Texas wasn't good to MWR by Kellyanne Lynch
6 April 2008
Michael Waltrip described his run in today's Samsung 500 as "embarrassing." His #55 Napa Auto Parts Camry finished six laps down in 32nd in today's Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway. His drivers did not fare well either. David Reutimann's #44 UPS machine overheated and fell out of the race on lap 244. David is now outside the top 35 in points. Rookie Michael McDowell struggled with his #00 Aaron's Toyota throughout the day and came home seven laps down in 34th. He was driving a back-up car after having a violent wreck in qualifying on Friday.
"Copy, do you hear me?" someone said on the #55 radio at 2:05pm ET.
"Bobby, you on channel two today?" someone else asked a minute later.
"What's the track temp, Paul?" crew chief Bobby Kennedy asked.
"Hey, Bobby, you have a copy?"
"Yeah, I got you, Ty."
"Cool," MWR vice president Ty Norris replied.
"Got a copy on me, buddy? Got a copy?" someone asked.
"One two, hello?" Mikey responded at 2:09pm.
"Loud and clear, man."
The call to start engines came one minute later.
"Hey, you got me, Michael?" Ty asked.
"Cool. I'll be your co-pilot today."
Mikey asked him to talk to him as much as he could. He said he'd told everyone to be quiet at Atlanta but still needed information about cars being inside or outside. "If I get frustrated, just don't get locked up on me. Just try to talk to the team and help me out more."
"Yeah, 10-4, I knew what you were talking about there," Ty replied. "I'll do the best I know how to do."
Ty and Bobby discussed how they'd get the #55 on and off pit road.
"Yeah, 10-4. You're the fifth stall, Michael," Ty noted.
"10-4," Mikey replied.
"Lap 48, if it's green, will be our first stop," Bobby told the team. "Lap 48, right there. Lap 47, 48."
"10-4," Ty replied.
"4150, 4150 is what we'll be looking for for a pit road speed. That's right in the middle, right in the middle for a pit road speed."
"They're stopped right up there, Michael. They're waiting for everyone to get lined up here," Ty noted.
"All right, your pit road light should be read on 4150 and flashing at 4250 if you're speeding, if it works correctly."
"Okay," Mikey acknowledged.
"Hey, Stillman, find out if NASCAR will give pit road speeds if we request it. Some weeks they do, some weeks they don't," Bobby asked a crew member.
"They just now got to pit road speed, if you want to get tucked up there," Ty informed his driver.
"So far, this light's working pretty good," Mikey noted.
Mikey requested. "Let air out of that left front tire if I'm not feeling any grip over there. Just give me some good changes today."
"Just keep me posted on what you're going there throughout the run so we can adjust accordingly," Bobby replied.
"What are you seeing for RPM so I can remind you in case the light goes out?" Ty asked.
"Um, 4300 seems to be safe," Mikey said.
"Anything over 4300, that thing starts to flash, but if I keep it under 43, it's fine."
"Yeah, anything about 43 is danger," Bobby commented.
"Danger Sullivan?" Mikey asked.
"Yeah, 10-4. Not far to go."
"It'll be one to go. I know you heard about that 44 up there," Ty informed the car owner and driver. "They swallowed a part. They'll be going to the back."
"All right, practice patience. You've got 500 miles," Bobby adviced. He told him they had the rest of the year, so don't worry about that.
Mikey said he recognised the gains they "Thank y'all for everything. Just hang with it."
"You saw them get up top and make some hay, so I'm sure you'll go up there," Ty said. He told his driver he would tell him what other people are doing.
The green flag waved at 2:20pm with Dale Earnhardt Jr leading the field to the stripe.
"All right, bud, pace car's off. Ready? Green green green," Ty led Mikey to the stripe. "Still inside. To your quarter, still there inside. A run inside, inside. Clear high if you need it. Still inside, the 2. He's got one with him. Stay low, stay low. To your quarter, still there, still outside. Clear, clear high. The 07 got a run inside, still there, inside. One coming with him - 20. Inside. Clear behind him if you need it. Still clear if you need it. One back to the 19. Still clear by half."
By lap 3, Mikey was 21st. David was 38th, and McDowell was 42nd.
"Still be there off the corner. Clear there. Clear one back to the 19. Clear."
David was up to 37th on lap 5. McDowell was last.
"31.50, 31.50," Bobby read off lap times. "40, 40."
"Looking inside. Going to be there off the corner. Still there. The 5 down there with him. Inside, inside on your quarter. Clear."
John Andretti pit with a vibration and lost the lead lap. This gained McDowell a spot.
"I'll real loose in, real tight off," Mikey reported on lap 9.
"Okay, 10-4, 10-4," Bobby responded.
"Real loose, real loose, just real loose."
"All right, I'll get some air out all the way around."
"Inside, all by himself. Clear behind him," Ty guided.
On lap 10, Mikey was 23rd. David was 36th, and McDowell was 42nd.
"Clear two back to the 31. Coming pretty hard. Inside. Clear behind him."
Lap 12 saw the #55 in 24th.
"Inside, the 26. Inside. Clear, clear."
"Stay with it," Bobby encouraged. He told his driver they'd make the adjustments they need. "210. It was a little better that lap. The leader's 90."
"Looking low, looking low, the 26. Inside by a nose, inside by a nose. He's there. All by himself."
Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 14. One lap later, Mikey was 25th after Jamie McMurray's pass.
"Inside, inside, 96. Clear now, whatever you need. All clear," Ty observed. "Still there. Clear now, clear."
Mikey was up to 24th on lap 18. David was 33rd, and McDowell was 39th.
"You're two back to the 43. You're holding your own."
"05, 05. That was the same as the leader there. Good lap," Bobby praised. "05, 05. That's real good right there. Give me a temp reading when you get a chance. Give me a temp reading."
"All clear, nice job. Temps when you get a chance," Ty prompted.
"Um, 200 each," the driver replied.
Mikey was 23rd on lap 24.
"Lap 25, lap 25."
"32.40. That's fresh tires on that 66, Ty."
Ty acknowledged and told Mikey when the car passed.
"Still got no grip?" Bobby asked his driver.
"Loose in, tight off," Mikey reported. "I still have no grip."
"32.40, 32.40. Leader a 20."
Lap 28 saw the first caution when the #55 spun. McDowell received the free pass.
"Inside," Ty said. "You're good. Hang on, you're good, hang on, you're good."
"Get ready, guys," Bobby told the crew.
"You're in good shape," Ty observed. "Good job. You stayed in front of the leader. You spun around but didn't hit anything."
"Get caught up," Bobby said. "Four tires."
"I just about do that every lap. I finally did it," Mikey commented. "I don't know what it's going to take, man, because I can't get near the corner."
"Okay, 10-4." Bobby called for a big air pressure adjustment and four tires. He called for another adjustment too.
"I don't think that's a good idea. That will just make it tight off from what I feel." Mikey just wanted the big air pressure adjustment.
Leaders went to pit road. Mikey nudged the rear of Clint Bowyer's #07 heading to his box.
"Come in this time. You'll have an opening coming in, because the 00 isn't there. He's at the line now, guys. He's at the line now," Ty noted.
Bobby led him the rest of the way to the box. "All the way out," he said as they were leaving after the stop.
"The way the pit crew is, we should have stayed out and got five points," Mikey commented.
Earnhardt Jr won the race off pit road.
Mikey talked more about the car. "If I ever try to turn left, I spin out. It's that simple. It's that bad."
"All right, 10-4," Bobby replied.
"One to go when you come around here," Ty noted. "One to go."
"All right, buddy, you'll be coming to the green this time. They're just now in Turn 4." Ty led Mikey to the green.
Racing resumed on lap 34. Earnhardt Jr led, Mikey was 35th, David was 27th, and McDowell was 39th.
"Clear all clear one back," Ty told his driver. "Still clear, all clear. You're clear. Looking inside, inside. Back inside, he's there. Clear low, clear low. You see that 70 shooting up the track in front of you. Outside, outside. Clear low. You've got one outside. You're clear. 1's outside, outside. Your quarter, still on your quarter, still on your quarter. Clear behind him, two back."
"Now it's plowing off and backing in," Mikey reported on lap 36. He was now 39th.
"All clear there."
"Feels like you put air in the right front. That made it a hundred times worse."
"All right, 10-4." Bobby told Mikey the specific adjustments he'd made to the air in each tire.
"It's just skating into the corner."
"It plows off." A moment later, Mikey added, "I gotta be better off."
"Okay, 10-4, 10-4."
"The only thing I could do decent was drive off. Now I can't drive off. It's backing in."
Bobby discussed an adjustment they could make the next time they pit.
"Put one in the right rear."
"It's made it so tight, I can't drive it. It's plowing."
"Leader's at the line now," Ty noted on lap 43.
"It might have made it a little better in, if we want to leave this air and try some rubbers?" Mikey suggested.
"Okay, 10-4. 32.40, 32.40," Bobby replied. "30, 32.30.
"45, 45. that's the same lap times as the next ten cars in front of you."
Mikey was 38th on lap 49. David was 23rd, and McDowell was 37th. Jimmie Johnson had take the lead two laps before that.
"60, 60. Leader 05."
"The bottom of 3 and 4. Let's see what the lap times look like. Leader at the line... now," Ty said.
"Bobby, it's way better in. We'd better stick with that air and work with the rubbers off," Mikey suggested.
Bobby said they would. "50, 50."
"Clear, all clear," Ty spotted. "Clear, all clear."
On lap 57, Mikey lost the lead lap. He was 37th. He picked up 36th one lap later.
"Clear five back to that 48. Clear there, all clear. Clear three back to that 48. All by himself, all by himself. Clear behind him if you need it. Clear, clear. Clear by five right there, back to the 18."
"84. Stay in town for that lucky dog," Bobby said.
"Still clear by two to the 18. He's looking. He's inside. Clear by one, clear by one. Clear three back to the 99. Clear one back. All by himself. Three back to the next lead lap car. That 01's the lucky dog."
"33.90, 90. 33.80 on that 01."
"Still there, still there. Clear back to the lucky dog. You're clear two back to the 16. He's all by himself. Clear, three back to that 88."
On lap 65, the #55 picked up 35th from Regan Smith's #01, but Patrick Carpantier had been lapped. David was 21st, and McDowell was one lap down in 38th.
"Way better grip now," Mikey reported. "I'll just too tight."
"Okay, 10-4. We'll stay with this air, and we'll do a rubber on this next stop."
"If it's under green, just raise the trackbar and take wedge."
"Lead lap car, one back - the 17," Ty noted. "Looking low, inside, inside. All by himself."
"Two back to the 1, next lead lap car. He's down there all by himself. How many before we pit, Bobby? About ten or twelve?"
"Nine, nine laps away from pitting," Bobby replied. "81, 81. All right, we've got same air pressure, and it will be two rounds of wedge out. Seven laps away."
"Three back to that 11, two back to that 11."
"Clear behind him."
"It still does the same thing on entry. If I go low, it just turns around," Mikey said.
"All right, 10-4," Bobby replied.
"But if I go in high and don't turn, it's my best bet."
"All right, 10-4. It'll be four laps away. Four tires, wedge, air pressure the same. 32.95."
Green flag pit stops began on lap 80 with Denny Hamlin. Mikey was up to 33rd.
"32.90. Last couple laps have been pretty good, compared to all those guys in front of you," Bobby noted.
"Five back to the 20, five back to the 20," Ty noted as more leaders came to pit road.
"All right, next time by, next time by. Four tires. Let's keep it on 4200 so we can get a reading fron NASCAR, Ty."
"Come on, guys, let's get ready. Let's have a good one, y'all."
"5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Come on, right here." Mikey pit on lap 82.
"All the way out, all the way out."
"4200, bud," Ty reminded. He told Mikey not to go until he got to the yellow line. You've got the 2 coming outside. It's going to be clear behind him by two car lengths. Clear there. 00 coming in on the bottom, slow on the bottom."
Martin Truex Jr led on lap 85 as drivers continued to make stops.
"Clear there, clear."
Truex Jr pit on lap 87.
"When it comes back around, 48's going to be the leader. Leader at the line now. One back to that 10, one back."
"Inside, inside. The 84 down there with him. Clear. Inside. Car trying to come inside, inside. All clear behind him."
Johnson led lap 88. Mikey was 35th and lapped. McDowell was also lapped and in 37th while David ran 20th.
"Going to be looking inside, the 12. 07 trying to come with him. Clear right now, clear. Coming inside. Clear behind him if you need it. Coming inside, the 6. Inside. Behind the 6, about ten car lengths. Be one looking low."
"These cars are exactly the way they've been," Mikey commented on lap 90.
"I can't even load up nothing."
"Clear three back."
"60. The wedge didn't make any difference?" Bobby asked.
"It helped me off. Still just slow," Mikey replied. "I'm just, I can't load up the right front. It spins out. I just gotta roll."
"10-4. I'm with you, bud. 32.85."
"Clear three back to the 15," Ty noted. "Inside. Clear behind him. Do the best you can. Leader at the line now. 38 one back, looking inside."
Elliott Sadler dropped down on the apron on lap 96 and slowed until he switched ignition boxes.
"I'm just so loose now, I barely can hold on," Mikey said.
"Okay, 10-4, 10-4," Bobby replied. "32.95."
On lap 98, McDowell lost the lead lap. He was 37th. David was 20th and in danger of losing the lead lap. Mikey was still 35th, in danger of losing a second lap.
"Looking inside. All by himself. Clear behind him."
"Okay, just don't put yourself in a bad spot. We'll just work on this pile of shit," Bobby
"I just can't believe we're this bad," Mikey replied.
"One coming inside, the 44. Inside," Ty noted. "Inside, the 83. The leader, that's the 48. Inside. Clear three back to the 99. Inside. Clear. Inside."
On lap 106, Mikey went a second lap down.
"33.15, 15," Bobby noted.
"I try to drive into the corner like my teammate, and I spin out again," Mikey said, referring to David.
Lap 109 saw the second caution when Jeff Gordon spun. The #24 went to the garage.
"Spin off of four, spin off of four. Come through straight. He's right in the middle of the track right now," Ty guided.
"I don't know. I'm telling y'all, this ain't even a car. I can't... I mean... I'm just so, so frustrated with not today, but we ain't changed nothing, nothing! I cannot do anything, and it's like, we'll but a quarter there and an eighth there. I swear. We haven't touched anything. I can't turn left. I can't do anything about it. You're not helping me."
A long pause followed.
"We'll stay out this lap. There's a truck up against the wall in this corner here."
Bobby noted that the wedge was the problem.
"It's just so loose off. Now I have to wait. I thought I was having to wait, because I was tight. But I was happy, because we could get in, but now we can't." Mikey expressed further how frustrated he was with not doing enough with adjustments and not being able to do anything about how bad his car was driving.
Bobby called for four tires. "Pull them rubbers out of the right rear and put the one in the left rear. Put both of those rubbers in the left rear."
"Take as long as you want."
"There's no need to do that. I'm far enough to do that. I'm just not smart enough..."
"Right here," Ty interrupted.
"Rubbers in! Rubbers in!" Bobby yelled at his crew.
"That's part of the problem. Can't even follow directions. No telling what I've got in here," Mikey complained during the stop. "Bobby, I'm trying all I can. I'm doing everything I can. I don't have any control over the car at all. The right side tires, neither one of them ever do nothing. If I ever run it hard enough to get it on the right front, then the right rear just spins out. I mean, it's amazing that we can have one car - the 44 - look like... there's no way to drive it, no matter what I do."
"Yeah, 10-4. I'm at a fucking loss for that."
"Yeah, you remember last year, when I could make a fucking race, at least I run decent. I mean, I can't even drive. I jsut spin out."
"How much longer is it going to be on this, Ty?"
"It's one to," Mikey replied.
Ty confirmed. "Whatever you want to do, bro."
"What do you mean, whatever you want to do?"
"I just didn't think you wanted to go up there," Ty replied. "Okay, buddy, be ready for the green. Pace car's off. Green green green everybody's straight. One outside."
Matt Kenseth led the lap 113 restart. Mikey was two laps down in 38th, McDowell was 36th, and David was on the lead lap in 21st.
"Outside, outside. Another one looking. Outside. Outside still. Got you pretty tight. Outside still. Outside the 5. Clear there, clear. Inside. Clear there."
"Feels like it's got a loose wheel now," Mikey said on lap 117.
"Be ready, guys," Bobby told the crew.
"Still outside," Ty noted. "Clear high. Clear."
"Still there, still there. Still outside. Still there. He's got a run. Outside. All clear."
"All right, that rear rubber make a difference?" Bobby asked on lap 127.
"Back in, plowing off," Mikey replied.
"Okay, 32.50. 10-4 on that."
"Clear, all clear," said Ty.
"I think the right front suspension never moved," Mikey commented.
"10-4. 32.55, 55.
By lap 130, Mikey was 37th. McDowell was running 35th, and both were two laps down. David was 22nd.
"Now it feels like the right front suspension is locked up, like it's really locked up now."
Debris in Turn 3 drew the third caution on lap 132.
"It really doesn't move," Mikey said. "I go into the corner, and at least I could drive it off. It's got better traction. Maybe those changes were good, but I feel like you put a bunch of air in the right front. It's really bad."
"Paul, come here," Bobby addressed a crewmember.
Mikey described the car as "fucked up." The right front suspension doesn't even budge. It doesn't matter what spring is in it. It's just ridiculous. It's unbelievable, really. I tell you, it's pretty amazing to me that we could get it like this, but I wish we could get it unlike this. I guess we don't ever test the weather, I guess. I feel like we really really gotta regroup. This is embarrassing. I drove better with the piece of shit at Bill Davis. That's all I'm going to say. I hope y'all feel as bad about this as I do."
Bobby called for the right front shock to be opened by ten clicks. "What do you mean, you don't know how to do that? Right here, right here."
Paul asked for a repeat.
"Five closed, five closed," Bobby said. "Where's the pace car, Ty?" After Ty replied, he told Chris what to do with his shock.
"Got tons of time. Turn 2," Ty said.
"I believe I'd raise that trackbar five rounds and see what that does," Mikey suggested.
"We've got time," Bobby replied. "I can see the pace car. All right, you're good."
"200 to the line, one to go when you come around," Ty said as the #55 left pit road.
"Are we talking about eight rounds out of the left front?" Mikey asked. "Do something crazy? You've been doing conventional wisdom for three days now, and it ain't touched it."
"Yeah, 10-4. Let's think out of the box here."
"Well, okay, that's cool. Didn't have this last year, so, I'm not going to say anything else. I'd get under the hood and change something."
"Have one coming to your outside. Coming to the green. Just pull up when you're ready. All right, bud, be ready. Pace car's off. Green green green. Everybody's straight. Coming inside."
Kenseth led the lap 136 restart with Mikey two laps down in 38th. McDowell was twice lapped in 35th, and David was 23rd.
"Drop behind the 5 if you want it. Clear one back. Slow one up top. Going to be three-wide off this corner. Outside, outside. Got the 2 car inside. Clear, all clear. Looking outside, outside, outside. Clear there. Clear the 01. Clear."
"75, 32.75," Bobby read off lap times.
"Worse," Mikey said on lap 142. "It's too loose, way too loose."
"Okay, 10-4. 95, 31.95."
"Really, really loose in," Mikey said on lap 149.
"Loose off too?" Bobby asked. "Loose everywhere? I know you said loose in."
"Um, just a little, not real bad."
"Way worse now than it's ever been, loose," Mikey said on lap 153.
"All clear," Ty observed.
On lap 163, Mikey was 36th. McDowell was 35th, and David was 23rd.
"Leader's the 17, at the line now," Ty warned on lap 168.
"It loosened up some more. I guess I'm running better," Mikey commented. "I'm just having to let off way early."
"90. 10-4. If we get us a caution, I'm going to change the cambre in that right front."
"Okay, five back to the 17. Five back."
"Going to be looking inside, inside. All by himself. Ten back to the 48."
On lap 172, Mikey went a third lap down.
"Inside. Clear one back. Inside. All clear by ten back."
"Really going away on this set," Mikey said.
"About thirteen laps away from pitting. Thirteen. You lose all your grip now?"
"No side bite."
The fourth caution came on lap 175 for JJ Yeley's #96 hitting the wall.
"Well, shit. That's the way it goes. Just need to be better than this. That was just real loose. Feels like I have way too much air in all my tires. Just real bad, real bad. Like I don't feel any sidebite at all, any roll, nothing. I feel like we need to put a bunch of tow in it. Don't worry about the cambre. Or put some tow in it and don't worry about the cambre. I don't know what it could do. Do whatever you want. That was closer to being balanced equally. It was a little loose in and a lot loose off. Well, it was a lot loose in. That's why I had to drive it so slow."
"Chris, you got your wrenches? We could do the tow," Bobby said.
"You want to come now?" Ty asked.
Bobby said they would come in to do the tow and get tires the next time. "Go ahead and gas it, Mark."
"How much you want to go?" a crewmember asked.
"Four rounds, four rounds, four rounds. Get on with it now."
"Just now in the middle of one and two. Just now in two. Middle of the back straightaway," Ty noted.
"Want to get tires while I'm here?" Mikey asked.
"No, let's just get caught up," Bobby disagreed.
"I don't know what to do. Feels like it has too much right front air."
Bobby said he was going to take air out of right rear and left sides and put some in left front liner.
"You got the right front as low as it can go?" Mikey asked.
"Yes sir, yes sir. Where's the pace car, Ty?"
"Just now getting into 1." Ty said they'd have time, and the #55 pit again.
"It feels like you should take some wedge out of that left front, in that left side," Mikey commented. "Take some rounds out of that left front. I can't touch the ground."
Bobby asked about the pace car again, then told his driver all the adjustments they'd made.
"It'll be one to go when you get on the track," Ty said. "Okay, you gotta drop back, bud. Drop back a little bit. Good right there, good right there. Pace car's off. Green green green."
Kyle Busch led the lap 180 restart. Mikey was three laps down in 39th. McDowell was three laps down in 34th, and David was 22nd.
"All clear," Ty noted. "Clear all clear, clear all clear. 01 up top, got smoke coming out of the hood. It's going to be big. Just be prepared. Clear, clear. Clear two back, clear two back. Clear, all clear. Got one inside, one inside. Still there, still there. Clear there if you need it. Clear. Inside now, inside. Outside. Still outside. Clear."
Meanwhile, David and Sam Hornish Jr were getting into it with each other.
"Still out there, still there," Ty warned. "Outside, still there, still there. Clear two back. Clear there. Outside to your corner. Still there. Still there, clear. All clear, all clear. The next two are for position. I'll let you know - the 01 and the 84."
"25. That was a good lap there."
"Inside, still to your corner. Still there. All clear now. Clear. Clear, all clear."
Mikey was up to 36th on lap 196. David was 20th, and McDowell was 34th.
"20, 20. That's pretty dang good right there."
"Still outside on your corner. Still there. Back outside. Clear now, clear."
"55, 55. 84, 00 are the next two position."
Bobby asked if the car was better off.
"Yeah, the low air, as much as anything," Mikey replied.
On lap 202, the #55 passed the #84 of Mike Skinner.
"Still down there," Ty said. "Clear, all clear."
"Clear, all clear. All clear."
Mikey picked up 34th on lap 204 by passing McDowell. David was 21st.
"In your next stop, I'll get you more air out again, air all around. About 25 away from pitting, about 25. 32.60," Bobby said.
"Good job getting to the leader. You got a straightaway on him," Ty praised.
"65, 65. That's the same speed as the 13th place car on back. You're faster than a lot of them.
"70, 70. Leader a 40.
"Still pretty good. Leader's at the line now."
"85, 85. Leader 45."
"How many more laps?" Mikey asked on lap 213. Meanwhile, Carl Edwards took the lead.
"Um, fifteen, fifteen more," Bobby replied. "05, 33.05."
"Five back to the 99, five back to the 99," Ty warned.
"Inside, all by himself."
On lap 218, Mikey went a fourth lap down, as did McDowell. They were 34th and 36th. David was 21st.
"One back to the 48. Inside. Clear two back to the 18."
Mikey suggested, "I would do a little more air and raise that trackbar some more."
"Yeah, 10-4, I've got air out, air out, air out on your tires like we talked about," Bobby replied.
"Clear back the whole straightaway to the next lead lap car," Ty noted.
"I think I got a right front problem. Coming in," Mikey said on lap 225. He went to pit road.
"At the line, at the line," Ty said.
"5, 4, 3, 2," Bobby guided the #55 to the pit box. "All the way, all the way out, all the way out."
"4200. These other guys will be pitting in five to eight laps."
"You got that trackbar?" Bobby asked.
Ty told Mikey where to blend into traffic. "Clear about fifteen back to the 20, you're clear about ten back to the 20. Clear eight back."
After the stop, Mikey was 39th and five laps down. McDowell was 35th, four laps down. David was 20th and still on the lead lap.
Edwards pit on lap 230, giving the top spot to Johnson. David was up to 15th.
"Clear, all clear. Leaders are starting to pit."
"They'll be pitting this lap. The 00 will be pitting this lap," Ty said on lap 232. "All clear."
"15, 15. There you go!"
Stops cycled on lap 233, and Edwards was back in the lead. Mikey was four laps down in 37th, and McDowell was 38th. David was one lap down in 24th.
"Two back to the 11."
"Looking inside, inside. All by himself."
By lap 237, Mikey was 34th, and McDowell was 36th. David was one lap down in 22nd.
"Inside, inside. All by himself. 31. Clear."
"I couldn't find anything on that right front at all. How's your car right there?" Bobby askked on lap 241.
"It's all right. It's too tight, but it's loose in."
"17's coming. He's going to be looking low. Inside. Clear behind him. 27 one back. Inside. Clear behind him."
Greg Biffle slowed on the track with a vibration from a loose wheel on lap 245.
"Four back to the 01 car, four back. Looking low. He's going to be one back. Looking low. Clear."
By lap 251, McDowell lost a fifth lap. He was 36th.
"Still there, still there. Clear, clear."
"33 flat, 33 flat."
"Three back to the 20, three back. 20's right there on you. He's going to be looking low. Clear behind him."
David went to pit road on lap 255. His #44 was overheating. The hood went up, and the crew pulled tape from the nose. He spent a long time on pit road. Meanwhile, Biffle went to the garage with a blown engine.
"The 8 car one back, inside. Clear clear."
"Give me a temp reading when you get a chance, bud."
"10-4. We're about twenty away from the pit stop, twenty away." Bobby asked what he needed.
"Just tight off."
Mikey was 33rd on lap 261 with David's misfortunes. The #44 was now 38th, six laps down. McDowell was five laps down in 35th. David continued to lose positions and laps as he went to the garage.
"Got the 12 car one back, one back," Ty said. "Inside."
"70 to go, 70."
David was 40th and twelve laps down on lap 266. He appeared to still be off the track.
"05. About fifteen laps before we pit. Fifteen." Bobby said they were right on the edge of making it to the end while everyone else was okay, because they'd had to pit early during green flag stops.
"99's going to be coming hard. He's one back. He's the leader," Ty warned. "He's coming inside. Another one looking inside. All clear, clear five back."
On lap 270, Mikey went a fifth lap down. He was 33rd, McDowell was 35th, and David was 40th and sixteen laps down.
Bobby called for a wedge and liner adjustment, and Mikey agreed with it.
"Clear behind him."
"33.50. Ten more laps. Ten."
"29's one back. He's going to be looking inside. In the middle. Still inside. Clear behind the 29. Still there. Still outside. Clear, clear."
By lap 276, McDowell had gone a sixth lap down. He was 35th.
"Clear one back to the 26, one back. Inside. Did you say pit this time, Bobby?"
"10-4. Do not pit this time. Two back to the 48. Inside. Clear there."
"2 car's one back. Looking low. Still clear one. Clear behind him, clear behind him."
"Okay, next time by, next time by. Four tires," Bobby said on lap 281.
"Clear about five or six back to that 18. Come on, baby, 4200 at the line, 4200 at the line."
"5, 4. Come on, right here. Right here." Bobby guidedh is driver to the box. "All the way, all the way, all the way out. 42. Did you get it full, Art? Okay, good."
"4200 to the line," Ty reminded. "Go hard, go hard." He helped him blend back into traffic.
"Clear there, clear."
"Ten back to that 11."
"He'll be looking inside, inside. All by yourself. Clear, clear."
"9 looks like he's blowing up up there, going into 1," Ty said on lap 292. "He's down there all by himself, by himself." Kasey Kahne's #9 went to pit road with a loose wheel.
The fifth caution was on lap 294 for debris. Ryan Newman received the free pass.
"Caution's out, caution's out for debris. 40 to go."
"All right, what you have right there, bud?" Bobby asked. He said he could put air back in the liner. "We're racing the 77 and the 84. You're better than both of them."
Mikey suggested adjustments.
Bobby said he would put air in the left rear, do a wedge adjustment, and move the trackbar. "Just need to get a good, smooth, get to the end here." He said they should pick up a spot in the standings, because the #96 was out of the race.
Mikey said he knew that and wasn't worried about the top 35. "I can't race, Bobby, I can't race."
"Yeah, I know it. It sucks. We'll just get 'er to the end here. We'll get some more points and get some on the other guys. We'll have to rework this whole deal."
"Here we go, on pit road, at the line, Bobby."
"Get around this 00. 5, 4, 3. Come on, follow the 83, follow the 83. There you go." Bobby guided his driver to the box. "Go go go go go. All the way, bud. All the way."
"4200. We got the 84 and the 77 two in front of them."
"We're 37 to go right now, 37 to go," Bobby told his driver. "Yeah, Ty, if we get the opportunity to race those guys, we will. Let's not get into a little trouble here." He wanted to get out of Texas with a gain in the points.
Ty agreed and said cars tend to get squirrelly with 35 to go.
Edwards led the lap 299 restart. Mikey was 32nd and five laps down, McDowell was six laps down in 34th, and David was in the garage in 40th.
"Green green green. Clear high if you need it," said Ty. "You're two back. Looking low, looking low. Inside. Clear there, all clear. Clear low if you need it. Looking inside now. Inside. 42. Inside. One back to the 00 and 10, side by side. Outside the 10, outside. Outside, coming outside, outside, outside. Inside, outside. Coming low. 9 car's outside. Clear there. Clear two back to the 21. Inside, inside."
"All right, just pick your spot and ride, ride. 32 laps to go," Bobby coached. "Okay, 32.25.
"31.90 that last lap, 09, 09 that lap. 29 laps to go."
"Still out there. Still there, still there. Clear now, clear."
"05, 05. You're just a little quicker than that 77 and that 84, but not enough to catch them. Keep doing what you're doing. 27 to go.
Ty warned Mikey about a slow car up top. "Clear, all clear. They are coming back to you. Keep doing what you're doing."
"80, 80. 60 on that 84.
"52. 58 on that 84. Twenty laps to go, twenty to go. I don't know if there's enough time to get him. Be smooth.
"Clear, all clear."
"49, that lap there. 49. That's about half a second faster than that 77. 50, 50. Don't overdrive it, but you'll get him.
"Still there, still there. Clear."
"16 to go, 16."
"Clear, clear. Okay, bud, nice and easy here, nice and easy here. Go on and lay it out. 15 to go."
Mikey passed Hornish Jr for 32nd on lap 322.
"Clear by ten on the 77. Still there. Clear all clear."
"75, 75 on that lap."
"Ten to go. Ten."
"80. You and the 84 are running about the same, so you're not gaining anything. You're almost identical.
"60, 60. There you go!"
On lap 326, McDowell lost a seventh lap. He was 34th.
"Eight more to go, bud," Ty said. "Eight to go."
Ty warned Mikey that the leader was ten back.
Bobby said Mikey was quicker than the #84 the last few laps, but he didn't have time. "Just take her home, bud."
Mikey lost a sixth lap, just before the yellow flag waved.
The sixth caution was with five to go. Martin Truex Jr had lost an engine.
"One blowing up in Turn 1. Caution's out. Son of a bitch," Ty said.
"I don't care if they yell at us. Just make sure that's where we belong."
"He just looks better in front of him," Bobby said.
Ty said NASCAR was saying 99, 55. Bobby told him now he could go get the #84 of Skinner.
"Only chance I have is to stay out."
"10-4. That's what I thought. That's what we'll do. Who blew up, Ty?"
"The 1. Fluid in the same spot as qualifying."
"Yeah, 77's the only one we're racing."
"He's the only one on our lap?"
"Yeah, 10-4, 10-4." Skinner was not on their lap. "All right, the 77 stayed out. He's basically watching you. He's doing whatever you do."
"How many laps am I down?" Mikey asked.
"Uh, six," Bobby replied. "Got ten cars on the lead lap, and we got eight cars one down and seven cars two down. Four cars three down and so on. You know. Just the order there."
"Just wondering if we have enough time to get the 1."
"Yeah, I'm hoping they'll take a while to clean it up. Looks pretty bad. Should take a while to clean up. Then we can get him."
"How many laps in this race?"
"Whose the last car on the lead lap?" Ty asked.
"That's going to be the 31 car," Bobby replied.
"10-4. Michael, there are quite a few cars between you and anyone who took any tires." Ty then addressed the crew chief. "We good on fuel there, Bobby?"
"What was that, bud?"
"We good on fuel?"
"Yeah, we should be all set." After a minute, Bobby said to Mikey, "But you will get that 1 car. There will be enough time to get him. You're all set."
"I think they want you guys to drive through that stuff to help you out," Ty said.
"Okay, next time by, you'll get that 1 car."
"Bud, when you come around, the 48 and the rest of the lead lap cars will come around, and everyone else has to hold their position. 07, 12, 28, 01 coming to your outside. You're in behind the 31 right there, right there."
The field prepared for a green/white/checkered restart. Edwards led, Mikey was 31st, and McDowell was 33rd. David was 41st and in the garage.
"All right, buddy, you'll be coming to the green," Ty guided. "You got the 9 you're not racing, but he's right there on your butt. The 77's the one you'll be racing. Cars off. Be ready for anything here. Be ready. Be ready. Green green green. You're clear, all clear. Everybody's straight. Two back. Clear two back. Everybody's straight, you're all clear. Clear two back. Clear three back. White flag."
"No pressure. 77's fading," Bobby told his driver."
"Right there in front of you. Keep rolling. Not done. You're clear three back. Wreck in front of you, big wreck in front of you. Keep coming. Clear low."
"All right, bud. You ended up 31st. An awful lot of work to get that. We'll get this shit a lot better."
"Yeah, well, I've never driven anything so bad. You can't drive it. You just ride it," Mikey said. "The thing that bothers me is that we figured it out to get it bad like this. It didn't happen by accident."
Carl Edwards went on to win. Mikey finished six laps down in 31st. McDowell was seven laps down in 33rd, and David was in the garage 41st and eighty-six laps down.
Next week's Sprint Cup race - the Subway Fresh Fit 500 at Phoenix International Raceway - is on Saturday night. Coverage starts at 8:00pm ET on FOX. Be sure to tune into the Nationwide Series race the day before too. The Bashas' Supermarkets 200 airs Friday at 9:30pm on ESPN2.
MICHAEL MCDOWELL, No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 33rd
How do you feel after today's race?
"I feel great after running 500 miles. I wish we would have had a better finish, but I am glad we were able to go the distance today. I'm looking forward to being on 'The Today Show' tomorrow with my wife Jami. It will be great exposure for the sport."
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 41st
What caused the smoke that came from your car?
"The motor all of a sudden got hot and dropped a cylinder then started blowing water out of the exhaust. We're just digging ourselves a deeper hole. All we have to do is finish and we'll be okay, but we can't even seem to do that. I'm really disappointed and hate it for UPS and everybody at Michael Waltrip Racing. We got let down there. We'll pick up and qualify on time next week."