Weather cancels NASCAR Qualifying, denies Waltrip

4-13-07 -- Michael Waltrip isn't talking or racing this weekend.

Waltrip will miss his sixth straight NASCAR Nextel Cup race after qualifying at Texas was canceled Friday because of severe storms.

The two-time Daytona 500 winner, in the first year with the Toyota team he owns, doesn't have enough season points to get in the 43-car field.

The latest setback for Waltrip comes less than a week after he was charged with reckless driving and failing to report an accident after hitting a telephone pole and rolling his SUV about a mile from his North Carolina home.

Waltrip didn't grant requests for interviews at the track Friday.

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Earlier this week, Waltrip said he was ``really embarrassed about the accident, but I feel fortunate that I wasn't hurt.'' He said he fell asleep at the wheel.

Waltrip met Friday with NASCAR officials and also was examined by doctors at the track's infield car center. NASCAR spokesman Ramsey Poston said Waltrip was seen and released, which would have cleared him to race this weekend.

Police said the accident happened before 2 a.m. Saturday when Waltrip lost control of his SUV while driving around a curve and overcorrected. His car rolled and hit a utility pole.

Waltrip suffered scratches to his arms, hands and face and cuts on his fingers.

Before failing to qualify for the last five races, Waltrip's team was caught cheating during preparations for the season-opening Daytona 500.

NASCAR found a fuel additive in his engine, and he was docked a record 100 driver points. His crew chief was fined a record $100,000 and suspended indefinitely, as was his competition director.


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