CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- When it comes to NASCAR, this is an important week for Charlotte and Concord.
The Coco-Cola 600 is Sunday at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
NewsChannel 36 talked with team owner Michael Waltrip Monday before his appearance on Charlotte Today.
"I like this time of year. I like it because of all the excitement and drama going on, and it makes me feel nostalgic because this is the place where it all started for me," Waltrip said.
Waltrip said the Coca-Cola 600 is a race many drivers look forward to.
"It's certainly a big stop on the circuit," he said. "Charlotte's home and when we come here to race, and we're in front of our families and friends; it makes it even more special."
Waltrip remembers racing in the 600 a few years ago.
"Back in 04, I almost won the 600," Waltrip said. "I finished second to Jimmie Johnson and I have great memories of the 600."
Waltrip admits watching the races from the sideline as an owner is much different from driving.
"We like to be a part of the team and let the crew guys know that not only am I the owner, but I'm also one of them," Waltrip said.
Just like many race fans, Waltrip, too, was excited about the new NASCAR Hall of Fame and its first class of inductees.
"I knew those people. That's the cool thing about the first class," Waltrip said. "Dale [Earnhardt] was my friend. I lived with Richard Petty for a while, Bill [France] Sr. was a guy I'd talked to on a couple of occasions -- didn't really know him but we did talk. And then Bill Jr., he yelled at me a bunch."