Waltrip hoping Michigan is first step toward improvement

Michael Waltrip and Philips Racing Team hoping Michigan is first step toward an improved second half HARRISBURG, N.C. (Aug. 18, 1999) - During the last half of the first 1999 Winston Cup event at Michigan back in June, Michael Waltrip had his...

Michael Waltrip and Philips Racing Team hoping Michigan is first step toward an improved second half

HARRISBURG, N.C. (Aug. 18, 1999) - During the last half of the first 1999 Winston Cup event at Michigan back in June, Michael Waltrip had his Philips Chevrolet turning some of the best laps on the racetrack. But, the caution-free 200-lapper spread the field so widely apart, it was difficult for Waltrip to benefit from him strong car in the final rundown. This weekend, Waltrip is hoping to pick up where he left off in week 14 and use it toward a much-needed top 10 run as the series returns to Michigan Speedway for the 22nd race of the 1999 season.

Michael Waltrip at Michigan (career)...

Starts: 28 Poles: 1 Top 5s: 0 Top 10s: 3 Ave. start: 23.82 Ave. finish: 21.68 Winnings: $422,500 Best start: Pole ('91) Best finish: 7th ('88) 1999 (race 1): 15th

Michael Waltrip on...

...working to improve the team's overall performance:

"We're pretty happy with how we've progressed, in terms of qualifying. We've qualified in the first round nine weeks in a row, and are probably averaging a 12th to 15th place starting position over that stretch. That has made us confident enough that we feel like we are capable of getting back into the front row, or even on the pole.

"But, realistically, we haven't established ourselves at that level on raceday yet. We are pretty consistently a top 20 team, but that's obviously not where we want to be. So, now our whole focus and our drive is on improving that. Putting the Philips Chevy in victory lane is, of course, the ultimate goal. But, you can't just say that, without a good foundation to base it on. You have to base it on fact-where are you at, and how far are you from where you want to be?

"What we are trying to do is know that during the first half of the season, we were a solid top 20 team. Now, we are going back to Michigan, we're going back to Bristol, and we're going back to Darlington. We've got to be better than we were in the first half. We are, in essence, a first-year team, so it is very important that we be better in the second half than we were in the first. That's what we are really concentrating on. We are not dwelling on a bad day, here and there. We know we are better than that, and that's what we need to keep working toward."

Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands is one of the world's biggest electronics companies and Europe's largest, with sales of over US$ 39 billion in 1997. It is a global leader in color television sets, lighting, electric shavers, color picture tubes for televisions and monitors, and one-chip TV products. Its 256,000 employees in more than 60 countries are active in the areas of lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances, components, semiconductors, medical systems, business electronics, and IT services (Origin). Philips is quoted on the NYSE, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and other stock exchanges.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip