Michael Waltrip Tests the 1998 Taurus at Talladega and Atlanta
24 October 1997
On Monday and Tuesday following Talladega Superspeedway's Diehard 500, Michael Waltrip and the Wood Brothers Racing Team tested the 1998 Ford Taurus. Michael Waltrip Michael Waltrip Waltrip and the Wood Brothers tried the same basic set-up they had used in Sunday's race. "Until you actually put the car on the track, you're not exactly sure what you got," said car owner and co-crew chief Eddie Wood. "We built this Taurus for Daytona and Talladega and we wanted to get some sort of baseline with the new car. We set the car up similar to what we raced with here on Sunday (Talladega) and it was slower, but not too far from what we anticipated. We worked on aerodynamic issues most of the time and overall we learned a lot about what the car needs." After getting rained out on Tuesday, the Wood Brothers packed up and headed to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for two more days of testing. Driver Jimmy Spencer joined Waltrip and the Wood Brothers and turned some laps in the Wood Brothers Taurus. "We were encouraged with the results at both Talladega and Atlanta," said Waltrip. "There is however, room to improve and aerodynamically we learned a lot at Talladega. That's where we're able to make the most changes as far the "aero" is concerned. I think overall it's going to be a good race car, we just need to tweak it some more and it should come around." Aside from testing the Taurus at Atlanta, this was the first time for Waltrip on the newly configured 1.54 mile quad-oval. "It was wild and fast. The big sweeping turns should make it an exciting race and a great way to end the season. The speeds are really fast right now due to the grip of the new pavement, but we may see the speeds come down some next year."
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