After running the fastest lap of the race at 206 MPH, Michael Waltrip wrecked out of the Budweiser Shootout tonight at Daytona International Speedway. His #15 Napa Camry had been in 9th when he got loose and was hit by drafting partner Tony Stewart. Mikey blamed himself for the accident. The #15 finished 15th.
Coverage began at 8:00pm ET this evening.
"Radio check anybody?" spotter Ty Norris came over the team frequency fifteen minutes later. "Check check check. Radio check for anybody."
"I've got you loud and clear, Ty," someone replied.
"Great, thank you."
"All right, Michael, do you have a copy? Do you have a copy now?"
"Loud and clear," the driver responded. "You're channel one, right?"
"Hey, MW, do you have a copy?" Ty asked.
"Um, he's having radio issues right now," someone said.
"10-4, hello. Ty, you there?"
Ty responded. Mikey said he'd been on Bobby Labonte's channel, but he hadn't responded.
"Yeah, 10-4," Ty replied.
"All right, Tyrone, I'm on here now," Bobby Kennedy came on the radio.
"Oh, yeah, you are on here now. Sounds good," Ty replied. "All right, bud, you should begin rolling here."
"All right, over to your left will be the 56 car." Bobby said they'd be five away from the first stall with a car in it.
"Five away," Mikey acknowledged.
Bobby told Ty where he'd pick up the #15 on pit road. "Okay, we're going to call her 4400 and second gear. 4400 and second gear."
"44 works good with these lights. 10-4," Mikey replied after a pause.
"10-4. 4400," said Ty.
"Hey, when I switch to channel two, Bobby doesn't answer. I guess he has to be on two too."
"It should be switched on his channel," Bobby replied.
"I'm standing up here next to David. I'll ask him."
Mikey talked to Bobby.
"Michael, that's our channel," Bobby replied.
Mikey asked how far from their channel.
"It will be five from your channel. Five from channel one." He said to try four clicks to get to channel five.
Mikey said he'd talked with Bobby.
"All right, one to go, one to go. Do we have you back yet?" Ty asked.
"Yeah, I'm here."
"10-4." Ty then said that Kurt Busch wanted to work with him as they didn't have a teammate.
"Roger. I like Kurt Busch. That's a good plan. I appreciate all the work, y'all. We'll have some fun. Let's see if we can get up front, get 'er back out front where she belongs."
Bobby acknowledged. "Pull those belts tight. Coming to the green." He then said something about putting it on Ty's shoulders.
"Yeah, I didn't like how that came out. All right, bud. 25 laps first segment. 25 laps."
"All right, Ty, I'll just let you remind him when he gets tucked up to turn the fan on. If you could handle that for me please."
"All right. Pace car's off. Ready? Green green green. 64 on your corner. You're clear. Clear clear clear. Still clear, all clear."
The green flag waved at 8:29pm with Dale Earnhardt Jr on the pole and Mikey in 10th.
"47's down there by himself. You've got the 24 up top with you. Still clear one back, 24."
Tony Stewart led Lap 1.
Ty told Mikey that Jeff Gordon was pushing him. "Big push up top. Coming outside outside. You've got a couple more. 24's trying to get to you. Outside. Outside. Coming with a big push here. 31 pushing up the middle here, right outside the 24. Still outside. Three wide now. Three wide. 24's trying to get to your bumper. You've got two more here. Coming outside. Clear here by two. Clear here by two. You're all clear. Whatever lane you want. You see that guy backing up in the middle."
Mikey was 12th on lap 3. Ty warned Mikey that the #97 of Kevin Conway was hung in the middle. Conway had wiggled first.
"Three wide, still three wide," warned the spotter. "24's trying to come to you. You're still three wide. You're outside. Three-wide, still three-wide. All clear there, all clear. Watch that 97. He about wiped everyone out two laps ago. All clear."
Clint Bowyer had taken the lead by lap 5.
"78 slow on the bottom there. 78. Clear there all clear." Ty noted the #5 and the #22 were working together. "Stay low. You see one of those Red Bull cars up against the wall. Clear clear."
It was the #4 car of Kasey Kahne that had slowed.
"Slow one on the bottom here. #99. You've got the #5 and the #22 here. Still outside. You're clear there, clear there." Ty noted a slow car. "Still clear by four out the back. You'll have a really quick tandem on the bottom here. Coming inside inside. Coming to the outside as well. Outside outside. You're clear low if you need it. You've got the 78 and the 24 in tandem behind you. Two back to that 78 and 24 looking on the bottom. Couldn't make it. You're all clear."
On lap 10, Kahne went to the garage. Meanwhile, Jeff Burton led.
"Four car lengths clear. Three car lengths. Slow one at the top, slow one at the top. You've got three car lengths to that tandom. Clear to the #99. The tandem's on the bottom - the 5 and the yellow car. Got a real slow tandem. Come on down, come on down, come on down. #99's still on your corner here. Clear the 17, all clear, all clear. Clear high before you got here." Ty said two packs had come together. "Clear by six back. The 18's come back to you. Here you go. All right, it's about ten back to the other tandem. Good job, brother. Good job. Clear by eight."
"Remember your fan when you're locked up like that," Bobby said.
"That's lap 12, lap 12," Ty noted. "Not halfway left. Real real slow one on the bottom, all by himself. Real real slow one. The tandem behind you is five or six back. Still clear by ten off the nose of the #18. Slow one's at the top. You'll have to be ont he bottom when you get here. You're clear high."
"Keep an eye on your temp. Keep it in the orange, not in the red."
Ty noted a tandem three car lengths back. "#14 outside, coming down the middle. You see the 16 there. You're clear by five. The 78 come to your bumper. Okay, follow that 33 there. THe bottom is slow, the bottom is slow. Outside outside, outside outside. You're still clear back to the bottom. Clear low, clear low. He's coming with you."
Mikey was midpack throughout this run. Burton was leading.
"Outside, the 33's going to be looking. Clear there, clear there, clear there. Move up. You've got a big tandem coming. Looking on the bottom. Inside inside. Tandum's about three back. They're coming to you pretty quick. Also got the 1 and 42 coming on the bottom. Here they come. Inside. Hold your line up top. Clear right there back by three." Ty asked about the fan.
"He can just leave it on."
"You're clear. The 78 wasn't paying attention." Ty told Mikey to keep to the top line. "Outside, looking outside."
On lap 20, Mikey was 19th as Burton continued to lead. Mikey had run the fastest lap of everyone during the race at that point - 206 MPH. Bobby asked him to check his fan when he had a chance.
"He dropped off you. 78 dropped off you by three. Four laps to the break when you come around here. Four laps to the break."
"I just, I don't know. It didn't work out for me. The 78 can't hang onto me or something," Mikey said on lap 23.
Ty said Reagan Smith in the #78 just didn't have a good package.
"Every time we get into traffic, I think he just freaks out."
"Three more, three more," Bobby said.
Ty noted the break in two laps. He talked about how things worked well when Mikey had Kyle Busch pushing him.
"Come on, man! I don't need that shit! This ain't easy. I don't need commentary."
Ty said he was just telling Mikey he was doing a good job.
"This is hard!"
"One more, bud. One more," Bobby said.
"My temperatures never got up into the, into any colour," Mikey reported. "Right now, I'm running 140. You just can't talk to me when it's all you can do to hang onto it."
"I know what you mean, I know what you mean. I don't do it, but I know what you mean. All right, man, you're coming around to lap 25. Okay, caution's out, caution's out," Ty said.
The competition caution came out at 8:49pm. Burton was in the lead, and Mikey was 18th.
"Tell that 22's spotter I'm going to dedicate myself to him, and I'm going to be all about him if I can get to him and I won't never let him go," Mikey said.
Ty said he would. He reminded Mikey to look for the #56 and to go 4400 on pit road. "Ten away."
"Five. Around the 99. 3, 2, 1. Right here," Bobby guided. The #15 was on pit road. "Take it easy there, crew. We've got ten minutes." Bobby said they'd tone it down and would make things right.
"So it started out live," Mikey said.
"I don't like. That's just fucked. It's crazy." Mikey said he was good with the #18. "You've just got to pick a guy."
"Well you've got the fastest lap of the race right now. 206."
"I think you were doing that when I was talking about the weather," Ty said.
"It's really really scary when someone was pushing you, especially someone like that cat."
Ty said he had no idea.
"It's easy to push. I don't know if it's me or if it's Reaghan or my car that makes it all whacky like that. If you want to do something to help it. I don't know what you want to do with the tape. I don't know what you're thinking. I ran the fastest. Did I run the fastest with Reaghan pushing me or me pushing Kyle? I'd say flip a coin, but it probably don't matter." He said the only thing that got into the red was the tactometre. "Did you see anything up there, Ty?" He asked Ty if that was the right something.
Ty didn't respond.
"Have I hit anyone hard enough to matter to the front end?" Mikey asked.
"Nah. It doesn't look any worse than yesterday. I'm not saying you hit him any harder, but it doesn't look any worse than it did yesterday," someone said.
He asked if you need somebody or if there were something else he were missing.
Ty talked about different groups of two and then Mikey and Kyle Busch running 206 MPH. "There was no more than two by two, except for the single cars that were already a lap down in two laps."
"How was that segment one? Did they pass, or did they stay tied together?"
"Oh, they passed. They'd get ten car lengths between each other, and they'd pass. People were switching partners. They'd get broken up and would take other partners."
Mikey said he liked to hear about two cars flying up together but not if they were just coming along and said Ty was doing a good job communicating this.
"10-4. You've got the 78 behind you, then the 47." Ty said Bobby Labonte had been lapped.
"I just... damn. I hate that I got all the way back here."
"All right, Ty, when we get going here, just know that some of those guys are talking about short pitting." He said 43 laps was their max they could run, and they'd come for fuel only. They may try to pit if a partner is pitting at the same time. He said the right front was hung inside the fender with the shock holding it too far.
"Where'd I finish," Mikey said.
"Wooo, 19th here."
Ty told Mikey to line up on the bottom behind the #1 of Jamie McMurray.
"Bobby, I haven't had the fan on yet. If I turn it on and leave it on, would it matter?" Mikey asked.
Bobby said the #4 had blown up because they were too cold.
"Imagine that. That's something I've never heard of before."
"You can leave it on. It's no big deal. You've got your hands full."
Mikey said he hadn't seen any colours. "It should be all right. I guess, if you race long enough, you'll eventually hear something you've never heard before."
"Yeah, out for underheating," Ty said. He warned Mikey that the #14 of Tony Stewart would be passing to get back to his spot on the track. "All right, one to go, one to go." Ty said to get around the #97 of Derrike Cope quickly.
"All right, Ty, a reminder: If you get down to ten to go, you can run your temps into the red," Bobby said. "I'll remind you toward the end right quick. I won't say too much."
Jeff Burton had led thirteen laps of the first twenty five. There had been twelve lead changes.
"It's like Days of Thunder down here with all the smoke," Mikey commented.
"Coming to the green, coming to the green." Ty told Bobby to tell him what they were doing about pitting. "Green green green green green. You're clear there behind the #78. You're clear there."
"We can think about running forever if we've got a partner who wants to, Bobby," Mikey said.
"10-4," Bobby replied.
"You're all clear, all clear," Ty said. "All jammed up on all levels here. Outside outside. Clear up there if you want it. 87's just trying to look on the outside. Outside outside, he's there. Slow one's all the way at the top, slow one's all the way at the top. Top's good if you need it. Right in front of you, right in front of you. Stay up, stay up."
"WOO! I made it!" Mikey exclaimed.
"Wow, I couldn't even tell if you'd made it through there. Good job."
"That was. Let me see what that was. That was... That was like Earnhardt looking at the weather and telling you if it would come your way or not."
"Yeah, good instincts there. That wiped out about six of them."
Bobby asked if he got into anything. Mikey said no. Bobby told him to keep his distance from debris. Mikey asked if Bobby had figured out what they wanted to do with the gas. Bobby wanted to put in more fuel to keep the car down.
The second caution was on lap 28 for a multi-car wreck. Bobby counted Mikey down to pit road. After the stop, Ty told Mikey that Kyle Busch was talking about wanting to work with him.
"Okay, I'll go with him then. Tell his brother I'm sorry."
"You promised to go with a Busch."
"Yeah. Looks like I'm going to go with the younger Busch."
"Bobby, there are two or three oil streaks down there, and it's going to take a little bit of time to cover it up here. Keep in mind this one to go deal. I'm not sure what these other guys are talking about."
They talked about that they would definitely need to pit again.
"Because it's definitely not going to be one to go this lap," Mikey said.
"No, it's not," Ty replied. "Hey, Bobby, they just dumped jet fuel all over the track. It's going to take some extra laps."
Bobby said it would probably be close and they could make it if they restart on lap 34. "Yeah, I think we're going to be okay right now. Keep me posted, Ty. If they're not going to go one to go this time, it should be okay."
Ty said they definitely weren't one to go and warned Mikey about a truck on the track off Turn 4.
Bobby told Mikey he had a half lap to the good right now.
"I mean, with the green white checkered, I would assume put some in it, but I don't care. Either way. I just want to tell you it's okay with me if we stop, not that that matters."
Bobby said they probably needed to put something in it.
Ty said one to go this time at the same time Bobby was saying to top it off.
"That damn 97 ain't here any more, so that makes me feel better," Mikey said.
"Watch yourself coming on pit road. You've got two trucks. Come to the high side coming to pit road."
Bobby said they'd put in one gallon for a quick stop. Mikey pit under yellow. "Go go go go go. All the way out. 4400."
"44, 44," Ty added. "All right, bud. Coming to the green, coming to the green. Pace car's off. Still 41 to go. Green green green."
Jeff Burton led the restart with 41 laps to go. Mikey was 12th.
"Still two by two. You guys will be catching the 1 car all by himself. Inside inside. 47 inside. He's the last one. Clear by four off the nose of the 14. Two by two. You're going to be catching these guys pretty quick. You guys are going to be working the bottom, clear by 10 off his nose. Single's on the top side. Spin in front of you. Get all the way to the bottom if you can. Stay on the high side. You're okay. You didn't touch anything."
The caution came out when Mark Martin had spun out himself and Kyle Busch. Ty said the #15 had slid the right front.
"The only thing I say there, I don't think I slid them. I hit them really really hard. I don't think they slid, but I got on them hard."
"We should be fine," Bobby replied. "All right, just go ahead and save me some fuel every chance you get. Actually, these cautions spread it out, so we've got enough for one green white checkered right now."
"Bobby, that's silly. I'm running last. We just need to get gas, you know, whenever you want to get it. That would be good for a lot of green white checkers," Mikey replied.
"They're coming now. You want me to come with them?"
Bobby said they'd be all right.
"I'm sure you saw that, but that was just simply the 5 was on the 18, and when they got to the entrance of the corner, he bumped him on the left rear instead of the right rear and spun him right around," Ty described the incident. He then warned Mikey about the lucky dog car coming to the outside.
"14 coming. Do you want me to come or stay?" Mikey asked.
"Come on. Give us two green white checkers. Come on." Bobby led Mikey to his box.
"Coming to the green, coming to the green," Ty noted. "Pace car's off. Ready? Green green green green green. Everybody's rolling, everybody's rolling. Coming outside outside. 18 hauling ass."
Burton led the restart with 37 to go, but Kyle Busch shot to the lead, then fell back with no help.
"14's coming to your bumper. Slow one in the middle. Backing up 18. No help in the middle. Still outside outside. 14's coming to your bumper. Middle's fine if you want it. Clear behind that 1 if you need it by three. Still clear by four. Two wide behind you. 14's trying to get to you. He's five back. Tandum coming outside, coming outside. Two of them. Clear back to the 14."
Burton was back in the lead after Busch's brief sprint. Mikey was 13th.
"Slow one on the bottom. Slow one on the bottom in front of you. You're clear there. 14's trying to get back to you. Both of you all clear, all clear. All clear when you get there, whatever you need. Clear there all clear."
Mikey was 9th with 31 to go. Burton continued to lead with Kevin Harvick pushing the entire time.
"He says he's still in pretty good shape with the temps behind you there, the 14," Ty reported.
With 29 to go, Jamie McMurray pushed Kurt Busch into the lead. One lap later, Jimmie Johnson moved into the top spot with Greg Biffle pushing.
"You've got a slow tandem coming up behind you," Ty said.
The fourth caution was for Mikey on lap 49. He had hit the wall and had gone through the grass, sustaining front end damage.
"The 14 got us turned around there," Ty reported. "We ran through the grass."
"I just got loose. We're done," Mikey said. "I don't know what happened. It's my fault, I think. I'm sorry."
"The traffic was there."
"Okay, wrap her up, boys."
"The traffic was there, and he got me wiggling. I don't know. I lost it. I don't know if we could have done anything differently, but it was my fault."
"It slid on you while you were wiggling."
"I don't know what I could have done different. I had the two by two, and I went up a little bit higher, and when I did, it probably threw him a curve."
Bobby said it was almost identical to what had happened to the #5 and the #18 earlier.
The #15 went to the garage and finished 15th. Kurt Busch went on to win the race after coming off Turn 4 in 3rd. While Ryan Newman was warding off a charge from Denny Hamlin, Busch had slipped by along the outside.
Be sure to watch next weekend as Mikey competes in the Truck, Nationwide, and Cup races at Daytona!