Michael Waltrip elated to seal first NASCAR Sprint Cup Chase berths
|By Diego Mejia||Tuesday, September 11th 2012, 12:45 GMT|
Michael Waltrip has lauded his team for achieving a double Chase seeding in this year's NASCAR Sprint Cup - the first time his outfit has entered the championship play-off.
In the team's sixth year at the top level of NASCAR, both Clint Bowyer and Martin Truex Jr had already guaranteed themselves spots in this year's Chase heading into the regular season's final round at Richmond.
Bowyer ensured the outfit entered the Chase in style, claiming his second win of the season at Richmond after managing to stretch his fuel mileage further than his rivals while showing strong pace to contend at the front.
He will start the title battle from sixth as a result, with Truex four places back in 10th.
"Over the last year, just the addition of Clint [Bowyer], the addition of Brian [Pattie, crew chief], this [No. 15] team, Mark Martin - the job he's done for us - everybody's just rallied together," Waltrip said.
"It's just a really great working atmosphere.
"I'm obviously really happy with having two cars in the Chase.
"My inspiration for having a team from the beginning was Dale Earnhardt: I always wanted to have a team like Dale had.
"Anytime something goes good, I always think about all he meant to me. We're thankful."
In contrast to MWR's two Chase spots, Joe Gibbs Racing will have Denny Hamlin as its sole representative, marking the first time JGR has been out-numbered by another Toyota team in the Chase.
Toyota Racing Development's Lee White praised MWR's season and celebrated having a third of the Chase field running Camrys.
"We've had a great year and look forward to making the Chase an exclamation point on our season," said Toyota Racing Development's Lee White.
"It's exciting to have Denny [Hamlin] as the top seed going into the Chase and two Michael Waltrip Racing cars competing for this year's championship. This marks the first time that MWR has been in the Chase.
"We're eager to get to Chicago because we think we've got a good chance to make some noise in these last 10 races."