Martinsville: Michael Waltrip preview

2005 Season Reconstruction Continues for Waltrip Entering Martinsville Huntersville, NC (April 6, 2005) - Michael Waltrip and the NAPA team hope to continue their NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points ascent this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

2005 Season Reconstruction Continues for Waltrip Entering Martinsville

Huntersville, NC (April 6, 2005) - Michael Waltrip and the NAPA team hope to continue their NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series points ascent this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Waltrip has climbed from 39th to the 27th position in points within the last four races. He currently sits 28 points inside the crucial 400 behind first place, a point margin that determines who will make the Chase for the NEXTEL Cup.

Last weekend a sure top10 run at Bristol Motor Speedway was hindered by a tire vibration. Now Waltrip is hungry for some short track success. The difference between last weekend's race at Bristol and this weekend's at Martinsville, also a ½-mile track, could be testing. Last week Waltrip and the NAPA team took the newly rebuilt chassis 21 to Martinsville for a two-day test session. The very same chassis finished third last season at New Hampshire International Speedway with Dale Earnhardt, Jr. behind the wheel and Tony Eury, Jr. calling the shots.

Michael Waltrip Martinsville Fast Facts...

* Michael Waltrip has five top-five finishes at Martinsville, as well as a sixth-place finish in a rare Busch Series race there (1990)

* Waltrip and the NAPA AUTO PARTS team had a two-day test session the week prior to Bristol

* The first rounds of the "Michael Waltrip Celebrity Poker Tournament" will air on SPEED this Thursday evening at 9 p.m. eastern

Michael Waltrip on today's hot topics...

After Bristol, what do you think of the new qualifying impound rule?

"Everyone has their opinion on the qualifying and impound rule. I think they have both been well received by the competitors and I believe that it is the right direction for our sport. We saw Mike Wallace qualify great at Bristol and then race great. In my opinion it won't matter if a team comes to the track with a qualifying setup. As good as the teams in the top 40 are, I don't think they are going to make the race against these guys who know what they are doing and are there week in and week out."

What are your thoughts on the crew chief suspensions?

"The main punishment is when they take the points. With an organization like RCR, Todd Berrier (crew chief of the no. 29 car) was as much a part of that win last week in Bristol than if he had been sitting on that tool box. Those people are welded together, he tells them what to do and they know how to do it. I think the suspensions of the other two crew chiefs should have been upheld when they weren't because it set a precedent. We will have to see what happens next, but in Todd's case he should be just as proud of his win last week than as if he was sitting there because he was just as responsible for it."

Tony Eury Jr. Quote...

Talk about your test session at Martinsville last week.

"Martinsville went really well. We probably need about a tenth to be a good top-five car. Right now we are sitting at a solid 10th. We know some things we can do to put it all together. Our 50 lap runs mirrored what we saw with Dale Jr. there last year when we had an extremely good car, just made the wrong changes on Sunday morning."

-dei-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Michael Waltrip , Mike Wallace , Tony Eury Jr.