Michael Waltrip ran out front throughout the first thirty laps of today's Sprint Cup race at Talladega but quickly lost dancing partners in the Aaron's 499. His #15 Aaron's / Auburn National Champions Camry finished one lap down in 28th.
"I feel like the kid nobody would dance with," Mikey had said when he was out there on his own. "I got two guys up there I couldn't even pay to dance with me."
Mikey started 12th, with David rolling off the grid directly behind the #15. Martin had qualified 26th, and Jeff Gordon had won the pole.
"Radio check?" spotter Ty Norris came on the radio at 1:08pm ET. "Radio check? 10-4."
The call to start engines came at 1:09pm ET.
"They said you were hung, and they was right," Ty said.
"Who, me?" someone asked.
"No, somebody's button was hung up there."
"1, 2, 3. Can you hear me?" Mikey asked.
Ty responded with: "10-4, M-Dub. I have a..." The radio got fuzzy. "10-4."
"Ty, I'm not really into getting pushed here early," Mikey said. He told Ty to communicate that to others.
"Yeah, it's going to be Reut. I'll let him know."
"I wish I was that optimistic."
"All right, man. We told Reut."
"Got a copy on me, Ty?"
"I do, Bobby. What pit stall are you in?"
Bobby said they were in pit stall #43 and told Ty to remind Mikey to protect his left side on pit road. Ty wanted them to communicate with one another regarding when they slide tires.
"I'll get him out of the box, and then I'll give him over to you."
"Hey, Bobby, if I turn this other radio all the way over to lock, if I turn it all the way to one direction, that's where the numbers start. So I'm a little bit confused. I'll just test it here," Mikey said.
"All right, you got it figured out there, bud?" Bobby asked.
"Yeah, that's cool. That's cool. We'll just take it easy, ride around. We'll see the checkered flag here." Bobby said Ron would put more tow in under caution.
Mikey responded, but his voice was barely recognisable through static, the words undiscernable.
"47, 4700 second gear. 47," Bobby gave pit road speed.
"What's wrong with his radio, Ty?" Mikey asked.
Bobby said a billboard was right behind him and was blocking signal.
"I don't hear anyone very good. Ty's breaking up too," Mikey replied. "I don't raise anyone on that 34 channel that you've got, Bobby."
"All right, 10-4. Ty, tell him to try that next channel, right past the 34 which is not listed there. That's another channel with that team on it. Channel 7. Tell him to try channel 7."
Ty repeated what Bobby said.
"Oh, that didn't work either," Mikey reported.
"All right. Let's see what we've got there. That's what Racing Electronics put in. I guess it wasn't right. We'll see what we've got," Bobby responded. "All right, two tire stops, two tire stops over there. You're going to go on me. They're going to let the jack down. You're going to go on me. Also, there on your dash, if you have to use first gear, you're on 7400 there. 7400 on first gear."
Bobby told Mikey to leave his radiator fan on once he turns it on. "That way, you don't have to worry about it."
"I know you're a Wild Cat, and I'm a War Eagle," Ty said. He said they were representing Auburn today and thanked them for the opportunity.
"You want to make things even more confusing? Mr Seusser gave me a ____, and now I have that in my pocket," Mikey replied.
"We'll try not to be an organ state, if you know what I mean."
Bobby said someone had gone to channel two, and he'd keep Mikey updated.
"A little ways before we get the green," Ty said. "Ready? Ready? Green green."
The green flag waved at 1:22pm.
"Still two by two," Ty said. "Still clear three off his nose. They all got a tandum up front. Clear two back, they're two by two. You guys are shooting in the middle. You've got both sides. Both sides, everybody's got help. Still both sides. Still both sides, still both sides. The 17 right on your bumper. You're clear low, clear low. Still outside on your corner, still out there. Good shove here. Still outside. You're clear four off his nose, Michael. Four off his nose, and they're single file in front. You guys are going to be working the bottom here. You have a tandum on the top side. Bottom is clear. Still outside. You've got them coming outside. Bottom is good four off his nose." Ty told Mikey to work the middle. "Still up the top. Still there. Still clear two off his nose, outside. Good job here. Still clear here three of his nose. You guys are inching. Middle is going to be good if you want it, top side is still covered. Now you're cleared."
On lap 4, Mikey was 4th with Jeff Gordon leading. The #15 was pushing Clint Bowyer's #33.
"You're clear one off his nose. Top side's clear off his nose, coming to the bottom. Still got two on the bottom. No one's off his nose on the top side here, bud. Tandum coming to the bottom, they're on the bottom. You've got a tandum working the top side, one back and closing. Still clear three off his nose, Michael. Clear three off his nose. Still outside, you're outside. Got nothing off his nose. You're clear three by three, five off his nose. Still there barely on the bottom. Clear both sides. Clear three off his nose. One off his nose, working the high side, working the middle. Still down there, 24 on his quarter."
"He got me loose, he got me loose, he got me loose. Good job, Clint," Mikey said.
Mikey had been 2nd and had pushed the #33 into the lead when Mark Martin was able to push Gordon past their tandum again. The two got hooked up again.
"Clear four off his nose up front. Still four off his nose up front. Still got one on your quarter, outside. Both of you clear. Still clear four off his nose on the bottom, clear on the top side. Sitll outside outside. Stillc lear two off his nose. He'll probably work the middle. There you go. He's working the middle. You're clear on the top side. Got some closing all the way to the very top. Looking low, looking low. Going to be clear off this corner, clear one off his nose. And they're working the bottom. Half off his nose, and you're clear two back. One off his nose. Looking on the bottom, 18 and 20. Still one back. Clear one off his nose."
The front four were lined up on lap 9 with Mikey in 4th and Gordon leading.
"Still clear half off his nose. Still right off his nose by half. He's going to work the middle here. Clear one back. Clear two off his nose. You've got one off the 18 and 20. They're gaining on you just a little bit. Still clear one off his nose, still clear one off the back. Still clear half back clear. You've got one coming. Inside inside, a tandum. Half back 18 looking on the bottom. You've got a good run here. The 18 is going to be looking. You're going to have to get him off him a bit. Inside inside. One clear off his nose. The middle line broke up a little bit with that 18 and 20. The middle side is clear. All right, you've still got one inside. You guys are still clear. Slow one on the bototm. Stay up stay up. Inside inside. Still one off his nose, still one off his nose. Inside inside. 18's on your quarter. 20 jumped off of him. You guys are going to have the momentum. Clear here. Still clear maybe half in front. I'm sure he's going to make a move here. Clear half clear half. All you need. Clear four."
Bobby reminded Mikey about his temps.
Ty warned Mikey about a slow car. "You won't catch him until the back straightaway, Michael." It was the #38 car, and he reminded Mikey of his temps too. He also said that Clint was saying Mikey was doing "a hell of a job." "Still clear two to the high side, got nothing off his nose."
"I just have to keep it out a little bit to keep it at 240, but I don't think Clint even notices when I do it, so I'll keep doing it as long as green stays out."
On lap 13, Mikey was 2nd with Clint Bowyer leading. Kurt Busch was catching them and passed along the inside, but Bowyer and Mikey rallied back and passed them.
"They broke loose. You'll have the momentum."
"Tell Clint that was an awesome job there, pushing that boy loose," Mikey commented.
"Tandum up top, tandum on the bottom. Working the bottom here. Three back to the Red Bull cars. Working the middle, working the middle. Broke loose, same old deal here. 4 and the 83 on the inside here. Three-wide, three-wide. 4 and 83 broke loose. You guys are going to be clear. Clear by eight out the back. Working the bottom, working the bottom."
Johnson and Martin had passed the Bowyer / Mikey tandum, but the #33 and #15 passed them again.
"There's plenty of room if you guys want to swap. Do you want to swap?"
"I don't know. I'm pretty happy. I'm pretty sure, even though I greased up my rear end, I'm not ready for him. Besides, he has a sponsor on the back that doesn't confuse me."
Ty said the guys behind him were racing three-wide with each other, and they were okay.
"This car just pushes so good, just straight."
"Still clear by one. They got to you, but they had to drop back and stay cool. All right, the run's coming from the bottom. The 18 and the 20. They're inside, two back. They're coming to you, coming to you. You're still clear by half, coming to you. You're still clear by one. They got jammed up with the Red Bull cars. You left that 18 and 20 a little bit, clear by two, clear by three. Still clear two back to the tandum, side by side here. Working on the bottom. The 4 and the 83 are working the middle here. Half back on the bottom. 18 and 20 are coming to you, look like they're going to be coming on the bottom. You've got the run, clear off this corner by two. 18 and 20 are trying to blast through the middle there. It was a good block. They don't need to be doing that kind of thing. You guys are going to be catching a slow one off the corner - the 71."
"Tell him he's doing a great job of blocking those guys off," Mikey commented. "My MWR boys have got me all cooled off."
"That's awesome, man. You've got the 09 and a yellow car. I'm not sure who it is. They're coming. They just split," Ty observed.
Mikey reported his temps were 245, 240. "I don't know what your ___ is on oil temperature, but the most it's been is 245."
"You're good there, you're good there."
Ty warned that the 18 and 20 were catching him. "And they've got another tandum with them. Inside inside inside. Middle and high side. Another tandum trying to come inside here. Got a couple trying to work the middle. Stay tight, four off his nose."
Kurt Busch was leading lap 23, with Mikey back in 6th.
"88's still on your corner. Still clear five off his nose, all clear all clear. Clear by one on the bottom. He's going to work the middle to the high side, I'm sure. Working the middle, you're clear two off his nose to the middle. They're going to be on the bottom. You're going to be working the middle to the high side. He broke those guys up too, man. That's masterful. Clear one back. 18 20 coming really hard to the high side. You guys are clear to the middle. You're going to be... three wide here. Nothing's off his nose, nothing's off his nose. You're clear low, clear low if you need it. Tandum's coming, 99 and 9. Nothing off his nose on the bottom right now. Still outside, 99. Stillt here. You're still clear three, four off his nose there on the bottom. Still outside. Still clear six off of his nose."
Mikey was still 6th on lap 26 but was pushing Bowyer past the 99 / 9 tandum along the bottom groove.
"Coming to you. The Red Bull cars are coming to your bottom. There you go, protect the bottom."
David Ragan led lap 27 as Mikey pushed Bowyer to Ragan and Menard. They powered past them and moved into the first and second spots.
"We woke them up. Big run. There you go. Clear four out the back. 18 and 20 coming pretty quick, working the bottom here. Top side is clear off of his nose. Clear all clear, clear by four. Easy now, ease it down."
The first caution was on lap 28 when Brian Vickers was turned nose-first into the wall. Kurt Busch had gotten into the back of Landon Cassell, who turned down into Vickers.
Bobby told Mikey he could run the oil temp all the way to 260. "Those were fine. Get it down below when you can." He called for two tires.
"Two tires, two tires. You go on me," Bobby said.
Drivers pit under yellow. Mikey came in 2nd.
"On the sign, on the sign. Come to me," Bobby guided the #15 into the box. "Go go go go go. All the way. 4700. All the way."
The #15 came out 2nd. Bobby noted that the tire wear had been okay.
"I've been trying to find him, but I don't know where the heck he went," Ty said before and after static.
"That worked out, so we'll see how it goes," Mikey said.
Bobby said someone liked Mikey behind him, probably the #33.
"They're pretty noncommittal here," Ty said.
"Yeah, that's how they are."
"You'll see the line better than us. Let's not beat him to the start/finish line. Everybody's rolling."
Racing resumed on lap 32 with Bowyer leading and Mikey in 2nd.
"Splitting you both sides both sides. Just sit tight, bud. 00 is going to be coming inside. It's going to be clear to the bottom behind him. Then you're clear eight back. 78 doesn't have anybody. Inside the 11, all by himself."
Bowyer took off with Jeff Burton pushing.
"We've got a pretty good horse at Daytona. Let's see what we've got here. 10-4. His lane is covered. Middle's covered off his nose. Still inside inside. You're both clear. The 21 by himself at the bottom. Clear three off his nose. Clear one off his nose."
"He's getting with the frickin' 27. They left me up here by myself," Mikey said.
"Inside, inside. Three wide."
Matt Kenseth was leading on lap 34, but Bowyer recleaimed the lead. Mikey was back to 21st.
"Inside, inside. Nobody there, bud. Nobody to help you, bud."
"Tell Reutimann I appreciate it," Mikey said. "See how the 27 and that car I was pushing the 78 just made happened? My own teammate, the car I own, the dumbass..." his radio faded out. "Tell him good job."
"All I can do is ask him, man," Ty replied.
"I feel like the kid nobody would dance with. I got two guys up there I couldn't even pay to dance with me."
Carl Edwards was leading lap 37.
"29, if you want to jump on him. Outside outside. 14 in the middle. I'm not sure what he was doing there, but we've got somebody. 29 jumped off for some reason. There's nobody behind him."
"That guy did the same thing. I don't know. I don't understand either. I'll just keep running, and maybe it will work out eventually. I've only got the best car to push with. I'm really getting a complex, Ty."
Ty said he didn't understand it. "He passed a tandum by himself, Bobby."
Mikey said he had, because he'd switched. "I don't know. I'm trying not to be a baby. Thank you for the car you all built me. Thank you."
"29 is trying to get with us. Work on it, Ty."
"There he is right off our nose."
"That's bullshit, Bobby. He just drove out of bounds to get me off of him.
Mikey was 26th on lap 39. David was 15th, and Martin was 22nd.
"You think it's a bunch of Alabama fans don't want to push the war eagle?" Mikey asked. "War eagle, I mean damn. Are we back there by himself?"
Ty asked Bobby if he could send someone to talk to the #13 quickly to work with them. "Stay on the top side. The 13's coming to us. At the bottom. You're clear two him if he gets to you, if he can drop that 7. Outside outside, outside outside."
"I did all I could do. I mean, I cut in front of him. Guess that tells you what he thinks about his car."
"Clear there," Ty said. "Stewart and Gilliland behind you, six back."
"The only other thing we've got is the 71 there who's pushing the 09, who's wrecked." Bobby said they'd try to get with him. "All right, that 71 is in the tri-oval. They'll work with us when they get to us. He'll get off the 09 because he's crashed, okay?"
"It's okay, boys. It's a long way to go. A lot of stuff still to happen. A lot of stuff. It's just ridiculous that Reutimann wouldn't get away from somebody who isn't even his teammate. I understand Bobby and Martin, but that's unbelievable. Ty, I know you see how these guys do what they want, but I got my guy... The Franchise wouldn't do it."
On lap 44, Mikey was 36th.
"Still got a little bit of a half a lap on the leaders."
"Okay, bud. I just don't want to let off, because if the 71 lets off, I'll lose all that time, and if he ever gets here, I'll just speed up when he gets here. I don't know."
"They're catching you about three seconds a lap," Bobby said. "Then the 71 will go with you."
"Talk to him and tell him to pull up to me and to start pushing me, and we'll pull away from that other guy, or if he goes around me, tell him to pull over when he clears me, and that will break him up. The 09 just blew up."
"Yeah, he blew up, and there might be a caution."
"Well, I'm going to slow down."
"I think you ought to push him. I don't want him on your bumper," Bobby said.
"Well, tell him to go around me."
"Four back," Ty observed. "Just now start / finish. All right, here we go."
"50.40," Bobby said.
"What's the leaders?"
"Some day, I'll get you the right time. They just switched off." Bobby then said they were running about a flat. "I'll keep you posted."
Mikey said the only problem with him being on his nose is that, if they get lapped, he would be the lucky dog.
"He's a lap down right now," Bobby informed his driver. "He's already one down, so you would be the dog."
"Okay, dog. He don't drive the same style of car," it sounded like Mikey said.
Mikey said he drives it straight, and Lally moves it around with the way he drives.
Brad Keselowski led lap 52. Dale Earnhardt Jr and Matt Kenseth were trading off the top spot with him.
"49.30 on the lead group."
"The 38's been pretty fast, but he had to pull off to pit. With the pack just a straightaway back, I don't know if we have time to play around with him," Ty suggested.
Bobby said they should stay where they are and be the lucky dog.
"Are y'all working on getting me a partner or not?" Mikey asked.
"Yeah, I don't know what's going on inside here." He said it would change things if they were to get a caution. "Done a hell of a job right there, because we're maintaining our position right now to the leader."
"The leader is eleven seconds back."
Earnhardt Jr led lap 57. Mikey was still in 36th. David was 10th, and Martin was 16th.
"Kasey Kahne lost his partner a pretty while ago, so he'll be in the back when the caution comes. I was talking about working with him, because the 83 was in that last crash," Ty said.
"Anybody running single, Ty?"
"Yeah, the 4. He got the same treatment. And he's a cute kid, so it's not you."
"He's not paying people, is he?"
"Not in this division."
"He is cute."
"It looks like the 38 is about stopped on the race track, looking for the 4," Ty observed.
"Lead pack's about 9.2 seconds back now," Bobby said. "All right, some of these guys will start pitting, Ty." He talked about finding someone else to dance with if caution does come out. He said they'd get two tires.
Mikey wanted to wait to pit until the leaders did. "I'm just thinking, if somebody gets a lap down, they'd be ahead of us maybe. So I don't know. It's just something to think about when the leader laps some people."
"Okay. Right now, the 71 is the only one down. I'll keep an eye on that though. I know what you're saying."
Trevor Bayne was leading on lap 65.
"He's getting awfully heavy on my bumper sometimes, so I don't know if I'd know if he were trying to do something," Mikey said.
"They should be pitting in about four, in about four they should be."
"When's this dude in front of me going to pit?" Mikey asked.
Bobby said on pit road lap 73. "72 at the flag right now."
"They said 71. I think it can go a lot farther," Ty said.
"Stay with him, Ty, in case he runs out of gas or something," Mikey said.
Bobby wanted to be on pit road on lap 73.
Ty noted that the pack was a quarter of a straightaway back. Some cars had begun to make stops. "All right, they're good. They're going to take 72 on the track, and we're going to come in lap 73. That's three laps right now. Complete three more."
Mikey was 34th on lap 70 as stops cycled. Earnhardt Jr continued to lead. Bobby told Ty to stay with him and they might come a lap early.
"You're eight back, and they're closing," Ty said. "Five back and closing. Breaking off. The leaders are coming on pit road, the 88. Not sure about the other two. Okay, three back to the 21 and the 16. They're going to be working the outside."
Mikey lost the lead lap on lap 72 as Bayne, who had just taken the lead with the #88's stop, passed him.
"Finish this lap, Michael. Finish this lap. They're having to slow down to get behind you. Clear to the high side. Outside outside, tandum outside. Come in this time, Bobby?"
"Yes, this time, this time. Protect the left. It's going to be left sides, two tires."
"Outside, outside. Watch your tandums here. Coming in this time. 47 at the line when you come in, 47." He warned Mikey about a car on his bumper. "47, first stall."
Bobby told Mikey straight in straight out. "Right here."
Mikey pit on lap 74. "Hang on. Hang on. Go go go go go. All the way, all the way."
"We still need a partner," it sounded like Bobby said.
"What?" Mikey asked.
"All right, you're clear all the way back to the pack. Clear to the pack," Ty observed.
"Does everybody have partners?" Mikey asked.
Ty said he was seeing who was with who, then said the #71 would be there. "20 back in your mirror. Two tandums are going to be coming outside right there. We want to push him again, right."
"I don't care. Whatever he wants to do."
"I'll tell him we'll push him. All right, here we go."
"He just sucks at this. Tell him he needs to wait until I'm locked up," Mikey said. "Ty, I still don't know what to do, but..."
Ty said his spotter was frustrated too.
"Tell him to run half throttle. It's not brain surgery." After a second, Mikey said in a lower voice, "It don't really matter. I don't care. He hasn't done this for long, so it's not his fault. If we had done this right, we could have kept up with the pack, so it don't matter."
"All right, the 4 and the 38 are only about a half straightaway in front of the leaders. Right now, we're still in the right spot, right Bobby?"
"10-4. We're still the dog."
"Now's a time for a courtesy caution," Mikey said.
Jimmie Johnson was leading after stops.
"Bobby, is it my imagination, or are we going 49.80 right now?"
"No, that last one was 51 flat," Bobby replied. "50.30. Excuse me. Just popped up. 50.30 that last lap. 50.30."
"Is he wide open now?" Mikey asked.
"50.20, 50.20. The leader's 49.77," Bobby said. "50.13, 50.13."
Ty warned Mikey that he was approaching the slow #09. He also let him know that other cars were about to get lapped.
"So proud of the job y'all did with this car. It's awesome."
"Thank you, bud. Just hang in there. 104 laps to go."
"I know. I'm happy. We'll get there."
"Let's run on the bottom, see if we go any faster," Mikey suggested on lap 90. Other cars were now a lap down too."
"There's a hell of a gaggle up front. There they go. There's a spin, there's a spin."
The second caution was on lap 90 for a multi-car wreck. Kurt Busch had rear-ended his teammate Brad Keselowski, who slammed sideways into Marcos Ambrose. Ambrose hit the wall. David Ragan, Trevor Bayne, and Kasey Kahne were all collected. Kahne's #4 caught on fire.
"56 47 on the front straightaway," Bobby said.
"I don't know. I've got plenty of fuel. It's up to Bobby," Mikey said.
Bobby was trying to figure out if the wave around or the lucky dog would work better right now. He told Mikey there were four cars in front of them for the free pass. Static followed.
Meanwhile, Kasey Kahne got out of his car safely and did not appear to have serious smoke inhalation problems as he threw his gloves.
"Whoever is willing. How's that 83 looking?" Mikey asked.
"Let's just stay out and do the wavearound, because if the guy around us is slow, we'll get screwed again. Let's just do the wavearound."
Mikey said that Kevin Harvick had stayed out. The rest of what he said was covered in static.
Bobby then told Mikey to pit. "If they peel off, just stay out. We'll do the wavearound."
"Three of them, right, Ty?"
Ty said they were definitely coming. He asked if anyone else would be one lap down. Mikey said the #7 was the only lapped car who pit.
"We'll be much better with the 16 and the 29, so I don't care. You just tell me," Mikey said.
"One to go when you come around. One to go," Ty told his driver. "There's a penalty car. Pack's in the middle of three and four. Hustle hustle. They're just now in 4, just now in 4. Okay, now start..." Static followed.
Racing resumed with 92 laps to go. Paul Menard was leading, and Mikey was in 30th on the lead lap.
"Green green green. Coming to us. Two off his nose. Half off his nose on the bottom. Clear three off his nose, three off his nose. All lanes are clear off his nose. The 09 is all by himself off the top. You'll be clear there. Middle's good. Both sides still, both sides. Outside outside. Both sides, both sides. Clear here. Still down there, 24. You're all clear by two, clear by two. And they're laying way back. Back inside, two of them. Four car lengths off his nose."
"It confused me when you said clear by two. I need to know what's ahead," Mikey said.
Clint Bowyer led lap 97. Mikey was 29th. The front runners were three-by-two for the lead.
"Clear by four off the top. You've got two on the bottom. Still there on the bottom, still clear up front. Catching the 1 and 42. You're clear there, still clear by seven out the front. The guys in front of him are working the top side, Michael."
Dave Blaney was leading on lap 101. Mikey was 26th.
"Still nothing off his nose. Still nothing out the front for twenty car lengths. Nothing coming from behind either, bud."
"All right, we have to pit in twenty laps. 120 on track, 121 on pit road," Bobby said.
Ty cleared Mikey by twenty car lengths. "14 outside, trying to work the high side. Clear by two on the bottom. Slowest ones are on the top side. Two real slow ones on the middle. You need to work the bottom with him. Still clear by two out his front. Still two out his nose."
Mikey was 22nd on lap 102 as Edwards led.
"Slow up top. Good on the bottom. Clear by five off his nose on the bottom. Three tandums up top backing up here. Still clear off his nose, looking outside here. There's a switch going on in the pack. Back off of him here. Real slow one on the top side. You're clear four off his nose, but you've got one off your bumper. You're still all clear all clear all clear. Clear five off his nose up top. Twenty clear off your nose up top."
Kurt Busch led lap 106. Mikey was 18th.
"Back off a little bit. There you go. Good deal. You're going to be clear high here, clear high here. Okay, he's clear five off his nose to the high side. Good work right there, Michael. That was going to be a mess. You're clear by seven up top."
"Ty, I'm totally fine with getting off of him," Mikey said.
"We've still got twelve, thirteen laps we can run here." Ty warned a couple cars were coming hard on the bottom.
Bobby said the #38 of Travis Kvapil would pit with them.
"Clear five off his nose on the high side. Nothing off his nose, bud. Nothing off his nose. You guys are going to be catching the 46 32 pretty quick. The high side's still good. Back off a little bit. The middle is jamming up. Outside outside, outside outside. Middle's fine here. Clear low, clear low. Get back to him. Big run up top. Clear the 7. You're still clear off his nose, and you're clear low. Clear off his nose. Clear high now. Nice job. Clear about ten off his nose to the 11."
"Ten more laps, Ty. Tell Roman. Ten more."
"I'm standing next to him right now."
"Okay, still five off his nose." Ty said they'd be working the bottom or the middle. "Clear a dozen off his nose. You're all clear, all clear. Still seven off his nose. You've got eight more to complete. Slow one is going to be off his nose in about 5. You're going to working the bottom here, or the middle. Those guys are working the middle. There you go. Come through the bottom. You're all clear, all clear. The 20 is on the bottom by himself. You're going to blow by him. Clear all clear. You're going to be catching the middle pretty quick. Work the bottom work the bottom. Clear clear. Still clear by six off his nose. Still clear by six."
Mikey was 19th on lap 114 with Kurt Busch leading. He was 15th one lap later.
"Still clear four off his nose and catching him. Five more, buddy. Five more. Still clear two off his nose. Two off his nose, and then three working the high side. Top side of three. These two in the middle are broken up. You'll get some momentum. Middle's fine if you need it. Clear by two off his nose. Clear by one off his nose. Middle's still fine if you need it. Both sides, both sides. Still both sides. You're clear high. All right, that's first or second spot right there. Still clear, clear clear. Inside inside. Tandum inside. Coming back to you, bud." Ty warned that cars would be catching him. "Still clear, all clear. WIll be coming both sides. Nothing off his nose right now. Clear low. Complete three more. All right, there he is tucked up with you. Big run. Inside inside."
On lap 117, Mikey was 5th.
"Plenty more coming. Inside inside. Middle line's backing up in front of you. Finish this one and one more. Top side is fine here. Middle is backing up. Still there. 38 up top, and they'll pit with us. We'll finish this lap and one more. You guys are both clear, all clear."
"Get off of me, get off..." Mikey said.
Mikey pit with 69 laps to go.
"You ran me out of fucking gas," he said.
Bobby told Mikey not to leave until they got seven or eight ounces of fuel.
"What's the best way to start it? It won't start. Y'all aren't going to tell me how to start it?"
"Keep pumping. Try again," Bobby said. "Hold the accelarator wide open."
"I've got it wide open. I pumped it, and I've got it wide open."
Dave Blaney led lap 122. Mikey was two laps down in 31st, on pit road and unable to refire his engine.
"Get ready, try to push him. You only get a few stalls," Bobby said.
"47, 47," Ty said.
"I could have won this damn race."
"All right, let's roll." He told Mikey they could let Keselowski's torn up #2 push the #15. Mikey was now four laps down in 32nd. Kurt Busch was leading with 62 laps to go.
The third caution was on lap 128 for debris that had come off Bowyer's #33.
"All right, stay out," Bobby said.
Ty said he saw Reutimann get five laps back before.
"Yeah, 10-4," Bobby replied.
Other drivers pit under yellow.
"A lot of lead lap guys stayed out, maybe five or six. What do you think, Bobby? Can they go for just one stop or something?" Ty asked.
Bobby said that was probably the case.
"So it's just the 13 and 14 now," Ty said. "One to go this time, one to go. M-Dub, Terry is right behind you. He said he would like you to work with him, or he would like to work with you. All right, coming to the restart here."
Paul Menard led the restart with 56 laps to go.
"Pace car's off. Ready? The 39 doesn't have anybody, right off your nose if you want it. Third lane up there. Clear by one off of his nose. Clear to the middle. You're clear. Middle's good middle's good. Clear low. Clear all clear. Got a run the bottom here, run the bottom. Middle's still good if you want it, middle's still good if you want it. Both sides. Clear low, clear low."
Jeff Burton led with 55 to go. Mikey was three laps down in 32nd.
"Outside outside, outside outside. 32's one back if you want him. 32's coming to you. Coming to you. Good push here. Outside outside. Middle lane's moving. Okay, you're catching them. Three side. Terry's still coming with you. Outside outside."
Going into 53 to go, Dave Blaney led the field.
"Outside, a tandum. You guys are clear two back to the 13. You guys are all clear, all clear. There you go. Let's see what you've got in front of you there. Outside outside. 32's on the bottom here. Real slow one."
With 50 to go, Terry Labonte's #32 got the #15 loose. Mikey slid into Johnson's #48.
"Terry's going to spin in front of me, man. Tell him to get in front of me on the next turn."
The fourth caution was with 49 to go. Joey Logano had hit Kyle Busch's left rear and turned him into Matt Kenseth's #17 when cars had checked up in front of the #20 and #18. AJ Almendinger was also collected.
"Back it down."
"Can we make it from here?"
Bobby said they couldn't. "We'll put fuel in it anyway. Hey, Ty. It looks like the 00 lost his partner."
Cars pit under yellow.
"Stay out, stay out," Bobby directed. He said they had nothing to lose by staying out until lap 171. "Stay out."
"Ah, the 4 says he wants to run," Ty told his driver.
"Staying out. That will put us two down." Bobby told Ty to check to see if the #00 wanted to work with them."
"Tell him I don't know if it's my car or what, but he has to push," Mikey said.
Ty said that should work, because Kasey Kahne was saying that he isn't a good pusher.
"Pace car's off," Bobby said.
"Pace car's off. Be ready. Start rolling. Green green green."
Martin led the restart with 44 to go. Mikey was 30th, two laps down. David was 11th.
"Damn," Bobby said.
"Still clear out the front of his nose," Ty observed.
"Well, evidently, you got your signals crossed, because he doesn't want to go nowhere," Mikey said. "I mean... I don't..."
Ty said he might have an issue. "Inside inside. He says he can go."
"That was bullshit. But that's the way this goes. See if the 9 will slow down."
"Looks like a hell of a mess."
Mikey said the Nationwide race was too. "Have you talked to the 9's guy?"
"Coming to you. The 4 here. Try to find him," Ty said.
Up front, Jeff Burton was knocked out of line and saved it. Kevin Harvick had been leading. With 41 to go, Kurt Busch was out front. Harvick got back out front. David and Martin were working with each other.
On lap 147, Martin led with David in 2nd. They lost it just after. Martin led again with 38 to go.
"Yeah, it's faster with you pushing. Faster with you pushing," Bobby said.
"Yeah, he said when they fixed the nose, they had to put a small radiator in it, so he's not able to do much," Ty said of Kahne.
"49.80," Bobby said.
"Ty, tell him if he wants to back off when he gets there. We'll just ride around, see if they wreck."
Ty said there were about eight tandums going on, all going back and forth.
"Or I could go flat up through there, if he wants to," Mikey suggested.
"If you push him to the front, you might get us our lap back."
Mikey said that's what he meant.
"I figured you'd be down with that. Kasey might not want to do that."
"Yeah, it didn't sound like a menu item he wanted to order," Ty said.
"In fact, he's slowing down right now," Mikey added. "It would look really cool on TV if we passed all those people. It would even get on Inside NASCAR on Showtime!"
With 33 to go, Dave Blaney led as ten cars were in the front group fighting for the top spot. Mikey was 29th, two laps down.
"He's definitely slowing 'er down," Bobby observed. "All right, scanning the 4 here. He has no interest in getting up and doing anything."
Ty said he had spoken with the spotter. The #4 was unstable at the moment and couldn't push.
"Well, can you at least tell him to pit with us on lap 170?" Bobby asked.
"Ask him if he can push me up to that next car so I can try him on for size," Mikey requested.
"28 to go when you get here. 28 to go," Ty noted.
"You'll be on pit road on 170. Fuel only. Ten more laps."
Mikey said that Kahne's bumper was "all charred up." "Go to work on this 09 and see if I can push him."
"All right, 10-4," Ty replied. Then he said they were looking for some debris. "The 09 waved me off, said he doesn't have the bumper to run. That'll get the 46, and we'll get the next one."
The fifth caution was with 25 laps to go for debris on the back straightaway.
Bobby said they'd pit for fuel and would spray the back bumper. "We'll just go ahead and fill it all the way up. Just go on me, M-Dub, when you pit there. No tires, just fuel."
"Give me a water, please," Mikey requested.
"You hear him, Ron?" Bobby asked.
"I got it," said Ron.
"Quicky yellow, so you can come this time. Quicky yellow," Ty said.
Bobby talked about working with the #71.
"All right, we'll see how they line up." Ty said it may be their only option.
"So pit, right? Did they all pit?" Mikey asked.
Ty said to come in, as did Bobby.
"We didn't give away a wavearound, did we?"
Bobby said they hadn't and told them to pit. "I never heard them say quicky yellow. Did they, Ty?"
Ty said he had said it, then said that ten of them got the wavearound and still needed to pit. The #15 was now in line for the free pass.
Bobby asked Ty if anyone out there was looking for someone to work with.
"Travis says he wants to run with us," Ty said.
Clint Bowyer led the restart with 21 laps to go. Mikey was 29th, two laps down.
"All right, bud. Pace car's off. Pace car's off. All right, bud, be ready. Ready? Rolling. Green green green. You're clear two off his nose here. Still clear fifteen off his nose. People still aren't matched up like they were."
Mikey said he would wait. "If he's not going to go, then I'm not going to go either."
"Twenty to go, twenty to go."
With 20 to go, Regan Smith moved into the top spot.
"Still clear by twenty off the nose. Real slow one on the bottom, about fifteen off his nose. Slow one on the top too, the 9. He'll move here soon, I hope. You're going to have to split the middle. Clear low, clear low. Clear low. There you go. Inside inside. Inside inside, 82. Spin over there in turn 3. No caution yet. Keep coming keep coming. They saved it. Keep coming. The 42 is crashed in front of you, but there's no caution. Keep coming. The 42 is limping on the bottom. He's got fender problems. He might pop a tire here. 42's all by himself on the yellow line on the bottom here. Catch him when he enters this corner. Might be debris out there, brother. Might be debris. Straightaway. Spin on the back straightaway. No caution yet. Keep coming, keep coming. No caution yet. Keep coming."
The sixth catuion was with 15 to go. Ryan Newman, who had gotten into Montoya earlier, had spun with a tire going down. Although he kept it off the wall, he stalled on the track. Mikey got the free pass and was now one lap down. Bobby called for four tires and said, "Don't rush anything. Need something to drink, bud?"
"No, I'm fine."
Bobby called for tires, tear-off, and spray the back bumper.
"You're going to have two trucks off the wall off of two. Okay, you're going to have two of them rolling off the wall off of 2."
"Straight in, straight out." After the stop, he said, "All the way out, all the way out. 4700. Okay, find somebody for us to dance with, Ty."
"46 said he'll run with us," Ty said. "He doesn't have anybody. He's at the end of the field there. These guys are laying over, so come on. The 46 in front of the 4."
"I'm still one down, right?" Mikey asked.
"10-4, 10-4," Bobby said.
"You ready? Green green green," Ty said.
Racing resumed with 11 to go with Jeff Gordon leading.
"Eleven to go, bud. Eleven to go. You're not going to get a lap down in ten laps."
"I understand," Mikey said.
"Ten to go, ten to go," Ty told his driver. "You're clear, all clear."
Kevin Harvick led with 9 laps to go.
"8 to go, 8 to go. It's perculating up there, bud."
"I figured it would be, bud," Mikey replied.
"The 38 wants to push, wants to push. 6 to go, 6 to go."
"6 to go. We've got two cars battling for the lead."
Edwards led going into 4 to go. Mikey was 28th, one lap down.
"4 to go," Ty said. "Spin off of 3, spin off of 3. Keep coming, keep coming. No caution yet. Keep coming. 36 has spun through the infield here, but no caution."
Kurt Busch had spun Blaney, his third spin of the day.
"Three to go, three to go.
"Two to go. Two."
Jeff Gordon led going into the last lap of the race.
"White flag," Ty said. "Checkered flag."
Jimmie Johnson won with a dive to the inside with Earnhardt Jr pushing as the front runners had gone three-wide. Mikey finished 28th, one lap down. Martin was 13th, and David was 14th.