to it. I have some wonderful sponsors that are going to get involved and help. It's become a real joy for Buffy and I to work on and to see where it all goes."

(HOW MUCH MONEY DO YOU HOPE TO RAISE?) "We want to raise $1 million. I think we can do that with the sponsors we have and with the fans. We're going to come up with a program where people can log online and train with me. When they join the Marathon they'll get maybe a die cast car. We're going to do everything we can to get the fans involved. With such a hefty goal, we're going to need the masses to pitch in $10 at a time in order to accomplish our goal. But we feel pretty confident that with the folks we have around us and the sponsors we have and the way the race fans have responded to the camp that we can accomplish our goal."

(ARE YOU GOING TO RUN AT EVERY TRACK ON THE CUP SCHEDULE? WHAT'S THE PLAN?) "The plan is to have an announcement in July at Daytona showing the fans how they can get involved and talking about the wonderful corporate partners we have line up to be a part of it. This is just an eye-opener to let folks know I am going to do this and hopefully get some interest built in it. And then in July we're going to announce how exactly the fans can contribute and how they can be a part of me running the marathon.

"Hopefully by then we can get some more drivers to commit to running the marathon too. We're planning to offer that up in relay form so that we can maybe get 10 drivers to run a mile or so or a couple of miles apiece to knock out a marathon in that fashion as well. Maybe we should get the media involved. That would be interesting."

(HOW LONG DO YOU TRAIN FOR A MARATHON LIKE THIS?) "It just depends on how fast you want to run it. I have the opinion that if you run one in less than four hours, that's a bit of an athletic accomplishment. If it takes you longer than that, that's just an old guy with a hard head who's going to run 'til he's done. So I've never really pushed my training to a point where I was able to run one in less than four hours. My best time is 4:10.

"So I hope that all the attention this one is going to generate that I'm able to work hard enough over the next six to eight months in order to be in a position to run it in 3:59.59. That's my goal. I'd like to run get it done in less than four hours.

(WHICH MARATHON ARE YOU RUNNING?) "We're going to run the Las Vegas Marathon. And we're working with Las Vegas right now for it (the camp) to become a part of the title of the marathon. They've been really good to work with and very interested in helping with it. We think from what we've seen so far that everything is lining up nicely for us to accomplish our goal of raising $1 million."

(ARE YOU FOLLOWING A SPECIAL DIET?) "You just eat what you're supposed to - especially when you're 40 years old."

KYLE PETTY:

(WITH ALL THE HARD WORK THAT WENT INTO IT, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO SEE THAT CAMP OPEN?) "So many people have done so much like Michael said. Our community is the NEXTEL Cup garage area. They've done so much to make this goal come true. This is special to have guys like Michael do things like this. He lived with us for a while. We lived together and he knew Adam (Petty), and to come out and want to help maintain that and to keep that goal alive is pretty cool. He's going to try to put me in training. I'm going to run along behind him and give him water. I may be on a golf cart or something like that but I'll be there for him because I think this is incredible. I ran a half-marathon in January and I told him I was inspired by him to just get out and do something. To be able to do this for Victory Junction is huge."

(WHEN YOU SEE SOMEBODY PITCHING IN WITH AN EFFORT LIKE THIS, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?) "Like I said, this is huge for us personally - for our family - for Patti and myself, and Austin, and Montgomery Lee. You know how it is. "It seems like no matter what you do, you get the least amount of credit for anything you do in the community you live in. You can be a superstar basketball player but you're just somebody's neighbor. That's all they care about is that you're their neighbor. For us, it's the people in our neighborhood like the bus lot over there and Tony Stewart and Michael and people like that who say they want to help. They want to be a part of it. It's something they want to do too. And that's what I've said all along. We may have come up with the idea for the camp and kind of got the ball rolling, but it's not our camp. It's NASCAR's camp. It's the NEXTEL Cup camp. It's Michael's camp when he does stuff. It's Tony's camp. It's Jeff's (Gordon) camp. It's all these guys. That's the part for me that's more special than anything else because I think that's more like Adam was in just bringing people together."

-gm racing-

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Terry Labonte , Tony Stewart , Kyle Petty , Jimmie Johnson , Ricky Craven , Brian Vickers
Teams Hendrick Motorsports