Mikey 27th at Talladega by Kellyanne Lynch
27 April 2008
Michael Waltrip lost the engine in his #55 Napa Auto Parts Camry with two laps to go in the Aaron's 499, today's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. He had enjoyed four laps in the lead and was charging for the front with Jimmie Johnson pushing him along the outside when the engine expired. He finished 27th. His rookie driver Michael McDowell spun on the last lap in the #00 Aaron's Dream Machine and came home 26th. David Reutimann's #44 UPS Toyota was 20th.
The #55 team performed a radio check at 2:07pm ET.
"Copy on me, Ty?" crew chief Bobby Kennedy asked.
"Yeah, I'm over in the coach," replied spotter and MWR vice president Ty Norris. "What you need?"
The two discussed where they could see to spot Mikey.
Bobby mentioned where the #55 box was on pit road. "36 behind, 38 in front heading out. We are three past the opening to the garage down here."
"10-4. See you."
Aaron's president Ken Butler had the crowd give the call to start engines a minute later.
"Test one to. Y'all hear me okay?" Mikey asked at 2:10pm.
"Yeah, got you loud and clear," Bobby replied. "Only difference from practice yesterday is that we run the rear fan, we run the rear fan."
"M-Dubya, you have a copy?" Ty asked.
"10-4," Mikey responded.
"All right, we're going to be the third pit past that opening up there," Bobby told his driver. He told him what cars were in front and behind the #55 box. "All right, we should be at 4700. 4700."
"Yeah, let me know about those changes you told me about. Some people might get jiggy with their changes. Just keep on top of that," Mikey requested.
"Yeah, 10-4 on that." Bobby said he had a man on that deal. He said some guys were fixing to go to the garage early on.
"He's not hooked up to an antennae. I couldn't hear a word he said on the backstretch." Mikey said he didn't need to hear Bobby but that Ty may need to relay some things.
"Got a target number, Bobby?" Ty asked.
"47 is the target, but... I could go along with that," Mikey replied. "Is 47 safe, or is 47 it?"
"47 is in the middle, so you can fudge it just a little," Bobby said. "You can go to 5."
"Well, right now, it's mainly on 45," Mikey stated. "So 47."
Bobby said they would stop on lap 37 "if this is a green deal."
"We need to do some testing with these cars with an inch swaybar in the front instead of the gigantic one," Mikey said. "And put some spring in the right front and not the left front and see what that does."
Bobby told a crew member to make a note of what the driver said.
"I always thought... I've always been wondering about a swaybar, because travel's so far, so maybe it's something we could investigate for Richmond even. Y'all have a good day in there. I know practice went well with the pit stops." Mikey said they needed a top five finish and to get up to the front.
"Yeah, 10-4." Bobby said they would try to go with two tires most of the time for track position. "And maybe gas only on a few."
"Temperature 180 180, so they're up to probably what you think they ought to be, and we'll just go from there."
"Hey, Michael, at that spotter meeting, they talked about that whole exitting at pit road," Ty said. "I wasn't there for that. They were talking about two by two off pit road. All four tires need to be below the yellow line."
"Okay. All four tires below. Was that the rule yesterday?"
"It was not."
"Might have been a better rule."
Ty said they would have to keep all together.
"There goes one of your go or go homers who have a set-up he can't race," Mikey commented.
"Have a good day. Do what you do. Have fun. I'll tell you what's going on around you. Coming to the green this time."
"My water pressure gauge is kind of messed up. Does that mean anything or not?" Mikey asked.
"What's it showing to you?"
"It's showing, like, eight pounds with the red light on."
"It should go up. One of the big things you should look at is your water temp." Bobby said the light would go on at 240.
"What's my window there? Do I need to keep it under 240?"
Bobby said it should be under 240. "Coming to the green, bud."
"Be ready. Green green green."
The green flag waved at 2:22pm ET. Joe Nemechek led the field, but Tony Stewart immediately took the lead with teammate Kyle Busch pushing.
"Everybody's straight," Ty said.
Mikey started 27th but was 35th one lap into the run.
"Still two by two. The middle lane is coming on you. 5 car is out there. Got you covered. Three-wide coming outside. Still outside. Got one outside. Got a real slow one all the way up top - the 48. Stay down, give him room, in case you go four-wide here. The 01 coming outside. Clear there. Clear. Got anything you need."
"I think I'll hang out with this 48, I think. I know it's just a tire, but I have a vibration that's really bad. These tires get on my nerves," Mikey said. "8500 right there. Really good, really good gear at this point."
"10-4. Got the 07 and it looks like the 16 behind you," Ty replied.
"Worry about them, Ty. I've got me for now."
"They're all straight. I got ya."
Mikey was 40th on lap 3. McDowell was 13th, and David was 30th. Meanwhile, Jon Wood went to the garage with his #21.
Reed Sorenson was smoking heavily on lap 5. "Blew a motor, guys," he said over the radio.
"Smoking way on the bottom. He's all the way down on the yellow line. You're in good shape here," Ty noted. Mikey moved up to 39th. David was 28th, and McDowell was 18th.
"The fastest I've seen so far is 86. 240, 280."
"Sure this lap is going to be faster than the leader. Just confirm that for me so I know what I got."
"Uh, that is correct. Faster than the leader there." Bobby gave times.
"That water pressure never came up," Mikey commented on lap 10, following a long silence on the radio.
"All right. 10-4."
"Does that matter?"
"No. Negative. Negative."
"You think I'm getting on TV?" Mikey asked. "I'm following Jimmie Johnson."
"I haven't seen you on TV yet, but we're in commercial," Bobby replied.
"Mr. ___ will be pissed if I don't get on TV."
Bobby said something, to which Mikey said, "I like the way you're thinking."
"How are the temps looking now?" Ty asked.
"Uh, 180, 230."
"10-4. He just said he thought you had a tear-off on the grill." Ty said, referring to Jimmie Johnson.
"Considering he's right behind me," Mikey commented."
"That's what I thought. I asked the guy three times, 'On the nose?' It must be flapping off."
"That 48 car said they're about ready to go. They're afraid of losing the draft," Bobby said. "We've been scanning them."
Lap 14 saw Wood return to the track.
"I think our Juicy Fruit friend is about to help us get caught up there," Ty told his driver.
"I can't... my car won't... I can't get no closer to him. I'm wide open every lap, now that we've decided to go, and I can't push him," Mikey said.
"All right. 10-4," Bobby replied.
"My car just doesn't run like it did in Florida. It just seems different."
"How about your vibration? Is it still there?" Bobby asked.
"It's hard to concentrate and do what you want to do," Mikey replied. "I think it's just tires, but it's aggravating."
"What lap are we going to pit on?"
"37's our number. We got a car ahead, so we can't find out about these other cars here."
"We got one in the wall. Back it down. Back it down. No caution yet. Keep it down. Caution's out," Ty warned.
The first caution was on lap 19 for Matt Kenseth in Turn 2. He went to the garage.
"He did that at Daytona. I think," Mikey commented. "I believe I'd put four on this thing, because it's shaking. I don't know what it is. It actually got worse, so let's put four on it, and let me think about... let's see what we see."
"Yeah, 10-4. That was our plan. Four tires," Bobby replied.
"If you ever take four, it's a good time to do it," Ty said.
"Be four tires, guys. Four tires."
"Did someone run him into the wall, or did he blow a tire?" Mikey asked.
"No, that was what was so odd," Ty replied. "He lost a right front in the corner."
Bobby said he was rubbing against other people and it was probably sheet metal.
"I think he did that same thing in Daytona when he blew it. He blew it early there," Mikey said.
"Be nice and smooth, guys," Bobby directed the crew. "Four tires."
"Nobody around you will be pulling off in front of you with two," Ty observed.
Bobby said they'd play it safe.
"Want to lead a lap?" Mikey asked.
"No, we've got teammates staying out," Bobby replied. "Damn it, there goes the 48."
The leaders pit, and Ken Schrader stayed out to lead a lap. Bobby led Mikey to his pit box. Bobby warned Mikey about Clint Bowyer's #07 when he was leaving pit road.
"I asked you if you wanted to lead a lap to get five points, but a couple others did it first, so it wouldn't have worked," Mikey said.
Bobby told him he'd replied and told him teammates were staying out and that the #48 did too. He said they'd stay out another time if they had the chance. He said he'd be cool with it if they were in the same position again.
"Yeah, it's one to go now," Ty noted.
"Give me a report on those tires," Mikey requested.
Bobby said they didn't see anything on them yet but that they'd let him know.
Racing resumed on lap 23 with Stewart leading. Mikey was 33rd, David was 17th, and McDowell was 25th.
"Pace car's off," Ty said. "Ready? Green green green. The 07 and 40 behind you, so they're all on the same program. All clear, all clear. Got one looking inside now. One coming inside. He's got a couple with him."
Mikey was 34th one lap into the run.
"Does my nose look okay?" the driver asked.
"Yeah, you look fine, man. You look fine. Most of the guys are on the bottom though. Schrader inside. Be clear behind him, clear behind him. Clear two back. Pack got away from us a little bit this time."
Lap 25 saw Mikey in 37th. David was 16th, and McDowell was still 25th.
"Bobby, you can see better than I can. Does it look okay? They checked up in front of us," Ty said on lap 28.
"Yeah, it looks fine," Bobby replied.
"The field's single-file right now," Ty noted.
"The only car I can push is one of mine. That's not cool," Mikey commented on lap 29, referring to McDowell. "Tell him to..." His voice was cut off on the radio.
"All right, 10-4," Bobby replied.
Mikey was with a pack a second and a half back from the rest of the field, which was led by McDowell. Bowyer and Johnson were behind the #55.
"Catching that group there. That was about half a second quicker that lap," Bobby commented.
"Clear all clear," Ty said on lap 34.
Meanwhile, Denny Hamlin took the lead on the same lap. He had pushed Jamie McMurray into the lead before dumping him and taking it for himself. Meanwhile, Mikey was 36th, behind McDowell in 35th. David rode 14th. The front runners were now getting double-file after running single for a number of laps.
"How we doing to get that next pack, Bobby?" Ty asked on lap 37.
"I'll give you a reading next time. The timing and scoring is down, so I've got a stopwatch," Bobby replied.
"Stopwatch? They still make those?"
"About the same that lap. We're running 49.60's. The lead lap running 49.50's."
The outside line moved, and Dale Earnhardt Jr took the lead going into lap 40.
"The lead pack's finally got two-by-two after a long time. They're just off of Turn 2 now. So we'll just have to hang on," Ty told his driver.
"Maintaining the same with that group in front of us," Bobby commented. He gave lap times.
On lap 42, Carl Edwards went to pit road with a vibration in the right front. His stop moved Mikey into 35th and McDowell into 34th. David was 20th.
"Lap 42. What are we looking at at our next window, Bobby?" Ty asked.
"Um, I'm showing 61 on my screen. I'm just seeing if this gets updated. We're having some computer problems. If you're close to those guys, find out when they're coming," Bobby replied.
"All right, 10-4."
"We're catching the leaders big time. I can see them now, and I couldn't before," Mikey said.
"Yeah, 10-4. We're doing okay here," Ty responded. "They've done the ol' Darlington running the top lane all of a sudden here, like they did in the fall." He noted that the #2 of Kurt Busch fell off the draft and that Mikey would be catching him. "Slow up high. Clear."
McDowell and Mikey were 33rd and 34th on lap 45. David was 19th. Jeff Burton took the lead the next time around the track.
"There's something funky going on with the 16," Ty warned. He noted that Edwards had just pit with a problem. "Yeah, they're three-wide up there now. You're in a little gaggle. Clear, all clear. Got one inside. Clear low, clear low, clear low. Hell of a run. Clear to the middle, clear to the middle. Clear all around. Three back. Clear four back to that crowd."
On lap 47, Mikey shot up to 26th. Brian Vickers took the lead on the same lap.
"The 9, 78, 40, 26 right here in front of you," Ty said. "Still clear about four back. They're just now getting single-file back there."
Mikey was 25th on lap 48.
"Still there. Clear, clear. Got the 78 leading the crowd now. Clear two back. The 09's got a little bit of a run. Got the 16 with him. You're clear. The 16 went to the outside of the 09 behind him. You're clear. 16's up there by himself. Most of the draft is down low. Got the 09 and the 00 behind you. They're getting kind of dicey in there."
The front runners now ran three-wide. On lap 51, Earnhardt Jr pushed Paul Menard into the lead. Ty said the field was now running single-file behind him and had settled down.
"One up in the wall in front of you. No caution, no caution. He's real slow in the middle of the race track. Real slow. Keep rolling. No caution."
Aric Almirola was the one who had hit the wall. His #8 went to pit road.
"See why I told you about those right front tires? That's why I told you about them, Bobby." Mikey asked how his first set was. "Be a shame for a right front to get you here when there's no reason for it.
"I'm so dizzy, my head is," Mikey sang.
Bobby said they would pit soon. "We got anybody we can dance with here? We'll need to be on pit road in 62."
"You'd think a guy in a purple shirt would be easy to find up here," Ty commented.
Juan Pablo Montoya led lap 53. The #55 was 24th. David was 9th, and McDowell was 27th. Denny Hamlin moved into the top spot one lap later.
Ty said he had talked to someone named "Big Dave." They were planning to pit with that spotter's driver.
"That's the only one we can find to dance with," Bobby said. "We told everyone else that number, and they laughed at us."
"This could be our fastest lap of the day," Mikey commented on lap 56. Ryan Newman had taken the lead.
"It will be real close. We're going by the stopwatch."
Ty said Mikey was clear one back. "You'll be catching that 99, who has been hung up by himself here."
Kevin Harvick took the lead on lap 57. Mikey was 23rd, David was 7th, and McDowell was 26th. Hamlin moved into the top spot one lap later.
"Still got that 99 hung up there by himself," Ty warned.
"Four laps away from pitting," Bobby told the team. "Four laps away. It'll be two tires on that stop."
"I stepped on you there, Bobby. I think you said five away," Ty replied.
"Are you looking at the wrong car?"
"The 00 coming with you. The 00 coming with you." A moment later, Ty added, "Still there. Got one on the bottom. Still clear high. Got one beside him. 40's coming with you, 40's coming with you. Three-wide."
Bobby told the crew to be on their toes.
"Complete this lap, and then we're going to come in the next time. Got three wide inside."
Other cars were pitting, including Hamlin's #11. Earnhardt Jr reclaimed the lead.
"You see that 7. To the middle, and you got the 26 on the bottom. You're going to complete this lap and pit this time. You got two of them in your mirror - the 99 and the 09."
"Two tires, guys."
"Two tires. Don't slide them." Ty cleared Mikey low to pit road. "If you slide them, I'll let you know, Bobby.
"Didn't slide them," Ty said when the #55 went to the box.
Mikey pit on lap 63. The #55 crew put on left side tires.
Ty reminded him to keep four tires under the yellow line all the way around. "Getting up to speed in Turn 1. There you go, bud. There you go. All clear, all clear. Clear back back to that 07."
Lap 64 saw Brian Vickers spin coming off pit road. The race remained under green. Earnhardt Jr pit at the end of the lap.
"Bunch of slow ones on the bottom," Ty warned. "Okay, good shape, good shape. The 20 and the 11 on the back straightaway were the leaders when you were pitting."
"Tires look good, tires look good," Bobby noted.
"Got one up on the outside, all hung up by himself. Now you're clear, all clear."
Stewart led on lap 65.
"88's going to be real slow when you get into 3 on the bottom," Ty said. "All clear, all clear. All right, bud. Everyone's pitted. You're 8th, 8th."
McDowell was 7th, and David was 20th.
"This is the least vibration I've had all day," Mikey commented.
"All right, 10-4," Bobby replied.
"All clear, all clear," Ty said. He mentioned that the #88 had taken a while to get around Robby Gordon's #7. "You're clear three back to the 19, but the 88 has a couple of them stuffed up, so I'll tell you where they go. Looking low. Inside, inside. Okay, you're back to clear."
"I had no choice. I was getting pushed," Mikey commented on lap 73. He was 7th, having dumped out McDowell back to 20th.
"Yeah, 10-4. Those guys were getting a little antsy there, so that's cool. Got the 19 and the 88 there."
"That was one of those deals, where if I hadn't had went, Elliott wouldn't have. Somebody needs to guard the bottom better."
"It seems like we've got a little bit of a push from the 88," Ty told his driver.
"Well, if you're talking to him, tell him I want to go high, but I'm not going to go unless I have to. Ask him if he wants to go high," Mikey said.
Ty told him that the #88 was stepping out to the outside but wasn't making any moves yet. "About four back, they're starting to build up the outside. But run up here, up on top. The 19 coming back with a nice run. The 29 pushing."
Mikey was 8th on lap 78.
"07 still outside. He's got help up top," Ty observed. "Still running two by two."
Mikey was back to 15th on lap 79. David was 14th. McDowell was 18th.
"Still outside. Still two by two. Got another one outside. 19 bailed on you. Outside. It's going to be three-wide. Still there. Still got one outside. 00 coming on the bottom now to help."
David had passed. He was 11th, Mikey was 15th, and McDowell was 18th. Ty told Mikey he had the #99 in his mirror.
"Clear three back to the 99," Ty noted. "Still outside. Still there. Clear high. Outside, back outside. Clear now behind the 24 if you need it. Coming outside."
Lap 81 saw Mikey in 19th, McDowell was 21st, and David was 9th.
"Clear low. You've got a couple more coming outside. It's the 01 and the 2, and then it's clear."
Mikey was 16th on lap 82. McDowell was 20th, and David was still 9th. Johnson took the lead.
"Clear there. Clear."
Mikey said something on the radio that came out in static.
"You've got him outside there. Outside. Clear there all clear. Clear. One back. 48's on the bottom, all by himself up there."
Edwards pit on lap 83 with a tire issue. Mikey was 17th, McDowell was 22nd, and David was 8th. Stewart was back in the lead.
"Still in there. Clear, clear. Two by two behind you. Clear low."
Mikey was 14th on lap 84. Meanwhile, Hamlin had pushed Stewart well ahead of 3rd.
"Still two by two, two by two. Still clear to the bottom. Got the 1 outside. Got Montoya behind you with the 12." He warned Mikey about the #99. "It's going to be three-wide for a second. Back to two-wide."
Mikey was 12th on lap 86 with David in 11th.
"Looking at lap 104, Ty. 104," Bobby noted.
"10-4." Ty warned Mikey that Travis Kvapil's #77 was slow up top. "Clear there, clear there."
Mikey was 6th on lap 87. Ty warned him that he was three then two-wide. "Inside, to the bottom, you're three-wide. 1's coming with you, the 1's trying to come with you. Three-by-three. Both sides, both sides. Both sides still. Both sides. 31 dropped off for some reason. You're clear behind the 29 if you need it."
Earnhardt Jr was back in the lead on lap 88.
"Clear low if you need it. Clear low if you need it. Going to get a run on the bottom. Both sides are going to get it, both sides. Still both sides. 1 car's still down there with you."
Stewart took the lead on lap 89.
"Still both sides, bud. Hang in there."
"I don't mind. It's kind of fun," Mikey commented.
"10-4." Ty then said he was three-wide, back to two. "All clear."
Earnhardt Jr reclaimed the lead on lap 90. David was 5th, Mikey was 9th, and McDowell was 16th.
"Two by two." He warned Mikey about the slow #31, who had just come off pit road. The #55 went from three to two-wide. "Inside, inside. 99's going to be diving down there inside as well."
David was 4th on lap 91. Mikey was 9th, and McDowell was 16th.
"Still inside. Clear low if you need it. Clear low if you need it."
David got dumped out on lap 92 with Roush Racing teammates blowing by him.
"Clear down. Nice job!" Ty said to Mikey, who was 9th. "15's still on your corner. Still outside, still outside. 2's trying to help you. Clear up top if you need it. Clear behind the 15. Clear one back."
Mikey was 7th on lap 93 with David in 8th and McDowell in 13th.
"Nice work through that traffic, man. You're clear three back to that 44," Ty praised. "About eight more before we pit. Eight. Be clear one back. Got the 2 and the 44 on the bottom. Up top, you got the 21 and the 38 trying to work. Still clear. Outside line is going to have a run. That was a nice push. Got a big push up top. Clear, clear."
On lap 95, Mikey was up to 6th.
"You're clear. Got the 28 behind you in your mirror. 16's got a run behind the 28. You're still clear. You're clear up, you're clear up."
"102, Ty. 102 on pit road."
"10-4." He warned Mikey about a slow car on bottom in Turn 3. "Clear high. Clear low. Real quick, Bobby, you said take 101 on the track, 102 on pit road." When Bobby confirmed, Ty said that was five laps from now. "1 looking on top. Outside, outside, outside. You're clear now."
"I'm pitting this lap. I've got a flat left rear," Mikey said on lap 97. He bumped the #77 of Sam Hornish Jr when he lost the tire.
"We're doing left sides anyway, right, Bobby?" Ty asked. When the crew chief confirmed, he told Mikey to go 4700 and not to slide his tires.
The #55 pit on lap 97. He was marked 29th on lap 98.
McDowell pit the next time around the track. Ty said Mikey may have a chance to blend into the pack. The #55 fell off the lead lap and was falling back through the ranks with no one hooking up with him.
"All right, you see about five back. I'm assuming you're going to run the bottom here. Outside, outside. Got about six more coming outside. Watch them. They're going to be pitting here in a lap or so. The 2 and the 15 are coming. Big gap behind the 15. Still there. You're going to be clear behind him. Still outside on your corner. Still there, still there. Clear up, clear, clear."
Mikey was 32nd and lapped on lap 101.
"The 00 just pit as well." Ty said McDowell was in line for the free pass.
"What about the 2? He's not a lap down?" Mikey asked.
"That's a good question. I don't know." Ty asked the crew chief.
"I don't have timing or scoring," Bobby replied.
"He is not on the lead lap, but he's on the board. Clear, clear. Got the 15, 31, and 44 lined up behind you."
Green flag stops began more on lap 104. Mikey was now 27th. David was 8th, and McDowell was 29th.
"Okay, you've got just the 15 back there. The 31 and the 44 dropped off there. 15 dropped off to go to pit road. You're going to be picking up a lot of guys who just went to pit road."
Mikey was 22nd on lap 104. He was still lapped, but cars continued to make stops.
"Clear all clear."
"We just don't have a fast enough guy. Every time I'm the last guy, I jsut can't hang on," Mikey commented on lap 106.
"That 29 might be jumping in line behind us here," Ty told him. "Still inside. Clear low, clear low."
"The 1 and the 29 will be your partners here when everybody else peels off. A bunch of them are waving here. I don't know all the car numbers, but just be on the look out here."
Earnhardt Jr pit on lap 106. Stewart took the top spot. Mikey was 14th but then dropped dramatically to 21st.
"What happened?" Ty asked.
"Lost the box. Put on B, and I'm back going again," Mikey said.
"Got two of them coming. Two of them closing in really quick." Ty told him the #84 was there. After a long pause, he added, "07's back there, about twenty car lengths back by himself."
"This would be a good time for a caution," Mikey commented.
"Yeah, Stewart put a lap on that 18, and they about wrecked," Ty said.
Mikey asked for lap times.
"10-4. 54 flat that time.
On lap 112, Hamlin took the lead. David was 20th, Mikey was 21st, and McDowell was 16th.
"52.45. No good that lap. No good."
Ty warned Mikey about the top in Turns 3 and 4.
"51.90. Got the 07 and the 78 coming to you in your mirror there."
"All right, just talked to Dillon," Ty said. "When the 07 gets to you, he'll shove you. He doesn't think he's very fast, but with the 78, he thinks they'll be real quick. There he is right on your bumper. He said he's going to shove you for a lap or two here. Got one over in the wall. No caution yet. Looks like there's going to have to be. No caution yet. Caution's out, caution's out."
Lap 117 saw the second caution for Carl Edwards.
"Um, just running along by myself, it's been 170, but it was 270."
"Whoo, we needed that! We was going to be in trouble out of fuel."
"We would have been in trouble for other things too." Mikey said he was glad he pit for the tire.
Bobby told his driver they'd put on right sides, but Mikey wanted four tires.
"I'm off two down. I'll do whatever you say. Could you put four and be done?" Mikey asked.
Bobby said he was done with left side tires. Upon further discussion, they agreed upon two.
"#99 cut a left front again," Ty commented.
Leaders pit under caution.
"4700," Bobby reminded. "Five, four, three, two, one. Right side tires, right side tires. Go on the jack. Go go go go go. All the way, all the way, all the way."
"4700, 4700," Ty said. He directed his driver around clean-up trucks. "Several guys up there took fuel only there. It doesn't mean anything. I'm just letting you know."
"Can we just not get any more tires, or is that..." Mikey asked.
"Yeah, we should be done with it," Bobby replied.
Regan Smith had stayed on track to lead. When he pit, Earnhardt Jr picked up the top spot.
"Is anybody going to say it was one to go?" Mikey asked.
Ty said he had just put back on his headset. He was talking to some other guys.
"I didn't know it was one to go. My officials left the stadium," Bobby replied.
Racing resumed on lap 121 with Earnhardt Jr leading. David was 14th, McDowell was 15th, and Mikey was 16th.
"All right, buddy. Pace car's getting ready to peel off. Ready? Green green green. Clear two back," Ty said. "Still clear, all clear. Slow one on the bottom - the 45. Clear all clear. Whatever you need. Backing up in the middle - the 7. Go all the way to the bottom if you need it. Still out there. Back to two-wide now. Two-wide. Three-wide. Four-wide. Everybody's coming. Outside, outside. Four-wide. Clear behind the 7 if you need it. Outside. Got a big run outside."
Mikey asked if something had less timing or something.
"Clear behind that white car. Clear if you need it. 5 is coming, one back. Outside, outside. Clear there, clear. Clear the 8, clear clear."
Mikey was back to 27th on lap 124. David was 17th, and McDowell was 18th.
"Clear five back," Ty said. "Clear clear. To the middle if you need it. Clear all the way to the bottom. All clear, clear. Whatever you need. Still outside. Three-wide. Still three-wide, still three-wide."
Jeff Gordon took the lead on lap 125 with Montoya pushing.
"I see what you see," Ty commented.
"Yeah, it's like, Robby Gordon is going to run into someone," Mikey said. "I don't understand."
Hamlin was back in the lead on lap 127. Ty warned Mikey that someone in the middle was backing up quite a bit. "Clear there. Clear clear. Clear behind the 21 if you need it. Clear all clear."
Earnhardt Jr was back out front on lap 128. McDowell was 13th, David was 15th, and Mikey was 25th.
"Use whatever you need. Clear, clear."
On lap 129, McDowell was 11th, David was 18th, and Mikey was 25th.
"Outside, outside. Clear there. Clear. Still clear six back."
Lap 133 saw McDowell move into 6th. David was 17th, and Mikey was 25th. Sadler took the top spot long enough to be creditted but got shuffled back.
"Still clear, all clear. Got them all lined up behind you. The 48 and the 88. Clear two back, clear two back. Still there. Low. Clear low. Got that 15 outside. Both sides. Clear low, clear low."
Mikey was 22nd on lap 135.
"Clear to the middle behind the 15 if you get stuffed in behind there. Got Montoya down with you. You're three-wide. Still two-by-two. Losing help on the bottom. Got the 29 with the 15 pushing him. Got another one pushing him. Clear there. Clear clear. Still both sides, still both sides. Four-wide up there in front of you, four wide up there in front of you."
"I think I've finally comitted, Ty," Mikey said on lap 138.
"Yeah, I know."
"Not usre if it's the greatest idea I've ever had, but I've got to go sometime."
"Yeah, well we're six deep right now."
Mikey was 18th, David was 12th, and McDowell was 13th. David Stremme took the lead on lap 138.
"Still three-by-three," said Ty.
"I'm not getting anywhere. I'll try again later."
Ty said the 07 was coming and cleared him behind Bowyer. Mikey was 25th on lap 139. "Four wide. You've got the 17 slow on the bottom." He cleared Mikey three back. "Use whatever you need."
Kasey Kahne led lap 139.
"Clear there. Clear behind that 78. The 17's slow on the bottom there."
Earnhardt Jr moved into the top spot for lap 140. Mikey was 26th, David was 8th, and McDowell was 17th. Stewart took the lead on lap 143, and David was up to 4th.
"One smoking up against the wall. Caution's out, caution's out, caution's out."
The third caution was on lap 144 after Stewart lost a right front tire. Patrick Carpentier also scuffed the wall.
"Bobby, you want to pit now?" Ty asked.
"We're going to pit. We are going to pit. Yeah, we're right on making it to the end here. Really close," Bobby replied. "All right, we will put right sides on in the end here. Art, you have to pack that thing, baby."
"If it means staying out and getting gas at the end, let's just do that, if you think it'll make a difference," Mikey said.
"Also, staying in the draft is good. The mileage really fluctuates. As long as we're in the draft, we'll be good. Right sides, guys. Around the 38."
"I was just wondering about... well... nevermind."
Leaders pit, and Hamlin was the first driver back on track. Meanwhile, Schrader went to the garage. David lost three spots on pit road. AJ Allmendinger stayed on track to lead.
"Bobby, they've got a couple of jet blowers on the back straightaway. That might give us another lap, if you want to come top off or something."
"No, I'm not going to top off. That was my point. I was going to stay out there and lead the race. That's kind of silly," Mikey said.
Bobby reiterated that he wouldn't top off. "If we're out of the draft, it's not going to matter."
"Okay," Ty replied. "All right, bud. One to go this time. One to go. Got these cars coming under you. We're going to have forty to go, forty."
Hamlin led the restart with forty laps to go. David was 8th, Mikey was 20th, and McDowell was 16th.
"Clear all clear. You've got the 28 and the 26 pushing," Ty noted. "Slow. Checking up in front of you. Got the 01 up top. Clear all clear."
Earnhardt Jr took the lead on lap 149. Mikey was 18th.
"Clear all clear. Got the 28, 26 pushing. Clear the two slow ones. All clear."
Lap 150 saw Hamlin reclaim the top spot. Earnhardt Jr lost nineteen positions.
"Clear all clear. Junior got shuffled out. He's all by himself up on the top. Clear all clear there. Still outside. Two by two. Two by two. Slow one on the bottom. All the way on the bottom. Clear low. Three-wide right there. Three-wide."
Paul Menard took the lead on lap 152. He rode the top groove while Mikey rode the bottom in a three-wide pack.
"28's coming back to your bumper. Got a good push coming. Three-by-three about 16th. Three-wide, three-wide. Top line's backing up. Still three-wide, three-wide."
David Stremme led lap 154. Mikey was 19th, David was 17th, and McDowell was 26th.
"Still three-by-three," Ty warned. "40's going to be backing up up the middle."
Hamlin was in the top spot on lap 155. Mikey was 15th.
"7's backing up in the middle. Going four wide, four wide. Back to three wide. 33 laps to go, 33. Still three-wide, three-wide. Still about four of you on the bottom, bud."
"I wish one of them would push me," Mikey replied. He was 13th on lap 156. "My car's just not fast enough."
"Still three by three," Ty said. Mikey was 12th on lap 157. "Inside. Got them three-by-three. Inside. Four-wide. Hold your line as best you can. Hold your line. Still four-wide, four wide. No hole coming. Still four-wide. Still four-wide. Three-wide, you're in the middle, you're in the middle. Two-wide. You've got the 16 on the outside all by himself. That was a good push. 7's closing. Clear, clear, clear. Outside is trying to work, but you're clear, all clear."
Mikey was 13th on lap 158.
"Outside, outside. Both sides. Four-wide. Got the 7 trying to push you here. Four-wide, still four-wide. Three-wide, you're in the middle. Three-wide. Top two lines have the most help right now. Clear high, clear high, clear high. Clear high, you're two-by-two. Spin in front of you. You see him. Come on up, come on up, come on up. Good job."
Lap 160 saw the fourth caution when Montoya turned Menard's #15. Robby Gordon received the free pass.
"If everything's good here, we're going to be staying out, staying out," Bobby said.
"It's all good," Mikey replied. "I'm just not fast enough today, man. I don't know what the deal is. If I get a push, I'm good. If I don't, I can't keep up with the guys in front of me."
"Yeah, I see it. I see it. Just keep yourself close. Keep shuffling there. In the end, you can get us a bunch of points."
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking."
"Hey, you never know what's going to happen. You weren't fast enough at Nashville a few years back, and you won that one."
"Yeah, but I think the racing gods got on me after that."
Bobby said he was showing thirty-one or thirty-two cars on the lead lap.
Mikey wanted Ty to figure out who should be in front, him or Travis Kvapil.
Ty asked Bobby. "They're not telling us here."
"Who is it?"
"28, I'm sorry. 28." After a minute, Ty said, "2, 55, 28. It's going to be one to go when you get around here. One to go. Michael, you close enough to see the leader and where the line on the wall is?" Ty said he couldn't see it.
Mikey said he'd figure out the restart. When Bobby offered to call it for him, the driver said he didn't need any help."
"Well then you'd better give us a good one here," Bobby laughed. "25 to go when you get the green there. 25."
Hamlin led the restart on lap 163. Mikey was 14th, David was 17th, and McDowell was 26th.
"If you want to see a good one, you have to tell me who's back there," Mikey said during the restart. Ty told him who was around him.
"Okay, nice push there. You've got three car lengths on the 28 there," Ty said.
The fifth caution was on lap 165 for Brian Vicker's bumper cover, which Elliott Sadler had ripped off the back of his #83.
"Clear low. Caution's out, caution's out. Back it out. Got a bumper cover that came off a race car. That was about getting ready for a run."
"That was about perfectly done, thank you very much," Mikey said.
"I'd have to agree."
Bobby said they were staying on track.
"One to go, one to go. Should only be, should only be three lappers," Ty noted.
"Be, uh, twenty to go when you get that green," Bobby told his driver.
"All right. Let me know fifteen to go, ten, five, four, three, two, one," Mikey requested.
Ty told Mikey he had the 28, 29, 5, 21, 28, and 83 behind him.
The green flag returned with twenty laps to go. Hamlin led, Mikey was 13th, McDowell was 27th, and David was 30th. Hamlin got a bit of a jump and then got shuffled out. Ryan Newman took the lead.
"Lappers on the bottom," Ty warned. "Still there inside. Still there. Clear now, clear. To the middle if you need it. Clear low if you need it. Clear one outside. Still outside. Got you covered in the middle. Still outside on your quarter. Still there. Still there. Still there. Outside. Still outside. Come on, stay down. He's still on your quarter. I can't clear you. The 07's down there with you."
Kyle Busch ran into the side of Jamie McMurray and shoved him way back. This happened beside the #55.
Mikey was 8th on lap 171.
"All the help's down with you, buddy. All the help's down with you. Clear, clear, clear, clear. Got the 07 down there with you. Top side's coming hard. Top side, outside. You're clear, still clear. 48's trying to work the middle, but you're still clear."
Cars in the back where going four-wide.
"You're clear. The outside line's trying to get a run. The 48's still pushing. Crashing behind you, crashing behind you. Keep coming, keep coming."
The sixth caution was on lap 174 for a multi-car wreck. Stewart got loose going four-wide. Bobby Labonte got side-ways and collected a number of cars as he was bounced around the track. Martin Truex Jr, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Jamie McMurray, and Kurt Busch were among them.
Mikey asked about his cars. Ty told him where they were and said "Reut's car is a real pig on the start." He told his driver to give Sterling Marlin's #09 room. "He's got the lucky dog."
"Ty, I'll let you give you give him the laps as they wind down," Bobby said. "I'll just stay off the radio."
"All right," Ty replied.
"I don't need that shit to start."
"Yeah, you've got that handled, Bobby?"
"I'm just going to turn them all off down here." Ty then warned Mikey that the #18 had a donut, and his right rear tire was "really shiny." He said it was "probably stupid information" but that he wanted to relay it anyway.
"All right, I'll let you do your deal on the start," Ty said.
Mikey was sixth when racing resumed with 11 to go. Kyle Busch led, McDowell was 15th, and David was 20th. Mikey jumped to the outside, and Jimmie Johnson pushed him up through the ranks. Johnson pushed him side-by-side with Busch, but he couldn't stay with Busch.
"Clear, clear. Lost your 48. You're clear. Montoya went with the 18. Protect the top. The 48's coming again. He's got the 12 with him. Still two by two."
Mikey was 5th on lap 179, and they came up through the outside again.
"You're clear. You've got the 48 there shoving. Mikey was pushed to the lead with 8 to go. They dropped to the inside.
The seventh caution came out for Bobby Labonte. He lost a right rear tire.
"Come on around here. Pace car will pick you up," Ty said. "7 to go. We're leading by 40 car lengths. Okay, pace car is coming here."
Mikey had jumped way out ahead of the pack under the caution.
"A little two car tandum and have been pretty successful all day with those guys," Ty commented. He said they'd have five to go with the restart. "All right, a little teammate run-down here." Ty said all these teammates were together but it wasn't a bunch of Hendrick cars. "The restart's all on you."
Ty told Mikey he'd let him know what was happening with cars pushing up.
"To be honest with you, Ty, no I won't, but I'd like to have the information," Mikey said.
"Okay, you'll take the green with five to go."
Mikey put a hand out the window, possibly to signal Johnson when he'd go. He led hte restart with five laps to go. The front four broke away.
"Clear one back. The 18's stuffed into the 48 here. Still clear."
Jeff Gordon looked to the outside. Johnson jumped to the bottom and moved Mikey. Mikey was three-wide and hung out. Busch took the opportunity to take the lead with four to go.
"Three-wide right there. Three-wide," said Ty. "48's got a little help. 6 is there. Clear behind the 48. Inside, all the way on the bottom. Clear. Clear. Clear. Got one looking outside. Clear. 31 in your mirror. Coming to shove. Still outside. You've got one coming to help."
Mikey was 10th on lap 185.
"Three-wide, three-wide. You've got some help. You've got some help. Get up behind the 48 if you need it. Closing up, closing up. Three-wide. Clear to the middle. All clear, all clear, all clear. Three-wide behind you. I'll let you know if anybody pops out. In the middle. Lead in the middle. Clear, clear. They're two-wide behind you. Three-wide behind you. 48's about to pop on out of the line there. Two to go, two to go when you get here. Let him shove you when he gets here. Two to go, two to go."
Mikey was on the way outside with Johnson pushing. They both dropped down together. McDowell spun on the last lap. The green remained.
"That's the move right there, baby. That's the move right there. Both sides. Son of a bitch!"
"This fucking blew up is what the fuck!" Mikey yelled.
"Watch in front of you. See if you can gas it up."
"Ty... gas it up. Hey, get somebody to push me. Where's my teammates? Get Reutimann to push me."
Ty said they wouldn't let him do that on the last lap.
"Well, I think I could have run the race. Damn it. That just sucks. Am I still on fire? I can't tell."
"I can't see you, bud."
"I can't either. I'm trying to find you."
"I think I can make it back for some spots, but I don't know if I can. If I can, I'm going to be like Ricky Bobby and push this thing across."
Bobby asked about the fire.
"I was at one point, but I think I put it out."
"You're still rolling. Roll it on by if you can," Bobby told his driver. "If you can make it, you're going to gain three spots.
"I think I can, I think I can."
The yellow flag waved at the very end after a multi-car wreck.
"Anybody, can anybody run down there and help Michael push his car?" Ty asked.
Bobby said he wasn't going to kill the guys pushing it and they should just send a wrecker.
Ty said NASCAR wasn't sending a wrecker. He commented that he and Johnson were going to finish first or second or wreck the hell out of the leaders before that happened.
Somebody on the radio told the team NASCAR was sending a wrecker.
"Apparently, it was on fire," someone said. They said all the fire spray was all up on it.
Mikey finished 27th, David was 28th, and McDowell was 30th. Kyle Busch picked up the win.
Next weekend is the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Coverage starts Saturday at 7:00pm ET on FOX. The Nationwide Series' Lipton Tea 250 airs the night before at 7:00pm on ESPN2.