Loudon, N.H. (July 25) - Michael Waltrip drove the NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a sixth-place finish in the Siemens 300 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire International Speedway, enabling him to pass Rusty Wallace and Casey Mears for...
Loudon, N.H. (July 25) - Michael Waltrip drove the NAPA AUTO PARTS Chevrolet Monte Carlo to a sixth-place finish in the Siemens 300 Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire International Speedway, enabling him to pass Rusty Wallace and Casey Mears for 16th in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points standings.
Waltrip started the Siemens 300 from the fourth position. On lap five Waltrip went to the second position where he stayed for 137 laps behind pole sitter Ryan Newman. Only when the jack failed on the left side of the car during a pit stop on lap 142 did the NAPA team fall out of the top-four. The pit stop caused Waltrip to fall all the way back to 16th.
Brakes became an issue for the NAPA car as well. Waltrip let his crew know he had issues with the brakes as early as lap 123. The team took tape off of the brake ducts and watched the brakes carefully for the remainder of the 300-lap race.
One position at a time Waltrip worked his way back into the top-10 passing arguabley more cars than any other race car on the track. Waltrip finished sixth after passing Jamie McMurray on the final lap of the race.
"We got another top-10 finish for the NAPA team," Waltrip said. "We were up in second spot and then had a bad pit stop and wound up getting way in the back. We fought our way back up to sixth and I'm real proud of the effort. We also had a brake problem. The fan that cools the brakes on the front-end of the car malfunctioned, so I had to really drive the car carefully. It hurt me some. I figured out how to deal with it, but we lost some speed because of that. All-in-all, it was a really good day."
Waltrip climbed two notches in points to 16th (2110), 238 points behind the coveted 10th position occupied by Ryan Newman.
"Our points situation has improved," Waltrip continued. "Mainly, we gained on the top-10 again - only 20 points. With seven (races) to go, and just over 200 points back, if I do the math correctly, we need to gain about 30 points a race. That's very important to do. We're going to Watkins Glen tonight and spend Monday testing. Then it's home for a couple of days and then to Pocono."
The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series heads to Pocono, Penn., this week for the running of the Pennsylvania 500 which will be broadcast live on TNT and MRN Radio.