Toyota: Michael Waltrip Racing Notes & Quotes

Michael Waltrip

MICHAEL WALTRIP, owner, Michael Waltrip Racing

Are you excited to know you're going to race the 2016 Daytona 500 with Maxwell House on your Camry?

"I love Maxwell House. In 1990, they were the co-primary sponsor on my car. This relationship has given me the opportunity to dig back through some really cool old photos of me and the Maxwell House team and what all we accomplished together back then. To fast forward 25 years, it's crazy that we're coming back together as a partner and I couldn't be prouder to put on the Maxwell House uniform and run a couple races for those guys. The 2016 Daytona 500 will be my 29th one and I think – when you're old, you like to have things to look forward to and I'm looking forward to 2017 when I get to run my 30th I hope with Maxwell House on the side of my car. Obviously, it's wonderful that we're introducing a brand, Maxwell House, to you guys and being able to represent such a great company and looking forward to the rest of the season."

What has been your impression of Brett Moffitt as part of the MWR organization?

"He's a talented young man. He got behind the wheel of our K&N East cars and won races and raced for a championship. I just loved his spirit and all the people at the shop, Brett (Moffitt) is right with them every day trying to help them understand what he's feeling. Obviously his first race at Atlanta, he raced to a top-10, so he sort of started with an exclamation point and the last couple of weeks have been a bit of a challenge for him. Nevertheless, we believe in his talent and he's stepped right into the 55 car that Brian (Vickers) vacated due to his unfortunate health issues and has filled in and I think has helped Clint's (Bowyer) car and the whole organization grow. We knew we were off a bit and we had to make some gains and on paper – the thing that I love about racing, paper pretty much tells you what you've got. If you're off a little bit you can see it and I know we're going to be better this weekend. Brett has helped us in that respect."

Clint Bowyer will backing from Maxwell House in addition to Five-Hour Energy this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. We imagine he will not have any trouble staying awake.

CLINT BOWYER, No. 15 5 hour ENERGY/Maxwell House Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing

Are you ready to go racing with some blue on your Camry​?

"It's a great lineup of races for me. We've got Pocono, Watkins Glen, Martinsville and then right back here at Texas. I'm looking forward to those races and having Maxwell on board. It is neat. Anytime you can have a sponsor and bring a sponsor back into this sport that has been a part of this sport for many years, a staple name in this sport – to have them back on board, not only on board with NASCAR, but to be on board on the side of my race car is huge for me and our sport. Looking forward to them and so far we've had fun working with them. Proud of Ty (Norris, WMR executive vice president of business development and general manager) and everybody for working really hard on this and making it a reality for myself and my race team. It's big anytime you can bring funding to these race cars, it's a game changer."

How important is it to fill in your sponsorship for the season?

"Getting the day started on the right foot with Maxwell House is a big part of that. We needed some downtime. Sometimes when you're running good, you're not really looking for an off weekend or anything like that, but for us we got done with that West Coast swing and were behind and needed some time to get caught up. The guys have been working really, really hard. Everybody has been working really hard. We went to Richmond and tested there. I'm looking forward to getting on the race track and seeing what we've got, because we've changed some stuff and I know it was for the better on paper – let's see if it's for the better on the race track. The engineers are pretty excited about what they see and Brian Pattie (crew chief) is pretty pumped. He's 40 now, turned 40 yesterday, so looking forward to getting his old butt on the box and seeing what he has for calling a race this weekend."

Are you concerned with the added SAFER barriers at Bristol changing the racing line?

"I didn't know about it. The neat thing is it's the same for everybody. I guess I'll just follow the guy. I won't be the first one on the race track. If he smokes the wall, I'll pull it down three feet and not hit the wall. That's a big topic in our sport right now. We've come so far and learned so much in the safety aspects of this sport. It's unfortunate what happened to Kyle (Busch), but fortunately he lived through that. I'm telling you, that was a hard hit and in all fairness it doesn't matter if that was SAFER barrier or not – that was a scary crash. There's no excuse in today's day and age that we've learned those things to put in place. Certainly at Bristol, you think it's a short track and not near as big of a hit as you can have at Daytona, but it is. All the tracks in NASCAR are working to do all they can do."

How will it be working with companies like 5 hour ENERGY and Maxwell House?

"That's the question, how can both these companies be together on one race car. It's really simple. This very morning was a prime example of how it works in my lifestyle. Our six month old, Cash, was screaming literally about every 45 minutes in the motorhome and I only have 40 feet in that motorhome. You can't go any farther. The rental car outside is the next closest step to getting sleep. Certainly waking up this morning and brewing a fresh pot of Maxwell House coffee to get the day started is paramount to having a six month old and everyday life. Before I get in that race car, you need to be alert, you need to be focused and energized and certainly you need to be fast, so a 5 hour ENERGY shot is what it is for me."

How has fatherhood changed your routine?

"It's not days – the days are fine. The nights are a struggle for me. That's a game changer. Usually through your 20s, maybe early 30s, the night life changes drastically from staying out enjoying a few beverages with your friends to changing diapers. You don't do those beverages anymore. No matter what happens at night, my man is up at 5:30 ready to go and he needs you now."

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