MWR earns credibility in 2012 - - The News for South Mississippi

NASCAR NOTES: Michael Waltrip Racing earns credibility in 2012

Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images
Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy" Glenn Campbell - "The Lugnut Cowboy"

To say that Michael Waltrip Racing's entrance into the NASCAR Cup Series division has been a roller coaster ride would be an understatement. However, with two teams making it into the Chase in 2012, the team has finally turned the corner and is getting the respect it needs.

MWR entered the Cup Series with a lot of promise. It had Toyota support and a proven media giant in Michael Waltrip to bring in sponsorship. As things progressed, the team never has lived up to the hype - until this season. Team driver Martin Truex Jr. isn't surprised with the turn of events. In fact, he's expected it all along.

"I don't think it's mind boggling at all," said Truex on the team's recent success. "I think that this is something that we had planned all season. "I felt very strongly after last year how we ended the season. I really felt good about the opportunity to be able to do that."

Truex gives team owners Rob Kauffman and Michael Waltrip all the credit for putting the right pieces together for success.

"I think that the guys did a great job of choosing the right people, putting them in the right places, and it goes back to starting with a solid foundation," continued Truex on his team's ownership. "What Rob and Michael have built at MWR and lured those guys to come over there and see the potential in the race team, that's what got it all started."

Sitting in seventh place in the Chase standings, Truex will not be carrying the Championship Trophy home after Homestead, but he is proud of his team's accomplishments.

"It's obviously been a great season for everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing," commented Truex on his season. "It's obviously a huge step up in the performance of what we've been and of what everyone has been used to seeing with Michael Waltrip Racing. So it's certainly been a pleasure to drive their cars this season. Everybody has done an awesome job."

As he looks ahead to the future, Truex sees a lot of potential for success next season and it begins with strong performances in the last three races.

"It's one of those things where momentum is a big thing," said Truex when asked about next season. "You need to be good on all different types of racetracks. I think we've learned a lot as a team this year about how to be better prepared for next year going in."

With teammate Clint Bowyer sitting third in the title Chase, Truex will have plenty of help preparing for next season. The challenge will be to keep the momentum that they have created at MWR going throughout the off season. I don't see anything getting in their way, except for themselves.

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