A conversation with last week's winner, Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo: WHO IS MICHAEL WALTRIP TO THE FANS? "Michael Waltrip's just a guy, fun-loving and kind of entertaining, but they want to see a winner." HOW BIG WAS...
A conversation with last week's winner, Michael Waltrip, No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet Monte Carlo:
WHO IS MICHAEL WALTRIP TO THE FANS?
"Michael Waltrip's just a guy, fun-loving and kind of entertaining, but they want to see a winner."
HOW BIG WAS YOUR WIN LAST WEEK?
"You can't take your win for granted. Your next win might be your last win or you might never get to your next win, so I can't imagine not being overcome with joy by winning and never taking winning for granted. I can never imagine that happening because it's so difficult to be successful at what you do."
WHAT WILL MAKE IT TOUGH TO WIN HERE?
"The track itself and the characteristic of the track is not what makes it tough to win any week, it's the competition. All those guys that insist on going so darned fast, you've got to go a little faster than all of them to win. We can go anywhere and you would see a wild, crazy and competitive race and it will be hard to win because of the competition, the guys that I race against."
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN THIS IS WHAT YOU WANTED TO DO?
"It's all I've ever known. When I was born my brother (Darrell) was 16 and he was off to the races at that age. I watched him and admired him from a distance and he was my hero when I was a kid. I wanted to be just like my brother."
ARE YOU AN ATHLETE?
"People are entitled to whatever they want to believe. I know what I have to do to be successful in this race car and it's an athletic fete, for sure. I just was fortunate enough to be talented at what I was watching my brother do. It's great that it worked out that way; I might have been wasting a lot of time saying that's what I want to be, but when I got behind the wheel I had the ability. I just thank God for that. He blessed me with the ability to drive race cars."
HOW CLOSE IS THE LINE BETWEEN VICTORY AND TERROR?
"It's that way anytime you have competition. Anytime you're pushing the envelope as hard as you can to be successful at anything at life it's easy to go from hero to zero in a second. Just part of it."
WHAT KIND OF CAR DO YOU DRIVE WHEN YOU'RE NOT ON THE TRACK?
"A Chevrolet Avalanche. Those things are cool. 'Avalanch-ay' (with French accent). It's a truck and a car, both."
HAVE YOU EVER TRIED TO ROLL IT OVER?
"No. I don't think I can. I've got low-profile tires on it."
YOUNG DRIVERS VS. VETERAN DRIVERS?
"Much has been made by y'all. To me it's not an issue. It's dumb to keep beating it to death. That's what I think about it. And I'm not old or young. I'm just an innocent bystander looking at you people (media) trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. It's just embarrassing to me that so much time is spent on discussing it. How do you feel about me now?"
ARE THE YOUNG GUYS PUSHING THE LIMITS MORE THAN WHEN THE VETERANS STARTED?
"I'm saying you have to do what you have to do to be successful today. Can't worry (about) how it used to be."
ARE THE CARS MORE POWERFUL THAN THEY USED TO BE?
"The cars are different and the competition is more intense and so, like I said, it's not the point. It's a dumb question."