Rockingham Michael Waltrip Preview

Michael Waltrip hoping driver and crew reap well-deserved rewards this weekend HARRISBURG, N.C. (Oct. 19, 1999) - This weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup event at North Carolina Speedway offers a unique opportunity for both Philips Chevrolet driver...

Michael Waltrip hoping driver and crew reap well-deserved rewards this weekend

HARRISBURG, N.C. (Oct. 19, 1999) - This weekend's NASCAR Winston Cup event at North Carolina Speedway offers a unique opportunity for both Philips Chevrolet driver Michael Waltrip and his crew. For Waltrip, it's a chance to capitalize on a season's worth of hard work with a good finish at a track where he likes to compete, while for his crew, it's a chance to finally receive some well-deserved recognition by winning the annual pit crew competition.

Michael Waltrip at North Carolina (career)...

Starts:  27
Top 5s:  1
Top 10s:  3
Top 15s:  9
Ave. start:  21.63
Ave. finish:  19.41
Winnings:  $389,310
Best start:  2nd ('95)
Best finish:  4th ('92)
1999 (race 1):  20th

Michael Waltrip on...

...how his team has improved since the spring race at North Carolina Speedway:

"I think we'll be a lot better this time. We've gotten better because we understand each other more and we have some notes to go off of. Our race in the spring was actually a positive experience. We finished 20th, but basically ran the last 100 laps without any brakes. It wasn't a great weekend, but we salvaged a top 20 out of it, so that really makes me look forward to this trip down there. I like Rockingham. I've always run well there, and we should be very competitive and race for at least a top 10 finish this trip."

...this weekend's pit crew competition:

"I'd put these Philips guys up against anybody and I'm really looking forward to getting that opportunity on Saturday.

"The competition is somewhat different than regular race day-pit stops, with some of the rules that are enforced, so that can make a little difference in the competition. When you are as good as these guys are at what they do, and then make things a little different, it can throw them off. It would be like moving a basketball goal on Michael Jordan. He would adjust eventually, but the first couple times, he might not be as good as usual.

"This is just a little different, so it's a little bit more difficult, especially since they only get one shot at it. But, their talent and ability on Sunday is tops in my opinion, and hopefully, they'll get to show that on Saturday."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip