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NASCAR WCUP: Michael Waltrip looking to recapture early season magic at Talladega

13 October 1999

Posted By Terry Callahan
Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel
HARRISBURG, N.C.- When Philips Chevrolet driver Michael Waltrip ran fifth in the season-opening Daytona 500, the three remaining restrictor plate races took on special significance. Waltrip and his teammates knew they could contend, but they knew they needed to back it up to prove it. Eight races later, they did. Waltrip left Talladega Superspeedway on April 25 knowing he led 25 laps, and more importantly, knowing he would be a factor when the series returned to the 2.66-mile tri-oval for its second race, slated for this Sunday.

Michael Waltrip at Talladega.

Top 5s
Top 10s
Top 15s Ave.
Start Ave.
Career 27 4 9 13 20.81 17.67 $559,390
 Best start:  7th ('95); best finish:  3rd ('94); 1999 (race 1):  18th
25 laps)

Michael Waltrip on.

.what it will take to win Sunday at Talladega:

"We think we know what it's going to take to go win it, I believe I know how to win it and I know the guys are going to give me a car capable of winning it. That's all really good and that's exciting. We led the race down there this spring, and ran strong all day long.

"We've been real fortunate that we've had only one car for all four restrictor plate races. Most teams usually lose one or two during the course of a year, but we've been able to tune and tweak on our Philips Chevy all year long. It should be better for this last race than it was for the first one at Daytona when we finished fifth. It's a lot about having a fast car, but then it's a lot about making the right moves, too. It's a combination of a good car and a guy that can hang in there in the draft. I' ve generally been pretty good at that, and I look forward to trying to do it again."

.dealing with the possibility of "the big wreck":

"I don't really get into the idea that you can go there and wreck. I just get into going there and being excited about having a chance to win."

Meet Michael Waltrip's crew chief Bobby Kennedy Friday night at 7pm during the Live Roundtable hosted by Y92.

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