Fuel pump and mechanical failures at Pocono by Kellyanne Lynch
5 August 2007
Michael Waltrip Racing suffered two broken fuel pumps and a mechanical failure in the Pennsylvania 500, today's Nextel Cup race at Pocono Raceway. Michael Waltrip's #55 Napa Auto Parts Camry slowed dramatically with five laps to go and stopped on the access road to the infield. His two drivers, David Reutimann and Dale Jarrett, both lost the fuel pumps earlier in the afternoon.
"How 'bout you, Mark Green?" somebody came over the #55 radio at 2:06pm ET. He again addressed the spotter.
"Ron, you got your radio on?" another asked.
"Thank you. Hey, are you riding to the airport with me?"
"I am, sir, if I can."
"10-4. I just wanted to make sure we had everyone we needed."
The other acknowledged. A few minutes later, the driver and car owner came over the radio.
"1, 2, hello," Mikey said.
"Got you loud and clear, sir," Mark replied.
"Got you loud and clear in the pits too," said crew chief Bobby Kennedy.
"Good," Mikey said. "Me, too."
The call to start engines came at 2:09pm.
"All right, front of the field just now moving," Mark said as cars prepared to roll off pit road. "Okay, Mike, this opening to the garages is ten away."
Bobby told Mark he could pick up spotting from that spot, said where they were on pit road, and warned the track could be "slimy" because of the ARCA race.
"Gotcha. I'm over on the backstretch. Can you hear me?"
Bobby said that he could.
Mikey commented on how clear Bobby's radio was. "You must have a pole stuck up there."
"Okay, Mike, you're at pit road speed there," Mark noted.
"I'm showing about 47, I think. Nah, I'll go with 48. 48, I think."
"All right, 48 will be good," Bobby said. "You may even be good to squeeze it to 49."
"We'll just call it 49 then and call it from there."
"All right, make sure you have all your fans and blowers on."
"Okay," Mikey replied. "I have everything but the radiator on right now. It's setting at 200, so I'll let you know about that." A moment later, he commented, "All right. I know this sounds crazy, but it looks to me like it's going to rain later. Has anyone looked at the radar?"
Bobby said no, he'd look at it later, but that it didn't surprise him. "It never rains in Pocono. That really surprises me."
"Okay, Mike, coming to the one to go this time," Mark observed. "One to go."
"Good job, everybody, on getting 'em in. I know it sucks we have to be happy about getting it in." He said they needed a "normal" day. "Thanks a lot. We just gotta keep hammering. We're getting stronger, and some of them are getting weaker."
Bobby told Mikey he's the man. "All right, get your belts good and tight. Coming to the green."
"Okay, pace car is off. Ready? Green green green. Everybody's away," Mark called the start of the race at 2:22pm. Pole-sitter Dale Earnhardt Jr led the field to the stripe while Mikey was 37th. He had qualified 39th, but the #7's drop to the rear with Robby Gordon's disqualification from the race gained the #55 a spot. "Got the 1 looking inside, by himself. 70's coming inside, not there yet. You're good. Clear. Still outside. You're in the middle right there. Clear high if you need it. Still inside."
By lap 2, Kurt Busch took the lead. Mikey was 36th and reported that the car was tight. He lost two spots the next time around the track but gained back one the next time around the track.
"Got a spin in front of you. Keep going on top," Mark spotted. "Caution's out."
The yellow flag waved on lap 5 when Jamie McMurray spun in the grass.
"Um, it's just probably a little too tight," Mikey reported, "so, um, I don't know what y'all want to do. I kind of hit the curb once, if you want to check the right front valence. But I'm pretty slow." Mikey said they might need to stay out and keep track position.
Bobby told Mikey they'd bring in the #55.
Mikey reminded Mark to spot him well and thanked him for the job getting him around the #26. He said he couldn't see a thing.
"Okay, Bobby, this is the first time the pits will be open," Mark noted.
"What if they all come around me? Stay out anyway?"
Bobby said they'd stay out and get the track position. "Quite a few coming. I think you'd do better staying out. Tires are only good a lap or two." He pointed out how they did that during practice. "I think we'll end up better where we're at."
"The motor's really hurting off Turn 3 there," Mikey told his crew chief.
Bobby said he would take more air out of the right front. "And take one of those lefts, Kenny. One out of both lefts.
"All right, keep your tires cleaned off good. Coming to the green."
"Okay, pace car is off," Mark observed. "Ready? Green green green. Everybody's away. Clear by half to the 36."
Mikey was 28th on the lap 8 restart with Kurt Busch leading.
"Clear by three, back to the 17. Good corner," Mark praised. "Clear by two back to the 17. Clear by ten back to the 40."
Lap 9 saw Mikey move into 27th. Matt Kenseth passed the next time around the track, but the #55 was still clear by six car lengths over David Stremme's #40.
"57 flat, 57 flat," Bobby reported.
"I'm sliding my right front pretty severely," Mikey complained on lap 10. Bobby said he would address that with air on the next stop.
"56.75," Bobby read off the lap time. David Reutimann's #00 was riding in front of the Napa Camry, with the #44 in 35th. "56.80, 80."
"Still clear by four," Mark said.
David passed Paul Menard for 26th on lap 13.
"Starting to ease away from the 40 a little bit," Mark noted. "Good, good."
"Clear by one on the 1 car. Looking inside, he's by himself. You're still clear by eight back to the 40. Clear behind the 1."
Martin Truex Jr passed on lap 15, dropping Mikey to 29th. Bobby asked for temperatures when Mikey had a chance to give them.
"210, 260," Mikey reported. "55 on the pressure."
Clint Bowyer was drawing close to the Napa Camry next. Mark noted that Bowyer had a run on the inside. Mikey dropped in line behind him. He was 30th on lap 17. Meanwhile, David fell to 28th.
Carl Edwards looked to get around the #55 next. He passed low, moving Mikey to 31st on lap 18. Mark said he was still clear by two car lengths.
"It's just, it's just really bad," Mikey reported.
"10-4," Bobby acknowledged. "Just over halfway on this run."
"21 looking inside, inside," Mark directed. "Got the 18 coming with him. Still half back to the 18. Looking inside, inside. Clear clear." He said the #18 and the #44 were lined up. "Clear, clear. 44 lined up with you half back. Inside, inside. Clear behind the 44. 10 got a run half back. Still clear, still clear. Looking inside, still clear. 10 inside, inside. Clear by four back to the 45."
Mikey was 34th on lap 20. Dale Jarrett was now up to 32nd, and David was 29th.
"Side by side behind you," Mark continued. "Clear by two. Still clear by two to the 45."
Carl Edwards pit with a tire going down, moving Mikey into 32nd. He didn't keep it for long. Kyle Petty's #45 dropped inside and passed, putting the #55 back in 33rd on lap 22. Edwards was sent back to pit road, because the catchcan wasn't in the whole time.
The #40 was all over the Napa Camry next. The car passed, and Mikey was back to 35th. Jamie McMurray was one car length back; his #26 got a run and passed on lap 25.
"Still clear by one on the 10," Mark noted. "10 got a run on you, inside. 70 following the 10 on the inside."
Scott Riggs passed on lap 27, but Mikey stayed ahead of Johnny Sauter's #70.
"Still clear," Mark continued. He warned Mikey that the #70 was rallying back, and the pair raced side-by-side.
On lap 28, Kyle Busch pit and gained the #55 36th.
"Clear by two, clear by three. Good corner there," said Mark.
"56.10. Thatw as a pretty good lap there."
Jeff Gordon pit on lap 28. Others joined him, moving the Napa Camry to 33rd.
"Clear by one."
"All right, next time by, next time by. Four tires. Next time by," Bobby told the crew.
Mark warned Mikey that the #10 was pitting at the same time.
"4900," Bobby reminded his driver.
"All right, 49 here at the cone," said Mark. "49."
"Bypass this 00, behind the 43. 5, 4, 3... right here," Bobby guided Mikey into his box on lap 31. "All the way, all the way. 4900. All the way."
"49, 49," Mark reiterated. "All right, dig hard there. All the way, all the way. Clear all the way. Next car just getting into one."
Kurt Busch was one of the last drivers to make a stop on lap 33. Martin Truex Jr picked up the top spot while Mikey was 37th. David was two spots in front of him, and Dale was 4th.
"Where's the leader?" Mikey asked.
"We have some cars who haven't pit yet, but I'll let you know where the eventual leader is," Bobby replied. "Leader now. That would be the 2 car, the 2 car."
"Okay, 10-4, 10-4."
Bill Elliott took the lead with Truex Jr's stop on lap 35. When he stopped, Kurt Busch was back out front. Dale was still being marked in 8th, David was 31st, and Mikey was 32nd.
"Leader at the line... now," Mark observed on lap 37, when Dale made his stop. David was now 29th, and Mikey was up to 30th with the stops. "Clear by one. The 44 right there with you - just got tires." He was cleared behind Dale's #44.
On lap 38, Michael Waltrip Racing ran 29th (#00), 30th (#44), and 31st (#55). The #26 and #18 were looking to pass Mikey.
"Clear by two."
"57.50, 57.50," Bobby gave the lap time.
"Looking inside. Clear, clear. Still clear by half. Still clear."
"Clear by three. That's a good corner there."
On lap 43, Dale passed David for 29th.
"57.70," Bobby continued. He asked if the car were better or the same as before.
"Same," Mikey replied. "Just killing the right front."
Bobby said he'd take out more air. He asked where the leader was, and Mark said they had four cars between them.
Mikey went three and then two-wide. He dropped back to 34th, and Kurt Busch dropped inside the #55. Lap 47 saw Mikey lose the lead lap.
"This is what it did in qualifying," the driver commented.
"Okay, you're okay. No smoke now," Mark assured him.
Mark guided his driver as a bunch of cars passed. "Got a flat, Bobby, got a flat. 4900, 49."
"Get your hammer ready in case you need it," Bobby told the crew.
"Right sides look up."
Mikey pit on lap 48.
"Lift up, lift up, everybody. Lift up," Mikey told the team.
Bobby guided his driver out of the box.
"Sounded like I ran over something, but I don't know," Mikey commented.
"10-4," said Bobby. "I'll check it out."
On lap 50, the #55 was last. The #00 was 30th and the first driver one lap down while Dale was 27th.
"Three-wide, you're in the middle," Mark warned. "Clear low."
"You got to make a chassis adjustment," Mikey told his team.
Bobby told him what adjustments he'd made during the last stop.
"Well tell me what you do so I can keep up with it."
"57.60," Bobby gave lap times on lap 53. "57.60."
"It's just plowing. You're going to have to change the wedge or something," Mikey said. "We missed something."
"Caution's out, caution's out. For debris," Mark reported.
Lap 55 saw the yellow flag wave.
"It's just ridiculous, plowing so bad," Mikey reported. He said it was bad in 1 and just got worse and worse.
"You feel like you're hitting the left front spring?" Bobby asked.
"I don't know," Mikey replied. "You can't even begin to get on the gas on exit. It just totally plows."
Bobby told the crew to make sure they clear the fenders.
"We're going to be at the end of the one lap down cars anyway, so let's take our time on work on this car," Mikey reported. "I'm not going to be able to outrun nobody... Everything you've done to it has made it worse... Rubbers in the right rear, wedge. Do something - ten things...We still got a shot at a decent day. We're only one down...Work on this thing from one end of the other, man. Take as long as you want."
Bobby determined which adjustments they'd make.
"Bobby, have them work on that right front fender. I don't think I hit it enough to throw off the tow," Mikey told his crew chief. Then, he told his crew, "Do a good job on that pit stop, y'all. Keep us from losing two laps. Good job."
Mikey pit with lapped traffic.
"Plenty of time, take your time," Bobby directed. "Just keep your eye on that pace car, Mark."
"10-4. He just now got into 1. We've got plenty of time," Mark replied. The #55 team continued to work, and Mark told them when the pace car was in Turn 3. He said the field would see the one to go when Mikey got back around. He also noted that some drivers were coming back in to top off.
Mikey asked if he should come in, and Bobby told him not to.
"Just got to let me know when you want to do something," Mikey said.
"Nah, just want you to get caught up here," Bobby replied.
Racing resumed on lap 59. Kurt Busch led, Mikey was 40th, Dale was 24th, and David was last. Mark warned Mikey that he was going three-wide. Passing Jeremy Mayfield gained him 39th. He got around Elliott Sadler and David Ragan by lap 61; however, Ragan took back a spot one lap later.
"Two laps ago, you ran your quickest lap of the race with a 56.60," Bobby noted on lap 63.
"Those changes do anything for you?"
"Nope. Only thing it did was make it loose it, which helps it turn, but it plows off."
"You got a spin here. Keep coming straight, keep coming straight. He's down on the bottom. Caution's out."
The second caution on lap 65 was also for McMurray; Juan Pablo Montoya spun him.
"That didn't touch the front end. It just screwed up the back." "If the front end won't work, we've got something bad wrong."
Bobby said they had a fender brace and would put on four tires.
Mikey wanted to raise up the left side. He suggested changing the wedge back the other way. When Bobby talked about the adjustments he wanted to make, Mikey asked, "You're putting all this in the right rear?"
"Any room left in there, Jim, for the rubbers?" Bobby asked a crew member. "All right, just go ahead and see if you can get any in the backside." He called for adjustments with rubbers, the track bar and springs. He also wanted to fix the fender brace.
"I can pit with the leaders if you want me to," Mikey suggested.
"Come on, come on. Quicky yellow," Bobby replied. Mark repeated what he'd said.
Mikey made another extended stop as Mark reported on where the pace car was. When the car went through the tunnel, Bobby told the crew to hurry.
Bobby said the right front spring wasn't touching. "I know you're still pushing, and that's hurting you, but your laps are quicker."
"Yeah, I know. It just backs into the corner and helps it turn, but when I get into the gas, it goes dead straight. So we'll just try to deal with it as best we can."
Lap 69 saw the restart. Kurt Busch led, Mikey was 41st, David was 40th, and Dale was 24th. Mikey jumped up to 38th one lap into the run, passing David, Jeremy Mayfield, and Ward Burton. Getting around Kyle Petty one lap later put the #55 in 37th.
"4 car looking inside, inside," Mark warned. "Clear. Clear all around. Clear all around."
"About a frickin' lap or two, it's fine. And then it gets to plowing," Mikey reported on lap 75. "PLOWING!"
"10-4," Bobby replied. He was 37th, David was 38th, and Dale was 22nd.
"18 car up high here, a little slow," Mark warned. "Clear of the 18. Clear alla round."
Yeley's drop gained Mikey 36th. Kyle Busch brushed the wall and went to pit road.
"Got the 00 behind you. Inside, inside. Still inside," Mark noted. "Got a run on you again. 88 inside, 00 with him. Clear all around. Clear by half on the 00. 00 inside. Still there at your quarter panel. Still down there. Got four of them lined up to your inside here. Clear by one back to the 66."
On lap 79, David got around his car owner. Mikey was 37th. He was cleared by three car lengths, back to Dale's lead lap #44.
"19 struggling there a little on the top. Still clear by one on the 44."
Passing Elliott Sadler on lap 80 moved Mikey into 36th.
"I've never driven a worse car in my life," Mikey complained. He said all they were able to do was make him sideways in the turns.
On lap 84, Sadler looked to the outside.
"We got another flat, Bobby," Mark reported on lap 85. "We got another flat. Left front's down again, Bobby."
"Just so you know, got something going on with the left front," Mikey commented.
Mark told Mikey to hold the bottom with all the cars coming. The #55 went to pit road, getting a fresh tire and losing a second lap. Mikey was marked in 42nd.
Green flag pit stops began around lap 89. "Leaders are starting to pit here, Mike," Mark informed his driver. "40 car on the bottom here, the last one, has a flat."
Matt Kenseth took the lead during stops on lap 91. He stopped the next time around the track, and Clint Bowyer picked up the top spot.
"Where's the new leader at?" Mikey asked just after Jeff Green took the lead on lap 94.
Bobby asked about the #07.
"The new leader is the 66," Mark replied, "and he's behind us there. He just got through passing."
"Where's the 17?"
"All right, looking for him. Just a second. He's going into 1 now."
"It's the fastest it's been," Mikey commented. "Where's the 2?"
"He's just now getting into 3. He's behind you there."
"2 just crossed the start / finish. 2's at the line," Bobby added.
On lap 96, Kurt Busch looked inside Green's #66 and reclaimed the top spot going into the next lap.
"The 2 is the leader. He's at the line now," Mark warned.
"It's a lot more consistant, what you've got going on right now," Bobby commented. He noted that the leader - Kurt Busch - had been two or three tenths quicker all day.
Mikey got around Jamie McMurray by lap 98, moving him into 41st. David was 30th and the first driver one lap down. Dale was 7th. Mark warned that the leader was twenty car lengths back.
PJ Jones pit and lost another lap. Mikey was now up to 40th.
"There's debris in Turn 1," Mikey reported. Jeremy Mayfield was slow along the bottom. Mikey passed him on lap 102 and picked up 39th; however, Kurt Busch passed him and put him a second lap down.
"It's balanced good. It's just sliding everywhere," Mikey reported when Bobby asked about the car.
Dale went to pit road, and the crew put the hood up. The #44 team pushed the car to the garage with a fuel pump problem. Dale had been in the top ten for thirteen laps. His departure moved Mikey up to 38th. Meanwhile, David was 33rd and one lap down.
On lap 110, Bobby said they would pit in five laps. "You just too skaty now?"
"Yeah, it's just like the right side plows too much. I'm way faster, but it don't do much."
"36 one back," Mark warned. Jeremy Mayfield's #36 passed outside for position, putting the Napa Camry in 39th. "24 is the second place car. He's five back from you."
"Bobby, go over to the 44 channel real quick," somebody requested.
"All right, next time, next time. Coming to me. Next time," Bobby said on lap 116.
Mikey headed for pit road and was warned about Ward Burton's #4 on the outside. When the #55 came out of the pits, Mark warned that the leader was only ten car lengths back.
"Easy there. Easy there. Good job," Mark praised.
Mikey was now 41st on lap 118. Other drivers began making stop the next time around the track. Kurt Busch gave up the lead to pit on lap 119. Meanwhile, Bobby reported that the tires that had just come off the #55 looked really good.
Others poured onto pit road. With Busch's stop, teammate Ryan Newman took over the lead. When stops cycled, Kurt was back in the lead, and Mikey was 39th.
"I was so loose. It's crazy! I can't drive it at all," Mikey complained. Bobby talked adjustments. "I said just a little bit!" Mikey exclaimed.
The third caution was on lap 123 for Dale Earnhardt Jr's spin.
Bobby talked about the split he had. He said he could take out some of that or go up on air.
"Well, it's really really loose, so whatever we gotta do to get more normal," Mikey commented. "I don't know what to tell you. I told you to keep me up with the changes, but you didn't. So y'all just do whatever you want. I'm about to crash."
Bobby said they didn't make changes on the last run.
"Yeah, it's real loose," Mikey continued. "It backs into the corner. If I catch it, it goes pretty good, but if I don't catch it, it about spins out," he told them to do whatever they wanted. "Give me two jugs of water and a towel and a bag of ice this time."
"Just for your info, the 44 is behind the wall," Bobby told the car owner. "The fuel pump on the 44, the fuel pump."
"How many cars? All or them?" Mikey asked.
"41. You got the 4 and the 44 behind the wall," Bobby replied. He said he'd update Mikey with who he's racing.
Mikey pit under caution.
"NASCAR's saying something about the track breaking up somewhere," Bobby informed his driver. "See if you see anything." He said Mikey's air pressure was square that time on the right side.
Bobby told Mikey he was racing the #19, #70, #18, #45, and #26.
"How 'bout say that over here when I'm in front of you," Mikey replied. "I can barely hear you."
Bobby repeated himself when the #55 was on the frontstretch. "The #44's fuel pump is changed. They're back in the race. And we do have weather to the west of us. Still looks like it's an hour or so out."
Kurt Busch led the lap 129 restart. Mikey was two laps down in 39th, Dale was back on track in 43rd and 25 laps down, and David was 33rd and one lap down.
"Still inside - 00. Clear, clear," Mark said two laps into the run.
Mikey got around Johnny Sauter for 37th. Mark warned the #00 was two car lengths back.
"56.40 - fastest lap of the race," Bobby said on lap 133.
"It's plowing," Mikey reported on lap 135. "It's pushing again."
"All right, 10-4," Bobby replied. He said he'd taken air out of one rear tire and had put air into the other.
"Caution's out, caution's out. Got a spin behind you," Mark said.
The fourth yellow flag was for Greg Biffle's spin. Mikey reported that the car was pushing from the first lap. Leaders pit under caution, and Mikey came in with the lapped driver.
"Halfway, halfway, halfway. All the way. Clear all the way out," Bobby directed. "All right, bud, you're racing the 19, 18, 70, and 45. 19, 18, 70, 45." He warned Mikey that the #38 was losing fluids.
"That 16 has to come to the back, Mike," Mark informed his driver. "All right, you already got by him."
"Hey, your build-up show about the same as the previous run - they're square," Bobby noted. He said they showed how tight his car is. "Got other cars reporting they were tight on the previous run, just to keep you abreast here."
Reed Sorenson didn't pit and led the lap 143 restart. Mikey was 39th and two laps down. Dale was 42nd and 25 laps down, and David was 34th and lapped. Getting around Sauter on lap 145 moved Mikey into 38th.
"I lost you for a minute, but I got you now," Mikey told his team.
"All right, 10-4," Bobby replied.
At the front of the field, Earnhardt Jr took the lead.
"It's plowing from the word go," Mikey complained. "It's pushing its ass off."
Bobby gave him lap times. "10-4 on push."
"Feels like you put ten pounds of air in the right front tire. Gets worse every lap."
"00 inside," Mark noted. "Clear by one back to the 88."
Lap 155 saw David lose a second lap. He dropped through the ranks and may have gone to pit road.
"What position am I in?" Mikey asked.
"37, 37, 3-7," Bobby replied.
"I kind of figured that. That's why I didn't ask."
"00's behind the wall now - fuel pump, same as the 44," Bobby reported.
Mikey was drawing closer to Yeley's #18 for position.
"Got one up high. Got one up high here slow," Mark warned on lap 161. "No caution. Keep digging."
Getting around Yeley moved the #55 into 36th.
"It got better, Bobby," Mikey said on lap 163. He moved into 35th by passing David Ragan.
"Okay, 10-4," Bobby replied. By lap 166, Ragan had gotten back around the #55.
Green flag pit stops started on lap 170. After Bobby read off lap times, he said Mikey's lap times weren't bad. He wanted to stretch out fuel mileage and hope for a caution.
"You don't have to stretch us any further than the leader," Mikey stated, "because he'll still have us lapped."
Bobby said the leader hadn't come yet.
"Maybe I can pit the lap after him or something?"
"Pit this time, pit this time," Bobby directed as Kurt Busch sent to pit road on lap 172.
When Kurt Busch pit, Kyle Busch moved into the top spot. Ragan wiggled beside Busch's #5 and spun across the nose.
The sixth caution was on lap 173 for Ragan.
"The 5 car's out of gas there, Mark," Bobby said.
Mark replied, "Maybe one of his teammates will push him."
Bobby asked what had happened to bring out the caution.
"The 6 car spun off of 1 over there," Mark replied.
"10-4." "I could have tried to stretch it another lap, but you would have run out like the 5."
Mikey said he didn't think he could have gained anyway.
Bobby noted that the tires that came off the car looked good.
"We're just going to stay out, right?" Mikey asked.
"Yes, sir. We'll stick with the track position." Bobby said they were 35th. "All right, the 00 is back in the race, after losing a fuel pump."
David was 41st and 23 laps down while Dale was 25 laps down in 42nd.
"What's the hold-up?"
"I really don't know," Mark replied.
"I think they're trying to find a way to make this race exciting, and they haven't so far," Bobby commented.
"It hasn't been exciting for me," Mikey replied.
Bobby said the 2 car was making it boring. Kurt Busch had led all but three laps.
"All right, Mike, it's going to be one to go when you get here," Mark noted. He said Mikey would have 22 laps to go when he took it.
Busch led the lap 179 restart with Mikey in 35th and two laps down. David was 41st and 23 laps down, and Dale was back in the garage. Mikey jumped up to 33rd on lap 180.
"56.10 - that's the fastest race of the lap for you," Bobby said on lap 181.
"Got a spin behind us, spin behind us. Caution's out, caution's out," Mark observed.
Cars stacked, and Carl Edwards got into the back of Casey Mears. A number of cars stacked, which brought out the caution for the sixth time. David Gilliland, Jamie McMurray, and Brian Vickers also sustained damage.
Bobby asked about the car.
"It's gonna plow." "It's just not right at all. We'll just have to live with it until we can figure out what the fuck's going on. Something's not right."
"I figured you were going to plow when you cut that lap there."
Mikey said he didn't want to pit. He wanted track position. Bobby went with the call.
"Just one casualty, Mark?" "Just one guy out after that crash?"
Mark said two were definitely out. Bobby pointed out that one, the #26, was already behind them anyway.
Jeremy Mayfield was wanting to get in front of the #55 but was well behind. Bobby said it was Mikey's call.
"Well, I don't want him to get in front of me," Mikey replied. "I had to pass him again the last time he did that."
"All right, that 38 is on pit road right now. That'll put you p32, p32," Bobby noted.
Kurt Busch led the restart on lap 185. Mikey was 32nd and was the first driver two laps down. Both David and Dale were out of the race now. Elliott Sadler passed two laps into the run, moving the #55 back to 33rd.
"Stay after it, bud," Bobby encouraged his driver.
With four laps to go, Mikey fell to 38th.
"What'd you got, bud?" Bobby asked.
"I don't know. I'm trying to figure it out," Mikey replied. "It just feels like the battery is dead. Let me switch it here." After a moment, he added, "I turned everything off and switched the boxes, and nothing's happened."
"What's your volts?" Bobby asked. "What's your fuel pressure?"
"It ain't bad. It's on six or seven."
"Michael, they're saying, if we can't make it around, just get off on one of those access roads," Mark relayed. "Just got three to go here."
"You're not making minimum speed. Where is he at, Mark?"
Mark told Bobby that the car was on one of the access roads.
"Is it dead in the water, bud?" Bobby asked.
Mikey didn't answer.
"It looks like it's quit," Mark replied. "He probably already got out."
"All right. Just quit on you, Michael?"
Mikey, again, did not respond. He finished six laps down in 38th and off the track while Kurt Busch won the race. David was 41st and 41 laps down while Dale was 42nd and 49 laps down.
"See the car, Mark? Did he get out of it?" Bobby asked.
"Yeah, Mark thought he seen him on the access road, and he thought he saw him get out of the car and walk away from it," somebody said.
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Burger King Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Can you talk about your day and what happened that took you out of the race?
"This was just another disappointing day. We battled the handling on the car all day and just never could seem to get it where we needed to be. Then we lost fuel pressure and determined that the fuel pump broke -- we had to come to the garage to get that replaced. We just can't keep having these types of mechanical failures -- it's just frustrating. But I know everyone will keep working to get us where we need to be and we have to gain owner points and we can't do that when we are in the garage early."
DALE JARRETT, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
How good was your car and what happened that sent you to the garage at the halfway point in the race?
"We had a good car. I knew if we ever got this race car in a race we would be able to show that it was fast. We obviously had some trouble getting it fast enough to make a couple races, but I knew by the feel of the car and the down force that it seemed to have, that it had the potential to be a real good car. It proved today that it was a good car -- we passed a lot of cars. We had good pit stops and unfortunately just past halfway we had a fuel pump problem. That ruined our day, but we know what caused it and we fixed that. It was somewhat encouraging to go out, run and pass some race cars. We still have work to do, but that was a definite improvement."