Atlanta: Michael Waltrip race notes

Parts Failures Won'T Deter NAPA Team Hampton, Ga. (March 10) - Michael Waltrip loves to race. Michael Waltrip takes pride in his job. Michael Waltrip knows how important it is to his sponsors to run well week in and week out - especially in ...

Parts Failures Won'T Deter NAPA Team

Hampton, Ga. (March 10) - Michael Waltrip loves to race. Michael Waltrip takes pride in his job. Michael Waltrip knows how important it is to his sponsors to run well week in and week out - especially in Atlanta where NAPA is headquartered, not to mention the home of Coca-Cola and Waltrip's Busch Series sponsor, Aarons Rents. Michael Waltrip was heart broken when the NAPA Chevrolet was forced to retire early from the MBNA America 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

A rod broke on lap 204 causing a, "catastrophic engine failure," according to Waltrip. "It's hard to say why this happened - probably a parts failure. We only ran a couple hundred miles so I don't know if the one-engine rule has anything to do with why my car is sitting in the garage right now. It was not a good day for the NAPA AUTO PARTS team."

Waltrip joined Kevin Harvick, Jeff Green and Brett Bodine as the driver's that fell out early with blown engines. Waltrip was scored in the 40th position.

It was tough for the NAPA team to swallow the fact that they did not win the Daytona 500 again because of a parts failure. It was frustrating that a tire blew in Las Vegas and that engine troubles took the No. 15 out early in Rockingham and Atlanta. However, the negative consequences that cost the Dale Earnhardt, Inc. team in the first four races in 2002 will be put to rest quickly.

"This team does not just say they want to win, they act like it," said crew chief Slugger Labbe. "We can not be held out of winner's circle for much longer. We haven't entered a race this year that we didn't think we could win. We have 33 races to prove that we have one of the most capable teams and drivers in this garage."

Look for Michael Waltrip as he heads to Darlington for the 34th time in his Winston Cup career for the running of the Carolina Dodge Dealers 400. The race will be shown live on Fox at 1:00pm, Sunday, March 17 and heard live on MRN radio.

-dei-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Brett Bodine , Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Jeff Green