The Nextel: Michael Waltrip preview

Michael Waltrip will participate in his 12th NASCAR All-Star event Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. While no points are allotted for this event, the stakes are still high with $1 million going to the winner of the three-segment race.

Michael Waltrip will participate in his 12th NASCAR All-Star event Saturday night at Lowe's Motor Speedway. While no points are allotted for this event, the stakes are still high with $1 million going to the winner of the three-segment race. Waltrip is more than familiar with this star-studded event. He won it in 1996 after advancing from The Open. He is one of two drivers' to transfer and win.

"It's going to be a lot of fun for me and the NAPA team," Waltrip said. "It's a great race and we came close to challenging for the race last year. It is a fun night for the drivers, the teams and especially the fans. The race is packed full of action and with any luck the ol' NAPA No. 15 Chevy will be leading that action."

This Week's Race Car Chassis #28 will be run in the All-Star Challenge. This is a brand new chassis built in two and a half weeks by the #15 team. It will take the track for the first time in Friday's first practice. The car did go to the wind tunnel on Thursday, May 20th.

Crew Chief Comments "We had to build a new car because we have to get better," explained Slugger Labbe. "We could have run the car we took to Atlanta (Motor Speedway) in March, but as a team we felt like we needed to put together a better car for Michael and NAPA. We learned a lot in last year's All-Star race. We learned that from the time the cars take the track on Friday to the time the race ends the track gets tighter and every adjustment has to be made knowing that the track will be tighter the next time out. We were running second last year and after running loose in the second segment we tightened up the car... too much unfortunately because we couldn't hold our position even tough we had a great car. We won't make that mistake this year. It's a million dollars and it's the first NEXTEL Challenge so while we are there to run it, we are also there to learn about this new race car and gain more points in next week's Coca-Cola 600."

Last Year in This Race Waltrip was tight in the first segment, loose in the second segment and avoided a wreck involving five drivers, to transfer into the third and final segment and restart in the fifth position. The NAPA car wasted no time charging to the front. Waltrip quickly surged to the second position until his car got tight and the NAPA car could not hold the runner-up position. Waltrip finished fifth.

Three Days of Racin' Waltrip will compete in all three of NASCAR's top series this weekend. He will drive the #47 Sheryl Crow Chevy All-Star Truck in Friday night's Craftsman Truck Series race, the #15 NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevy in Saturday night's NEXTEL Challenge and will fly to Nazareth, Penn., on Sunday morning to run the #99 Aaron's Chevrolet.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip