MWR Weekly Wrap-Up: Waltrip finishes in top 10 at Daytona

Michael Waltrip and Martin Truex Jr. race side by side.
Credit: Michael Waltrip Racing
Daytona and Talladega are always two races that anyone has a shot at winning. If you play any NASCAR fantasy racing, you know that truly anyone has a chance at winning. That being said, not everyone is built to be a plate racer. Michael Waltrip is indeed a plate racer and proved it once again during the Coke Zero 400. His MWR teammates cannot say the same thing after being caught up in wrecks.

Credit: Michael Waltrip Racing
Clint Bowyer, No. 15 5-hour ENERGY
Started: 29th
Finished: 29th
Points: 10th (-104) loss of three positions this week

Clint Bowyer opted for strategy early in the race, dropping to the back of the field to let the action play out in front of him.

With 40 laps to go, Bowyer began working his way up through the field and got as high as fifth before being caught up in "the big one" resulting from Denny Hamlin making an ill-fated move. Damaged beyond repair, the No. 15 team finished the race in 29th, recording their second DNF (did not finish) of the season.   

"We had a great 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, but never really got a chance to show how good we could be," Bowyer said post-race. "We tried to conserve our stuff until the end of the race and stay out of trouble, but trouble found us at the end of the race. That’s just how it goes at Daytona sometimes. We took a pretty big points hit and that hurts, but we’ll keep at it and try to make them back up next week in New Hampshire."

Bowyer summed up his night via Twitter, "All I can think to say is..........SHIT!!!!!!!!"

Credit: Michael Waltrip Racing
Michael Waltrip, No. 55 Aarons Dream Machine
Started: 28th
Finished: 9th
Points: 12th in owner (-154)

The numbers speak for themselves, Michael Waltrip excels at the restrictor plate races. Waltrip made his 49th career start at Daytona; in his previous starts he has accumulated 3 wins, 6 top 5s and 13 top-10 finishes.

Though qualifying did not go well, Daytona is one track where qualifying truly does not matter. After starting in 29th, Waltrip raced up front early and was looking strong until being involved in a multicar accident. Waltrip made contact with Joey Logano at Lap 124 in a seven-car wreck that started when teammate Martin Truex Jr. collided with Jimmie Johnson as Johnson was attempting to pit.

Waltrip's team made multiple pit stops to get the No. 55 Aarons Dream Machine back in contention for the closing laps. Restarting in 31st at Lap 130, he opted to stay in the back of the pack for a bit. As the  checkered flag flew, Waltrip dodged wrecks and spinning cars to finish in ninth. This finish makes 130 career top-10 finishes for Waltrip and 14 top 10s at Daytona. 

"Then at the end of the race I was confident I could push and I just got a hold of the back of the 39 (Ryan Newman) and we were coming and then they started crashing and he squirted through in fifth and I squirted through in ninth. We just had a damaged car and probably pretty lucky to get a top 10. Earlier in the going I was trying my best to get up to the lead and making moves that got us close, but I think in general across the board we weren’t as strong as the front few cars. We got close, but that was all that we could do is get close," Waltrip said of his eventful night.

"That was fun! I was racing with the stars," Waltrip Tweeted. He continued, "It was like dancing w the the stars only racing w them."

Credit: Michael Waltrip Racing
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA Batteries
Started: 18th
Finished: 17th
Points: 8th (-92)

Racing within the top 10 most of the night, Truex's night went downhill fast after a miscue with Jimmie Johnson.

At Lap 124, Johnson was attempting to wave off the drivers behind him as he was trying to get to pit road but Truex did not see the warning. Johnson took a hard hit and triggered a multi-car accident but Truex did not have much damage and continued the race.

It looked like the team would salvage a good finish but Denny Hamlin jostled and set off a massive 14-car pileup with just 8 laps to go. After repairs, Truex got back out on track to finish the race and take the checkers in 17th.

"We nursed our NAPA Batteries Toyota to the checkered flag. We got hit twice in that big crash and there’s nothing much you can do. I thought we were going to be OK, but then the hole closed up and we got hit. That’s Daytona," Truex said post race.

"Well so much for that. Another plate race and another tore up car .guys did a good job fixing it to finish. Sry to the 48 fans my mistake," Truex Tweeted after the race.

Credit: Travel Channel
TV Alert: Michael and Darrel Waltrip appear on Travel Channel's Sand Masters.

Michael and Darrell Waltrip are making a guest appearance on the Travel Channel's Sand Masters in this week's episode. Tune into the show this Sunday at 10pm, the episode highlights the masters being challenged by Mikey to make a sand sculpture honoring Darrell and his induction into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Taped at Daytona in February, the episode airs Sunday night, July 8.
MWR Weekly Wrap-Up: Waltrip finishes in top 10 at Daytona MWR Weekly Wrap-Up: Waltrip finishes in top 10 at Daytona Reviewed by Unknown on Sunday, July 08, 2012 Rating: 5