MICHAEL WALTRIP TO ENTER WATKINS GLEN LYSOL 200 WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Michael Waltrip will do double duty at Watkins Glen International this year, driving Ford Thunderbirds in both the Lysol 200 for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series and...
MICHAEL WALTRIP TO ENTER WATKINS GLEN LYSOL 200
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. -- Michael Waltrip will do double duty at Watkins Glen International this year, driving Ford Thunderbirds in both the Lysol 200 for the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series and the Bud at the Glen NASCAR Winston Cup race. The popular Owensboro, Ky., driver became the first Winston Cup regular to announce his intentions to compete in the June 28-30 Lysol 200, which will be his first Busch Grand National race at the reknowned 2.45-mile road circuit. Waltrip will then return August 8-11 for his 11th appearance in the Bud at the Glen, a race he's led three different times. "I enjoy Watkins Glen, and I'm looking forward to going back there," said the 32-year-old driver. "The McDonald's Inner Loop made it a whole different place and it took a little getting used to, but now I think it makes it more exciting for the fans." Waltrip owns his Busch Grand National team. His Ford Thunderbird is sponsored by MW Windows, which formerly sponsored three-time Watkins Glen winner Terry Labonte in Busch competition. "I'm not really sure what to expect in the Lysol 200," said Waltrip, who has seven career victories in Busch Grand National competition. "I do know that the guys that run well in the Winston Cup always seem to do really well when they go to the Glen for the Busch Grand National race, so I feel like my experience up there with the Winston Cup cars will make me more competitive." Waltrip will have a new ride for the Bud at the Glen, taking over the No. 21 Citgo Ford. He opened the 1996 campaign with three top-10 finishes in six races for the Wood Brothers. Waltrip is expecting strong competition from the Busch Grand National Series regulars in the Lysol 200. David Green is the current points leader, coming off a victory in the most recent BGN event at Hickory, N.C. Local natives Todd Bodine, Mike McLaughlin and Doug Heveron, Curtis Markham, Jeff Green, Chad Little, Jeff Purvis, Randy LaJoie and Phil Parsons are among the top regulars in the division. While this will be Waltrip's first visit to the Lysol 200, he's no stranger to the Glen, having competed in all 10 runnings of the Bud at the Glen. Waltrip led five laps during the 1988 event, and came back the following year to lead six circuits and place 10th. He qualified eighth and recorded his best finish, a fourth, in the 1990 race, finishing behind winner Ricky Rudd and brothers Geoff and Brett Bodine. "I really had a shot to win the 1990 race," Waltrip recalled. "That was a good day for us, and we wound up fourth. Late in the race there was a caution and there were only two laps to go when they restarted. Geoff and Brett Bodine were ahead of me and they got together on the last lap. We all had to slow down, and I had a shot at getting by both of them, but it didn't work out. We had a strong run there at the end." Waltrip, the Busch Grand National regulars and other selected Winston Cup drivers will have opening practice and qualifying for the Lysol 200 on Saturday, June 29. The weekend also includes a pair of U.S. Formula Ford 2000 races, plus the SCCA Barber Dodge Pro Series. Tickets are now on sale for the Lysol 200. For additional information or credit card orders, call (607) 535-2481.
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