Las Vegas: GM - Waltrip press conference

MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO: ON HIS RUN "It was up and down. I thought we were right where we needed to be early, and then I would have been happy with a top 10 in the middle because we got off. And, then we were decent...

MICHAEL WALTRIP, NO. 15 NAPA CHEVROLET MONTE CARLO:

ON HIS RUN "It was up and down. I thought we were right where we needed to be early, and then I would have been happy with a top 10 in the middle because we got off. And, then we were decent at the end. We came out of the pits and ran like a 32.50 on our new tires and I knew I was too good at that point. I knew I'd be pushing later and that's how it turned out. We just got a little tight at the end and [Dale] Junior got us for second. But, it was a good day for DEI. We just didn't quite have the stuff that Matt had today."

ON BATTLING WITH JUNIOR AT THE END... HOW DID THAT GO? "It went pretty good for him. It didn't go very good for me.

"It was fun. The car drove great. I was just real proud of our team. We got off in the middle and we were smart enough to fix it and get us back at the end to where we were very competitive and very fast, even. We just needed one more adjustment, or two. We needed to be free-er, for sure."

IS THIS KIND OF RUN A SIGN OF THINGS TO COME? "The thing I'm happy about is, historically, I've struggled on new tires - sideways loose in order to be decent at the end and I'd lose a lot of spots because of that. My agenda is to make sure that I'm decent on new tires. We were able to accomplish that today. We were really fast at the end on new tires, so I think as a whole we learned a lot here that will help us as we go down the road."

DID TODAY TELL ANYTHING ABOUT THE NEW BODY RULES IN PLACE THIS YEAR? "Everything can be told by today and it's what I knew and wasn't worried about from the beginning - the cars are alike (equal) and there is not a story there. At Rockingham, we missed it as a company - DEI. We didn't run well there. Some of the other Chevy teams struggled. Historically, Roush has run well at Rockingham and so has Yates.

"There is not a story there. The cars are even and we can just drive the heck out of them. You saw Chevys lead a lot and Matt just got on it at the end. I think that is what you're going to see all year long. You're not going to know where it's going to come from until someone hits it at the end.

"I think it's a great story that y'all can finally write that it's not a story. If somebody is dumb enough to say, 'Man, our cars aren't even,' then I wouldn't want to be that person."

IS THIS THE SEASON THAT THE GRUMBLING AMONG THE MAKES ENDS? "Probably not, but it could be. The engines are different. Somebody is always going to have more power than the next guy. But, the bodies are the same and that is cool. I think the rules are great."

AT THE END OF THE BROADCAST TODAY, WHY DID YOU ASK EVERYONE TO STAND BEHIND THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? "We're a country and he's our leader, and we need to unite behind him and support the decisions that he makes. Democrats and Republicans are all in Washington, and as a group, they're going to decide what is best for this country, and the President is just over the system. To turn your back on the flag or to protest at this time, it hurts my heart.

"I pray for the President and our country, and I just ask that people support the system and be behind him."

IS THAT THE FEELING THROUGHOUT THE NASCAR COMMUNITY? "I would venture to guess that people, as a whole in our community, feel that way. But, I can't speak for them."

DOES IT BOTHER YOU THAT YOUR TEAM IS CHARACTERIZED AS GOOD ON PLATE TRACKS, BUT NOT SO GOOD AT OTHER PLACES? "Junior hasn't (struggled). He's won other places and he's led a lot of laps other places. I have struggled, but we've run well at times, also. Like (Dale) said, it's a big relief to put everything together and then come out here and run like we did. We threw all we had at it. We needed to perform and we did. We didn't test here. A lot of teams did, but we think we pretty well got the setups for tracks like this figured out for now. It will evolve and change, but for now we're happy with what we've got. We qualified ninth and finished third, and it wasn't like we were perfect with our setups. We struggled all day and still wound up up there, so we're very relieved.

"It doesn't bother me that people say I've struggled there. It bothers me that we kind of do."

ON THE SUCCESS OF ROUSH RACING HERE "I can't comment. I don't know. It's impressive. But, Matt is a great driver, and Biffle and all the guys that drive for them are just on top of their game. They've got good guys and good cars."

-gm racing-

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Series NASCAR Cup