Cup Happy Hour, Live From Loudon by Kellyanne Lynch
28 June 2008
Michael Waltrip ranked 30th in final practice for the Lenox Industrial Tools 301, tomorrow's Sprint Cup race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. He turned his fastest lap in his sixth of 38, with a 30.244-second lap at 125.936 MPH that was 0.328 seconds behind session leader Juan Pablo Montoya. His driver David Reutimann ranked 23rd (30.161 seconds / 126.282 MPH, 0.245 seconds behind Montoya, third of 39 laps), and his other driver Michael McDowell ranked 37th (30.291 seconds / 125.740 MPH, 0.375 behind Montoya, fifth of 29 laps).
Some cars came onto pit road at 11:39am ET. Mikey lined up two minutes later.
"How 'bout you, driver?" spotter Clayton performed a radio check.
"I got you loud and clear," Mikey replied.
Ty then addressed crew chief Bobby Kennedy, whose response came with static.
"Race track's green. 11:45 to 12:45," Ty told his driver.
Although cars entered the track at 11:45, Mikey had to wait to go out. NASCAR only permitted a certain number of cars on track at a time in practice. During the wait, Bobby mentioned that people were running their fastest times on their fifth or sixth lap.
"Okay," Mikey replied.
Clayton cleared the Napa Camry on track at 11:52am and warned him that Clint Bowyer's #07 would be passing him in Turns 3 and 4.
"35, 35," Bobby read off lap times. "24, 24.
"27. Working Lap 5."
"All clear," Clayton noted.
Bobby continued reading lap times. "28, 28.
"34. Working Lap 8. Give me a temp reading and an oil pressure when you get the chance," the crew chief requested.
"Um..." Mikey responded. "Pressure's 38."
"Temperatures are about 200."
"10-4. 35. Working lap 10 here," Bobby reponded. "30."
"I just can't get the grip out of the front end like I need to run lower," Mikey told his crew chief as he headed to the garage at 11:59pm. He said the track bar didn't hurt, but it didn't help either. "I just don't like my right front feel," Mikey continued. "Maybe we can do something."
"Coming to you, Clayton," a crew member said.
"10-4," the spotter replied.
Mikey was back out at 12:04pm and was cleared behind Kyle Busch's #18.
"I think I'm just too loose," Mikey said.
Bobby asked if the front were chattering at all.
"Well, I think I'd like to stay with it one more time," Mikey replied. He suggested a bigger bar.
"Front bar," Bobby said.
Mikey said he wanted a ten and ten track bar to see how that works. Bobby said that was a good idea.
"Just leave the right side where we have it and put the left down an inch," Mikey instructed. "Make sure it's normal."
Bobby called for a 4-50 and a 5.
Mikey said he wanted to work around the bump stop so they don't "tweak it out too much." He also asked about his times. He was back on track at 12:13pm and cleared behind Jamie McMurray's #26.
"We gotta get back. That bar's way too big," Mikey said shortly after starting his run. He told them they needed to put it back to where it was at when he was running in the 30's. "A quarter with other bump if want to go other way. I know that really hurt it."
"500 right rear spring, three-eighths bar, original bump stop," Bobby said.
The #55 was in the garage at 12:16pm and back on track at 12:21pm.
"35, 35," Bobby read off times.
"75. We have about twenty minutes. Let's work on it," Bobby said. "59, 59."
"I think it's hitting the left front splitter too hard," Mikey said. "I'd like for the front end to not be so bumpy getting in, whether that's packer or splitter."
A crew member called for left front spring.
"How many rounds?" somebody asked.
Clayton noted they had just under fifteen minutes.
Mikey asked about what the #44 team was doing. When Bobby mentioned they'd put rubbers in the left rear, they discussed doing the same with the #55. Mikey asked about soft rubbers, then said they might go with another track bar adjustment. Bobby said they'd do that the next run.
"Just take it down to twelve or something normal," Mikey requested.
Bobby wanted to put them where they were at for Richmond and Phoenix.
The #55 headed back out at 12:33pm, with eleven minutes left in practice.
"45, 45. There ya go!" Bobby said.
Bobby said he wanted to clock Mikey in Turn 3 and told his driver to go really hard there. "50 last lap. Rub it hard and then bring 'er in," he instructed. When Mikey did, Bobby read the lap time. "45."
Mikey talked about shock or a little more right front packer possibly helping. Bobby called for a little more packer. The #55 headed back to the track at 12:39pm.
"Did we do anything to the left front?" Mikey asked.
"Yes, we added packer to that," Bobby replied.
Clayton cleared Mikey behind the #01.
"45, 45," Bobby read off times. "35, 35.
"Clear by one," Clayton noted. "Still there. Clear behind him." He was referring to Jeff Burton's #31.
"We're showing about a minute and a half," Bobby said. 'Just run to the end and get a tire sheet."
"We're too violent on the left front entering," Mikey commented.
"10-4, 10-4," Bobby acknowledged. "50, 50."
"Coming to the red flag," the spotter observed at 12:45pm.
"45, 45," Bobby read off the last lap time. He said Mikey hopped when getting into corners.
Mikey told his crew chief the car hits the bumps and splitter when it gets off Turn 3. "So I don't know what the frig to do at this point." He suggested putting down the track bar. "It doesn't do all that shit into 1, so we could probably use less bump or more bleed or more stack or more bumpstop to take out some of that violence."
Bobby asked if the issue were with the bump stop or the splitter. Mikey said it was the splitter.
The Lenox Industrial Tools 301 airs tomorrow at 12:30pm ET on TNT.