Waltrip confident Philips will stay By Brett Borden MOTEGI CITY, Japan (Nov. 22, 1998) Michael Waltrip, taking over the reins of the No. 7 Philips Ford for the first time here in the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500 at Twin...
Waltrip confident Philips will stay By Brett Borden
MOTEGI CITY, Japan (Nov. 22, 1998) Michael Waltrip, taking over the reins of the No. 7 Philips Ford for the first time here in the NASCAR Thunder Special Motegi - Coca-Cola 500 at Twin Ring Motegi, says he is confident that Philips will remain with the team next season. Speculation was that the sponsorship was shaky after 1998 driver Geoff Bodine left the team.
"We felt like it's been OK all along," Waltrip said. "If you look at the business journals, Philips has gone through a lot of change here recently with realignment in their business strategies, but we have felt confident that things will work out and we should have things finalized here in the near future."
Waltrip comes to the Philips team from the Wood Brothers' Citgo-sponsored outfit. In 1998, Waltrip posted five top-10 finishes in 31 starts, including three of the season's first six races. His best finish of the season was ninth, which he accomplished four times.
In 396 career series starts, he has 19 top-five finishes and 81 top-10s. His lone victory on the circuit came in the 1996 running of The Winston all-star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Waltrip posted similar numbers this season as the man he is replacing. Bodine had no wins, one top-five finish and five top-10s with the Philips Ford team in 1998. Bodine's status for 1999 is still uncertain, as he may take over a seat in either the NASCAR Winston Cup Series or the NASCAR Busch Series Grand National Division next year.
Lucent Technologies, which has been part of an alliance with Philips in sponsorship of the team, is the company responsible for bringing the No. 7 team to Japan this week.
Source: NASCAR Online