"All Right, Michael Curtis! Time To Shine, Dude!" An editorial by Kellyanne Lynch
1 June 2007
I have to get up early tomorrow for work, but I just had to stay up and watch the replay of Nextel Cup qualifying from this afternoon on Speed. I had to see it for myself.
MIKEY MADE THE SHOW!!!
= D = D = D
I was at work this afternoon when I heard the news via email on my sidekick. My sister had written, "Mikey is IN the race!!!!!" I was so thrilled that I cried. AWESOME news!!
I watched and recorded the replay of Cup qualifying when I got home from work. What happened with Mikey today was monumental. In his post-qualifying interview, Jeremy Mayfield said, "You're starting to see a turnaround with the Toyotas. You're seeing more cars making the races. The No. 83 is making races, the No. 84 is making races, we're running good, and Michael's deal is running good. Hopefully, this is our turning point, this weekend and last weekend. Toyota has the resources to pull from and it's just a matter of the race teams using the resources. I think we're starting to realize that." I hope this really is the light at the end of the tunnel as Mayfield predicts.
What more, Mikey has Bobby Kennedy back!!!
I just wish that David Reutimann had made the race too. The poor guy slapped his right rear into the wall when coming to take the green flag. You know he was trying so hard to get that third Michael Waltrip Racing entry into the field.
I haven't watched qualifying regularly in a long time, moreso because I work when it's on than anything else. I love the FOX commentators ten times more during qualifying than during the race, and I'd almost forgotten that. During Brian Vickers' qualifying run, DW said something about Brian having the bull by the horns.
"That's the right end of the bull to have," Mike Joy replied. There was this long pause in the commentary as Kyle Busch made his warm-up lap, where all you could hear was DW quietly snickering. He got louder, and the other two laughed too. They're as bad as I am.
Halfway through qualifying, they showed Mikey's car at the front of the line, about to take to the track for qualifying. Just seeing that got me all teary-eyed. And then DW gave that pep talk to little brother from the booth. "All right, Michael Curtis! Time to shine, dude!" Knowing already just how much Mikey was about to shine got me crying again.
Mikey was panting so badly at the end of that qualifying run. As he does every week, he put his heart and soul into those laps. Today, it paid off! Mike Joy is right - it'll be good to see him with positive points in the standings. It's made no sense that, until this week, I've been higher in the Cup standings than Mikey is, with 0 as opposed to his -27.
DW sang, "Celebrate good times, come on!" when Mikey was officially in the field after Mike Bliss turned a slower lap. Whee!!
All of us Mikey fans are celebrating good times indeed!
MICHAEL WALTRIP, No. 55 NAPA Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing:
Starting position: 23rd Qualifying lap: 23.951 secs./ 150.294 MPH
How was your qualifying run?
"It didn't feel all that great because I was really loose but I knew I had a lot of leg in it. I knew I was going faster than I was in practice. I'm thankful for the fact that we brought a car here that when we unloaded it we could tune on. There's been too many times when we showed up with a car that was out in left field and we had to try to get it competitive. But, today we unloaded and we were competitive. That's the difference today."
Where did that lap come from?
"Just studying, hard work and listening to other people's set-ups. There's a lot of people who have been really supportive of us, not only on the Toyota side, but other teams have pitched in and said 'think about this' or 'think about that.' I'm just real thankful for the fact that they have supported me and they cared enough to try to get us in. Having Bobby Kennedy (MWR Director of Competition) back and being able to run and have information. He's been a big contribution this week and it certainly hasn't gone unnoticed."
How big of a sigh of relief is getting in this race?
"We work so hard and we understand the challenges and we knew something good would happen eventually. This is good."
You seem to be a little shaky, is that result of your qualifying lap?
"If I was top-35 in points and went out there to run, I'd come in like this because that's what it takes to get a lap at Dover. It takes that much energy - or whatever you want to call it. You just go as hard as you can go and it just holds your breathe hard."
What are your emotions right now?
"I'm real thankful for all the help and the support we've gotten. I think we'll continuously get better. It's quite a position to be in and knowing you've been close so many times and rolling out there, I can't explain it. When your heart and soul is into something it is so hard to get it heading in the right direction. It is really tough to take. But, I've always been good at Dover, I won my first Cup pole here and I won my first Busch race here - I always liked Dover."