Saturday Morning Cup Practice, Live From Loudon by Kellyanne Lynch
28 June 2008
Michael Waltrip's #55 Napa Auto Parts Camry ranked 19th in this morning's Sprint Cup practice session, in preparation for tomorrow's Lenox Industrial Tools 301. He completed his best lap in his sixth of twenty-four, turning a 30.231-second lap at 125.990 MPH that was 0.200 seconds behind practice leader Juan Pablo Montoya. David Reutimann ranked 16th (30.170 seconds / 126.245 MPH, fifteenth of 33 laps, 0.139 seconds behind Montoya), and Michael McDowell ranked 41st, (30.518 seconds / 124.805 MPH, tenth of 24, 0.487 seconds behind Montoya).
Cars lined up on pit road at 8:58am ET.
"How 'bout it, Bobby? You got me?" Ty came over the frequency first.
"Yeah, 10-4, 10-4," Bobby replied.
"I don't know what those modified had on for tires, but I bet it will affect the first couple runs, 10-4," Ty noted. The Whelen Modified Series had a practice session just before the Cup Series'.
Bobby said they were going out with sticker tires and race pressures on the first run.
"All right," Mikey replied.
Somebody noted that the track temperature was 68 degrees.
"Race track's green," Ty said at 9:01am. "We'll go 'til 9:50, 9:50."
Mikey was on pit road one minute later and lined up with the #00 and the #44.
"Looks like the 6th or 7th lap even up to their 8th is the quickest when they get going," Bobby observed as Mikey waited to be admitted onto the track.
The #55 was out at 9:06am.
"All right, rolling," Ty said. He cleared Mikey behind the #01.
"65, 65," Bobby said. "Takes six or seven laps to get to speed.
"23, 23. That's lap 6. That was your quickest," Bobby noted. "35, 35.
"28, 28." He told his driver to get a tire sheet.
"It gets in good. Didn't turn bad. I just want to get in the gas, and I don't have an aim top release. It will chatter the front tires," Mikey commented.
Bobby said they'd work on it and noted the lap times were good.
"I can't say what I'd like to do," Mikey said. He told his crew chief there were ten things on his list of things to try, like right front spring with a little bump stop, although he said he wasn't crazy about that idea. he wanted higher track bar, right sway bar once. "That's it I guess that I know off the top."
Bobby mentioned stagger.
"Well, give me the longest, softest spring you can give me yet," Mikey requested. He said that would give them the best chance to get the car to work.
"We have a driver on the race track today," Ty said.
"And my number one battery ain't worth a shit," added the driver.
Bobby said they would get travels, change the right frotn spring, and put more bump stop in the car. Mikey got his tire sheet and headed to the garage.
Bobby asked Mikey about this set of springs.
"They're excellent. No issues," Mikey replied.
"How 'bout forward bite?"
Mikey said the car just chattered the right front in the corners and that he had no issue with bite. "We need to try a longer srping, he said. He said they needed a little stiffer spring in the right front so that it would hit later.
Bobby said they had a lot of room as far as wedge goes, but Mikey wanted to feel this first. Bobby said it was something to think about.
"What's that going to do to the left front?" Mikey asked.
Static accompanied Bobby's response.
"I think what we need to do is see if we can find one where we can leave the wedge," Mikey stated.
Coming to you, spotter," Bobby said at 9:22pm.
"10-4," Ty replied.
The #00 was behind the #55 as they headed out to pit road.
"All right, should be clear on out," Ty observed. "Next car back to the line now. Still all clear."
Bobby read off lap times during the run. "60.
"That didn't do... I wouldn't have known you did it, to be honest w you," Mikey commented. He said the car still got into the corners good and still turns, but if he tried to get in faster, the right front would vibrate.
Bobby told the team to go up on the track bar and to "smack the left side out."
The #55 was in the garage at 9:25am.
Bk wanted to pull packer out too and to take an an eighth out. He said they had room. He wanted a track bar adjustment too.
"Kevin Lee, go get your magnet," he said.
Mikey commented that, with the old car, more right front bleed and a softer bump in the shock would have helped. Bobby said he remembered Mikey saying that in the past.
"Yeah. I remember it well, and it worked good," Mikey replied.
Bobby suggested changes with compression.
Meanwhile, Kevin Harvick was watching practice from the top of his transporter. He had run the 5th fastest time and was done on track.
Bobby said they might try the right side up, because the needed to free up the other side.
"Or down," Mikey said.
Bobby told his driver they would try this and that they had eighteen minutes left in practice.
Mikey said he needed to know what the adjustments were doing, if the rear end was crooked or the tow out. Bobby told him the rear was crooked but "in the realm of NASCAR."
Mikey asked if they had lengthened the track bar. Bobby said yes, they ahd made it legal.
"I'd rather run this and try the left front shock and do that other thing later," Mikey told his crew chief.
"Okay," Bobby replied.
The #55 was back on track at 9:35am. Jeff Gordon's #24 was entering Turn 1, and Mikey was cleared behind him.
Bobby read off lap times. "50. 5-0.
"40, 40. 35 ther ein front of you," Bobby added, referring to Gordon.
"10-4. 45, 45.
"30, 30." The crew chief noted that approximately twelve minutes remained at that they'd wanted to make a shock change.
"I smoked 'er on into 3 that time, just to make sure I was still comfortable with how she gets in," Mikey said. He said, with the shift change, the car didn't feel like it can get on the apron.
Bobby called for a right front shock change. "See where the travels are too. Last lap was a 33, right there with the heroes. Just need to be better on exit to be right." He called for one eighth packer with right front shock. He mentioned the other two cars were taking front bar out.
"I don't think that would help me," Mikey replied. "That has a tendency to make me worse. I thought bigger bar. I don't know."
Bobby called for a right front cambre reading.
"I don't know what my right front tire looks like, but his looks like it's been in a crash," Mikey commented about somebody else's car.
Somebody on the #55 team asked about Montoya's lap times, because he was at the top of the leader board.
"Is he low or something?" Mikey asked.
"Yeah, he is by far the lowest car on the race track," that person replied.
Bobby noted that six minutes remained in practice and that they'd do a final run unless there were something quick they could try on pit road.
"Five minutes. Five," Ty corrected.
Mikey wanted to try the track bar up or down with the last three minutes. He was on pit road at 9:45am. Ty guided him back on behind the #99.
"24, 24. Good lap."
"Just under two minutes left. Clear by fifteen," Ty said.
"30, 30," Bobby continued with lap times.
"Let's try that track bar down," Mikey said. He said the car turned better now but was a little free.
The #55 came onto pit road. Bobby told somebody to keep coming.
"Oh, my bad," he said. "Wrong Napa guy."
After the adjustment, Ty guided Mikey back on track. "All right, roll the apron. Be behind the 01. It will be 45, 01. Two back. Coming outside. Clear behind him.
"Coming to the red flag."
"I didn't get to feel that," Mikey told his team.
"Okay. So that shock made you a little free where?" Bobby asked.
"Everything freed up a little, nothing bad," Mikey replied. He said he really wanted the track bar down on the right side with that but had no time to evaluate it.
Bobby told the team to check travels in the right front.
"It still isn't right. It turns the centre better with that shock, and I could run lower with that shock, but it still isn't right," Mikey said.
Bobby said he thought he could give Mikey a little cambre for the next practice session.