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Michael Waltrip buys his way into Coke 600


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CONCORD, N.C. -- Michael Waltrip couldn't qualify his way into Sunday's Coca-Cola 600, so he bought his way into it.

 

 

Michael Waltrip Credit: Autostock

 

Officials with Michael Waltrip Racing confirmed Friday that Waltrip has purchased the No. 74 Dodge of Derrike Cope, who had taken the final spot in the 43-car field during Thursday night's qualifying for the longest race in the Nextel Cup Series.

 

The car will be repainted bearing Waltrip's No. 55 and all of his sponsors, including primary sponsor NAPA.

 

This is not the first time a Waltrip has bought his way into the 600. Michael's brother, Darrell, purchased Carl Long's ride in 2000, his last season in NASCAR's premier series.

 

Had Cope not given up his car it would have been the first time since 1975 that neither of the Waltrips made a Cup race. That also allows Michael to extend his streak of consecutive races to 262.

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I guess I'm confused. If this was THR wouldn't the driver that qualified have to be the same driver to start? Or, if you're going to have a pinch driver if you will, they must at least drive your car. I could maybe even see changing the paint scheme, but not the number.

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well it sounds like he is going to be racing the derrik cope car, just relettered with the napa logos...........my question is what happens if he wrecks in practice or happy hour..........does he get to pull out one of his backup cars or how will that work............

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hell...now he has 3 back up cars............"money talks bs walks" walked 2 dudes from enron into a combined 50 years , atleast.................nascar doesn't need the money , if they're getting a portion? so why allow it? because napa pumps more sponsorship dollars directly into nascar than cope's ma and pa sausage farm or indian rez sponsor ever will. still don't make it right.

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If Earnhardt hadn't had that tire go down, Derricke Cope would have been out of racing years ago instead of always being known as "Daytona 500 Winner Derricke Cope," while Mikey has parlayed a goofball persona into a successful career.

Both did what they needed to do, and I doubt many of us would have done it differently. It's a rough sport.

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THE MONEY 40th-->43rd WOULD HAVE PAID"?

Jay is right. A wise business move and if Cope really wants to race he can take a small amount of that money and rent a car for some saturaday nite race of his choice. The rest will finance BDR's next NASCAR race.

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I guess I'm confused. If this was THR wouldn't the driver that qualified have to be the same driver to start? Or, if you're going to have a pinch driver if you will, they must at least drive your car. I could maybe even see changing the paint scheme, but not the number.

NASCAR is completely different than the local racing scene when it comes to how the cars/drivers/owners acquire points and the like. At the local level, points are assigned only to the driver regardless of what car he is driving. Thanks to that rule, we finished the last 3 races of the season two years ago in the LaFont #3 machine. Thanks again to the LaFonts! In Nascar, rules exist to allow for a substitute driver and things like Waltrip's recent move. It's really apples vs. oranges.

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wonder what will happen if he fails to qualify this week? or the next? is he going to keep buying his way into the field each week..........i mean i know bdr doesnt have the best stuff, and most of that is his own fault with the whole toyota lawsuit deal, so im sure he will fail to qualify for another race or two down the road...........and what happens if he cant buy his way into the field, what will napa think or do about that?..........

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it is obvious that racing is second and sponsorship money is first..........he is the best in the garage when it comes to pimping his sponsors, that is the only reason napa agreed to jump ship with him.............it surely wasnt for his boyish good looks and unmatched driving ability.........

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hhmm guess you didnt know that derrick cope was at the top in his local series way back when , i quess being in 2nd when he won the daytona 500 does not matter. it only means he was better than 41 of the rest that day i really get sick and tired of people ragging on race car drivers weather they are doing good or not, bottom line is they are there and we are here. and if you think any one of them suck as a driver, well it is my opinion to tell you that your wrong. and if it means you think im starting something, so be it.

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