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Daytona 500 - 2/20/11


On lap 29, Michael Waltrip accidentally got into the back of David Reutimann, triggering a twelve car wreck. Mikey's #15 Napa Camry and David's #99 Aaron's Dream Machine went to the garage. He finished 40th, 180 laps down. Drivers David Reutimann and Martin Truex Jr finished 30th and 19th respectively.

The race took place in 59 degree sunny weather.

"You got me?" crew chief Bobby Kennedy came on the radio at 1:18pm ET.

"Hey, copy down there, bud?" spotter Ty Norris said a minute later.

"I got you, Ty."

"All right. Cool. 18's already tapping us on the shoulder wanting to see if we want to run with him."

"All right, Michael already has his radio in his car, his and the 4 car and our teammates."

"10-4."

Ty asked where Bobby was, and Bobby told him he was on the pit box.

"What do you need?" Mikey asked.

"I was just saying Kyle was already asking if we'd be the early hook-up with the 33 and the 31 off your nose here." Ty reminded Mikey that he had Kyle's radio.

"I'll test it," Mikey replied. "He didn't answer, so I have him on 5, so all we have to do is switch at the time."

Ty said he didn't have all those frequencies, so he would just stand next to the spotter of the other guys if Mikey worked with them.

"Yeah. Like if I go over there or he comes over here, probably whosever's in front needs to stay on his channel, and he can come on here if he wants to."

"Yeah, that's what I was talking about. If he's in front, same deal. Bobby, that's you in pit box 43, right?"

"Yeah, 10-4. 10-4."

"I don't have a water in here," Mikey said.

A crew member and Bobby talked about getting one.

"Still working on Kyle's car. Hustle up," Someone said.

"Big Mike's coming with it," Bobby said.

Cars rolled onto the trac at 1:22pm.

"All right, we'll be 4400 and second gear on the pit road speed. 4400 and second gear on pit road speed," Bobby noted.

"10-4. I copy 4400," Ty replied.

"All right, we're going to pit by lap 42, in case anyone asks you, Ty."

"Okay, 10-4."

"All right, just remind him to protect his left side coming to pit road since we're the first box. Protect the left."

"Yeah, 10-4." Ty said he didn't know if the head wind would affect the switch when they trade off tandems.

"Well we're going 44, right?" Mikey asked.

"Yes, 44, 44," Ty replied.

"All right, look to your left there. We're the first stall in, first stall in," Bobby said. He said something about twenty-three.

"What, what'd you say? 23?"

"37 cars in front of us, but the pit sign says 23." He told Ty to remind Mikey to take care of his tires.

"10-4."

"Hey, Mikey, this is Kyle Busch. You got me?"

Mikey answered Kyle, and they talked about going together at the start. "I won't get aggressive with the 33, and we'll just see what happens with the three of us in 3."

"Yeah, 10-4." "I'm here if you need me. I've got you on the radio."

Mikey talked about changing radios based on who was out front. "That way the spotters work better together."

"10-4."

Ty addressed Kyle and said they'd just stay on this channel if they switch. "If that's okay with you."

Kyle didn't respond.

"One to go when you come around here. One to go." Ty noted the big ol' crowd. "This is the way it's supposed to be."

"Thanks for everything. Thank Napa and Aaron's and Toyota and all our sponsors. Just a great opportunity for all of us to do something special this week. The whole week's been a blessing, so thank you all so much," Mikey said.

"Right on, bro. Okay, pull those belts tight. GIving it over to you and Ty. Coming to the green," Bobby said.

"All right, buddy. Here we go. Pace car's coming off. Green green green green green. 33 31 already hooked up. 24 no help. One off the 24 if you want the high side, whatever you want."

"Back up just a scouch. Back up," Mikey said.

Kyle was on Mikey's rear fender.

"Kyle, he's clear two off his nose, two off his nose. Clear one back. He's going to be working the bottom. Clear one off his nose."

Kurt Busch led the first lap.

"Single file, single file in front of him. Clear one off his nose, Kyle. One off his nose. Clear four out the back. The top side's a moving."

Kevin Harvick led lap 3, and the TV was silent in tribute to Dale Earnhardt.

"Got a tandem on the bottom. 33 31, working the middle, working the middle. They backed off. Clear two back behind Kyle."

"I gotta switch. Going low here," Kyle said.

"Clear down, Michael. Clear down. You're still clear. They disengaged. Coming back outside, 33 31."

Mikey said something.

"All clear now. Whatever you guys need."

"If you want to go up high, Kyle. I had a pretty good run."

"Yeah, 10-4. It seems like the same thing from yesterday. I try to go high, and it stalls out," Kyle replied.

"Just tell me which lane you want to go, bud."

"I will. Right now, we're not gaining much here."

"Three wide off his nose. Your lane here."

"Yeah, stay in the middle here," Kyle said.

"All right. I didn't do anything wrong. I just stayed in the middle. I hope you didn't hit nothing. I didn't do anything though," Mikey said.

"He didn't hit anything M-Dub," Ty said. "I don't think he got much."

Mikey said he thinks he slid his tires. "I better pit." He said he hit Kyle. "I couldn't have done anything. He just got all jiggy when we got three-wide. I didn't do anything wrong." He said the issue to his car was all on the left.

Bobby called for a four tire stop.

The first caution was on lap 5 when Kyle spun off Mikey's nose.

"I hope I didn't piss him off, because we need each other. I didn't do nothing. I just stayed on him. No harm no foul. Nobody's hurt," Mikey said.

Bobby said four tires would put him in the back with him. "We'll just start over in the back."

"4400 when you come around," Ty informed.

"Have David and Martin found each other?" Mikey asked.

"Negative," Bobby replied.

Ty said he hadn't even looked up yet. "Now, they're not close yet."

"Work on your radio, because you're a mess. And it's not getting any better," Mikey commented.

"Yeah, it might be this TV camera right here."

"44. All right, right here, right here. Left side's clean," Bobby said as the #15 was in the box. "Okay. 4400, all the way out. Watch the 39."

"Okay, 44," Ty said as Mikey came back on track.

Bobby called Mikey back to pit road as he'd found a hood pin. "Make sure it's not ours."

Mikey said he was worried about that. "So I'll be there in a second."

Bobby told Mikey it had come off the side window, so he was all right. "Unless you just want to go to the back with the 18. Doesn't matter, either way."

Ty said it was one to go.

Kyle was on his own radio and had told his spotter to tell Mikey he hadn't done anything wrong.

"Just for future reference, did I slide my tires?" Mikey asked.

"Nah, they're clean. You're good," Bobby replied.

"I just wasn't sure. I did slide them, but I didn't slide them far. I guess I didn't do anything to them."

"They're pretty hard, pretty hard to tear up."

Ty asked if the radio sounded better as he'd gotten away from the TV camera.

Mikey said it was a little better.

The green flag waved on lap 8 with Kevin Harvick in the lead. Mikey was 37th.

"Who's behind me?" Mikey asked.

"Green green green," Ty said. "Still two by two. Top side's moving better.

"Ty, I can't see off his nose, bud. You've got to work with me."

"Coming back to his nose. The 11 is right there with him."

Mikey was 29th on lap 10 with David right in front of him. AJ Allmendinger was leading.

"You're clear there, clear there. I'm trying to get him to come to you. All right, you're attached, and you're clear two off his nose."

"Does David not know the 87 is up there?" Mikey asked.

"Apparently not. You'll be clear right there. You're clear three off his nose, bud. Three off his nose. Clear one back to the 1 and 42. Smoke in front of you. Stay down stay down stay down stay down. Yeah, he's blowing up in the middle of the race track. Right in the middle. Clear up clear up. Caution's out, caution's out."

The second caution was on lap 11 for JJ Yeley's smoking #46.

"Well, I went to the other radio, and it wasn't David's channel, and he didn't answer me," Mikey said.

Bobby asked if Mikey had gone to channel 1 or 4.

"I went to David's channel. I went to the other radio, and I went to channel 1. So do we know why that would be?" Mikey asked.

"Shawn says he never heard it."

Bobby told them to stay out.

Ty said people who hadn't pit would probably come in now.

"Staying out, right?" Mikey asked.

"10-4, 10-4. Stay out," Bobby reiterated.

"Hey, Bobby, do you know why they didn't hear me?"

Bobby told Mikey he didn't know why.

"No, I just figured it out. I didn't turn it on. That was why."

"10-4," Bobby laughed. "I guess you've got it fixed then. Try it right now."

Mikey said that Bobby and Ty were talking at the same time. "So, Bobby, you first. What did you want to say?"

"I said, Ty, get to Reutimann there and get David to our channel, because we had static when we went to David's channel. That's what I was saying."

"10-4. I could hear Kyle perfect," Mikey replied.

"Yeah, I could too. David is about to pop over your channel."

"Hey, Mike, can you hear me okay?" David was on the #15 frequency.

Mikey said he could.

"I can hear you really really clear now, so what I'll do is I'll switch to you if you get behind me, okay? Because it's way more clear than it was?"

"Yeah, you switch to me, and Ty will tell you what's off your nose. No, sorry, you'll tell me what's off your nose. Sorry."

"That's not a nose joke, is it?"

Mikey said he got to talking about noses and thought he might get in trouble. "Sorry."

Keselowski led the restart on lap 16. David was 10th, and Mikey was right with him.

"Outside, outside."

"Bottled up here on the bottom. Bottled up," David said.

"In the middle of three-wide here. 60 coming to you. Four-wide, four-wide. Middle of 3, middle of 3. Got the 99 with you. Clear low, clear low if you want it. Still down there inside inside. You're clear low, clear low. Coming outside."

Bobby Labonte was leading on lap 7.

"You've got one outside. You see that tandem on the bottom coming low. Three back to the 00 on the bottom, coming to you. Inside. Coming to you. Right on you. He's got you."

"Okay, I'm behind you, Mike," David said.

"Clear four off of his nose on the bottom, disengaged on the top."

"I got it, Ty," Mikey said.

"Okay, 10-4. They're looking on the outside, the 99 and 16, half back."

Mikey said something about two-wide. "David, stay with me. Stay with me." The engine sound was too loud to hear the rest.

Paul Menard led lap 20.

"Stay with me. David, stay high."

"I lost you, Mike. I lost you," David replied.

"Closing fast on the bottom, M-Dub. On the bottom," Ty noted.

"Hold up, hold up. I can't do it. Hold up," it sounded like Mikey said.

"Inside, inside, both of you. Backed up to him a little bit."

David was on Mikey's rear fender again.

"Middle's closing fast outside of David. You're both clear. Disengaged."

"Hold on, Dave. Hold on hold on hold on. All right."

"I'm not with you, bud. I'm not with you," David said. "I'm with you, Mike."

"Clear four behind him. Still clear three behind him," Ty said. "Outside of David, one tandem."

They were running 9th and 10th.

The second caution was on lap 23. Jeff Gordon had gotten into Robby Gordon after Kevin Harvick's engine blew and made it hard to see.

"Hold on, Dave, hold on. I fell off of you a bit," Mikey said. "Good job, Dave. Good job. You have me?"

"Yeah. I just gotta turn you up a bit to hear you. We're good."

"I don't know what to say to you but hold on. I think the best thing is just if you keep on me if I say that, but as soon as you see me get on the brake, I have to do something. I guess that's the best way to say it."

"Yeah, 10-4." David said he just didn't want to shove Mikey into a situation. "But we're all right."

Bobby said they'd get gas only.

"Who blew up?" Mikey asked.

"The 29, the 29." Bobby called for a four second fuel stop. "How's your windshield?"

"It's all right."

"Need a water?"

"Yeah, less Poweraid, more water. Don't push the car."

"We've already got that."

The #15 pit with others under yellow.

Mikey came off 8th. David was 6th, and Martin was 9th.

"Coming to one to go. Coming around to one to go," Bobby noted.

"Hey, Bobby, who blew up first?" Mikey asked.

"The 46 blew up the first time, and the 29..."

"Is the 18 back to normal?"

"I've seen him over there checking their tow," Ty said. He noted that Kyle was still running in the back but was with Denny Hamlin.

"All right, Ty. Tell Shawn when they get going for David to come to our channel," Bobby said.

"Okay, 10-4," Ty replied.

Bowyer led the lap 27 restart.

"Ready? Green green green," Ty said. "Go to the high side go to the high side go to the high side. Top side of three, but you guys are moving."

"Hold on, Dave."

"Backing up off his nose. Inside inside. He's on his nose. Checking up a little bit. Middle is good with the 00. 27 looking, he's all the way to the bottom. You guys are both clear high, clear high. Top side's clear four off his nose, Michael. Okay, you're backing up up top, 39 covering the middle. Still there. Clear low, clear high. Clear."

They were 14th (#00) and 15th (#15).

"He's down there, but he's unhooked."

"It's all right, Mike, I got you," David said.

Mikey said something covered in static.

"Clear out front, Mike. Just keep pushing."

"Staying on the outside," David said. "Hold up!"

That's when Mikey got into the back of David, who clipped the #15 as he spun. They both went around. Others were collected too. The third caution was on lap 30.

"Oh, shit. It's all torn to hell," Ty said. "They split in front of us. Right damn in front of us."

"I tried to stay off of you, Dave," Mikey said.

"Michael," Ty said, nothing else.

"Okay, go to the garage," Bobby said. "Ron, go to the 00. Help him."

The #15 and #00 went to the garage.

"Michael, sit tight, Michael, sit tight. You've got oil all over the place," Ty told his driver.

"Where did they go with the car, Ty?" Bobby asked.

"The car is behind our truck," someone replied.

"That's where it is now?"

"Well, it's behind the 92 truck."

"10-4. I see it nose."

"Bobby, they want to know if they should tear the pit box down," someone said.

Bobby said they should tear it down.

The media interviewed Mikey coming out of the infield care centre.

"Well, I just didn't get the information soon enough," Mikey explained. "He said give me some room, and just at the last second, he said gotta go low, and next thing I knew, we were going sideways." Mikey referenced Kyle Busch from earlier and said this was expensive as a car owner and frustrating as a driver but fun to watch as a fan and he'd be pulling for Martin Truex Jr. "I've got one bullet left."

By lap 65, Mikey was marked as out of the race. He finished 40th, 180 laps down. David finished 44 laps down in 30th, and Martin was 19th.


 



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