MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING MAKES PREPARATIONS FOR 2007 CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 18, 2006) -- As construction is ongoing at Waltrip Racing World (WRW) in Cornelius (N.C.), Michael Waltrip watches as a decade of planning and forecasting for his NASCAR...
MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING MAKES PREPARATIONS FOR 2007
CORNELIUS, N.C. (April 18, 2006) -- As construction is ongoing at Waltrip Racing World (WRW) in Cornelius (N.C.), Michael Waltrip watches as a decade of planning and forecasting for his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series multi-team operation come to life.
"Everything is really starting to take shape," said Waltrip. "It's all coming together before our eyes. We've secured sponsorship for two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series teams and we have an org chart put together with a plan in place."
To set the stage for 2007, Michael Waltrip Racing held a press conference at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month announcing that Burger King Corporation (BKC) will sponsor the No. 00 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series entry for five races this season. Bill Elliott, a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion and a 44-time winner, was named the driver.
"We announced that Bill's running the No. 00 Burger King car at Chicagoland Speedway, New Hampshire International Speedway, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, California Speedway, and Homestead-Miami Speedway," said Waltrip. "Burger King is a great sponsor. Their brand is so recognizable. To be able to give them a driver of Bill Elliott's caliber was a real important piece for Michael Waltrip Racing to pull off. It's something Burger King and their customers will be excited about. Their franchisees, store owners and workers have somebody to cheer for. We're real proudthat Bill is going to do that forus."
"For the five races this year, we're going to have an All-Star Team," added Larry Carter, crew chief of the No. 00 Burger King car. "We're taking the best guys from both Waltrip organizations. Be it a Busch guy, a Truck guy or a Cup guy, we're going to put them together to run these five races. Our plans are to get our feet wet because it's difficult to jump out there cold turkey. One ofour objectives is to run these races to make sure we have all the pieces in place. We're covering all our bases so that when we show up in Daytonanext year we'll be prepared."
With wins at both Indianapolis (2002) and Homestead (2001), Elliott is set to help Michael Waltrip Racing's endeavors. Elliott's first on track activity in the No. 00 Burger King car will take place next month at Lowe's Motor Speedway, where he owns two NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series wins (in 1984 and 1987).
"The main focus of the test at Charlotte is to assess where we areand what areas we need to work on," said Elliott. "It's also a chance to get used to working with the guys. Whenever Ty (Norris) proposed the deal to me, I thought it was a neat opportunity. Michael has a really good deal coming together. I'm trying to help him out a little bit and at least get them started in a good direction. The main thing is trying to get everything sorted out. That's what will be critical about the test coming up."
As Waltrip leans on Elliott to expand his organization, he's also focused on the progress of Waltrip Racing World. The 130,000 SF innovative facility will be comprised of two main buildings and house an interactive race shop on 11.5 acres. The primary building, formerly a 42,000 SFpopular movie theater in Cornelius, will be expanded by an additional 50,000 SFand will house all four of Michael Waltrip Racing's teams as well as executive offices. The main building will also be the epicenter of The Waltrip Racing World Experience, including a theater, a restaurant, a museum and a retail store. The second building, referred to as the FX building, will house the manufacturing of the teams cars, including the chassis and body fabrication and the paint shop. Additionally, the FX building will house a seven-post shaker rig, the team's workout and pit stop practice facilities.
"We're maybe a month away from moving into the FX building in the back," said Waltrip. "We're happy about that. That will give use the opportunity to begin preparing our cars not only for Bill Elliott's schedule in 2006, but also to start formulating a plan to put our Toyota Camrys together. Our goal was to get it up and running as quickly as possible. At the same time, we're making a lot of progress on the movie theater. Everybody is focused on being done by May 1st of 2007. That's the target date for us to use allof the 130,000SF of Waltrip Racing World.For the time being, the FX building has plenty of room for us to get our legs under us."
"The FX building is moving along really quickly," agreed Carter. "We're cramped up right now, but when we get into that facility it will help us tremendously. It looks like from all indications everything is going as planned. We expect to be in the FX building between June 1st and June 15th of this year. We have a lot of trinkets and toys coming in there that will help us. We will have our surface plates and pull down rig in place by June in preparation for the five races this year and to build up our Toyota fleet for 2007. Planning ahead will pay dividends in the end."