Kansas: Michael Waltrip preview

Waltrip to Make 600th Career NASCAR Cup Start at Kansas Speedway Mooresville, N.C. (Oct. 5) -- Michael Waltrip made his first career start in the Coca-Cola World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1985. Now, 19 years later, Waltrip will make...

Waltrip to Make 600th Career NASCAR Cup Start at Kansas Speedway

Mooresville, N.C. (Oct. 5) -- Michael Waltrip made his first career start in the Coca-Cola World 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 1985. Now, 19 years later, Waltrip will make his 600th career start at Kansas Speedway in Sunday's Banquet 400.

"When I left Kentucky, I knew I wanted to be a Cup Series driver. With a lot of help from a lot of people and a never quit attitude, I was able to start my Cup career. Since that point, it has been a fun ride. Winning is what it is all about. Being able to win several (NASCAR) Busch Series races and a couple of Daytona 500s has given me a sense of accomplishment and gives me the drive to continue being a winning racecar driver.

"When I won the 1981 track championship at Kentucky Motor Speedway in Owensboro, Kentucky, as a senior in high school and the Dash championship in my first year of NASCAR competition in 1983, you would have had a hard time convincing me that I was not going to be the next Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Mario Andretti rolled into one. Of course reality set in when I started my first Cup race in 1985. This was the moment I realized the level of talent and the ability that all the competitors possessed. Learning to be competitive to the point of winning four Cup races has been rewarding. I have enjoyed my NASCAR career so far and look forward to my 700th start."

Since making his first career start at Lowe's motor Speedway in 1985, Waltrip has enjoyed a great deal of success in the series. Waltrip has five wins, including one All-Star victory and two Bud poles to his credit. Waltrip has also amassed 35 top-five finishes and 115 top-10 finishes.

Included in Waltrip's career highlights are two Daytona 500 victories, a feat only seven other driver's in the history of NASCAR can claim.

When Waltrip unloads his NAPA Chevrolet at Kansas on Friday he has a lot to look forward to. Not only will he be strapping into the No. 15 Monte Carlo to make his 600th career start, he is also looking for his first top-10 at the three-year old 1.5-mile racetrack. While Waltrip may not have a top-10 on the Cup side yet, he has won the NASCAR Busch Series Pole for the last two consecutive races.

This Week's Race Car will be Chassis #32, brand new race car. It was tested in Kentucky last week and has been to the wind tunnel twice in preparation for Waltrip's 600th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Start.

"Michael deserves to win this milestone race," said crew chief Slugger Labbe, "and we have worked hard to build him a brand new car that will take him to victory lane. What a better way to cap off his 600th career start."

-dei-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Michael Waltrip , Mario Andretti , Richard Petty