Waltrip ends up where he started again SONOMA, Calif. (June 29, 1998) At Michigan a few weeks ago, Darrell Waltrip said after the race that since he had started 12th and finished 12th, "I must have had a 12th place car." In Sunday's...
Waltrip ends up where he started again
SONOMA, Calif. (June 29, 1998) At Michigan a few weeks ago, Darrell Waltrip said after the race that since he had started 12th and finished 12th, "I must have had a 12th place car."
In Sunday's Save Mart/Kragen 350 at Sears Point Raceway, Waltrip started 13th in the No. 1 Pennzoil Chevrolet and finished 13th, but this time his feelings were a little different "I didn't think ours was a 13th place car today," he said.
In fact, the three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion figures his was a top-10 and maybe even a top-five car. It was a gamble for something even better that might have prevented a better finish.
"The motor ran good, the chassis was good and the pit stops were good today," Waltrip said after the race. "We just had a fuel mileage plan so we came in late in the race and we thought all those guys ahead of us would have to make one more stop. Turns out they didn't have to."
Waltrip's extra fuel stopped dropped him back in the field after a day in which he climbed as high as eighth-place. Since the front runners didn't come in as expected, Waltrip faced a near impossible task of climbing up through the field on the narrow Northern California road course.
"It was worth the risk," he said. "We want to win and we thought a good fuel strategy plan could have put us in Victory Lane today, but it just didn't work. It might next time. You never know."
Waltrip ended the day in 13th and on the lead lap with race winner Jeff Gordon.
Waltrip's finish continues a recent string of good races for the driver substituting for injured Steve Park, who is planning his return to the Pennzoil Monte Carlo at Indianapolis on Aug. 1. Waltrip also finished sixth at Pocono and 12th at Michigan in the last three weeks.
Source: NASCAR Online