Watkins Glen: Michael Waltrip preview

" I am optimistic about running well at the Glen this year," Waltrip said. Our car was really good last year during practice. We made a few changes to the rear gearing on raceday morning and that hurt us a little, but we still ended up with a ...

" I am optimistic about running well at the Glen this year," Waltrip said. Our car was really good last year during practice. We made a few changes to the rear gearing on raceday morning and that hurt us a little, but we still ended up with a top-10 finish. Dale Jr. and Ron Fellows tested at the Glen and came up with a set up they were both very happy with. Coupling the test with how well we did last year, we think our set up and gearing will be right. We need another strong run to keep us in the point's hunt. Indy was a disappointing finish, but I was proud of how we ran and what a great job my team did in the pits."

DID YOU KNOW...

Michael Waltrip will run a smaller steering wheel than what he uses when he only drives left? Waltrip will join a hand full of other drivers that will use a road racing steering wheel.

"I used this steering wheel last year and was comfortable with it," Waltrip explained. "I figure that if all these road racing experts are using it then there must be something to it. It can't hurt to analyze what the best in the business do to be the best. It is important to me to eliminate all factors that might keep me from having my best race possible. In this case, I didn't eliminate the idea, I am taking advantage of it."

ONE YEAR AGO

After starting second, Waltrip maintained a top-10 position most of the day despite trouble with the car overdriving. Keeping an eye on the Winston Cup points race, the NAPA team waited to pit in order to lead a lap and secure five bonus points. "We were really pleased with our car in happy hour," said crew chief Slugger Labbe, "and we thought we chose the right gear." We expected the race pace to slow down some and it didn't. We needed a different gear to keep Michael from over driving it in the inner loop. Our car looked good everywhere but there."

SHORT TRACK RACING

Michael Waltrip will compete in a special "Race of Champions" with Kevin Harvick, Greg Biffle and Dave Blaney on Saturday night at Lake Erie Speedway, a 3/8-mile NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series track in North East, Pa. This special event marks Waltrip's second visit to the facility. "This track is beautiful... this is a real tribute to short track racing," Waltrip said after participating in Lake Erie's "Race of Champions" event last season. All four drivers are scheduled to participate in an autograph session from 5-6:30 p.m. followed by a special match race.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Kevin Harvick , Greg Biffle , Ron Fellows , Dave Blaney