Watkins Glen: Michael Waltrip preview

Michael Waltrip will compete in his 19th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday where he will look for his fifth top-10 run and his second top-five run at the 2.45-mile speedway. His best finish was fourth - in August of...

Michael Waltrip will compete in his 19th NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Watkins Glen International on Sunday where he will look for his fifth top-10 run and his second top-five run at the 2.45-mile speedway. His best finish was fourth - in August of 1990.

"We had a strong run in Sonoma, Calif., with the same car we will have at The Glen," Waltrip stated. "Road racing is always something that I have enjoyed and that I feel I have a knack for and this weekend I think you'll see the NAPA car as a part of the story. We started on the outside pole at The Glen a couple of years ago and have always competed well, which makes me excited about the weekend's activities."

This Week's Race Car is Chassis #11. This car was run in both road course races last year (Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway) as well as 2002's race at Watkins Glen. Crew chief Slugger Labbe put a new body on the car over the winter to meet all of NASCAR's updated specifications for the 2004 Monte Carlo. The car also finished fourth at Infineon Raceway in June this season and was tested two weeks ago at The Glen.

Last Year's Race at The Glen The NAPA Chevrolet started 34th. Slugger was able to implement strategy and pitted early on lap 22. We ran sixth and ran solidly in the top-10 for most of the race. The same strategy that got us track position early cost us track position later when Rusty Wallace spun with 40 laps to go. He was running directly behind the NAPA team in the seventh position and ran off into the gravel trap. When the NAPA car passed the start/finish line as NASCAR threw the caution flag. This allowed the cars that were running behind Rusty to go to pit road under green flag conditions. Those cars stayed out when we had to pit under the yellow flag. As a result, they gained the front positions. We returned to the racetrack running 26th and got all the way to 13th.

Championship Points Currently in the 18th position, the No. 15 car is 151 points out of 15th and 274 points out of 10th.

NAPA AUTO PARTS will support NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver Michael Waltrip's OPERATION MARTHON fundraising efforts benefiting the Victory Junction Gang Camp by donating $15,000 for every top-5 finish, $10,000 for every top-10 finish and $5,000 for every top -15 finish by the NAPA No.15 NEXTEL Cup team beginning August 15 at Watkins Glen International for the final 15 races.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Michael Waltrip