While Hendrick Motorsports is enjoying the view from the top this season, the only way for Michael Waltrip Racing to go, is up.
Last season, Waltrip and his stable of Toyotas were seemingly more worried with qualifying for races, than competing in them.
Waltrip's three Toyotas managed to lead only eight laps throughout all of the 2007 season and got only one pole.
"I wondered in 2007 if I'd be here this year," says Waltrip, winner of the 2001 Daytona 500. "We had a challenge ahead of us, but I really believed we could do it and survive."
Waltrip seems revamped for a strong 2008 season with the recent move to his new 137,000-square foot shop in Mooresville, Race World USA.
The shop is "fan friendly" with huge glass windows and aerial views of all the shop's operations for easy access. That's just the way that Waltrip wanted it.
"We built this to have it be wide open," Waltrip says. "Having success and doing it on a personal level is why I'm here.
"I grew up hanging on to a fence outside of many different tracks, because I couldn't get in. The times have changed and we want everyone to see things inside and out."
Returning for Waltrip this season full-time will be David Reutimann.
Reutimann will run the first five races of the season in the No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine, before he takes over Dale Jarrett's No. 44 UPS car.
Jarrett will run the first five races of the season before making the jump to the booth as an ESPN commentator. Jarrett will also return to run in the All-Star Challenge.
With Reutimann jumping to the UPS car, the vacated Aaron's Dream Machine will then be occupied by newcomer Michael McDowell.
In his rookie year last season with the ARCA Series, McDowell won four races and came away with nine poles.
"I'm thankful for the opportunity from Michael (Waltrip) for letting me bow out of the sport like this," says Jarrett, who got his start in racing in 1987. "It's really a great sport and I've had a great time. I'm thankful for UPS helping make me a household name."
Reutimann is looking forward to making the jump, but "my biggest fear is he'll (Jarrett) start the season really well and decide he doesn't want to get out," he says.
While there is speculation as to whether or not that will happen, regardless of Jarrett's start, it seems unlikely that he will stay to race a full season, as he has already completed the contract with ESPN.
Waltrip believes in McDowell.
"I'm comfortable and confident with Michael's ability," says Waltrip. "He's impressed me."
With Joe Gibbs Racing making the switch from Chevrolet to Toyota, the 2008 season has potential to be a strong one for Waltrip and MWR.
"From the first time I heard Joe Gibbs was coming to Toyota, I was a cheerleader," says Waltrip. "I was giddy about it. That will be one of the best things that has happened to us."