Daytona 500 practice by Kellyanne Lynch
10 February 2007
Michael Waltrip Racing's three entries completed practice sessions today at Daytona International Speedway, in preparation for next week's Daytona 500.
Sixty drivers turned laps in each session. In the first, MWR ranked 26th, 31st, and 51st. Mikey led his drivers with a 49.034-second lap at 183.546 MPH, which was 0.660 seconds behind fastest lap-turner Ricky Rudd. David Reutimann's #00 was 31st with a 49.062-second lap at 183.441 MPH (- 0.688 seconds behind Rudd), and Dale Jarrett's #44 was 51st with a 49.483-second circuit (181.881 MPH, -1.109).
Rudd also led second practice. David was 12th (48.612 seconds, 185.139 MPH, -0.422), Mikey was 18th (48.694 seconds, 184.828 MPH, -0.504), and Dale was 54th (49.361 seconds, 182.330 MPH, -1.171).
Sixty-one drivers will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500. Coverage begins tomorrow at 2:00pm ET on FOX. Mikey will take to the track 44th, Dale will be 48th, and David will be 59th.
Daytona 500: Toyota teams day one quotes
Racing series NASCAR-CUP
NASCAR Nextel Cup Series Practice - Daytona 500
Daytona International Raceway
February 10, 2007
Today's NASCAR Nextel Cup practice sessions marked the first time all three Toyota teams -- Bill Davis Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull -- participated in on-track activities in preparation for this year's Daytona 500.
Eight Toyota Camrys took to the track today in NASCAR Nextel Cup practice. Bill Davis Racing had three Camrys practice: Dave Blaney, Jeremy Mayfield and Mike Skinner. Michael Waltrip Racing had three Camrys practice: Dale Jarrett, David Reutimann and Michael Waltrip.
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
On the first two practice sessions for the Daytona 500:
"These sessions went pretty well, not exactly what we were looking for, but the car drives really well. We freed it up quite a bit in the last practice session and I feel like it could stand to be freed up even more. There is still a lot of learning going on with these cars and it is encouraging to see some of the other Toyota teams and my teammates making some solid improvements. We're going to talk with the other teams and see what they are doing because we really need to find some more speed. We have really made some great improvements on the drivability of the car and now we have to focus on speed."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Domino's Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
On the first practice for the Daytona 500 for Michael Waltrip Racing:
"We have to get a lot better, but that is hard to do here. We're okay, but we're not exactly where we need to be. We're working real hard to try to get some more speed out of the car. We got a good draw for qualifying tomorrow, we go out 60th so that may or may not help us. We made pretty big gains from where we tested until now, but we are still a ways off from where we need to be."
On the pressure of these practice sessions:
"It's just stressful, we're just trying to find speed and our Michael Waltrip Racing team is doing everything we can to get into this race."
On coming to the Daytona 500 as a driver:
"All the people that have had to do the things to help me live my dream has been remarkable. I grew up dreaming of someday driving in this race. The team is full of excellent people to work with and I can't believe the amount of effort they are putting into this. There's still a lot of work to do, but I can't believe I'm actually here doing this. This has been a dream come true."
On Toyota's improvements in the second practice:
"The imrpovements have come from a lot of hard work on everybone's part. Everbody has been sharing information and these guys have been working on the motors and the changes are starting to add up. Hopefully the wind will stay down and with our late draw, we'll see. I know the entire Michael Waltrip Racing team has been working their tails off to give us fast Camrys, and we're starting to see some of that pay off."
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
On how the first two practice sessions have gone:
"These first two practice sessions have gone really well and we've improved on every run. On that last run we were pretty competitive, but we'll just have to see what happens tomorrow. It's really tough to get through inspection and keep everything that you want. We're going to try our best and we've been totally validating everything we've done and we know everything is right, but you just have to go through the inspection process."
On how the entire Michael Waltrip Racing team has been working together:
"I've been real proud of the team; we've gotten in a lot of runs probably as many as anyone. Our guys have done a really good job and they are a great group of guys. Not just the 55 team, but all the 00 and 44 guys. All three of our teams are working really well together. We totally understand what everybody's doing. Now we have to sit down and figure out if something that has been done to one car will work to make another faster. And if we think so, then we've been running with it."
On special adjustments to the car during practice:
"We haven't been doing anything funny, everything has been pretty normal. I think we are on the right track to being one of the three fastest cars for tomorrow. We are working hard and I think we are real close to that goal. We just have to see how it all works tomorrow."
On MWR's first race at Daytona:
"This race is a big deal. It's a huge race and everyone wants to be a part of it. Unfortunately, there will be cars that don't make it. If we're one of those cars -- that isn't going to define who we are. We can run one, two, three in the Daytona 500 and doesn't mean we've made it as a team. And if we DNQ two of them, that doesn't mean we've failed as a team. It's a much longer road that we plan on going down."