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Michael Waltrip Tests the 1998 Taurus at Talladega and Atlanta

24 October 1997

On Monday and Tuesday following Talladega Superspeedway's Diehard 500,
Michael Waltrip and the Wood Brothers Racing Team tested the 1998 Ford

[ Michael Waltrip ]Michael Waltrip

Michael Waltrip Waltrip and the Wood Brothers tried the same basic
set-up they had used in Sunday's race.

"Until you actually put the car on the track, you're not exactly sure
what you got," said car owner and co-crew chief Eddie Wood. "We built
this Taurus for Daytona and Talladega and we wanted to get some sort
of baseline with the new car. We set the car up similar to what we
raced with here on Sunday (Talladega) and it was slower, but not too
far from what we anticipated. We worked on aerodynamic issues most of
the time and overall we learned a lot about what the car needs."

After getting rained out on Tuesday, the Wood Brothers packed up and
headed to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for two more days of testing.
Driver Jimmy Spencer joined Waltrip and the Wood Brothers and turned
some laps in the Wood Brothers Taurus. "We were encouraged with the
results at both Talladega and Atlanta," said Waltrip. "There is
however, room to improve and aerodynamically we learned a lot at
Talladega. That's where we're able to make the most changes as far the
"aero" is concerned. I think overall it's going to be a good race car,
we just need to tweak it some more and it should come around."

Aside from testing the Taurus at Atlanta, this was the first time for
Waltrip on the newly configured 1.54 mile quad-oval. "It was wild and
fast. The big sweeping turns should make it an exciting race and a
great way to end the season. The speeds are really fast right now due
to the grip of the new pavement, but we may see the speeds come down
some next year."

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