Bad day in California for MWR by Kellyanne Lynch
2 September 2007
Two of Michael Waltrip Racing's three drivers got wrecked in the Sharp Aquos 500, today's Nextel Cup race at California Speedway. The third did not qualify. The left front tire of the #55 Napa Auto Parts Camry exploded and broke a fuel line early in the race, causing the front of the car to burst into flames and sending driver Michael Waltrip through the grass. He seemed to emerge unscathed. Meanwhile, David Reutimann's #00 Burger King Toyota got knocked into the wall toward the end when his times were consistantly in the top ten throughout the race. Dale Jarrett's #44 UPS machine did not make the field.
Mikey explained his accident at the end of the race. "I was trying to get by Ricky (Rudd, No. 88) and he moved over," he said. "That caved in our left front fender. The tire rubbed and the left front tire blew off. When it blew it took some oil lines with it and those caught fire. The car filled up with smoke and fire. The crew does such a great job at sealing off the interior of the car. I saw just a little bit of flame by the shifter, nothing much. I'm bigger than the car -- if I try to get out of the car in a hurry it is disastrous. I just took my time and took my stuff off. Right there at the end is when it started to flame and smoke up and I had to get out in a hurry. That is why I'm so thankful the Car of Tomorrow is here because I just can't get out of these cars in a hurry. I've tried it at the shop -- basically I have to take my helmet off to get out. It was a short day for the NAPA Toyota, it was pretty fast before this happened."
Crew chief Bobby Kennedy came on the #55 radio at 8:05pm, just after the national anthem. "Copy on me, Mark Green," he spoke. The spotter did not reply. Grand marshall Stevie Wonder gave the command to start engines two minutes later.
"All right, got a copy on me, Mark Green?" Bobby repeated.
"Loud and clear," came Mark's response.
"10-4." He told the spotter to keep the radio chatter on the frontstretch, because it was hard to hear on the back straightaway. He told Mark to relay any information to Mikey if Bobby had to talk on the backstretch. He then addressed the driver. "Got a copy, Michael? Test 1-2, test 1-2."
"Got you," Mikey replied.
"10-4. Got you down here."
A couple minutes later, "Hey, Michael, the front of the field's just pulling off. Three times by."
"Thank you," said the driver.
"I'll also remind you, on the exit of pit road, you've got to keep two tires below the yellow line."
"Yeah, they talked about changing that. Did they not?"
"The word we got just a couple minutes ago is that you got to keep two below the line," Mark stated. "Bobby,you can check on that, but that's what I heard."
"Yeah, 10-4. I'll check," Bobby said. "They said they'd let that go at the start."
Mark waited a minute before saying, "Okay, Michael, you are at pit road speed right there."
"I've got 4600," Mikey determined his RPM for pit road.
"4600, Bobby, is that right?"
Bobby said they could move it to 47 and be safe.
"4700," Mikey repeated.
Bobby asked a crewmember to double check with an official. He told Mikey that, on pit road, he would see the #00, #41, the #55 box, and out. "Okay, Mark, as of right now, it's still the same on the exit. They didn't notify the officials of any change."
"10-4," Mark acknowledged. "Okie doke. One to go this time. One to go."
"All right. Make sure you get your belts all good and tight," Bobby said to his driver. "All right, go ahead and make sure all your blowers are on - brake and b-blowers."
"Gotcha," Mikey replied.
"10-4. 10-4. Okay, guys, be heads-up. Let's have a good day."
"Okay, pace car is off," Mark said. "Ready? Ready? Green green green."
Kurt Busch led the field to the green flag at 8:18pm. Mikey was 25th, and David was 28th.
"Still outside, still there," warned the spotter. "The 21 and the 00 outside, and then a five car length hole behind the 00. Still out there. 07 still there. Clear all around, clear all around. Still outside. Still there. Clear low, clear low. Clear all around, clear all around."
Lap 3 saw Mikey move up to 23rd with David just behind him.
"Looking... clear. Clear, clear. Clear by four," Mark noted. "00 inside. Got the 07 lined up behind you. 17 inside."
The #00 passed, putting David in 23rd and Mikey just behind him.
"Clear behind the 17. Clear by one, back to the 07," Mark continued. Matt Kenseth's #17 passed, putting the #55 in 25th on lap 5. "07 inside. 41 followed the 07. "Still inside. Got the 26 inside. Clear by fifteen, behind the 26."
"I'm just way too loose right this second," Mikey commented.
"10-4, 10-4. Just keep me abreast about the situation," Bobby replied.
The #55 was 27th on lap 7 with Reed Sorenson, Clint Bowyer, and Jamie McMurray had passed.
"Clear by one on the 22, clear by six behind him."
"I..." someone said and was cut off by the spotter.
"Looking inside, inside. Clear by four behind the 22. 6 car looking inside, inside. Clear by one back to the 21. 21 inside, clear by ten behind the 21. Clear all around."
Mikey was 30th on lap 9 when the yellow flag waved. Joe Nemechek's #78 lost its engine.
"Got a blowed-up motor behind us. Caution's out, caution's out."
"Um, pushing a little bit on entry and the centre, and then it's real loose on the gas. But I don't run off Turn 2 at all. I get a good run, and they just run up beside me." He said they could stay out or pit. "I need to be just a little bit freer on the entry and a little bit tighter off."
"Okay, 10-4, 10-4," Bobby replied. "All right, let's go ahead and pit. Let's put on four tires and take one pound out of the right front." He also called for two pounds out of the left rear.
The field followed Busch onto pit road.
"4700 at the cone when you get here," said Mark. "4700. The 41's going to be sitting there. You'll have to go around him. 10."
"5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Right here. Follow the 22," Bobby directed. "Go go go. Halfway, halfway, all the way. 47. All the way out." He said he'd also gone down a round on the trackbar.
"Hey, a warm, dry rag," Mikey complained. "You might want to wipe your ass with it rather than give it to me. I don't know what y'all were thinking."
"Okay, I'll check on that for you," Bobby promised.
"Is there anything I could have done to help you on the pit stop, or did I do okay?"
"Nah, they said that was okay, that was okay." Bobby then said his tires were showing he was a little free.
"Okay, pace car's off. Pass to the right only. Ready? Green green green."
John Andretti's #49 led the lap 13 restart with Mikey in 30th and David in 23rd. Busch passed Andretti immediately.
Mark warned Mikey about JJ Yeley's #18. "Clear by four," he said when the #55 stayed in front of Yeley. "Clear by six."
Meanwhile, David was up to 22nd by lap 16, having passed Dave Blaney.
The second caution was for debris on lap 15.
"Clear, clear. Caution's out, caution's out," Mark said. "Got debris on the front straightaway. Caution's out."
"Keep it up high on the front straightaway. Keep it up high," Bobby warned.
"Kind of hold up to the top here going through one. It's down along the bottom," added the spotter.
"I don't know if something's wrong with this motor or not, but it's just sick off the turn," Mikey reported. "The handling was better this time."
"Okay, 10-4. We staying out here, staying out."
Others did pit, allowing the #55 to pick up a couple spots.
"Okay, going to be one to go this time," said Mark. "One to go."
"All right, the 83 and 84 complained about the same thing about the motor," Bobby said.
"I mean, it's just crazy... I don't understand. It just feels the opposite of Michigan."
Bobby said they'd check temperatures when they got rolling again.
Busch led the lap 20 restart with Kurt Busch leading. Mikey was 25th, and David ran 20th.
"15 got a run on you. Inside, inside. Clear, clear," Mark informed. "Still outside. Still there. 15 half back, outside, outside. Still out there. 15 still out there. Got the 99 lined up behind the 15, 41 coming with him."
Mikey was 27th on lap 22 when Paul Menard and Carl Edwards passed. The #41 passed next.
"16 inside, inside. Clear all around," Mark continued.
Mikey was now 29th.
The yellow flag waved for the third time. Elliott Sadler spun behind the #55.
"Listen, I can't race," Mikey stated. "I feel like I need a downshift."
"How about the changes on the car?" Bobby asked. "How are we there, as far as the handling?"
"The car's better, it's just still a little loose off, but the car's better."
"All right, 10-4, what are your temps?"
Bobby said something to the crew when Mikey cut him off.
"Sorry, 245, 260," he corrected temps.
Bobby said that was more like it should be and was in practice.
"Mark, do you see what's happening to me between 1 and 2?" Mikey asked his spotter. Mark didn't respond, so Bobby repeated.
Mark said he saw Mikey losing time.
Mikey didn't understand why. "I'm handling good. It just sounds like it's going to stall it's so, so bad."
Mark asked for a repeat, but Bobby said he heard it all.
"Okay, 4700 at the cone, 47."
"Four tires, guys. Four tires," Bobby told the crew. He guided the #55 to the box around the #00, who also pit with much of the field.
"Good stop, guys!" Mikey praised his team.
"It'll be one to go to the line," Mark noted.
Kyle Busch had stayed out with five other cars and led the lap 27 restart. Mikey was 33rd, and David was 30th.
"Clear by three on the 84," Mark said. "Clear all around."
One lap into the run, David lost a spot to Dave Blaney. Mark cleared Mikey by five car lengths.
"41.80, 41.80," Bobby read off lap times.
"21 around the top stayed out. He's dropping like a rock," Mark observed.
David had passed Bill Elliott's #21 and others. He was 28th by lap 30.
"42.15, 42.15," Bobby said.
Passing Paul Menard on lap 31 moved the #55 into 32nd; however, Menard got back around Mikey the next time around the track. Meanwhile, David Stremme passed the #00 for position.
"Man, that was pretty good, wasn't it, Mark?" Mikey asked when he picked up 31st on Bill Elliott and was up to 31st on lap 34.
Mark said Mikey looked good in the corners.
"42.60, 42.60. You're faster than the next fifteen in front of you," said Bobby.
"84 coming hard here. Still clear by two. Still clear, still clear," Mark noted. "Still clear, still clear. 84 lined up behind the 6 there. Clear all around, clear all around. Clear by one on that 84."
AJ Allmendinger's #84 passed, but Mikey got around David Ragan on the same lap. He was still 31st on lap 36. David was 26th. David Ragan and Ricky Rudd both got around the #55 on lap 37.
"Got the 26 inside," said the spotter. "Sorry, 88."
"Got a little tire rub on that left front there," Mark said the same time the commentators did. The car smoked a bit. "Clear by four."
Bobby asked for temps.
"15 looking inside. Clear all around, clear all around. That tire smoke's kind of fixed itself. We're good right now," said Mark. "15 inside."
Mikey became the fourth caution on lap 40 when the engine blew up in Turn 3. The #55 car erupted in flames as it came down the track and turned in the infield grass.
"Hold on to it, Michael," Mark directed his driver. "Hold onto it. That thing's on fire. Get that thing stopped and get out of it. Get that thing stopped and get out of it."
"What happened, Mark?" Bobby asked.
"Motor blowed up or something. Just went into flames getting into 3," Mark explained. "Thing blew up big there, Bobby."
"Okay, 10-4, 10-4."
"They got him up there. He's pretty good. He might have had some smoke there. Go check on him."
"10-4. Yeah, I 'm checking it." Bobby told them to get the car back to the garage.
Mark said he would stay there until told to come down.
A crew member named Buddy said it looked like the #55 lost the left front tire, and when that went, it knocked off oil lines and blew the engine.
"It's burning, guys. We got a piece of rubber burning in the left front tire." The crewman said the a-frame was damaged too. "It hit pretty hard."
Someone else said the rear bumper cover's burnt clear off it.
"Lower a-frame is also bent," said a crewman. "We're done, guys. Let's get this thing loaded up. Let's make sure this thing is completely out, which it looks like the firemen are doing pretty good with."
Lap 46 saw the restart with Kyle Busch leading and David in 21st. Mikey was marked in 42nd. The #55 team talked about sending tire sets 10, 11, 12, and 15 to the #00 team.
When he got out of the infield care centre, Mikey reported that he'd lost the tire from contact with Ricky Rudd and said the crew had done such a good job sealing up the car that he didn't have smoke in the car. He said he took his time taking off his stuff before he saw the flames and hurried out. He pointed out that he's a big guy anyway, so he'd be in trouble if he had to get out quick. "Let's cheer for the Burger King car - David Reutimann," he said at the end of the interview.
Back on the track, David lost a spot from Stremme but regained it by lap 54.
"42.80," #00 crew chief Frankie Kerr read off the lap time.
"You were four tenths quicker in the middle there," spotter Shawn Reutimann noted. "Clear by two, back to the 07."
"42.80. Leader's a 70."
"Clear by three."
"42.80. Leader's are 80 also. Good lap."
"Clear by four. Clear by four. Catching this group in front of you."
"Outside," Shawn warned. "Outside. Still there. Still there, outside. Outside, still there. Clear. Outside. 16 outside. Still there. Clear by three."
David was up to 19th by lap 60, having passed Clint Bowyer and Greg Biffle.
"Clear by four," said Shawn.
Frankie told his driver he was doing a great job.
"Clear by five. Working lap 60. You're doing a good job, David. They're coming back to you. Keep digging."
"43.20. Talk to me about your race car, bud."
"Real, real loose in the centre. Free on entry, and then when I go to the throttle, it pushes, and then I make it loose, because I have to wheel in on it on exit," David reported.
"Clear by ten."
"You're doing a good job," Frankie praised. "Have we made it better?"
"You made it a lot better, bud. By ourselves, the longer it goes, it's just a little bit tight, and then it's loose on the throttle by itself, Frank."
"No pressure, bud," Shawn interjected. "All by yourself."
"43.50, bud," Frankie said before reading off the leader's lap times. Next time he gave lap times, he again told his driver he was doing a good job.
"Okay, bud, I'm just kind of hanging onto it right now."
"Just hang onto it, pal," Frankie encouraged before giving off lap times.
On lap 65, Elliott Sadler went to pit road with a flat tire.
Meanwhile, David was turning strong laps. On lap 70, Frankie said, "43.50. That's a good lap, bud. That's a speed that puts you up to third quick."
"Clear by five, back to the 07. No pressure," Shawn noted.
The fifth caution was on lap 72 for John Andretti's #49.
"Talk to me," Frank addressed his driver. "What do you got."
David said the car was free all the way through. "If I can just get a little free in the centre, I think I could live with everything else. I don't think you can help the entry."
Frank asked him to repeat everything, and he did.
"Okay, so you need to be tighter in the centre," Frankie gathered.
"Yeah, don't take something from me inthe back, please."
Frankie said they'd take something out of the inner liners. He called for four tires and air pressure adjustments only. "All right, kids. Four tires, just like you've been doing all night. All right, Dave. And get that grill."
"And give me a tear-off, please," David added.
Drivers pit, and Martin Truex Jr was the first back on track.
"5000 and second," said Frankie. "Good stop, guys!"
"Watch for the safety workers back there," Shawn warned.
Frankie praised the crew for a good stop again.
"I need a drink the next time in, please," David requested.
"Hey, what the heck, Nate?" Frankie asked. "What did you go over the wall for then?"
"All right. Give me some ice," David added.
"Working lap 74," said Shawn.
"Keep hanging in there, bro. We got a long, long way to go," Frankie encouraged.
"All right, coming to the green. Pass right, protect the right. 38 restarting behind you there. P16," Shawn noted. "Not going. Waving it off. Not going. Next time by."
"What did the builds look like there, Frank?"
The crew chief said they looked good - two pounds to the front even.
"I'm having to use quite a bit of brake on entry there," said David.
Frankie said they'd keep digging. "We've got a long way to go."
Shawn again warned David about David Gilliland's #38 restarting behind him.
The green flag returned on lap 78 with Martin Truex Jr leading and David in 16th.
"Clear by one," said Shawn. "Outside. 38 outside. Still there. Clear behind the 38. Clear by four."
David was 17th one lap into the run with Gilliland's pass.
"7 car up high there off the corner. Outside. 7 car outside. Clear. Got the 70 running to the outside at the front of this group, and he's coming back quick." Shawn warned David about the lapped #19 and then Johnny Sauter's #70 again. "Three wide, you're in the middle. Three-wide, you're in the middle. Still there. Inside, still there. Inside, still there. Left rear corner clear.
"Inside. 83 still there, inside. Still there, inside. Clear by two, back to the 11. Clear by three."
At the front of the field, Dale Earnhardt Jr took the lead on lap 82.
"Clear by three," said Shawn.
"42 flat, bud," Frankie read off the lap time. "Good job."
"Got the 15 car up high - lapped car. Clear by four, back to the 11," Shawn continued. "15 lapped car, up high. Gonna be there off the corner. Still there. Still there. Clear behind the 15. 11 car coming inside, inside. Inside, still there. Three-wide, back to two-wide. Still there, three-wide, three-wide.
"Two-wide, back to two-wide. Got the 11 car to your inside. All clear. Still there, outside, outside. Still there. Going to be there off the corner. Inside. Right rear corner. Inside. Clear behind the 11. Outside, still there.
"Caution's out. Wrecking behind you."
Robby Gordon's spin brought out the sixth caution on lap 86.
"It's the best it's been right there, bud." When Frankie asked about a stop, David said to "keep after it."
"Lots of smoke there on the front, but I think it will be all clear when you get there," Shawn noted.
When Frankie asked about a particular adjustment, David said, "You can't fix it, so don't do anything that will make it any worse."
"It's been nine laps, nine laps. I think those guys are going to be coming. I want to try a few tires. How about you?" Because it looked like everyone was coming, he said to come in.
"A small bag of ice and water, please," David requested. He pit with the leaders.
"Getting real bad right now, Shawn. Real bad," David said after his stop.
"10-4. That's what I was figuring."
"All right, bud, there's the 8 and the 12 stayed out, and there's a few two-tire stops up there, so those guys will be coming back real fast. Everyone around us took four tires. We're in the 17th position right there," Frankie informed. "Guys, you're kicking in the pits tonight. Thank you. That was our best tire sheet so far."
"I can't do nothing right here, right here," David reported. "Can't see... still can't see... You might as well say all around the back, I can't see."
David said something that came out as static. A minute later, Shawn asked, "Were you trying to say something?"
"I just said,this thing just won't take off on the restart," David repeated. "It's just a sluggish feeling."
"Yeah, it doesn't look like it's accelerating very well. It's killing you," Frankie agreed.
Shawn told David that Stremme was restarting behind him. Racing resumed on lap 90 with Earnhardt Jr leading and David in 17th.
"40 car looking outside," said Shawn. "Outside, still there, still there. 24 outside. Still there. Got a follower. 11 car coming outside. Still there. 38 coming outside. Clear all around. Outside, clear."
David was 19th on lap 92. Denny Hamlin and David Stremme had passed.
"Yeah, sorry about that on that restart. I shouldn't have done that," David apologised.
Shawn warned that Sauter's #70 was holding up the group with whom he was running. "41 inside. Still there. Still there, inside. Four-wide, back three-wide. Inside, still there. Still there, inside. 19 car directly in front of you is a lapped car. Still there. Outside. All clear."
Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 94, just before Ryan Newman spun.
NASCAR brought out the seventh caution for Newman, who cut in front of Jeff Burton and spun without contact.
"I think it's pretty good," David apologised. "I just screwed us on that restart."
"It's all right. It's all right. It's all good," Frankie assured him. He said they may pit if others do.
Shawn said it looked like a quickie yellow, and he didn't see any crews on the wall.
"Stay out, stay out. I still can't believe Junior hasn't come."
"They've been trying to bonzai you on these restarts, Dave." Shawn told him to move up half a groove to stop that from happening.
"I ducked down beneath the 24 on the restart, and I should have waited," David said.
"The 84 is four in front of us, so watch it, buddy," Frankie warned.
"Got 154 laps to go," Shawn noted. "All right, coming to the green. Pass right, protect the right. Got the 41 restarting behind you. Pace car's off. Be ready. Ready? Ready? Green green green."
Kyle Busch led the lap 97 restart with David in 17th.
Shawn warned him that Reed Sorenson's #41 was looking inside. "Clear all around. Outside. Clear. Good job."
David passed David Stremme instead and picked up 16th two laps into the run while holding off Sorenson.
"Inside. 40 car inside. Left rear corner. Still there. Left rear corner. Still there, inside. Inside, still down there. Falling in behind you. Outside, still there. Outside, still there. Clear. Clear all around. Clear by one, back to the 40."
Passing David Ragan moved the #00 into 15th on lap 101.
"I think we went too far," David commented.
"10-4. We'll work on it," Frankie replied.
"Outside. 29 outside. Going to be there off the corner. Clear. Coming back on the outside. All clear. 40 car to the right corner. All clear. Clear by two, back to the 40."
Passing Kevin Harvick gained David 14th on lap 103.
"Inside. Inside, all clear. Good job," Shawn praised. "Clear by three. That's the way to maneuver that thing. Clear by five, pulling away."
"Hey, buddy, how's your race car?" Frankie asked. "Last lap was a 42.40."
"Lapped car up top," Shawn warned. He guided David around Sadler's #19.
Stremme passed on lap 106, dropping David to 15th.
"Outside. Still there. Still there, outside. Clear," Shawn spotted.
"We've killed the exit, Frank," David commented.
Frankie asked, "Too tight or loose, bud?"
"You said tight, right, buddy?"
"I said tight. Tight on exit."
"Clear by four," Shawn noted.
"Yeah, it's frickin' killed the centre too," David added.
"Just hang in there, bud. It's going to be all right. We'll be all right," Shawn assured him.
"Hang in there, buddy. Last lap was a 42. Just hang in there, buddy," Frankie added.
"Cleared by three, back to the 12. He's got newer tires. Outside, 17 outside. Still there. Clear. 12 car right there with you. 12 car looking inside, newer tires. Inside, left rear corner. Clear."
David's pass on Matt Kenseth moved him up to 14th on lap 109.
"Doing good, brother. Just hang in there," Shawn encouraged his cousin. "Clear by two, back to the 12.
"Caution's out, caution's out. Got one spun in Turn 2. Caution's out. Doing good, bud."
Lap 112 saw the eighth caution for JJ Yeley's spin. Frankie called for four tires and asked about the car.
"I like the way we were before, Frank," David said. "I gotta slow down too much to get it off. Don't make it too loose. Tight on entry."
"All right, buddy, you've been doing a good job," Frankie called for four tires, fuel, and water and ice for David.
"Small bag of ice, SMALL bag of ice," added the driver.
"All right, pit road will be open this time," Shawn noted.
"Okay. Four tires, guys," Frankie told the crew.
"5000 and second when you get here. It'll be 5000 and second when you get here," said Shawn. "5000 and second right there at the orange cone. 5000 and second right there."
"All right, buddy. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Right there. Make sure to get the grill. Go go go go go! All the way out, bud. All the way out."
"5000 and second, all the way out. 5000 and second, all the way out. Good job! Boys, good job!"
"I thought we were kind of screwed there, because the 38 was in there changing shocks, and he got out just in time."
"Nah, we're pretty good. I think we even picked up one there."
"Way to go, kids. We picked up a spot. Way to go," Frankie praised the #00 team.
"It'll be one to go when you get here," Shawn added. "Next time by."
David asked how the tire sheets looked that time.
"Two pounds to the front, across the front," Frankie replied. "Pretty damn good."
"135 laps to go," Shawn noted. He said Tony Stewart was restarting behind him.
Lap 116 saw the restart. Kyle Busch led, and David was 12th.
"Clear by three," said Shawn. "Clear by four, back to the 20."
Jimmie Johnson ran inside the #5 on lap 117. Meanwhile, Shawn said cars were coming back to David. Johnson took the lead going into lap 120 while David picked up 11th when Greg Biffle fell through the ranks.
"Clear by five," Shawn stated.
"41.70 with a pass," Frankie noted.
"Clear by five, back to the 20."
"Clear by five. Three-wide. Still there. Three-wide, still there. Clear by five. Good job. Clear all the way to the top," Shawn observed.
On lap 123, David popped up to 9th, having passed Casey Mears and Denny Hamlin. His spotter and his crew chief praised him for his driving.
"Clear by five, back to the 11," Shawn said.
"42 flat. Good job, buddy! Keep digging," Frankie encouraged his driver.
"Clear by ten. Pulling away."
"42.20. You're faster than the guys in front of you."
"Clear by ten, back to the 20."
"42.40. Good lap. You're halfway, bud. Halfway."
"Clear by fifteen."
"Clear by fifteen. You're doing a good job, bud. Keep hanging in there. 2 car's really loose. 2 car's really loose. Just letting you know. Outside. Going to be there off the corner. Clear behind the 2. Spotter said he's really loose. Outside. Still there. Clear. Good job."
"You're doing a great job!" Frankie praised as David took 8th on lap 130.
"Clear by five. Pulling away."
"42.80. Great lap, bud. You're in 8th. Gonna get a good finish here. 42.90. Leader's running the same speed."
"Pulling away. Pulling away from the 2. You've got no pressure."
Frankie asked about the car.
"Not bad," David replied. "Just when I try to run the top, real real free on the top, bud."
"Keep doing what you're doing."
"Got no pressure, brother," Shawn said. "Clear by twenty.
"Outside. Still there. Outside. Clear all around. Good job."
David passed Ryan Newman on lap 136 for 7th.
"12 car back on the bottom right there. Falling in behind you," Shawn warned. "Clear by four. Pulling away."
"43.20, buddy. Same speed as the leader. Good job!" Frankie praised.
"Clear by three."
Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 138.
"43.20. Good job, buddy!" Frankie continued giving lap times.
"Clear by four," said Shawn.
"Talk to me about your race car now, bud," Frankie requested on lap 139.
"Tight from the centre off, off the bottom," David reported. "Free up top. I don't know what to tell you to do to it. Don't mess with it."
"Other than the 5 car, you're the best car out there. Last lap was a 43.10, 43.10. Good job, bud!
"43.10. Keep digging, man!"
Shawn told him he was pulling away from Ryan Newman's #12.
"43.40, buddy. Keep digging!"
"Getting real bad loose on exit. How many laps 'til we pit?" David asked.
"About sixteen laps, bud," Frankie replied.
"You're clear by ten. You're doing good, brother. You're clear by ten. Use all the race track you need," said Shawn.
"Inside. Inside, still there. Inside. Clear. Clear all around," Shawn said on lap 147.
"Frank, it's real, real ugly free on the exit here," David reported.
Frankie told him to hang on until they stopped.
"You're clear by five, back to the 1," Shawn stated. He said Martin Truex Jr's #1 was running the high line. He then warned that the #1 was looking inside.
Truex Jr passed on lap 149, but David passed him right back.
"Good job," Shawn said. "Clear by two, coming to your bumper. Inside."
Greg Biffle pit on lap 150. Frankie said they'd stop in ten laps.
"Coming to you again. He's going to look inside again. Inside. Clear."
Truex Jr passed on lap 151, putting David in 8th. Shawn cleared him by two car lengths, back to Ragan's #6.
Cars continued to make stops.
"Clear by one, back to the 6 car," Shawn said. "6 car inside. Down on the bottom. Inside. Going to be there off the corner, inside. Clear. Clear by two. Slow car on the bottom."
David moved into 7th on lap 154 as cars continued to pit. Shawn warned him that Truex Jr was stopping. "How many more laps, Frank?"
"We got two more laps, buddy. Two more laps."
Kyle Busch pit on lap 155. Jeff Burton was in the lead, and David was now 3rd. He was warned about cars coming off pit road as stops continued under green.
David led on lap 156 as Burton and Earnhardt Jr pit.
"All right, buddy. Next time by, bud. Next time by," Frankie said.
David came in at the end of the lap. Shawn guided him to the line, and Frankie guided him to the box. Sorenson's #41 was sideways in his box in front and nearly in the way of the #00.
Busch was back in the lead with David's stop, and stops had cycled. The #00 was 12th. David was told to keep two tires to the yellow line and was cleared behind Newman.
"Clear by ten. Get all you can get, brother. Good job!" Shawn encouraged. "Lapped car up top. Outside. Clear."
Lap 160 saw David in 10th.
"11 car right there with you."
"This really is a lot freer," David complained.
"Still there. Clear."
"Okay, buddy, keep digging. You just got out of there. It will come to you," Frankie assured him.
"Clear by one," said Shawn. "Looking inside. 11 car inside. Clear all around. Lapped car up high. Clear by three, back to the 11."
Frankie said David was driving away from the #11 car of Denny Hamlin.
"Inside. Still there. Still there. Clear," Shawn noted.
The ninth caution was for debris in Turn 3 on lap 164.
"We're not a lap down now, are we?" David asked.
"No, buddy, you're in 10th place," Frankie replied.
David said the car started off a ton freer than it had and that he didn't know if the changes made him worse. "Do something that's going to tighten me up some in the centre, from the centre off. You need some drive."
"A bag of ice, if you get a chance," David asked when his crew discussed the stop. He pit with the leaders under yellow.
"Four tires, kids. Four tires," Frankie said. "Wheels straight, but on the brakes. Back... Go go go go. Sorry, buddy."
"5000 and second, all the way out," directed the spotter.
"You were late on the count, Frank," David commented.
"Yeah, I was doing an air pressure count. Sorry."
"Next time by," said Shawn. "Working lap 167. 83 laps to go. The 22 restarting behind you. Pass right, protect the right. Coming to the green."
Brian Vickers led the lap 169 restart with David in 12th.
"Lapped cars on the bottom. Inside. Lapped car inside," Shawn warned. He guided him through lapped traffic. "Clear by four, back to the 20. Lapped cars on the bottom. Three-wide. Three-wide, four-wide, back to three-wide. Clear to the middle, clear to the middle. Clear down."
Jimmie Johnson took the lead on lap 170.
"Lapped car on the bottom," Shawn warned. "Left rear corner, inside. Left rear corner, inside. Still there, still there. Inside, still there. Clear. 15's a lapped car. Clear by three.
"Clear by two, back to the 6."
"Get a little help, Shawn," Frankie said.
"They just keep telling me they're not driving the things," Shawn replied. He continued to warn him about lapped cars all over him. He warned him about a slow car outside. "Caution's out. Caution's out for debris."
The tenth caution was on lap 175 when debris came off Reed Sorenson's #41. David was marked in 11th.
"Yeah, that ain't... that ain't... We screwed it up again," David said. "That's a bad change, Frank."
"Yeah, ever since we put that wedge in, you've complained about being loose," Frankie replied. "I'm thinking of taking that wedge back out." He then said others were staying out and David should live with it for now.
"Wanna stay out?"
"I'm thinking we need to stay out, bud."
"But if these leaders come, we need to come."
"If they come, we'll come."
"Staying out, David. Staying out," said Shawn. "I think you'll be all right. If you can get by this lapped traffic."
"If the 6 don't run over us," David commented.
"Yeah, he's mad at NASCAR, because he got two speeding penalties."
"Fine, he can be mad at NASCAR. Just give me a break!"
Shawn warned David about lapped traffic coming to his inside. Frankie said the next stop would be around 212 and would be the last. They discussed the car being "touchy".
Jimmie Johnson led the lap 178 restart with David in 11th.
"Lapped car inside, inside. 25 looking inside. Three-wide getting into the corner. Three-wide getting into the corner. 83 coming. Four-wide coming off the corner. Still there, inside. Three-wide. Lapped car inside."
David was 15th one lap into the run.
"You remember now, when you get back to that 25," Shawn commented. "Clear all around, clear all around."
David was running around 17th or 18th when he got wrecked.
"All right, straighten it out, straighten it out in the grass. You're good. Nose is pushed in. Thanks to Jeff Gordon, just crashed us."
Frankie told the crew to get barribond ready.
Lap 180 saw the eleventh caution when Jeff Gordon shoved Jeremy Mayfield into the #00. David Gilliland was in it too. Ricky Rudd was collected, and he held his left wrist as he went to the ambulance.
"Right front just blew out," said David.
Frankie warned him to come around the #26 when he pit. He told them to get all the hammers they had out there. "Keep an eye on that pace car."
"Back straightaway. Middle of that back straightaway," Shawn said.
Frankie told the crew to make sure nothing would rub the tires and to go back out. When David went back on track, he told the crew to get everything they'd need including more barribond before the car returned. "Working on the nose."
"Come on around and catch the field. Catch the field, David, before you come back in."
"The 24 knocked the 36 into us. That's what happened to us?" Frankie asked.
"I think so," Shawn replied.
David pit again. Frankie asked if they had fender and nose pieces to help the car. Shawn told him the right front was what really looked pushed in. Frankie told the crew, "Don't be standing around."
"It's getting really hot," said David. He asked if he should shut it off, then said nevermind. A crew member asked for a blade.
"All right, 5000 and second when you get here," Shawn told his driver. "5000 and second, right there at the cone."
"Okay, David, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." He told David not to slide the car and told the crew to jack up the nose. He wanted them to pull a little tape with the grill all messed up and the car getting hot. "Come on, get a hammer on that right side."
"They're in three," said Shawn. "Need to pull on that left front, Frank. It was rubbing when we were riding around there."
Frank told the crew to get more barribond out and to use that rather than screws on the top.
"5000 and second," Shawn said as the car went back to the car.
Someone yelled at the guys to think a little bit when they argued about using screws or barribond on the top.
"How much longer do you think, Shawn?"
"About two more laps."
Frankie said they needed more tires and to put barribond on the right front that was hanging out. Someone said NASCAR wanted them to put a jack stand under it.
"5000 second when you get here," said Shawn.
Frankie yelled at someone to put cut pieces on the car and to fuel it up. When David pit, he reminded the crew about the piece on the right side. "More barribond. More barribond."
The crew wanted two jacks, but Frankie said they could only have one. David got back on track when Shawn saw the field coming around again.
"Get some pieces made. Don't be standing there, watching the race. You're a fabricator. Get those pieces made," Frankie scolded a crew member.
"I think the 36 lapped car got into us there," Shawn said. "The field's just now in Turn 2. We start at the tail end of the longest line. We pit too soon. Okay, right here. Tail end of the longest line. Okay, coming to the green. Be ready. Go ahead around that 24 there."
Jimmie Johnson led the lap 187 restart with David in 23rd but still on the lead lap after many repairs.
Shawn warned that the #24 was inside. "Clear all around. 38 car right there with you. Looking inside, inside. Right rear corner. Inside, still there. Clear behind the 38. Clear by five. I know it's going to be hell to drive, but just hang in there, buddy."
David was 25th one lap into the run.
"7 car looking inside, inside. Coming back inside. Clear. Inside, 49 inside," Shawn spotted. "Clear all around. Clear by ten, back to the 36.
"Outside, still there. Outside. Clear." He cleared David by two car lengths, back to the #36. "36 coming inside, inside. Still there. Clear behind the 36."
"How's your temperatures, bud?" Frankie asked. "Everything still okay?"
"Yeah, it's okay," David replied.
Shawn cleared him by ten. "Clear by ten. Keep digging, brother. We'll get another caution, and we'll get 'er fixed up."
"Shawn, how high is that nose off the ground?" Frankie asked.
"Let me get a look at it here. First three or four laps, it was bottoming out in the corners, but it quit doing that. Slow car on the bottom."
Newman headed for pit road with a potential engine problem on lap 195, moving David into 24th.
Shawn reported that the right front was all pushed in by about a foot, although down on the race track. "Frank, it's like the bumper is pushed in in the right front corner," he said after clearing David by twenty car lengths.
Frankie talked about putting a piece on the nose there. "44.40, buddy. Keep hanging in there. The leaders are slowing down."
"Keep digging, brother." Shawn told him to try to go faster if he could.
"That's funny," David replied.
"No, bro. Just trying to keep you on the lead lap."
"Yeah, that's kind of what I'm trying to do. If I could make it go any faster, I would."
"22's smoking all over the race track. There's got to be oil out there," Frankie commented.
"Nah, they're saying he's clean," Shawn laughed.
Blaney's #22 went to pit road on lap 202 and went right to the garage. David was now in 23rd.
Shawn cleared him by twenty again, but the #00 was about forty seconds off the pace. Denny Hamlin behind him lost the lead lap.
"Where's the leader running, Shawn?" David asked.
"They were just racing side by side a minute ago. He's on the bottom. Coming to your inside. Clear behind the 48. 11 car looking inside. 31 with him. Clear all around."
David lost the lead lap on lap 207 and fell to 24th with Hamlin's pass.
"Just hang in there, pal. I know you're doing as much as you can," Frankie encouraged.
"Keep digging. If caution comes out, we'll get the lucky dog, so keep digging. 99 car coming up quick, right behind you. Inside. Clear," Shawn said. They were not in line for the free pass as Hamlin was in front of him and one lap down. "42 laps to go. 42 laps to go. Clear by two, back to the 8. Outside. coming outside.
"10-4. I thought he was going to go beneath you," said Shawn. "Next car is about twenty back. It's the 1 car. 1 car's on the bottom, about ten back."
Earnhardt Jr pit on lap 211.
"83 car. Next car's about ten away," Shawn continued. "Going to be coming to your outside. Going to be coming in to pit. All clear."
Other drivers made stops as the #41 closed on David and went to his inside. "Clear behind the 41."
Bobby Labonte picked up the lead on lap 214 as cars made stops.
"15 car coming to your outside. Outside. Clear behind the 15," Shawn warned David about the #20 too, but the #15 was for position. David was 25th on lap 215 as cars continued to make stops. "Clear by twenty, back to the 25. Clear by five, back to the 25." Mears passed, and Vickers was next to go around him. Clint Bowyer got back around him next.
Tony Stewart took the lead on lap 217 while David ran 24th.
Shawn warned David that Ragan's #6 was looking to pass.
"We need to stop, dudes," David said.
Frankie said they were hoping for a caution with guys coming in and out. He called for four tires and fuel and asked if David needed anything.
"It's just plowing. I don't know what you can do. I don't need anything."
David pit on lap 220.
"All right, bud. Right here. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Wheels straight, put on the brakes," Frankie directed. "Come on. Go go go!"
"5000 and second, all the way out. 5000 second," Shawn added. "All the way out here."
David was 29th and two laps down on lap 221. He was 32nd the next time around the track as Shawn helped him get back on the track with gaggles of cars passing him.
"Clear by twenty, back to the 24," Shawn noted. "Outside, still there. Still there, outside. Still there. Clear. Clear by five. Pulling away."
"All right, Shawn, the cars we're racing right now are the 18 and the 70," Frankie noted.
"10-4. Clear by ten, back to the 40. Got 25 laps to go."
"43.90," Frankie read off the lap time. "Good time, bud."
"How many laps left?" David asked.
"25 laps to go. 25," Frankie replied.
Shawn continued spotting. "Clear by half a straightaway, back to the 8 car. The 8 car's about fifteen back, working the outside. He'll catch you on the front straightaway. Ten back. Five back. He's coming on the outside. All clear behind the 8."
Stewart pit on lap 229, giving the lead to Casey Mears.
"Got the 17 about five back, working the outside. 17 going to be coming around on the outside. Outside, still there. Still there. Got the 1 car about five back on the wing. About two away, on the outside. Coming to your outside. Clear by one."
Mears pit on lap 230, putting Johnson back in the lead.
"Clear by ten to the 24," Shawn continued.
Frankie told David he was running ahead of Johnny Sauter. "Believe it or not, he's running not quite as fast as you."
"What's he running?
"On the top. He's going to follow you. He's got damage too."
Vickers and Gordon went to David's outside, and he was cleared behind Gordon's #24. David was in 30th by lap 232.
"Clear by two to the 2 car. Coming inside. He wants the inside."
"Hang in there, buddy. Eighteen to go," Frankie encouraged his driver.
"Clear by twenty. No pressure, all by yourself. Clear by five. Got the 9 car about four back, working the high line behind you. About five back. About two back, coming to your outside. Outside, still there. Clear, clear." Shawn warned the #66 and #43 were coming next along the outside. "Clear behind the 43."
"All right, after Johnny is the 01. He's at the start / finish line now," Frankie said as Sauter's #70 neared.
"Clear by five, back to the 70. 70 car one back, running the outside. Outside, coming outside. You're clear behind the 70 when he goes by. Clear by ten, back to the 6."
"All right, bud. About 13 to go, 13 to go."
David was now 31st.
"6 car's going to be on the outside exitting the corner. Outside. Clear behind the 6," said Shawn. "Clear by four, back to the outside. 20 car. 20 car going to be coming to your outside. 15 car going to be coming to your corner. Clear behind the 15. 41 coming up quick, going to be coming to your outside. About three back to the 38, coming hard to your outside. Clear. Harvick in the 29 about four back, running the bottom. About two back. Outside. Clear. 9 laps to go. Clear by four, back to the 22. Coming to the outside. Outside. Clear. Clear by five. Clear by two. Got one coming out the outside. Outside, 16 outside. Clear. 8 to go. You've got two more cars behind you - 25 and 01. 25 got a run, coming to you. Clear. 01 looking inside. Clear behind the 01."
The #01 was also two laps down. David was 32nd on lap 245.
"Six to go, bud. Six laps to go," Frankie said.
"The leader about half a straightaway back."
"Where's he running?" David asked.
"Hold on. I'll tell ya. On the bottom. He wants to go by you on the bottom when he gets to you. He's about half a straightaway behind you."
"About ten back. Still ten away. He'll go by you on the bottom in Turns 1 and 2. Coming to your inside, inside." David was cleared behind the 48. "Four laps to go. Second place car is the 99." He said Edwards was running the top but then dropped to the bottom running five back. "Move down, let him go. Clear behind the 99. Got the 5 car running the top. He's about ten back. About four back. Move down, let him go. Clear behind the 5. Two to go. Got the 31 about ten back. 31 about five back, running the bottom about five back. Move up. Clear behind the 31. One more lap. Got the 84 about three back. Going to be coming to your inside."
Jimmie Johnson picked up the win at his home track.
"Just hang in there, Dave," Shawn said.
"All right, bud, way to hang in there. Good job in the pits, guys," Frankie praised. "Sorry we didn't get the finish we deserve, but we know we could have."
"Was that my fault there in Turn 4?" David asked.
"You got turned around, brother. There was nothing you could do," said Shawn. "Looks like the 24 got into the 36, and the 36 hit you."
"Go through the tunnel there, Dave," Frankie directed. "Be careful there's a lot of people walking."
After leading a lap and spending 42 laps in the top ten, David came in 32nd and three laps down. Mikey was marked in 42nd. MWR goes to Richmond next weekend. The Nextel Cup's Chevy Rock And Roll 400 is Saturday night at 7:00pm ET on ABC. The Busch Series' Emerson Radio 250 is the night before, with coverage starting at 7:30pm on ESPN2.