Charlotte: Waltrip race press conference

MICHAEL WALTRIP , NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 2nd: ON THE RACE IN GENERAL "We had a good race. We stayed in the top five right from the start. I knew I had a good car. We were able to pass a bunch of guys and get up there and...

MICHAEL WALTRIP , NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO - Finished 2nd:

ON THE RACE IN GENERAL

"We had a good race. We stayed in the top five right from the start. I knew I had a good car. We were able to pass a bunch of guys and get up there and stay there. Late in the race we got just a little bit too tight. Slugger and the crew kept adjusting on it. They made a great call when Jamie (McMurray) stayed out, we pitted and got two tires. It didn't seem like anybody was going to beat Jimmie and it put us in a position to get the best finish we possibly could."

ON HIS BEST FINISH OF THE SEASON

"We were confident coming here. It's just nice to get results. We noticed after Richmond that we were only 100 points out of the Top 20. When you see realistic positions in the points to be made up, it kind of pumps you up. So we came here trying to make sure we capitalized on the little bit of momentum we have with our NAPA team."

ON THE STRENGTH OF JIMMIE JOHNSON'S CHEVROLET

"He was a lot better than us. You don't see that very often."

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HAD A FAST CAR LIKE THAT?

"I had one at Loudon last fall. I was going to drive off and win that race in pretty convincing fashion but had some trouble in the pit late. It seems like when you have a car like that - I've had those a couple of times - but it never worked out for me. Jimmie not only led and dominated the race, but when people tried to pull pit strategy on him, he was able to overcome that as well."

GIVEN THE TROUBLES YOU'VE HAD THIS SEASON, WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST THOUGHT WHEN YOU CROSSED THE FINISH LINE?

"I just don't think there are a lot of people in this world who can run second in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. I know I have the talent and ability to do the job. It just reaffirms that. It's so easy for me to get down on myself. It's just my personality. But it's nice to be reaffirmed. Jamie (McMurray) and I were talking today before the race and he said, 'Dude, I never see you any more'. And I said, 'Well, when I'm 30th in the points, I try to hide from everybody'. And so maybe I can raise my head up and look some around this week."

HOW PHYSICALLY DEMANDING WAS THIS RACE TODAY?

"It was hard. It seemed hot. I was way worse off. It's weird because yesterday in the Busch race I got out and told Buffy that was the coolest car I've ever driven. Today I got a little hot. I didn't notice I was hot until the red flag. A lot of times when you have those, all of a sudden you know you're hot and you know you've got all these other guys lined up behind you trying to get your spot. Red flags are a little bit challenging, mentally, for most all of the competitors."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup