Waltrip refunding $400,000 to his sponsor ?

Waltrip refunding $400,000 to his sponsor ?

Waltrip refunding $400,000 to his sponsor ?
Jun 12, 2007

Michael Waltrip failed to qualify at Pocono, making it 12 DNQs in 14 races this season, and adding more fuel to the fires of speculation surrounding his team.

Unconfirmed reports continue to circulate about Waltrip refunding between $300,000 and $400,000 per missed race to his sponsor, NAPA Auto Parts, and about the unhappiness of Dale Jarrett’s sponsor, UPS. Jarrett also failed to make Sunday’s race—his third DNQ in the last five events—and there is talk in the Nextel Cup garage that he could be released by MWR, or moved to another operation.

As a team, Waltrip, Jarrett and rookie David Reutimann have qualified just 22 times in 42 attempts this season.

www.autoracingdaily.com

mvbski
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Re: Waltrip refunding $400,000 to his sponsor ?

This is not really that surprising, if he doesn't qualify he doesn't need the full budget for each race so he should be giving it back. His record is ridiculous to be honest. I mean anyone who thought he was a good driver before should be shot.

DJ, while I good ass driver I hear is extremely hard to work with on the crew side. He is very demanding and not really a team player. I think the combo of a new car and a new crew that can't adjust on the car how he would like has doomed him at MWR. I would like to see him leave there and go somewhere else he could run good again

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Former champion to drive for Waltrip
June 12, 2007

CORNELIUS, N.C. (AP) -Terry Labonte will come out of retirement long enough to replace team owner and driver Michael Waltrip behind the wheel for the two NASCAR Nextel Cup road races this season.

Labonte retired from Cup races near the end of last season, but Michael Waltrip Racing announced Tuesday he will drive the team's No. 55 Toyota Camry at Infineon Raceway on June 24 and at Watkins Glen International at Aug. 12.

``It's not an easy decision for me to remove myself from the car, but I know it is for the betterment of our whole program,'' said Waltrip, who has struggled through a terrible season, qualifying for only two of 14 races. ``I know Terry's experience and road race savvy will breathe a breath of fresh air into my young NAPA team.''

The 2007 season has been mostly a nightmare for Waltrip in his first season as a Cup team owner, beginning with Daytona, where his team was fined and docked points for using a foreign substance in the fuel and two of his employees were suspended until being reinstated in May.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner and younger brother of three-time Cup champion Darrell Waltrip also had an embarrassing off-track incident in which he fell asleep at the wheel of his SUV, hit a telephone pole and turned over. He was not injured but was charged by police with reckless driving and failing to report an accident.

Meanwhile, his other two drivers, former Cup champion Dale Jarrett and rookie David Reutimann have struggled in their new Toyotas.

Jarrett, who had to use up all six of his allowable former champion's provisionals to make races, has driven in 11 of the 14 events but has not finished better than 22nd since Daytona.

Reutimann has driven in nine races this year with a best finish of 29th.

The 50-year-old Labonte drove in 17 races last season, ending with the race in his native Texas in November. He did, however, finish third last season at Infineon and has six top 10 finishes at Watkins Glen.

``To put Terry in the car is a reflection of the big picture we are trying to establish with this NAPA Racing team and I know this will be a spark this team needs,'' Waltrip said. ``I look forward to watching the team compete and learning more about all the MWR cars from a different perspective, exclusively as an owner.''

Waltrip plans to attempt to qualify for the rest of the Cup races this season.

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Past success has Waltrip confident for Michigan race  big_smile
SCENEDAILY.COM

Is Michigan International Speedway the place where Michael Waltrip and his team can rebound? Although he's only competed in two points races this season, Waltrip seems confident heading into this weekend's NASCAR Nextel Cup weekend.

Waltrip has four top-10 starts and five top-10 finishes at the track while competing with sponsor NAPA, the company currently backing his Michael Waltrip Racing entry. Overall, he's earned one pole and eight top-10 finishes as well as a Busch Series victory at the track.

Waltrip is looking to rally after failing to make last week's race at Pocono Raceway.

"Looking back, I've had some really nice runs at Michigan," Waltrip said. "I'll never forget winning the Busch race a few years back from the outside pole. I was in a pretty heated battle with Todd Bodine. We were running door-to-door, so to come out on top was pretty awesome."

Waltrip says that he has lots of tracks that he considers to be fun to drive, but he likes all the potential Michigan offers in terms of passing.

"As a driver, I find most tracks fun to drive, and Michigan International Speedway is no exception," he said. "What I like about this track is that it has a bunch of grooves. It gives you options based on how your car is handling.

"Plus, if someone is running the same line as you, you still have other options to make a pass. We can run five-wide with relative ease, and that's not only good for the drivers, it's good for the fans to watch."

Waltrip needs to make the race before he can drive in it, though. Sitting well outside the top 35 in points and a locked-in position, he must make the race based on speed. A total of 50 cars are entered in the event.

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mvbski wrote:



Former champion to drive for Waltrip
June 12, 2007

CORNELIUS, N.C. (AP) -Terry Labonte will come out of retirement long enough to replace team owner and driver Michael Waltrip behind the wheel for the two NASCAR Nextel Cup road races this season.

P.J. Jones to replace Reutimann at Infineon
SCENEDAILY.COM

P.J. Jones will replace Nextel Cup rookie David Reutimann in the No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing car next weekend at Infineon Raceway.

Reutimann, who is fourth in the Busch Series points, will concentrate on the Busch event at Milwaukee on June 23 while handing off the steering wheel to the road-course specialist for the June 22-24 weekend at Infineon.

"We had hoped to be in the top 35 by Sonoma, but we haven't been able to do that," Reutimann said. "We felt like having a driver with a lot of road course experience would give us a solid chance to get into the race. ... It wouldn't have been an issue if I would have had more road-course experience.

"I'll be back in the car [the next week] at New Hampshire and wish P.J. good luck at Sonoma."

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