Waltrip could retire after 2009

Excerpt from the 2009 NASCAR Preseason Thunder Daytona Fan Fest: Saturday news conference transcripts:

Q. Do you get the same sense of excitement or anticipation when you get ready to race as you do when you go on camera to do the funny NAPA commercials with Ron Capps?

MICHAEL WALTRIP: I'm just real lucky, and I think the question earlier about would I have started my team, I'm all in. Me and Capps just finished our commercials for this year yesterday and the day before, and they're awesome. I can't wait for everyone to see them. That's fun. When I get to go on TV and talk about truck racing, the last season of that truck racing were as fun as anything I've done hanging out with Phil and Rick and Al and all the folks on Speed. I love that. But I'm a race car driver, and when I came through that tunnel a minute ago here at Daytona, it almost brought tears to my eyes. It's almost like coming home when you've had success here and you know the people that have won and the people that have lost their battles here. Just I love it. It'll be interesting.

My goal is to go win some races this year, run up front so that I don't have to say this is my last year. But if I don't do those things, if I can't compete at the level that Ruderman does or NAPA expects, then I probably won't get to do this again in 2010. This is a real important year for me because I still love it. I'm still emotional about it. That's a great feeling. I'm glad I have that. I'm glad I feel the way I do, and I'm also glad that I own my car, because if this is my last year then I'm fine, because that means I got somebody faster or better than me to drive my car in 2010, and that's how it was supposed to be. I'm not going to be standing around thinking, "well, what am I going to do now?" I know exactly what I'm going to do now, I'm going to continue to be to try to influence my drivers and my team and my sponsors to be the best team that we can ever be." NASCAR PR

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