The #55 Aaron's / University of Kentucky NCAA Men's Basketball Championship Camry rode in the back throughout the Quaker State 400, tonight's Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway. Long green flag runs and a couple wave-around gambles did not work out in Michael Waltrip's favour. He finished five laps down in 30th after spending most of the day running in the 30's. Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex Jr and Clint Bowyer finished 8th and 15th respectively.
Mikey rolled off 39th in tonight's race. Clint Bowyer started 6th and Martin Truex Jr 10th.
"Got me, Jeremy?" the crew chief came on the radio at 7:34pm ET.
"Yes sir. You got me?"
After a pause, someone said, "Hey, Bobby, man."
Someone came on the radio shortly thereafter and addressed his driver.
"I'm good. Hello," Mikey replied.
"Got you loud and clear up top here."
"Yeah, I got you," someone replied. "Your right front tire is perfect there." He said something about nine on the left.
"Nine on left, if that's what you want to tell me," Mikey said.
"Okay. Hey boss man, have fun tonight, bud. Make it work, bud."
"Get through this baby and try to catch one."
"It's like riding a bike. It's time for fire in the hole," Ty said when the call to start engines came at 7:38pm.
The crew chief told Mikey to pull the belts tight. Ty commented on the cars being freer, and the crew chief told Mikey to put his b blowers on.
"All the yellow ones are up."
"10-4. Jeremy, you'll have to help me on the radiator fan on this pit stop."
"Ya got it, buddy. 10-4," Jeremy replied.
The crew chief told him to remember to say when he needed a tear-off.
At 7:42pm, cars rolled off pit road.
"Once you roll off here, we're about ten away. Orange 55. Can't miss it."
"That's a good sign. Made for an old guy," Mikey commented.
His crew chief laughed. "10-4."
His spotter warned him about the #2 car sitting in the middle of pit road. "When you get caught up, it will be pit road speed."
His crew chief said something that came out as static. "Right here. Got the 29 behind and the 17 in front," he pointed out where the #55 spot was on pit road. "All right, guys, go over all your equipment. 267 laps. Make sure everyone stays hydrated here."
"All right, bud. One to go at the line. One to go at the line," said the spotter.
"All right, bud, one to go here. Nice smooth shifts." The crew chief praised the crew for all year.
"I really thank y'all for all the hard work," Mikey said. "Thank you for that. We'll get you a decent finish tonight and a win next time, or something like that."
His spotter said they'd run clean and would have fun.
"Got me now?" the crew chief asked.
"That was better now. Totally wasn't working before."
"All right, coming to the green. Coming to the green," the spotter said. "Pace car's off. Nice and smooth. We'll race our race. Ready? Ready? Ready? Green green green. We're rolling. We're good. Got one outside - the 95. Got one right behind him there, outside. Got one behind him, the 30. Still outside. YOu're all clear right there, all clear."
Pole sitter Kyle Busch led lap 1.
"Still up there bud. Still there. 30's one back. All clear. Two back, two back," the spotter observed.
"32.71," the crew chief gave lap times. "25."
"Clear, bud. Nothing coming. Nothing coming."
"Still there. Still there on your bumper. Still there, still there," warned Mikey's spotter. "Still there at your door. Still there. Still down there. Quarter bumper. Clear by half. Clear. Trying to come back. You're all clear, bud. All clear. Back inside here. Clear, all clear."
"Good job, man. One at a time here," praised his crew chief. "38."
Mikey was 34th by lap 6 as Kyle Busch continued to lead.
"Still there. Still there, bud. 36 is going to be coming. Coming outside quarter, outside. Two to three back to your next one."
"Still there, bud. Still there."
"51. Leader's at the stripe now. 15 laps on your tires, 15. That was an 18.
Mikey was 35th on lap 15 after Dave Blaney had passed. Kyle Busch continued to lead.
"Still there, man. Still there. You're clear clear. One back. Clear."
"23. 40 in front.
"26. 50 in front."
"The leaders are running just a little bit higher in one and two. Three and four. That was good in three and four right there."
"10. 43 in front."
Mikey was 34th on lap 20, having re-passed Blaney. Clint and Martin were 5th and 7th as Kyle Busch led.
"Still down there. Clear by half. Clear clear."
"49. 25 laps on your tires. That was a 32.
Tony Stewart pit on lap 29, moving Mikey up to 32nd. Four laps prior, Mikey was 33rd after passing Scott Speed.
"Leader at the line, leader at the line. 44.
"30 laps on your tires. That was a 39."
"That 95 is about two or three back. Leader behind him," his spotter warned.
"That 95, he pitted. 18 the leader. He's three back."
On lap 34, Brad Keselowski dropped inside the #18 and took the lead. Stewart was behind the wall with mechanical issues.
Mikey's spotter cleared him. "The leader is the 2 car. He's two cars back now. The next one you're racing is that 34. That 2 car is going to be coming. Here he comes, outside. 18 is about two back, two back. Coming. Outside by himself. Hole behind him."
"32.95. About twelve more laps until we pit."
Mikey was 31st on lap 35. He lost the lap two laps after that.
"How's your balance right here?"
Mikey responded amidst static.
"The 11 is going to be outside, p3. Still clear still clear. 11's going to try to come inside on us here. Inside. You're clear right there, clear."
"16. 58 in front."
"Caution's out. Caution's out, bud," his spotter said.
The first caution was on lap 43 after Scott Riggs had a mechanical problem.
The crew chief said to turn the radiator fan on and that they'd just missed the free pass. "How was your balance there?" After a pause, he asked, "Got us okay?"
Mikey still didn't respond.
"We can't hear you at all, Michael. Just wave at us on the way by if you can hear us. Just make sure your radiator fan on."
The spotter noted that Mikey was swirving when asked so he could hear them.
"My button don't work," Mikey said. "The button quit working."
"10-4. We got you now."
Mikey said something but kept getting cut off. At the end, it sounded like he said tight off. The crew chief noted this and said they'd work on the button. Mikey said something about track position. His crew chief told him to come in second time, after the leaders do. He made the call for four tires. "Just tap on the door if you're okay with that. 10-4. Gotcha."
The leaders pit under yellow.
"The seventh man can pass you another button. I'm not sure if you can get it on there."
Mikey sounded like he said he could. His crew chief said he'd help him with it.
Racing resumed on lap 48 with Kyle Busch in the lead. Clint was 5th, Martin was 9th, and Mikey was 31st.
"Inside, bud. Inside. Still there. Three wide. Three. Still three. One inside. One inside. You're going to be clear low. Got one trying to come. Inside inside. Hole behind him. Clear low. Clear clear clear. Trying to come back. Clear by half."
Kasey Kahne's #5 went to pit road.
"Still down there. Still down there. Still there quarter. Clear by half. Coming back inside. Clear all around right there, clear all around."
By lap 52, Mikey was 33rd. David Gilliland and Dave Blaney had passed him.
"All clear, bud. All clear. One back."
"32.45. 43 in front.
Mikey was 31st again on lap 55. Other cars had dropped back as Blaney and Gilliland were still ahead of him in line for the free pass.
"Still there. Still there. On your quarter. Still there. On your bumper. Still out there. Good job. You're clear, man. Good job."
"Your last lap was an 09, your best lap of the race."
His spotter cleared him.
"31.99. That was your best lap. Racing that 38 up there for the lucky dog. That was a 29."
Mikey was 30th on lap 60, having passed Blaney. Kyle Busch continued to lead. Clint was 5th, and Martin was 9th.
"Three wide. 47 still inside on the bottom. You're going to be clear on the bottom. Clear clear. Good job, man. The 38 in front of us."
"Good job, man. You're a lot faster than him. Just keep doing your deal."
"Nice and smooth. Set him up, bud. Nice and smooth. You'll get him."
"Still there. Clear. Clear by one. Clear clear. Good job, man. Hit your marks. The 5 car is a lap down. He's about six or seven back, but you just keep it rolling."
"The 30 car here is four laps down," said the crew chief of David Stremme.
His crew chief praised him and said he was now in the lucky dog position. "19."
On lap 69, Mikey was 29th after he had passed Gilliland. His crew chief again praised him for his speeds.
"Still there. Still up there, bud. Door."
"5 car is the next car back. That was a 57."
"Still there, bud. Still there. Clear. One back. Clear clear."
"All right, man. Hit your marks here. Nice and smooth. Hit your marks like that. Don't worry about him. Just hit your marks. 32.12."
"Trying to get inside. He's at your quarter. Still down there, bud."
Kahne passed Mikey on lap 82, dropping him to 30th.
"All right, bud. You're not the lucky dog anymore, so just do all you can. You're doing a good job." The crew chief said that Mikey had been running his best laps before Kasey Kahne had gotten to him."
"Keep doing what you're doing, bud. Leader's at the line."
"38. Leader ran an 02. Pretty much all the leaders slow down." His crew chief said everything equalled out later in the run but they were initially eight tenths faster. "32.10. Leader run a 16.
"15. Leader run a 31.
"31.18. Leader run a 31.
"Okay, we're about five away here. This next time by, just tap on your door if you're tight centre off. 10-4. Gotcha."
"The 14 about five back. He's several laps down. Leader right behind him."
Green flag stops began on lap 90 with Kevin Harvick. Paul Menard then came in.
"32.20. Leader run a 90. They're all starting to pit here. About three more. All right, bud, 23.
"08. Good lap." He then gave Mikey instructions to put a fan on and something else back. "Gonna pit this time. This time this time. 4100 at the line."
The spotter told Mikey pit road would come up quick. "Be smooth, be smooth. 4100. Here he comes, guys."
The crew chief led Mikey to his box on lap 97. "Turn your wheel. Be ready be ready be ready. Go hard go hard go hard. All the way all the way."
"4100. Watch the blend line. 4100," the spotter added. "Watch your blend line off turn 2. All clear entering 2, all clear. All clear off of 2 now. Hit your marks. Run your race, bud."
"31.98. That's your fastest lap of the race."
Jimmie Johnson led as cars continued to pit.
Kyle Busch led lap 100 after stops had cycled. Mikey was 30th, now two laps down. Clint and Martin were 5th and 9th.
"59. That was good. Leader run a 78.
"62. Good job.
"70. Leader run a 53.
"72. You can go ahead and turn your radiator fan back off here. You're doing a good job. 78. Right now, you're the first car two laps down. 92."
"Still there. Door. Going to be clear by one. Clear clear."
"31.68. Good lap. Leader run a 78.
"96." He told him about a black car he was running even with. "Lap 110 right here. You have 157 to go. 92.
"86, same as the 11 behind you."
"He's still up there, bud. Still at your door. Going to be clear clear. One back. Clear clear. Two back."
"That was a 91. 87 on the 11 right there. Nice and smooth.
"Got the 15 about five back behind him," the spotter said. "Got a hole behind him. About five or six back, the 15."
"Still there. It'll be clear right there. Clear. Two back.
"15 behind him, about two back. He wants to know if he can get by - the 15."
Clint was running 5th.
"You've got a good hole behind him. Caution's out. You've got debris on the front."
The second caution was on lap 125.
"All right, bud. Turn on your radiator fan right here. Yeah, just make sure your radiator fan's on. Got nineteen on the lead lap. We're p30th, first car two laps down." The crew chief said how many laps were on the tires. "When you were by yourself, you were real good off of 4 around those other guys you were around and stuff."
"Pit road's open," the spotter observed.
The crew chief told Mikey what to do if he were tight or loose. "10-4, bud."
"Round," it sounded like Mikey said.
His crew chief thought he'd said "down" and said that's all he heard.
"Can you hear..." someone said but was cut off.
"Do you want a wave around?" Mikey asked.
The crew chief said no, because they'd be three down if it didn't work out. "Let's plan on stopping right here. Half a round out of the right rear."
"Here he comes. 4100 at the line."
The crew chief led the #55 to the box. "Be ready be ready. Go hard go hard go hard go hard. 4100 4100."
"All clear. 41, 41. All clear. 41, 41. All right, bud. It'll be one to go, one to go at the line. We're racing 36, 32... 36 and 32. We'll line up just like we did when we came off pit road."
"All right, bud. Make sure your fans are off." His crew chief said to do whatever he wanted with his brake lever.
The spotter called the restart on lap 130. Kyle Busch led. Mikey was 32nd.
"Keep rolling, keep rolling. You're good. Still got him outside. Three, no, he backed it off. Two. Still there. Clear clear."
Denny Hamlin led lap 131.
"Still there, still there. Door. Still there. Got the 83. You're clear right there, half back. He's trying to come outside on you here, outside. On your bumper. Still there. 5 car's about a half back. Still outside. 5 car's coming. Got the 31 with him. They're going to make it three on you here. Two. Outside, just the 5 car. Clear. He's trying to come. Here he is, outside. You're clear right there. Clear, clear. That 31's trying to come inside on you. Inside. He's by himself. The 42 is about three or four back. Clear all around right there, bud. About two or three back. Coming inside inside inside. 42, by himself. Still down there. You're clear right there, clear by a half. He's probably going to drive it in on you. Inside, inside. Clear, clear. He's coming again. You're all clear, bud. All clear. Coming back inside. You're clear right there, about one back."
"38," the crew chief gave the lap times. "26.
"That was 11.
"That looked better in one and two right there," his spotter commented.
"You're doing a good job, man. We should have done more adjustments with a caution like that. That was a good lap. That was a 15.
"Caution's out. Caution's out. Looks like the 36's motor let go in 3 and 4."
The third caution was on lap 149 for Blaney.
"All right, turn your fan on. We're going to see if we can get your damn radio working here." He then said he did hear part of what Mikey had said. He asked spotter Jeremy to watch who comes in.
"10-4," the spotter said. "We'll see what they do. Yeah, bud, we're sitting pretty here."
"10-4. I'm going to say all these guys in front of us are going to do the same."
"10-4 on the wave around. They put speedy dry all up in 3 and 4. Can't see out there."
"We're on lap 152 right now. Got 115 to go."
"One to go, one to go at the line."
Mikey had taken the wave-around. He was now 32nd, one lap down.
"At the line, we'll do the wavearound, do the best we can," his crew chief said. "All right, it's two in front of you. Three are doing the same thing."
His spotter guided him around the line. He then called the restart on lap 155; Denny Hamlin led. "They're rolling. Good, good. Outside. Clear high, clear. Outside, outside. 47 right behind, outside. You're clear right there. Two back, two back. Clear. Trying to come outside on you. Outside outside outside. 14 about three back behind him. All clear. Still there, still there. You're all clear, man. Clear, clear clear."
"That 14, several laps down now."
"Yeah, that 14 is 35 laps down now. 32.42."
"Still there, still there. Everything's good up front."
Joey Logano bumped the wall following contact from Ryan Newman and got into Clint on lap 161. Clint was now 13th. Martin was 6th. Mikey was one lap down in 32nd.
"That 14 is coming inside all by himself. Hole behind him."
"54. Lap before us was an 05."
"Going to be clear."
"24. About twenty laps until we pit.
"The next one you're racing is the 38. He's about five cars up in front of you."
By lap 168, Clint was one lap down in 27th due to a damaged fender from the incident with Logano; he'd had to pit. He was two laps down in 32nd by lap 170. Mikey was 31st, one lap down.
"Still out there. Right on your bumper. Still there. You're clear, clear. Clear by half. Still clear. One back, one back."
"Try to go right here. The leaders are coming about a second a lap. A 35.
"Pitting in front of you - that 10," the spotter warned Mikey about David Reutimann.
"96. Leader run an 88.
"80. Leader run an 05."
"Nice job, man. Nice job. Leader is in clean air. You're doing good," his spotter praised.
"32 flat - same as the leader."
On lap 180, Mikey was in 30th.
"All right, get your brake lever back and your radiator fan on. Come this time. This time, 4100 at the line."
"Be smooth now. It's going to come up quick. 4100. Get your fans right. 4100. Be smooth. All right, guys, here he comes."
The crew chief called the #55 to the box on lap 187. "Wheel to the left. Be ready. Be ready. Go hard go hard go hard go hard go hard. 4100."
"4100. 41. 41," the spotter said. "41. Blend line off of 2. All right, bud, you've got a bunch of them coming here. One coming outside here, and you've got five or six more. Coming outside. The 22 coming. About two back to your next one. You're clear."
By lap 187, Mikey was two laps down in 32nd. Hamlin continued to lead. Martin was 7th, and Clint was two laps down in 28th.
"All right, man. Good job. Get all you can here. 31.96."
Mikey was three laps down in 32nd on lap 189. Jimmie Johnson was now the leader.
"Still there. Still there, bud," his spotter warned. "Going to be clear, clear. One back."
"Clear bud, you're all clear. About five back. Coming inside, inside. Three back. Come outside. Two more, then a hole."
"Be ready here. Get these people out of the way. All you got, Jeremy."
The spotter said something about halfway down the back. "Just getting into three now. All right, here we come, here we come."
The crew chief called for right side tires, then called for four. "Make sure you've got her in gear here. Be ready. Go go go go go. The left rear. The last stop he said he about broke his hand. 4100, bud."
"4100, bud. 41. All right, man. We've got five of them right here. Coming outside. Two more. One. The next one is going to be exiting now. 3, 2, 1. Coming outside. You've got a hole right here. On the bottom here."
Other cars pit on lap 201. Mikey was five laps down in 33rd.
"31.98," said the crew chief. "81."
Johnson pit on lap 205.
"88 about five back, all by himself."
"The 88's going to be coming. We don't have to race him. Hole behind him. Inside."
Johnson pit, and Keselowski was leading on lap 207 as stops continued to cycle.
"Still there," his spotter warned. "All clear. Clear."
"Keep doing what you're doing. 59 to go. Still need to pit one more time. 32 flat."
"They're wrecking over here in 2, bud. Caution's out. Off of 2. One's in the middle of the track now."
The crew chief told Mikey to make sure his radiator fan was on.
"You're all clear."
The fourth caution was on lap 210. Newman had spun and had rear ended the wall. Reagan Smith hit the wall attempting to avoid him.
The crew chief said there was only one car three laps down and they were four down. He said there were twenty cars on the lead lap and that the #55 and #32 were four down. "2 car stayed out. We might as well top it off here."
The spotter said the #2 car went around them under caution and that they'd been ahead of it.
"They want you to go high. They want you to go high, NASCAR."
The crew chief said he thought they should stick with the wave-around and get as many laps back as they could. They were now three laps down, having not pit to take the wave-around. The spotter warned him about the trucks.
The crew chief gave Mikey an update on his cars, including how Newman had rear-ended Logano into Clint. He noted that Clint was 19th and back on the lead lap now with a fast car. Martin was 7th.
The spotter suggested that Mikey take off the wire on his radio to put it up to his mouth. The crew chief said they wanted to be careful not to make it so Mikey couldn't hear them.
"I'm coasting a lot," Mikey said.
"10-4. Heard you right there."
"What'd you say, bud?"
"We'll stick with it here, get one of them back." He said they couldn't make it to the end without stopping anyway. It sounded like the spotter had said, "We're shutting it off. Shutting it off."
"One to go. One to go at the line," said the spotter. He told Mikey he could catch up at the line, then warned him about a safety truck. "Track's clear all the way around."
"Check your switches. We've got 49 to go here."
"Coming to the green, coming to the green." The spotter called hte lap 220 restart.
Brad Keselowski led, Mikey was 30th three laps down, Martin was 7th, and Clint was 19th.
"Coming outside. It's cool. It's good, man. Outside. You're all clear right there, man. Clear."
"It's the 14 behind you," the spotter warned. "That 14 is coming by himself. Hole behind him."
"All clear. Got one coming, got one coming. You're clear. Five back."
"Still there, still there. Quarter quarter. Clear. One back."
"Still there. Quarter. Clear clear. Clear clear."
"Got 32 to go right here." The crew chief said they'd come in for a splash and go if the race continued as it was."
"Still there. Clear clear. Two back."
"Still down there. All clear. Clear clear."
"22 to go, 22. 32.05. 22 the lap before.
"10." The crew chief then told Mikey that he was the only one three laps down, so they'd be fine. "31.99.
"Last one's a 94.
"90. About three more until we come. When we come here, we'll just get two or three seconds of fuel. Make sure you don't slide your tires. Go on me. About two more laps.
"All right, bud, come this time. 4100. Gas only. Don't slide your tires," the crew chief said.
"All right, now. Be smooth. Don't slide them. 4100 at the line. Be smooth. Don't slide them 4100."
The crew chief led Mikey the rest of the way into the #55 box with 7 laps to go. "Go go go go go. 4100, 4100."
"41. 41." The spotter then warned Mikey of a slow car on the apron. "All right, bud, two to go. That 2 car is really close on fuel. Make sure he doesn't run back. Actually five to go. P30. You didn't lose anything there. Four more."
Other cars came in for a splash of gas. Mikey was five laps down.
"31.88. That was a good lap with these tires. Three to go.
"Two to go. Keep your eye on the 2 car here.
"One more. One more. One more.
"All right, bud. Checkers."
"All right, man. P30. Good job, Michael. Damn radio deal. That didn't help at all. I appreciate the good effort all week, and we'll go get 'em at Daytona next week."
Brad Keselowski won. Mikey finished five laps down in 30th. Martin finished 8th and Clint 16th.