Confidence building as Michael Waltrip heads to high-speed Atlanta HARRISBURG, N.C. (March 10, 1999) - Although Michael Waltrip didn't get the finish he was looking for last week at Las Vegas, he did grab a front row starting spot for the first...
Confidence building as Michael Waltrip heads to high-speed Atlanta
HARRISBURG, N.C. (March 10, 1999) - Although Michael Waltrip didn't get the finish he was looking for last week at Las Vegas, he did grab a front row starting spot for the first time since 1994. Last month, Waltrip collected his first top five finish since 1996, when he challenged for the win in the season opening Daytona 500. Waltrip entered the 1999 season with plenty of confidence, and now with a taste of some early season success, he finds his optimism at a new level heading into this weekend's Cracker Barrel 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Michael Waltrip at Atlanta... Ave. Ave. Starts Top 5s Top 10s start finish Winnings Spring races 13 1 3 24.00 20.54 $207,940 [Best start: 13th (1989, '91); best finish: 5th ('91); '98 finish: 18th]
Michael Waltrip on...
...preparing mentally for a qualifying run at Atlanta: "If you thought too much about what you're doing at a place that's as fast as Atlanta, you probably wouldn't do it. If you were sitting there thinking about it when they said, 'OK Mike, it's your turn to go,' you would just keep sitting there."
...his renewed confidence in qualifying: "With this Philips team's performance at Vegas, it makes me go to every track now thinking we have a chance to win the pole. That's a good feeling. There has been a lot of talk between our team and Team Sabco about the qualifying engines and we really feel like we've got good power. We went over to Greenville (S.C.) and tested a couple weeks ago. We ran around there faster than I ever have and about as fast as anyone ever has. We took that same car to Las Vegas and sat on the outside pole.
"Now, we're going to Atlanta, which, compared to Vegas, is a track that I have more personal confidence in being able to run fast. Not to say the results will be the same - you never know how all that is going to work out. I'm just real confident that we're doing things right and making things better."