Indianapolis: Michael Waltrip race report

Indianapolis, Ind. (Aug. 9) - Michael Waltrip finished 20th in the Brickyard 400 a Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, finishing all 400 miles though not satisfied with the performance of the NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET. Waltrip started the...

Indianapolis, Ind. (Aug. 9) - Michael Waltrip finished 20th in the Brickyard 400 a Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, finishing all 400 miles though not satisfied with the performance of the NAPA AUTO PARTS CHEVROLET.

Waltrip started the race from the 28th position and climbed to 22nd when during the second caution, competitor Greg Biffle confirmed Waltrip had a flat right side tire. The untimely pit stop pushed the NAPA car back to the 41st position. The best run of the day came about three quarters of the way through the 160-lap event. Crew chief Slugger Labbe decided to be aggressive in his adjustments and added a rubber to the right rear spring as well as a significant chassis adjustment. The following run, Waltrip still complained about a tight race car, but his lap times were more competitive than before. Waltrip dodged 13 cautions for 47 laps to finish 20th.

"We didn't qualify particularly well and we didn't race all that well either," Michael Waltrip said after his 20th-place finish. "We couldn't get the car handling like we needed it to. We fought the car in the corner and off the corner and never got where we wanted to be. On a positive note, I had a great engine. I thought the engine we had in Pocono was the strongest engine I had ever raced with, but the engine we had in Indy topped that. When the car was running decent, I could really gain on the other cars and I could feel the power that was under my hood. It was a brand new car, so the NAPA team will take the car back to the shop and make sure the body is exactly where it needs to be. It was really the first race in a while where we were off, but we salvaged a 20th out of the day and now have our sights set on the road course at Watkins Glen (NY)."

Jeff Gordon enjoyed his fourth win at the Brickyard 400. Robert Yates Racing teammates Dale Jarrett and Elliott Sadler finished second and third, while Kasey Kahne and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five. Dale Earnhardt Jr. suffered from a left-front tire issue on the last lap and finished 26th.

The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series returns to Watkins Glen International for the Sirius at The Glen on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. (EDT) on TNT and MRN. Waltrip finished 13th in the event last season.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Dale Jarrett , Tony Stewart , Michael Waltrip , Greg Biffle , Kasey Kahne , Robert Yates , Elliott Sadler