NASCAR WCUP: Long, frustrating day for Michael Waltrip and the Philips Racing Team at Indianapolis
9 August 1999INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.- Philips Chevrolet driver Michael Waltrip started Saturday's Brickyard 400 with great track position and a lot of promise. But, both went away quickly, as Waltrip and his team spent the day searching for the handle on the car and a way to make the best of a fifth-place starting position.
Waltrip's Brickyard qualifying effort was his best ever in the event, and his best in 1999 since he started on the outside of the front row at Las Vegas in the third event of the season. But, right from the outset, Waltrip described his car as loose. The result was a loss of more than two dozen spots on the racetrack before the first caution allowed him to come to pit road for an adjustment.
As the race wore on, the loose condition remained, which sentenced Waltrip to an afternoon of fighting and scrambling around the 25th position. Late race traffic and couple close calls dropped Waltrip two more positions in the running order, leaving him 27th in the final rundown.
"What a long day," said Waltrip. "We felt like we weren't handling right yesterday during 'Happy Hour,' so we changed it today, and we missed it. It was the same car and same conditions we had at Loudon. It just doesn't match up to the way I drive, or something. I don't think we've run this bad all year.
"We just never got it right on Friday, so we had to guess today a little bit. The crew did a good job guessing. We fixed it, but we just over-fixed it a bit for my taste. I couldn't hang on to it. These days here - they'll get you down, but they won't knock you out."
With the finish, Waltrip remains 19th in the NASCAR Winston Cup point standings. The series now heads to Watkins Glen International for the 21st event of the 1999 season this Sunday.