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Coke Zero 400 - 7/7/12

Michael Waltrip finished 9th in the Coke Zero 400, tonight's Sprint Cup race at Daytona International Speedway. His #55 Aaron's Camry was involved in a mid-race accident that caused damage to the car's nose. The Toyota had been running around 30th up until eight laps to go. Mikey maneuvered his way through two late race wrecks, earning a spot in the top ten.

Mikey started tonight's race from the 28th position. Clint rolled off 29th, Martin 18th. Matt Kenseth was on the pole.

"Got me, Jeremy?" someone came on the #55 team frequency at 7:35pm ET.

"Hey, I got you," the spotter Jeremy replied. "Do you got me?"

"I got you, buddy. Hey, I got my phone."

Jeremy asked where it was.

"Underneath the car behind us."

Jeremy chuckled. "Underneath the car behind us. The one place we didn't check. Cool."

After a long pause on the radio, someone asked, "Got me?"

"I do," Mikey replied. "I hear you loud and clear. Thank you for everything. Thanks for the ride. It feels good to do this."

Later, Mikey added, "Once upon a time, ten years ago, I won this race. What were you do ten years ago? Winning late model races or sprint car?"

"I was watching you come out the roof."

Mikey reminisced about the win, how he had won under caution, how fans had thrown beer cans and seat cushions and how he thought that they were celebrating his win until he realised they were pissed about the race ending under caution. "But the crazy thing is, ten years ago, the back straightaway was full, and now it's not. Life's hard these days. I get it."

The spotter agreed.

"I'm so thankful for this opportunity. I want to run all night for you guys and get some points and get this think back toward the top ten."

"10-4 on that."

The team then talked about early race strategies.

"Yeah, I'm going to be conservative early on," Mikey announced. "I'm not going to be doing much early on. I don't get these chances all the time, so I want to be there at the end."

"I got your old pit signs back this week," crew chief Rodney Childers said. "Big 55's."

"What pit box am I in? I forgot."

"32." Rodney then told him what teams were around him. Then he and Jeremy coordinated when they'd pass off spotting on pit road.

two tires and sometimes two cans of fuel, will go on him if fuel as it's slow

"Got you," Mikey acknowledged.

The call to start engines came at 7:41pm.

"Fire in the hole, bud," Jeremy said.

Rodney told him to have on his right front b-blower, radiator fan, and another fan.

"So what's your number on the pressure, Rodney?" Mikey asked.

"It should blow off at 34 - 32 or 34."

"Got ya."

"Ten rows in front of you, the 22 is still getting buckled in there," the spotter warned.

"You're about eight away right here. Just watch this 22. 3, 2, 1. Right here on your left, man," Rodney said. "The 13 in front, the 26... the 13 behind, the 26 in front. You like the sign, bud?"

"Yeah, 10-4. I can see it just fine," Mikey replied.

Rodney asked about oil temperature.

"Well, it's currently 220 degrees."

"10-4. What's your water pressure at that, while you're at it?"

"The track is moving," Jeremy announced.

Rodney asked Mikey again about his water pressure. When Mikey didn't reply, he asked if Mikey could hear him. Mikey said he could, and Rodney repeated his question.

"It's currently at 14. 215 water tempurature, 14 water pressure."

"10-4."

"Pit road speed right there. Pit road speed," said Jeremy.

"Pace car should be just below 4300. We'll use 4500, 4500 second gear."

"4500 second gear. Roger. That all makes sense," Mikey confirmed.

"10-4." The spotter then said to look at pit road entrance and pit stall.

"Right here on your left again," Rodney said. "Small opening, 13, and then you."

"There's a bunch of Toyotas up here in a blob, aren't there, Rodney," Mikey commented.

"Yeah, 10-4."

"One to go at the line. One to go," said Jeremy.

"Now the temperature's 222, and the pressure's 17," Mikey noted.

"10-4," Rodney replied. He said he may have to do something about the water pressure. "It may push water at 240, 245. We can always reset it.

"Be smart all night," Rodney added. "Don't try to be too careful. Just race how you want to race."

"All right, well don't be shy to tell me to race differently. I"ll take all suggestions," Mikey replied.

"10-4, man."

Jeremy promised to do his best to keep Mikey safe.

"Well just remember, you have to fix it if it gets tore up," Mikey reminded his spotter.

"Yeah, 10-4."

"Both of you two just need to be real confident. Both of you have a shot at this. You've done it before."

Mikey read his temps again.

"10-4."

"All right, pace car's off. Be ready. Nice and smooth. Green green green. All right, we're rolling, we're rolling. 15's still down there."

The green flag waved at 7:54pm.

"You're clear. Clear right there. Clear low. Our lane's moving here. Jammed up on that inside, that inside line. They're coming apart now. We're rolling. Got the 38 51 behind you. If you want to stay in the middle, they're going to be coming three wide on you. Still three wide, three, three wide. 51 20. Still three, still three. Three wide, three, still three. Two wide. 43's right on the bottom, right on the yellow line there. Three wide, back to two. Clear the 1, inside."

Kenseth led the first lap. Mikey was up to 17th.

"The 1 and 11 behind you. The 42 48 is leading our pack here," Jeremy observed. "Three right there. Got the 1 still behind you. 24's pulling our lane now. Three. Back to two. Inside with the 51. The 1 car is behind you still. 1 and 11. You're clear right there, you're clear right there. The 11's now behind you. The 20 is trying to come up the middle here. Three wide, back to two wide. 20 and the 1 and the 31 on that outside line. 11 21 behind you."

Mikey was 19th on lap 3. Kenseth continued to lead.

"The 20... He's still three wide behind you. He's about a half back to that 48. YOu're clear right there. That 20's closing up on that 48 now. 48's still outside."

On lap 6, Mikey was 14th with Kenseth in the top spot.

"5 still out there. The 11 still behind you. The 5, he's still there, right on your bumper. He's going to be at your door. The 11 still behind you. The 20's right behind him. 42 48. 5 still there, bud." He told him what cars were behind him."

"Lap number ten," Rodney noted.

"That 18's about five. That 5 car still right behind that 51. About a car length off his bumper now, 18," the spotter continued. "51 still there. Door. Sucking air off you. 5 44 48. Still out there. Inside that 11 there. Still out there, still out there."

Mikey was 10th on lap 11.

"He's still there, bud. Three wide with the 11. The 21's right behind you now. Still three, still three. Back to two. You're clear. 21 is still right behind you. 21 is still right behind you. Still outside, 51. Clear the 51 there. 21 is side by side with him now. 21 now clear, the 51 dropped in behind the 21. 21 51, they're side by side behind him. That 51 just pulled up beside the 21 behind now. 21 9 behind you. 21's trying to get clear. He's about one back behind you. They're still behind you."

Mikey was 9th on lap 12.

"Lap 15, about 21 until we pit," Rodney said. Mikey was still 9th.

"51 48 20. 11's pushing the 51 now, right up on his bumper. 51 11 48. Still behind you there, 51."

Rodney asked about temps.

"Still inside, bud. 51 still behind you. They're lined up, bud. 51 48 5 behind you. 9 1 88."

Mikey was 10th on lap 18. Two laps later, he was leading the outside line, with Trevor Bayne's #21 on the inside. His radio was quiet, or the NASCAR.com scanner features malfunctioned.

Mikey was 8th on lap 22. On lap 33, he was 7th as Kenseth continued to lead. The scanner feature began working again on lap 39, and Mikey was saying something about the #18 car of Kyle Busch.

"I'm right here trying to see if he'll let us in to get this deal done. Got the 9 about one back behind him now," Jeremy said. "That 9's about a half. He's going to be coming. You're clear right there. Good job. 51 outside."

"18's coming."

"Come on come on if you can. Yeah, you're fine."

"The 2 and pretty much everyone's coming."

"Coming this time, this time, this time."

Mikey pit on lap 41.

"All right, bud, be smooth. It's going to come up quick on you. 4300, 4300 when you get down there. 43, you're good. All right, guys, coming to you."

"4500, 4500. You're about eight away. 3, 2, 1. Wheels straight. You're going to go on me. You're going to go on me. Are you ready? Be ready be ready. Go go go go go."

"45 45, all clear," the spotter said.

"The guy in front of me got four in the same amount of time," Mikey observed.

Rodney said they were good.

Jeremy told Mikey to keep his left sides under the yellow. "Entering 2 now. 18 and 51 off of 2. Five ten back. Got the 88 still behind you."

Kenseth pit on lap 43, giving up the lead.

"18 stayed behind you. 88 outside. 18 and then the 51's about four back behind him. Got some guys blending in in front of you. 88 15 51. You're clear right there. Side by side behind you with the 88 16. All right, they're all clear. 88, 15. 20 on the bottom."

Mikey was fifth on lap 45 as stops had cycled. Josh Wise was in the lead.

"Make sure your radiator fan's back on here," Rodney said.

"They're going to be coming outside in tandum. They just broke apart," Jeremy said. "16 outside. 17, he's trying to hook up with him.

Martin led lap 47. Mikey was three cars behind him along the inside line in 6th.

"24 48 50."

Greg Biffle had caught Martin, and he and Kenseth cut in front of the #56 from the high line.

"Still outside, bud. Still out there, at your quarter. To your bumper. You're clear right there. Side by side behind you. 18 99 side by side."

"Lap 51. P6," Rodney noted.

"We're catching this black 49 off of 4. He might be coming in here. Still all clear. 99 coming to the outside of the 88 right now. Still all clear, side by side behind you." He warned Mikey about a run along the outside. "Three wide right there, three. You're clear high. 24 still three wide. 24 clear. 24 48 behind you."

Mikey was 6th on lap 54 with Jeff Gordon pushing him.

"Okay, bud, turn your fan off if you can," Rodney adviced.

"This black car on the tri oval on the bottom."

"Turn your fan on."

"24 got to three wide here. Still three, still three. After the 10, the 9's behind the 43. Two wide right there. The 99 behind that 9. Just two wide. Got the 9 under that 43 still. The 9's behind you. The 9's still down there. That 99's going to be down there."

On lap 56, Mikey was 16th.

"You're clear right there. 99 20 behind you. Three wide, back to two. Still out there, at your door."

"On lap 61. Got 99 to go," Rodney noted.

"48's clear now high behind you. He's going down behind the 20. 24 three back, 20 inside. 24 right behind you, bud. About half back."

Mikey was 13th on lap 62. Biffle continued to lead.

"Flying around way too much now," it sounded like Mikey said.

Rodney acknowledged and said they would take care of it under the next stop. "It's about fifteen laps until we come."

On lap 66, Mikey was 11th. Martin was 15th, Clint 28th.

"The 10 is about one back behind that 99. Still three. The 99's about three back, trying to come up the middle. He's still three wide back there. You're back to two wide, behind you. You've got the 99 behind you now. The 24 dropped in behind him. Then you've got the 48. They're making it three wide on you here. Three wide here. Hole behind the 48. Middle lane, 48 on the bottom. Coming inside, inside. The 31, the 31. You've got the 56 coming on the bottom. The 31 is behind you."

Mikey was 10th on lap 70.

"About eleven away. Come in with that 56," Rodney said.

"Still down there, still down there," Jeremy warned. "Three, three wide. You've got the 31. Back to two wide. 56 still down there. Behind the 56, about two back to the 11. Now the 56 is behind you now. The 11's about two back behind that 20. One back behind him now. Still down there, still there. Still down there. 56 behind you. Inside 21. Three. You're clear high. Got the 56 still behind you. 56 cleared the 21, still behind you. You're clear low now. Clear the 56. Side by side with the 20. The 56 is clear behind you. You're clear low. You've got the 56 coming inside. 21's behind him."

"Eight away."

Mikey was 15th on lap 71 and 13th three laps later.

"21 behind him, and the 10."

"Six away."

"10 behind him. The 9 and 20 behind you."

Mikey was 16th on lap 75.

"48, 21. The 9 still behind you with the 20."

Cars began making green flag stops on lap 80 as Rodney told Mikey he would be coming in.

"The 9 just hopped up behind the 21."

"Still one more."

"You're clear here. All clear. The 10 and the 11 are going to be coming outside. Caution's out, caution's out, man. Wave them off here."

The first caution was on lap 82. The #22 got a left rear flat.

Rodney asked about handling.

"The front end gives up a tiny bit, but the back end gives up a lot," Mikey replied.

Rodney said they'd tighten up the car with an air pressure adjustment.

Jeremy warned the driver about debris on the track. "Some foam or something getting into 3. Middle of the track.

"Bag of ice, ice water, Powerade, whatever," Mikey requested.

"10-4. Let's plan on dropping that track bar a round. Just remember left to right here," Rodney directed. He and Jeremy led Mikey to his box.

"4500," Rodney reminded after the stop.

"45, 45," Jeremy added.

"I said a bag of ice, a towel, anything would be good," Mikey said.

"10-4. We missed that there. Sorry about that," Rodney replied.

"It's a good place to have a nice refreshing drink there. Thank you for that."

"10-4."

During stops, Jeff Gordon had run Ryan Newman into Kasey Kahne on pit road, turning them both.

"The 24 there decided to ride right down the centre of pit road, caused all kind of mess," Rodney reported.

"Well step it up on the refreshment there. I'm pretty hot," Mikey replied. "I think my cool box has stopped. That's the problem."

"10-4." Rodney adviced him to shut it off and turn it back on to see if that would fix the problem. "One to go at the line. One to go."

Jeremy noted that the board said they were 17th.

"Yeah, should be 16. Sorry, 14," Rodney replied.

"10-4. P14."

"All right, bud. One to go here. Make sure your fans are on. Nice smooth shifts here."

"Coming to the green, to the green," Jeremy said.

Kenseth led the restart on lap 85.

"Pace car's off. Nice and smooth. Green green green. Rolling rolling. Good. The 11's still behind you. The 11 is still behind you. Three wide, three. Still three. 11 behind you. Three wide. Two wide. Clear the 9. Clear up high. 51. Got the 15 behind him, 11 78 behind you. The 1 51 58. 11 78 behind you."

Mikey was 11th on lap 86. Static came over the #55 frequency.

"Watch your mirror. Check up check up. Clear behind the 14. Good job, bud. Good job."

The second caution was on lap 91. Kurt Busch had made the field three-wide, and Aric Almirola had drive up into him. Mikey narrowly dodged getting into Busch's #51.

"Did you not see him? I need to know what's going on. That's ridiculous," Mikey said.

Jeremy said he wasn't sure what Mikey was talking about.

"He's talking about when the 51 made it three wide," Rodney said.

Jeremy said he had been looking at the #2 car of Brad Keselowski.

"I mean, all I need to do is know somebody's got my back. Nevermind, nevermind." Mikey said he didn't know if he had slid his tires.

"Watching it on the big screen here."

"I feel like I did. It doesn't feel normal here. Give me a towel and some ice, please. And give me one drink with water in it only, and one normal."

The #55 pit under yellow.

"All clear, man," Jeremy said. "You've got a safety truck off of 2 up high."

"The right front had a spot on," Rodney noted after checking the tires that had come off the car. "On lap 92 right now. Got 68 to go."

"Coming to the green, coming to the green."

"Look at all your switches, make sure everything is on. Coming to the green here."

Kenseth led the lap 96 restart. Mikey was 15th.

"The 42, 9, 15 behind you. All right, pace car's off. Just be ready. Nice and smooth here. Ready, green green green. Rolling rolling rolling. Good. 78 outside. 42 now behind you. Still outside there. 32 50. The 5 coming to your outside. 42 behind you."

Mikey was 17th on lap 97.

"39 42 coming here. I've got a bead on the front here. The 31's about five back. You're all clear. Got the 10 coming outside. The 50 and the 2. 31 behind you. You're clear right there. Outside, the 13. The 83. 83 and 31 behind you. The 47 trying to come inside. 31's behind you, just outside. 34's right behind him there. Coming outside. Outside there. 15 is about three back behind that 31. Behind you now."

On lap 100, Mikey was 28th. He said he was running hot now. He said something about not being able to fix his cool box, but the engine noise was loud.

"10-4."

Mikey said something about the driver overheating.

"10-4."

"The 15 is right behind you. Only two behind him."

On lap 105, Mikey was 30th. Kenseth continued to lead. Martin was 6th, and Clint was 31st.

"The 15 is outside. The 29 is about two back behind. Got the 27 and the 29. The 27 about two back behind you."

Rodney told Mikey to keep one of them behind him so he didn't lose the draft.

Jeremy said the two of them were coming up on the #55 together. "You're all clear. You're good, you're good."

Mikey was 31st on lap 106 with Clint's pass.

"The 29. He's trying to get to you."

On lap 107, the #55 was 32nd. Kevin Harvick's #29 had passed. Mikey still had Paul Menard's #27 behind him.

"50 to go," said Jeremy.

"29 trying to come outside on you. 13 27 still behind you. 13 is coming outside. You're all clear. Coming outside, outside. 27 is trying to come. It's your last one now. You're clear right there. The 47 is trying to come back inside on you there. You're clear. 13 is behind him. 13 is going to be coming outside. 47 still behind you. 47 is behind him now. All clear. You've got the slow 22 coming around now. He's in the centre of 1 and 2 on the bottom. Entering the tri oval now. At the line. 13 is outside. You're all clear right there, all clear. 22 is going to be off of 2 now. All clear."

On lap 114, Mikey was 32nd, having passed Casey Mears' #13.

"13. You're clear high. You're clear."

"When do I pit?" Mikey asked on lap 118. He was 29th.

"Michael, we've got about twenty laps until we come." Rodney said others would have to go earlier. He advised Mikey to get out front so he could come in with some of them.

"27's behind him. You're all clear. 10 car down there."

Mikey said something about getting four on the last stop.

"10-4. As it stands right now, we probably won't be able to," Rodney replied.

"Three. Clear low. One outside," Jeremy said. "Still three. All right, you're clear the 27. He's trying to come back on you here. Three wide. Two wide."

On lap 121, Mikey was 30th.

Rodney said they might pit with the #27 and #29.

Jeremy warned Mikey about the slow #83 of Landon Cassill on the bottom. "Clear low. One outside."

On lap 122, Mikey was 26th. Kenseth was still leading.

"I think some of the leaders are coming," Rodney said.

Jeremy started warning Mikey about Jimmie Johnson's #48 turning and hitting the inside wall hard. Mikey hit the brakes but was still collected, along with Kasey Kahne, Joey Logano, Bill Elliott, Regan Smith, and Jeff Gordon.

The third caution was on lap 125. Johnson had checked up to pit and had caused a multi-car accident.

"I had them on as hard as I could," Mikey said.

"It's just the front of us pushed in."

"I had them slammed on as much as I could. I couldn't stop."

Rodney told Mikey to make sure his fans were on. "We'll pit early."

"I couldn't do nothing. He was right there. I stopped as hard as I could." He said his temps were the same. "I got creamed on the nose. There's no telling where my splitter's at."

Rodney said they'd work on the left front. Jeremy warned him about safety vehicles.

"Don't worry how many we have over the wall here," Rodney said. He called the #55 to the box. He said they'd need to get the hood so the wind wouldn't push it down in the turn.

"Tail end is going to be in 1."

"So far, I am going fast, and I don't have any smoke. The only thing is my steering wheel is to the left. I don't know how that could be," Mikey reported.

"Yeah, that's awkward."

"It's just to the left a little bit, a quarter of a turn."

"All right, we're coming this time."

"I was wide open, so I figured that was a pretty good test of it then."

"All right, we just need to make sure everything is clear on the left front mainly. We can put that fender on. It doesn't look that bad," Rodney said. He called for right side tires "and come around to the fender."

"All right, it will be 4500 here. Coming to you," Jeremy said.

Rodney guided Mikey around Mears to his box. Others also made stops. "Yeah, I think we should probably put this fender on. Try to get it in on the hood as far as we can." Rodney told Mark to go over the wall. "Don't worry how many are over the wall. Go." When the #55 left the box, Rodney said they'd need Mikey to make another stop. He asked how many laps they had.

"I'd say one, one. Two max."

"We just need a short one here, don't we. We'll come this time. Come this time."

"The 24's still behind you. Off of 4. 4500. Pace car's off of 2, Rodney."

"10-4. 4500. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Wheels straight, put on the brake."

Mikey pit. Rodney and Jeremy had been talking about smoke from a possible tire rub but then noted not seeing it again. "Just make sure a tire isn't going to hit it, and put barribond on top of it. Yup. Getting into three. We'll need another piece on the back of it. All right, it's going to be one to go. Coming off of 4. All right, let's go. Push it down good. Let's go. Go go go go go."

"45, all clear. 45."

Rodney told Mikey to get caught up and to check all his switches. "It will be 30 to go when we take the green."

"Tail end's in 1. Off of 2 now. Coming to the green. Halfway down the back. Coming to the green, coming to the green. Watch in front of you. The pace car's checking up. All right, bud. Let's be ready here. Pace car's off. Let's be ready. Ready? Green green green. We're rolling, rolling."

Lap 131 saw the restart with Biffle leading. Mikey was 31st.

"24's up the middle. All right, he's behind you now. You're clear. 24 behind you."

Stewart led lap 133, having passed Biffle. Mikey was 27th.

"27 to go," Rodney said. "What you got there?"

Mikey said something about topping off if they get another caution. The rest of what he said was hidden under engine noise.

"Ask the 47 to come here. It feels a lot better with the two of us than just me," Mikey requested.

On lap 135, Mikey was 31st and nine seconds behind leader Stewart.

"Just make sure your radiator fan's off there," Rodney said.

"It's off," Mikey replied.

"Got 21 to go. It should take 27 laps for them to get to you." Rodney told Mikey to just ride it out.

"Ask the 51 to come here. I'm a big cheerleader of his."

"He's about two seconds slower than you are. He's tore up pretty bad."

"The pack at the line now," Jeremy said with 18 to go.

"I want him to lead, because my front end's my problem. Tell him to lead," Mikey said.

"10-4. If you get behind him, just remember to put that fan back on. 17 to go," Jeremy responded.

"All right. They're wrecking here off of 2. Caution's out, caution's out."

The fourth caution was on lap 146. Keselowski lost a rear tire and spun out.

"2 car, he's about halfway down the back rolling."

"All right, man, get caught up here."

"Track is going to be clear. Tail end is off of 4."

"What's the driving like there?"

"Drives fine," Mikey replied.

"10-4."

"Tail end's in 1. We'll put rights on when you come." He said they'd take something out of the rears too.

Rodney warned Mikey about Mears' #13 being in his box, then counted him into the #55 box. He had the crew look at the front to make sure nothing was rubbing. "Grill good and clean."

"Tail end is in 3 now."

"It's 14 to go here. They're going to tear up. Just be smart here." Rodney said they'd probably wreck again.

Mikey said he didn't know if he could keep up anyway. "So it's not like my options... hang back and hope for the best, I guess."

Rodney said he thought the car was fine if Mikey could get on someone's bumper.

"We'll line up around that 32 there," Jeremy said.

"Yeah, it's showing us P30 right now here."

"Coming to the green. You've got the 2 car behind you and of course the 51. The 20 is rolling off pit road right now. Coming to the green."

Rodney reminded Mikey about his switches.

"10-4," Mikey replied.

Racing resumed with 12 to go. Stewart led, and Mikey was 30th.

"Pace car's off. Ready. Green green green. We're rolling. We're rolling."

"12 to go," Rodney added.

"Got the 2 car one or two back," Jeremy warned.

"10 to go. Got the 2 behind you and three on back there."

"That's the 2 behind you."

Heading to the stripe with 8 to go, Biffle took the lead.

"Check up check up check up. They're wrecking. You're good from behind. They're still wrecking. You're good from behind. Most of it's on the bottom. Ease up to the top. You'll be fine. Nice job, man."

"Tires okay there?"

"I didn't slide them, but there was a lot to drive through. So I don't know. Lot of garbage on the track."

Jeremy warned him that cars were checking up in front of him.

The fifth caution was with 7 to go. When Biffle lost the lead, cars checked up, and many cars wrecked. Martin was collected.

"That 2 car, why did he do that?" Mikey asked. "He slowed down for a wreck, and he passed four people. I don't understand it. NASCAR should ask him."

"10-4. He did that to us last week too." Jeremy warned him about the slow #18.

Mikey asked for four tires. "The track was a mess. I don't know what I went through."

Rodney said he'd told him they couldn't put a left front on the car again.

"Pit road's closed," Jeremy said.

"Did Truex get going?" Mikey asked.

Rodney told Mikey that Martin was tore up.

"Yeah, I know. Did Truex get going, or is he out?"

"Still rolling, but he's tore up." He then told the crew to look at the left side tires after fueling the car.

"You know what, Rod? Our Toyotas aren't fast enough for this stuff."

"Yeah, the 16 and the 17 have been able to do whatever they want to do, whenever they want to do."

"I was pretty happy pissing them off running beside them earlier. So I don't care."

"10-4."

"That's how Earnhardt used to pass everybody, and they got mad at him."

"Pit road's open, open," Jeremy said.

The #55 pit under yellow. Rodney predicted they were preparing for a green-white-checkered finish now.

"Well, I'm going to go, and if we make it, we make it. Is that okay with you?" Mikey asked.

"Yup."

"They got us P14 right here," Rodney added after a pause.

"Give me a damage report on 20 and 43 and 78. What do I have to deal with, the people in front of me?"

"The 78 is 27 laps down, so he should get out of the way." Rodney said the #20 was okay, and the #2 car was missing a while right rear quarter panel.

"One to go at the line," Jeremy said.

"We can take all the fuel back. We're all done with it," Rodney told the crew.

"All right, what we've got here is, the 2 and the 20 are going to hook up from what they're saying. The 24 says he's good, so he is going to be trying to line up behind you now. He's got door damage on that 24. He's behind you."

"P12 right here. Going to be green-white-checkered."

"47 behind you now. 47 24. This won't count as a green-white-checkered, so we could have three more."

"Sounds fun. I might win if they have that many, and I'm still around," Mikey replied.

"10-4."

Kenseth led the restart with two laps to go. Stewart quickly overpowered him.

"That 2 is still pretty strong. He doesn't have a whole lot on you," Rodney said.

"Green green green. Rolling rolling rolling. They've got a tandum. Still behind you there. 47. 24, you're going to be clear behind the 24. Keep it rolling. 47 still behind you. Clear the 24. 47 still behind you. 24 is behind the 20 now. 47 is two back behind you. 24 is going up behind you. Got him inside there. One more one more one more. 18 trying to get to that middle. He's lined up. 24 behind you. Check up check up. It's good it's good it's good. Keep rolling. 24 is off you about by one. Two car in the middle here. Three wide you're three wide. 47 still behind you. All right, check up. Stay right there. Come on. Stay high. Hammer down. Come on. Checkers right there. I believe you got that 99. Good job."

"You know, it's not over until it's over," Mikey said after dodging a large multi-car wreck at the end.

Tony Stewart won. Rodney announced that Mikey had finished 8th.

"Thank y'all," Mikey addressed his team. "I didn't feel too bad about getting in the back. I told you guys we'd be all right. Thank everybody. That makes my average better than it was."

"10-4. I think they said we got that 99, so it could be P7 right there."

"Right to the truck there, Michael," a crew member said.

NASCAR ultimately scored the #55 in 9th.







 



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