Mikey 19th at Talladega by Kellyanne Lynch
5 November 2008
Michael Waltrip endured a flying hunk of rubber and an accident with fourteen laps to go to finish 19th in the AMP Energy 500, today's Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway. His #55 Napa Auto Parts Camry also led lap 166. Kenny Wallace in the #00 Champion Morgage Toyota finished 12th, and David Reutimann's #44 UPS machine finished in the garage in 37th with a failed engine.
Mikey qualified 25th for today's race. Kenny qualified 14th, and David 19th; however, the #44 would have to start at the rear of the field due to going to a back-up car following a wreck in final practice.
"Copy," someone said on the radio at 2:08pm ET. The call to start engines came one minute later.
"How 'bout you down there, Bobby and Michael?" spotter Ty Norris addressed crew chief and driver.
"Yeah, got you loud and clear, Ty," crew chief Bobby Kennedy replied. "Loud and clear."
"Me too," Mikey added.
"You know what NASCAR should do?" Mikey said. "They should have a competition caution at Talladega with 20 to go. That way, everyone can look at it as goofing off until 20 to go."
"I don't know if that would do any good late," Bobby replied. "It would definitely be exciting."
"Well then you can spend your first 168 positioning. Does the 00 have to do anything?"
"They can run to about 70 to 80 without doing anything at all." Bobby said they would have to switch their battery. Also, they would have to put on their alternator belt and add oil at some point, and the #55 would have to do the same thing around lap 100.
"Okay, that's weird," Mikey commented. "Why do we have to add oil?"
"Uh, we're burning a little more oil than we anticipated, and it's as much safety as anything."
"Are you going to be able to tell how much it's burning, or do we just gotta add fuel at lap 100?"
Bobby said they were doing it for safety. "It's sort of an unknown on that."
"Is there any reason why my brakes wouldn't pump up by now?"
"Uh, negative, negative." Bobby said they should be better after they get some heat in them. He and Mikey talked over one another for a bit. "Just keep pumping them."
"Oh, I'm gaining on them now."
"10-4. Whenever we get the pit road speed, we should be one green 46, one green 46."
Ty noted a lot of speeding penalties in the truck race yesterday. "If you do have to get in a little hot, it's an average speed, so you can make it up at the next speed."
"No, I don't know what you mean, because it's from line to line," Mikey replied.
Ty said Hoots said they can make it up with averages but they'd go from line to line.
"45 is what I'm showing. Should I go 46?"
"46 should be three over," Bobby replied.
"We need to change that over, three greens." Mikey said it would be nice if three greens were okay.
"We can do that if you want to see it that way, yeah."
Mikey said then it would make more sense.
Bobby told him they could adjust it to either way he wanted to see it.
Ty pointed out the entrance to the garages they'd used all week. "We are four stalls past that entrance."
"Okay. How many stalls prior to that entrance?"
"Five, five stalls," Bobby replied.
"So five concrete stalls you have, and you're the fourth one. So you see concrete, and you'll be five."
Bobby and Ty discussed how they'd get Mikey onto pit road.
Bobby mentioned a game score.
"21 to nothing."
Ty said he'd let Shawn Reutimann know. Shawn is David's cousin and spotter. "It will be one to go, one to go."
"Okay, we're looking at lap 40 for our first stop. Lap 40," Bobby said that would accommodate the #00.
Ty said apparently 43 cars were going to the back at the start from what he'd heard.
"Some of these people can't remember what they were thinking once they throw the green," Mikey commented.
Ty said he'd pay more attention to what's going on around Mikey in front. "You do what you do, and I'll let you know what's going on around you."
"Okay, pace car's off," the spotter noted. "You ready? Ready? Green green green. Everybody's straight. Still two by two."
Travis Kvapil led the field to the green flag at 2:22pm.
"Still both sides. Still both sides. Clear high if you need it. Got the 24 17 with you. Still both sides. Clear high if you need it."
By lap 2, Mikey was 15th. David was 18th, and Kenny was 22nd.
"Back to two by two," Ty noted. "Still three-wide. Still three-wide. 7's coming hard on the outside here. All right, you're clear high."
Mikey was 25th on lap 3. David was 16th, and Kenny was 40th. He said something about his left front fender.
"I'll check it out when you come back by," Bobby replied.
"Still three-wide," Ty observed. "Coming inside. 16 and the 21 right there behind you, 16 inside. Looks good on this side, Michael."
"I got into somebody with the left front a little bit more than I wanted to, instead of hitting him square. I just wanted to make sure it was okay," Mikey commented.
By lap 5, Mikey was 27th. David was 14th, and Kenny was 41st.
"Still both sides, still both sides. Clear high. Outside, outside. Both sides, both sides. 24's lined up with you."
"Don't frickin' clear me if I'm not clear now! That's all I ask!" Mikey snapped. "One rule! Let's try to hang with that one rule!"
"Still both sides. Still both sides."
"Fender's all clear. All good on the front," Bobby noted.
Mikey was 29th on lap 6. David was 17th, and Kenny was 40th.
"Clear low, clear low. coming outside. Clear there. You've got the 07 on the bottom with you. All clear. Looking outside, outside. Still outside, two of them. Three-wide outside. Clear up behind the 18. Clear there. Clear two back. Closing outside, the 7. Clear one back to the 00."
Mikey was 40th on lap 8. Kenny was 41st, and David was 15th. On lap 9, David was up to 11th while Mikey and Kenny ran 38th and 39th.
"Clear there, clear there."
"Temperatures are eleven o'clock one o'clock," Mikey said. "Eleven and one."
"10-4, 10-4. Thank you," Bobby replied.
"Just so y'all know what I mean when I say that, that's just about 210 and 260. 210 and 250."
"Still coming outside, outside. Still got them three-wide, three-wide outside. Clear one back, the 7 and the 19."
On lap 11, Brian Vickers was in the lead. David was 19th, Kenny 33rd, and Mikey 38th.
"You're all clear, all clear. Jamming up three-wide in front of you. Got some dropping back in the middle."
David was 9th on lap 12. Kenny was 36th, and Mikey was 40th. David dropped to 24th one lap later.
"What position am I running in, just for curiousity's sake?" Mikey asked.
"40th. 4-0. Actually, 41st. 96 and 48 behind you," Bobby replied.
"Hey, Bobby, don't be talking too long. Got a lot of shit happening here. Thank you though, bud. Got that 22 inside all the way at the bottom, at the bottom. You're clear high. Clear both sides, all clear."
On lap 14, Mikey was 38th. David was 21st, and Kenny was 36th.
"My motor's going through some weird harmonics," Mikey commented.
"10-4. Just keep me posted," Bobby answered.
"I'm not sure it's going to make it through it, actually."
"7's going to be the last one there," Ty noted.
"My motor's starting to shake really bad."
"Check your gauges," Bobby said.
Mikey was 40th on lap 16. David was 26th, and Kenny was 35th. Aric Almirola led.
On lap 18, David Ragan took the lead. Mikey was 39th, David was 29th, and Kenny 36th.
"Clear the 16," Ty observed. Mikey was 38th on lap 19. "Clear one back to the 16 up top. Still down there, still on the inside. Still out there, still outside. The 21. Now you're clear. Clear, all clear."
On lap 20, Mikey was 34th. David was 28th, and Kenny was 38th.
"Still inside, still there. Got another one down there, the 01. Three-wide. Two on the bottom. Still three-wide. Still three-wide. That 21's in the middle. He's all by himself. Clear half, clear one back, clear one back. He's going to be looking outside. All clear."
Mikey was 33rd on lap 21. David was 26th, and Kenny was 37th.
"Still inside. Clear the 21. All clear."
"Halfway on the fuel run, halfway," said Bobby.
Mikey was 32nd on lap 22. The next time around the track, David was 31st, right in front of him. Kenny was 35th.
"Clear the 43. All clear. Whatever you need. All right, bud, three-wide, three-wide. About four deep in front of you, three behind you. 28 and 88 are leading your crowd up top."
David and Mikey were 22nd and 24th on lap 25. Kenny was 35th.
"Still three by three. You'll be catching the 48 and the 96. They're getting lapped. 20 hung up against the wall. Three-wide now. Three-wide. Inside, inside. It will be three-wide with that 12 and that 43. Clear behind the 43. Clear there. 9's coming outside, 19 outside."
Mikey was 36th on lap 26.
"5 car coming outside. 21's going to be the last car. Clear him now. Clear."
On lap 27, Dale Earnhardt Jr took the lead. Mikey was 39th, Kenny 38th, and David 21st.
"Looks like the double not has oil on his back, but I have so much oil on my front, I can't see," Mikey observed on lap 28.
"10-4," Bobby responded.
"Ty, you might want to see if anyone else back here can see... Yes, it does. It has oil on the back."
"Yeah, 10-4," Ty replied.
On lap 28, Mikey was 39th, and Kenny was 37th. David was 33rd. Kenny and Mikey were 36th and 37th on lap 29 with David still in 33rd.
"Clear low, clear low," Ty said. Mikey got ahead of Kenny on lap 30. He was 34th, Kenny 38th, and David 32nd. "Still outside, still outside. You're all clear. Clear low. You've got them two outside. Three-wide. The 44 there on your bumper."
"Ten more laps, pit. Ten more," Bobby said.
"I can't hear him over here," Mikey replied.
"10-4. Bobby, did you say something?" Ty asked.
Bobby did not respond.
Mikey was 33rd, and David was 35th pushing him. Kenny was 38th on lap 31. One lap later, Mikey was 34th, David 37th, and Kenny 38th.
"It will be clear there, clear there. 21's on the outside of the 44, in your mirror."
On lap 33, Mikey was 35th, David 36th, and Kenny 38th.
"Still there, both sides, both sides. Still there both sides. Still both sides. Still both sides. Clear high, clear high if you need it. Clear low. Both sides. Clear high now, clear high."
"The caution," Mikey said.
"Caution's out, caution's out. Oil."
The first caution was on lap 35. Mike Wallace was leading. The caution was for his brother Kenny's oil. Robby Gordon received the free pass.
"Come back, M-Dub. Come back."
"I just said everything's been slowing down."
Ty said NASCAR was talking about it for five minutes and didn't say anything until just then."
Bobby asked about temps, and Mikey again said eleven o'clock and one o'clock.
"Windshield's a mess," Mikey commented.
Bobby said they had the eighth man to work on it.
"They'd better work on that 00."
"We'll relay the message."
Mikey wanted to know if he should stay out to lead a lap for five points.
"Let's just wait, just wait. You'll lead them." Bobby warned Mikey that Kasey Kahne was only taking two tires.
The field pit under yellow. Carl Edwards stayed out to lead. Mikey was cleared behind the #66 and warned about the #6. He spun on pit road getting into a car leaving his box and kept moving around while cars were trying to get around him.
Bobby said something that was covered in static. When his words came out clear, he said, "Okay, come back to pit road. We'll patch up this little hole in your right front."
A crew member said to make sure the barribond was done well and to take their time so it didn't peel off. Ty noted it wasn't one to go.
Mikey came back to pit road.
"It just busted a seam where the bottom bumper hooks together," Bobby said. "Pace car, Ty."
"Pace car's just now in Turn 2, Turn 2."
"Man, this motor shakes. I don't know why. It didn't do it at the start. It didn't do it all weekend," Mikey commented.
Kenny was penalised for speeding on pit road. Because he was over a hundred miles an hour over the limit, he was held a lap.
Ty warned Mikey that the 70, 43, and 6 were at the rear with Mikey on the restart.
Jeff Gordon led the field when racing resumed on lap 39. Mikey was 36th, David 17th, and Kenny 42nd and lapped.
"That's Stewart leading you guys. 29 08," Ty noted. He warned him that the #7 was going to pit road. "Clear."
Matt Kenseth led lap 41. Mikey was 34th, Kenny 41st, and David 17th.
"Still single-file," said Ty.
"Right rear tire looked good here, a lot better than it did yesterday," Bobby noted.
"70 was the only one. You're clear, all clear," Ty added.
Mikey was 35th on lap 43. David was 19th, and Kenny was 41st. Brian Vickers led lap 44. David was back to 35th.
"Clear, all clear. Clear now, clear. Still there inside, still there. Coming outside. Both sides, both sides. Both sides. Everyone has help."
Elliott Sadler led lap 45. Mikey was 37th, David 26th, and Kenny 41st.
"Clear high if you need it. Clear to the middle, to the middle. Clear to the bottom if you want it. Both sides, both sides. Still both sides, both sides."
Casey Mears led lap 46. Mikey was 24th.
"Still both sides. Clear high, clear high. One outside. Caution's out, caution's out, caution's out. Come down. it's for debris."
The second caution was on lap 46. Jimmie Johnson received the free pass. Mikey was 24th, David 22nd, and Kenny 41st and lapped. Mears led.
"How'd the left front look there, Billy?" Bobby asked. "The way that motor's vibrating may be an indication we should get our five points right now."
"No. It clears up," Mikey replied.
Bobby said they should come in for fuel.
Ty told Mikey he'd be okay getting in. The #9 was taking two tires and were going to wait for Mikey to come in first. The #55 pit. Sadler was the first off pit road, but Kevin Harvick stayed on track to lead. Harvick pit, and Sadler took the top spot.
"All right. Pace car's off. Be ready," Ty said. "Ready? Green green green."
Sadler led the lap 50 restart. David was 19th, Mikey 20th, and Kenny 41st. Ryan Newman went to the garage, having lost a cyllander.
"Everybody's rolling, everybody's rolling. Still clear half back. Still all clear, all clear."
Mikey was 16th on lap 51. David was 23rd, and Kenny 41st.
"Still both sides, both sides. You're still clear low, clear low. 00 going to be... both sides, both sides. Clear low, still outside."
Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 52. Mikey was 10th.
"Still both sides, still both sides. Still there. Still both sides. Still both sides. 43's got a lot of help up top. Still there, still outside. Clear to the bottom. Two-by-two. Looking inside, inside. Both sides. Both sides. You've got the 7 and the 9 in the middle with you."
Kurt Busch led lap 53. Mikey was 10th, David 30th, Kenny 41st.
"All lines got a ton of help here. Still there, both sides. Still there, buddy. You've got the same help. Inside, inside. Still inside. Still both sides. There you go, clear low right there if you need it with the 11. Caution's out, caution's out, caution's out."
The third caution was on lap 54. David's right rear tire blew, causing him to spin. Jeff Gordon was right behind him, and when he dodged to avoid the #44, he spun and sustained heavy damage. Jimmie Johnson picked up damage from debris on his grill.
Bobby called four four tires.
"Doesn't matter," Mikey mumbled.
Bobby called for gas only, then said they'd get right sides only.
"Ty, did the 00 get the lucky dog?" Bobby asked.
"No, the 7," Ty replied.
"What happened?" Mikey asked.
"The 44 blew a tire, and the 24 got into it," Ty replied.
"Is the 44 tore up?"
"It looks like the 44 has some barribond on the right D-post," Ty replied. "But no, he's not tore up. He can race."
Ty talked about how Kenny had sped on pit road and was penalised a lap. "The 00 is the only car a lap down. The 96 is two down," Ty said. He noted the #00 was dropping to the back.
"That's a good idea," Mikey replied.
Vickers led the lap 59 restart. Mikey was 13th, David 38th, and Kenny 39th. The #00 had not dropped to the rear.
"Clear four back," Ty said. "Still clear three back. The 09, 17, 29's going to have a run here. Two back. Still clear, still clear. 17's on the outside of the 09 behind you, still one back. There you go. Two by two behind you. Still there, still there. It will be clear there, all you want. Still down there, still there. Clear now, clear."
Denny Hamlin took the lead going into lap 61 after pushing Bobby Labonte into the top spot. Mikey was 12th. David was 37th, and Kenny was 39th.
"Three wide now. Three-wide now. Outside. Still outside, outside."
Kasey Kahne led lap 62. Mikey was 24th.
"Three-wide. Two outside, two outside. Still three wide, still three wide. A couple more coming."
The lead swapped a number of times during the lap, and Reed Sorenson led lap 63. Mikey was 34th, David 37th, and Kenny 38th.
"Still got one all the way to the top. Now you're clear, all clear, all clear. Got three-wide behind you."
Mikey was 33rd on lap 64.
"You're clear there. I'll definitely pay attention to this three-wide racing up there. I know you've got yourself," Ty said.
Jamie McMurray led lap 65. Martin Truex Jr took the top spot two laps later.
"09 up top. Slow up top. You're all clear."
The fourth caution was on lap 69. Brian Vickers blew a tire toward the front of the field riding in the middle of three-wide. Eight other cars were involved, including Mike Skinner, Kasey Kahne, Casey Mears, Travis Kvapil, Aric Almirola, Terry Labonte, Bobby Labonte, Tony Raines, Martin Truex Jr, Jamie McMurray, and David Gilliland.
"Right in front of you. Back it down, back it down, back it down as best you can. Back it down," Ty led.
"Just stop!" Bobby said.
"Good job." He said something about thinking Mikey couldn't see through the smoke.
"No, I can't. That's why I need you up there," Mikey replied.
"Whoo, I'm glad you dropped to the back!" Bobby said.
"I believe in people being afraid, and I believe in people being smart, and I ain't afraid of nothing."
"Right on, brother."
"They're going to stop you down there at the entrance of pit road," Ty said.
"I am fairly confident though that I am going to need four tires."
Mikey said he wondered how that had all started.
"83 car, 83 blew a right front."
"Yeah, that's the other reason why. With these tires, running three wide is really kind of silly."
Ty asked if the #7 had lost a cyllander.
"I hadn't really noticed, man. I hadn't really noticed," Bobby said.
"M-Dub, can you see the right side of the 22?"
"Yeah, he has no issues. He just has a flat tires," Mikey replied.
"Right side flat tire?"
The race was red flagged at 3:38pm on lap 69.
"Michael Waltrip, can you hear me?" someone said over the radio. It sounded like Steve Byrnes.
"Bobby, if they all pit, we can try to get them here, but I feel like I can lead this race later," Mikey said.
Mikey said something that Bobby didn't hear and asked to be repeated.
"How many did we take care of in this little mess?" Mikey asked.
Bobby said ten. They would lead the five, patch the barribond that was rolling up, and put on tires.
"If the 01 in front of you stays out and leads, just come on to me, and we'll put the patch on. But if you can lead a lap, just go ahead and do it."
"34 to nothing on the game there when I see it going across the screen in the fourth quarter," Bobby commented.
"Wow. That's awesome," Mikey replied. He said they need to work on the right front coil bind for Charlotte next week.
Ty said the #00 got the free pass, and the #44 had lost the draft and would now get it back.
"Any of the chase guys getting out?" Mikey asked.
"I don't think so." Ty started listing cars involved in the wreck.
The yellow flag returned at 3:53pm. Cars went to pit road.
"66 jumped out there," Ty observed.
"All right, come to me. Around the 15. Be five away. 5, 4, 3. Four tires, four tires," Bobby directed. "Jack it up, jack it up."
"Take your time, Bobby," Ty said. "The violation is going to drop us to the back."
"The patch is why we're going to be in the back. That's why I didn't worry about the cone," Mikey commented.
"Okay. Turn 2. Middle of the back straightaway."
"Hustle up, guys. Okay, all good, all good. 4600."
Scott Riggs pit after leading a lap, and Earnhardt Jr was back in the top spot.
Ty said the #00 would be coming around the outside and a number of people would have to restart at the back. He said the #22 and #78 had to go to the back behind Mikey. "44, he's behind you. 28, he's behind you. The only one who can go around you is the 66."
"Well why won't he go?" Mikey asked.
"I don't know." Ty then said to drop back.
"Well why does the 22 get to pass?"
"I don't know." He guided Mikey to the lap 73 restart. Mikey was 23rd, David 26th, and Kenny 28th.
"Slow one on the bottom, the 2. Slow one on the bottom, the 2," Ty warned. "Clear all clear. Got a slow one on the bottom."
One lap into the run, Mikey was 22nd. David was 27th, and Mikey was 29th.
"Both sides, both sides," said Ty. "Still both sides. Got the 78 in your line. Both sides. Clear high, the 29. Clear high. Clear low, good job. Still outside, outside."
Denny Hamlin led lap 75. Mikey was 16th, David 27th, and Kenny 29th.
"Three-wide, all the way up. Three-wide. Got the 8 in your mirror."
Mikey was 19th on lap 76.
"There you go. Still outside."
Earnhardt Jr led lap 78. Mikey was 25th, David 21st, and Kenny 29th.
"Still outside. Still there," Ty warned. "Clear up behind the 7 if you want it."
Jimmie Johnson was in the lead on lap 79 with Earnhardt Jr pushing. On lap 80, Mikey was 26th, David 20th, and Kenny 29th.
"Still outside. Clear all clear the 16, clear the 16. Trying to make a run back outside, outside, outside."
Tony Stewart led lap 81. Mikey was 24th.
The fourth caution was on lap 82 when Mike Wallace blew a tire.
"Up behind that 19 if you want it. Clear behind that 7. No caution yet. Okay, caution's out, caution's out."
"We are in big trouble, unless you guys can affect some huge repairs," Mikey said. A huge chunk of debris had hit Mikey's car. "I've take a tire right to my roof, and my windshield's caved in." He said he had to pit right away.
Mikey went to pit road with severe problems.
"Okay, that might not be bad once you patch it."
"Give me a hammer!" Mikey said.
"Give him a hammer."
The crew worked on putting a piece on the front, and Ty kept tabs on the pace car.
"Come on now," Bobby said. He asked about the pace car again. He told the crew to put in more screws.
"Give me the hammer, so I can push up on that inside piece," Mikey said.
"Give him a hammer." Bobby said Mikey was in good shape. "No need to speed."
A crew member asked for the long screws while Mikey went back on track. Bobby told Art to put in gas and fix the roof on this next stop. He also called for barribond on the left front hood. Ty continued to watch the pace car.
"The very top of the windshield," Mikey said.
"Turn 4," Ty warned.
"All right, we have to go, guys. 4600," Bobby said. "4600. All right, where are we at, Ty? Do we have time to come back?"
"It is not one to go." Ty told Mikey to come in for more patchwork.
A crew member said they were good on screws. They just needed more barribond and four tires. "What do you think on your side, Michael?"
"Well, you only got one screw through to the sheet metal in here. But as long as you have it into the windshield, they're fine."
The crew member said four screws were through the windshield.
Mikey pit again.
"Go over, Shawn. Come over."
"Just be gentle with the barribond. We want it to be nice. We don't want to just sling it on there," Mikey warned.
The pace car was in the middle of three and four with the one to go signal.
"Good job, guys, good job," Ty praised after that last stop.
"Wow, that was unusual there," Bobby commented.
"Well, I watched to see if they were wrecking," Mikey said he then saw the piece coming at him. "I didn't even try to dodge it. I never tried to dodge anything coming that way before."
"Hey Ron, if anything, you'll do something to give it a little shape. To do the contour, if you're getting another piece ready."
"All right, here we are," Ty said. He added that the #48 and #96 were back with him. "Not going this time, not going this time, if you want to look at anything, Bobby."
"You want to look at it?" Mikey asked.
Bobby said they were fine.
"What do you want me to do?"
"We're fine, we're fine."
Mikey said he wanted to see more screws into the sheet metal and had only seen one screw come through.
"They want you in front of the 96, in front of the 96," Ty said.
"Why is the 48 back here?" Mikey asked.
"Pit road, extra time."
Kyle Busch led the restart on lap 87. Kenny was 15th, David 24th, and Mikey 28th.
"Slow one all the way on the bottom, the 45," Ty warned. "Clear. Clear clear. Real slow one all the way on the bottom. The 2 car is going to be coming back. Still way on the bottom. Clear low. All clear."
Kenny was 14th on lap 88. David was 25th, and Mikey was 26th.
"Clear all clear. Whatever you need. Still there. Two by two."
On lap 89, Mikey was up to 23rd. David was 24th, and Kenny was 13th.
"All clear. Whatever you need. All clear. 22's coming back slow on the top. Outside, the 78. Outside by himself right now. Outside now, outside, outside. Clear up, clear up."
Mikey was 24th on lap 90. David was 20th, and Kenny was 13th. One lap later, the #55 was 23rd, the #44 19th, and the #00 16th.
"They're all straight, they're all straight. Clear, whatever you need. Clear seven back. No pressure from behind."
Earnhardt Jr took the lead on lap 92. Mikey was 22nd, David 21st, and Kenny 19th.
"Three-wide there, three-wide. Clear out the back. Clear all the way to the bottom. Whatever you need, whatever you need. Inside. Clear high, clear high."
Hamlin led lap 93. Mikey was 20th, Kenny 19th, and David 22nd.
"Clear both sides. All clear."
On lap 94, Kenseth took the lead. Mikey was 15th.
"Everybody's two by two, two by two. Inside, with the 44 behind. Inside, inside. Four-wide, back to three-wide. The 00 is coming. Inside, inside."
"I'm just afraid that's too hard on my windshield with all that air, so I'm going to back out for a while," Mikey said.
"Well hell, we've got 90 to go," Ty replied.
Hamlin led lap 95 as Mikey dropped to 27th.
"This brace inside of here is bent back, and the support is broken, and the windshield is moving a lot. I really don't think it's hurting anything. I'm just afraid it's going to make it come out of its slot."
Ty said the #99 was back there to push him if he needed it.
Kenseth led lap 97. Mikey was 27th, David 19th, and Kenny 22nd.
"Man, that 99's awesome," Mikey commented.
"Yeah, that was kind of cool, huh?" Ty replied.
The fifth caution came out on lap 99. Hamlin cut down a tire and hit the wall hard. He did not respond to his crew when asked if he were okay. Paramedics brought out a stretcher.
"What I'd suggest is trying to fix this window brace, which means we're going to have to figure out how to do that. You're going to have to bend it and put a brace in here with some screws. But the reason why I suggest that is not so much performance. I'm afraid it's going to break out."
Bobby said they didn't have the stuff ready just yet.
"Here's what I suggest. Maybe next time by - should have done it then, because we had all this time - we need to come in, you need to see what I'm talking about. We can do that right now. It looks like it needs to be about 18 inches that we're going to need to screw into the dash." He said the barribond was needed really badly or else something aluminum at the hinge. "Because I don't want the hinge breaking loose. Lot of air right there. Probably just do four by eight, four by four, four by eight probably piece of aluminum that you screw into the fender." He said they'd tape it on the last stop. "Should I get five here, Bobby. He's not out of the car."
Cars pit under caution. Bobby told the crew to cut off something at the top of the roof.
"Make sure you don't screw in any wires, Ron," Mikey advised. He told the crew where to put in the screw and when to put up his net.
Bobby asked if they were all right.
"Pretty good inside. We just need to put a piece of tape on his window net, if Michael is happy with the piece inside."
"Yeah, I think you did a great job with that," Mikey replied.
Bobby wanted Mikey to return for a little more work.
"I would think about putting four tires on it, just because of all the debris on the apron and all they're blowing around," Mikey suggested.
Bobby called for left side tires and told a crew member to fix the right rear. Once Mikey pit, he said the front of the hood's barribond was rolling around and needed to be cut with a razor blade.
"Okay, one thing we don't have to do is to add oil," Bobby told his driver.
"Okay, that's good. Any need for gas right now?"
"No sir, no sir. One stop out."
"All right, bud. Coming to the green this time," Ty said. "Still 85 to go, 85."
Scott Riggs led the lap 105 restart. Mikey was 25th, David 8th, and Kenny 24th.
"Pace car's off. Ready? Rolling. Green green green," Ty said. "Everybody's straight. Still got that slow one on the bottom, the 45. Good push coming. Still outside. Clear all clear. The 28's also clear. Slow one on the bottom. That 2 car is going to be all the way on the bottom again."
Paul Menard led lap 106. Mikey was 21st, David 10th, and Kenny 28th.
"Some of these cars out here are just faster than others," Mikey commented.
"Still out there. Still got one on your bumper. All right, they jumped up top with the 16. Everybody's up."
Mikey was 22nd on lap 107. David was 20th, and Kenny was 28th.
"Still outside. Three-wide right there, three-wide."
"Great job on the windshield, y'all! I believe we'll be okay."
Bobby said they were developping a back-up plan in case this one fails.
Tony Stewart led lap 108.
"Got some help. Outside. Still there, still there. Up top, the 7 jumped up there with the 44. The 99 coming also. The 96 is going to be out there. Clear behind the 99, outside the 96."
Mikey was 26th on lap 109. David was 22nd, and Kenny was 24th.
"Still outside," Ty said. "Clear there, clear."
Paul Menard led lap 110. Mikey was 22nd, David 28th, and Kenny 23rd.
"Still outside, still there," Ty said. "Clear clear."
Mikey was 26th on lap 111. David was 28th, and Kenny was 23rd.
Stewart led lap 113 as David went to the garage.
"He was having trouble keeping up earlier," Bobby said. "The 48, same situation. 9.30 right there, the leaders were a 38.90."
"Yeah, Reutimann when he blew up, he screwed me. When he was blowing up, he wouldn't cut me a break. So that was stupid. And then Schrader, and now here I am," Mikey said.
"Just maintaining right there. You're maintaining," Bobby told his driver.
"Well, I don't understand that. I used to read Office Depot, and now I can't. I'm maintaining. I don't understand."
Bobby read off lap times.
"Not to be a smartass about it. I bet it's no 4.95 this lap."
"All right, 10-4."
Mikey was 26th on lap 116. Kenny was 23rd, and David was 29th.
"The screws have backed out of the pads on the frickin'... They're pulling off."
"Fifty flat, fifty flat," Bobby said.
Jeff Burton led lap 119. Mikey was 26th, Kenny 23rd, and David 29th and off track. One lap later, Kenny moved into 22nd.
On lap 121, Kevin Harvick led.
"Hey, is there any lapped cars in that lead group so that when I catch them, I know what to do?" Mikey asked.
Ty said he would check.
Bobby noted the #45 catching him was two laps down. He said help from the #45 would help him with the #96.
"Well this mess going on on the left front isn't helping. The screws have backed out. The tape has bubbled off of it. We'll need another plan than that, if there's a caution."
"All clear," Ty noted. "The 96, 45, 28, 24. All right, about three car lengths behind the 96 is the 24. The 24's got pretty good steam here. The outside the 96, Clear outside the 96." He warned Mikey that four cars were coming and cleared him up.
On lap 128, as Harvick led, Mikey continued in 26th. Kenny was 21st, and David was 31st in the garage. Kenny moved into 20th one lap later.
"The pack just now is in 4, it's in Turn 4," Ty said.
Kenny was 18th on lap 130.
"Corner left hinge," Mikey indicated. "This is killing me."
On lap 131, Kenny was 21st. Mikey was 26th, and David was 31st and in the garage.
"How many lead lap cars?" Mikey asked.
"27, 27," Bobby replied.
"How many more laps are you looking at, Bobby?" Ty asked.
Bobby said ten or twelve and said something about the draft.
Kenny was 20th on lap 134. Mikey was 26th.
"Ty, are you around the 26, 24 spotters?" Bobby asked.
"I'm looking for them right now," Ty replied. "The 26, 24, 84."
"Who's the leaders?" Mikey asked.
"Just now in the middle of three and four, three and four."
Mikey suggested a fast pit stop "with tires and gas, if it's four, two forever, and get a handful of barribond off the left front and just ride and hope we get a caution."
Bobby called for two tires. "You gotta pack it full, Arte."
"Bobby, they all said they're taking four. So if we take two, that will give us a little time."
Mikey said he didn't want to get two and get all bottled up; he wanted to go with four.
"24 blew up, so he's on pit road. He won't be part of the equation now. Caution's out, caution's out, caution's out. There may be oil in Turn 3."
The seventh caution was on lap 140.
"Well, we need to do a better job on this front. The tape ain't cutting, and the aluminum's coming off. The screws backed out of the hood. So that didn't work." Mikey suggested going for five points and fixing all that in one stop.
Bobby said the #22 was talking about staying out. "So if he stays out, we're coming."
Mikey thought it would be worth it to stay out and wait for the #22 to pit, then led.
"No, come on. Come to me. Come to me." Bobby led Mikey to the box. He called for four tires and told the crew to clear the flapping barribond.
"It's going to be hard to go from here, right?" Ty asked.
"What's that?" Bobby asked.
Kenny wound up leading a lap. Ty said Kenny had done it to block Robby Gordon from leading a lap. Biffle led a lap, then Joe Nemechek.
"All right, one to go this time. One to go," Ty said.
"Topping off, correct?" Mikey asked, and Bobby confirmed. "And then we're good to the end?"
"Yes sir, yes sir," Bobby replied.
"Pull me a tear-off if I have any left. If not, then I don't know what to do."
"Ron, get your razor blade. See if you can peel it up." He led Mikey around the #78. "Just sit tight. Get it cleared off, Ron."
With Nemechek's stop, Kyle Busch moved into the top spot.
"45 was the lucky dog, so he's going to be the only one not damaged behind you," Ty said. "You saw what kind of parachute that 96 was, so I'll tell you want they're doing up there."
Busch led the restart on lap 145. Mikey was 26th, Kenny 22nd, and David in the garage in 33rd.
"All clear, all clear. Clear the 5. All clear," Ty said. "Still inside. Still inside."
"Can y'all hear me?" Mikey asked.
"No, negative," Bobby replied.
"Clear, clear. Clear two back."
On lap 146, Mikey was 24th, Kenny 25th, and David 34th in the garage.
"Can you hear me?" Mikey asked.
"Both sides, both sides. Still there. Both sides," Ty noted. "Both sides. Clear high. Both sides. Still there. Clear high, clear high. Stilli nside on the bottom, still there."
Mikey was 18th on lap 148. Kenny was 23rd, and David was 35th in the garage.
"Clear, clear. Still clear. Three-wide. You're on the bottom. Three-wide. Two-wide, two-wide."
Mikey was 17th on lap 149. Kenny was 24th.
"Middle line's trying to come. Three-wide. Still three-wide. Still three-wide. Still three-wide. You're on the bottom. Everybody's got the same help. Two-wide there."
Mikey was 20th on lap 150 with Kenny in 21st.
"Still three-wide, three-wide. Got the 00 coming. Still three-wide, still three-wide."
Mikey was 23rd on lap 151 with Kenny in 19th.
"Still three-wide. The middle lane's got some more help. Clear up on that 22. Clear."
Mikey was 25th on lap 152; Kenny was still 19th. One lap later, Mikey was 26th.
"Still there, still there. Clear low," Ty observed. "Back to just the 22 inside. Clear now, clear. Still outside, still outside."
On lap 153, Mikey was 23rd, and Kenny was 25th.
"Ty, can you get that 00 to help us?" Bobby asked.
"He doesn't want to go right now. Clear behind the 5, all the way to the top. Clear low now. Clear by two. The 6 in your mirror, the 6 on your bumper. Three by three everybody. Watch what's coming on in front of you. Keep coming. Everybody's rolling, everybody's rolling. Outside."
"I just don't have nothing to push with," Mikey said.
Ty warned about cars checking up in the middle. "Clear in the middle. You've got one all the way to the bottom."
Mikey was 17th on lap 155. Kenny was 26th. Earnhardt Jr was in the lead.
"Clear low, clear low. Outside, outside. Three-wide. Got the 18 in front of the 6 and the 29 on your bumper. Still outside. The 99's jumping out there."
On lap 156, Mikey was 25th, and Kenny was 24th.
"32 to go, 32. Clear all clear"
Mikey was 21st on lap 157 with Kenny in 23rd.
"Two by two," said Ty. "Both sides, both sides. Clear low. Clear to the middle, clear to the middle. One coming inside now, inside on your bumper."
Burton led lap 157.
"Still outside. Clear high now, clear high."
Mikey was 16th on lap 158. Kenny was 22nd.
"Three-wide. You've got the 16 pushing. Still out there, still there. Going to be four-wide there. Got the 16 and the 43 with you. Two-wide there. The 8. Inside. Still outside, still there. Two-by-two. Everybody's got help."
Mikey was 15th on lap 160. Kenny was 20th.
"You're clear up if you want it, clear up if you want it. Three-wide, three-wide. Got the 20 up there with you, 20's with you."
Ragan took the lead on lap 161. Mikey was 11th, and Kenny was 24th.
"20's got the 19 pushing. Both sides, both sides. Still both sides, both sides. Clear high, clear high. Got one low, got one low. You're clear, all clear. Lapped ones all the way on the bottom, lapped ones all the way on the bottom. Still there. Clear now, clear. Both sides, both sides. Clear low."
Mikey was 10th on lap 162. Kenny was 19th.
"Big push from the 18. Both sides. Got the 18 with you. Both sides. Both sides. Got a good push from behind. Clear the 17. You're clear high."
Mikey was pushing Montoya bumper to bumper.
"Still there. The 18's going to jump up there with you again."
Mikey was 3rd on lap 164 with Earnhardt Jr leading. Mikey was leading the outside line.
"Clear, clear. Clear high. 42 18 stuffed up there with you."
Mikey was pushed into the lead momentarily but was passed by Earnhardt Jr before the stripe.
"The 42's coming with you. Nice shove. Clear the 41. The 42's still with you. Clear the 88. Keep coming, keep coming. Caution's out. Keep coming. All right, bud. Back it down. You should be the leader here. Good job, good job."
"Stay out, stay out," Bobby said.
The eighth caution was on lap 166 with Mikey leading. Kevin Harvick got spun out.
"My car is too slow," Mikey complained.
"10-4," Bobby replied. "Will tires make any difference? Okay, 10-4."
"You going to pit or stay?" Ty asked.
"Staying out, M-Dub."
"Unless the tires are going to blow out, I want four. I made it up here once, I can do it again."
"Let's put two on."
The #55 pit for right side tires, and others came in too.
"Why ain't the jack man jacking the car up?" Mikey asked after the stop. "If the right front wheel comes loose because it was down on the ground, it's gonna suck. Does anybody... or am I just..."
"Yeah, he said it's in good shape. He pulled it up in the air. We're good."
"One to go when you come around here. One to go. It'll be 19 to go when you take the green," Ty said. "There's your competition yellow with twenty to go."
"Yeah, but they forgot to tell everybody," Mikey replied.
"You got the 43, 17, 78, 31 behind you," Ty noted.
Montoya led the restart on lap 170. Mikey was 13th, Kenny was 10th, and David was 36th in the garage.
"Ready? Ready? Green green green," Ty said. "Everybody's straight. Clear one back. You're still clear. They jumped out to the bottom behind the 43. There you go. Clear one back to the 17. He's going to have a run outside, outside, outside. Lot of help up top. Got a little help coming. Help's coming."
"That's what I mean when I say some cars are just faster than others. I can't do nothing about that," Mikey said.
Ty noted the #8 and #18 were good players right in front of them.
Mikey was 20th on lap 171. Kenny was 10th.
"Still three-wide, still three-wide," said Ty. "Just the 22 outside."
Mikey was 17th on lap 172. Kenny was 26th.
"Still two by two. Still two by two. Everybody's got the same help here."
Mikey was 22nd on lap 173 with Kenny in 26th.
"Clear all clear. 31's coming to your bumper. Coming inside. Clear high. Still all clear, all clear. Big run outside, outside. Both sides. Still both sides. Still both sides. Right in front of you. You've got to come down if you can. Still wrecking. Come all the way down. They came off the wall."
The ninth caution was with fourteen laps to go. Carl Edwards wrecked his teammate Greg Biffle. Mikey was hit when Matt Kenseth came off the wall as a number of cars wrecked.
"Get the saws all ready guys. Get the saws all ready. Cut the stuff loose on that side. Cut it loose. Clear the deck lid. Get the barribond on it."
"Let's be smart here," Mikey said. He said his tow was off. "I don't know how bad."
Bobby instructed the crew to get barribond on the decklid and to get it clear and cut away.
Ty warned the pace car was in the middle of Turns 3 and 4.
Mikey said he needed to go real quick and to cool down his motor. He told the crew they needed to fix the suspension. "Unless I have a flat tire, I have some serious issues."
"All right, 10-4."
Bobby said to fix the tow on the right side.
"Okay, I hope it's just the tow, but it might be behind the wall," Mikey said.
A crew member noted the red flag was out at 5:55pm.
"It's a red flag, Michael, it's a red flag. So let me find out where they want us to stop," Ty said.
"I can probably just stop in our pit stop, right?" Mikey asked. "Y'all just need to see if you can tell. I think repairs need to be made to the front end. It's way off. I got a lot of slop in my wheel."
"Drink? Get him a drink, please," Bobby told the crew.
A crew member said something.
"Bent or broke?" Bobby asked.
The crew member said they didn't see anything broken.
"How far's the tow off?" Mikey asked.
Bobby said he didn't know yet.
"There's something messed up somewhere."
A crew member said the right front shock was broken and that they'd need a new one.
"Might be best if we just sit here and try to fix it under this caution."
"Arte, make sure our deck lid is secure, okay?" Bobby said.
A crew member said they'd pull off the tire and replace the shock. They also needed a lower bolt. "I can't see the mount. I can't tell what it is."
Bobby sent someone to the #00 box to get something they need.
"This uh, that hood is going to be the least of our problems. I believe the problem is going to be under the hood with the suspension. So before they screw it down, I'd say we should make sure that right front isn't wobbling," Mikey said.
A crew member said they were going to look into it. "We've got it covered. We have a plan.
"Give me another three quarter socket and a three quarter wrench, please."
Someone said they'd have to look at if everything was all attached right once they jack it up, such as the bumpstop.
The red flag lifted at 6:06pm, and the #55 team got to work. Ty warned where the pace car was. Mikey lost the lead lap as the team worked on the car.
"Bobby, as far as wheel rub, is there any concern there? Because that'd really help me with my tow," Mikey said. He told his crew chief he'd return. "It's on the track right now. I'm feeling it right here."
Ty said they were coming to the green.
"Doesn't matter. You're going to have to put more rounds in it," Mikey replied.
Bobby said they'd take rounds out of the right rear.
"Just screw that right front as long as you can. Everything else seems all right. I can drive it."
Bobby asked a crew member to work on packer in the right front.
Tony Stewart led the restart with ten laps to go. Kenny was 15th, Mikey was two laps down in 19th, and David was in the garage in 37th.
"All right, all four below the yellow line," Ty said when Mikey came back onto the track. "Four below, all four below."
"Any smoke, Ty?" Mikey asked.
"I don't from all the way over here, but I'll tell you when you come through."
"All clear by me, all clear by me," Bobby said.
"No smoke, no smoke from what I can see," Ty added.
"If they say anything about my speed, tell them I'm going to get some drafting help in a minute. I should be able to pick it up," Mikey said.
"10-4, 10-4," Bobby replied. "55.80, 55.80. Everything's all clear then. 55.80."
Mikey said maybe he could get it down to the 54's with the draft.
Kenny was 14th on lap 182 as Mikey continued in 19th.
"All right, they said to pick up the speed. Obviously, we know that," Ty said.
"Uh, might be smart to pit this time and put some tape on the front. Then that would give us a couple laps to get that speed up," Mikey suggested.
Bobby told Mikey to pit, although he was hesistant as he wanted Mikey to stay in front of Dave Blaney's #22.
"22 just blew up. 22 just blew up," Ty noted. He told Mikey to keep going as he didn't think Blaney would make it all the way around. "All right, here comes the pack. Here comes the pack. Get down on the apron if you can. Here comes the pack. Here comes the #00. Lost the draft somehow."
"Got one spinning?" Mikey asked.
"Got one crashing behind you," Ty confirmed. "Keep coming around to the caution."
The tenth caution was with four laps to go when Jamie McMurray spun.
"Can't you get up there and get with him, brother? Your car okay?" Mikey asked.
"You're on our channel. Flip it one more," Bobby told his driver.
"I thought you were talking to Kenny. You're on our channel."
"Hey, uh, who spun out?" Mikey asked.
"The uh, I think the 26," Ty replied.
"Yeah, 26 spun out," Bobby confirmed.
"Did we beat everyone who was in the wreck?" Mikey asked.
"We beat everyone but the 18, who must be p18."
"Want me to come in to check for rubs and shit?"
Bobby agreed. "Be ready with tires here, in case you have anything rubbing with tires. Be ready. 4600. All clear on the left. We're good over there, Ron?" Mikey left the box.
"Yeah! There you go!" Bobby said as Mike left the box.
Mikey said he was trying to show him something.
"I think we saw that at Z-Max Speedway," Ty commented.
"Aw, that's right. Maybe I shouldn't show those off."
"Which one of those geniuses caused the crash that I was in?"
Ty said the #99 had hooked the #16.
"29, I thought it was, but I'm not sure."
"Well, you were probably a lot closer than I was. It was a yellow car. They're going to give you one to go."
Mikey commented on how much the car had improved. "It's amazing what a quarter inch of tow would do."
"I believe it was an inch and a quarter," Bobby replied.
A crew member said he was being optimistic when he said a quarter. Mikey said that was being pessimistic, because that wouldn't have been enough.
"I'd like to see Herman go somewhere now. He's got the ball on the tee! We got us a green/white/checkered, Roger?" Mikey asked.
Ty confirmed. "Smoke's leading, and the three DEI cars are 2nd, 3rd, and 4th."
"Not one of those DEI guys have the slightest inkling of what to do right now."
Ty said they'd probably just run out of gas.
Stewart led the green/white/checkered. Mikey was 19th and three laps down, Kenny was 14th, and David was 37th and in the garage.
"White flag. Got some closing on you on the outside," Ty said. Kenny was 13th. Reagan Smith passed Stewart under the yellow line at
"All right, that's it," Ty said. "Reagan Smith passed Stewart, but he passed below the yellow line, so I don't think he's going to get it."
"Where at?" Mikey asked.
Ty said it was along the apron.
"Well NASCAR told me you could pass along the apron, so long as you can see the flagstand."
NASCAR disallowed the pass, and Stewart won.
"Now they got 20 on the scoreboard," Mikey commented.
"Yeah, they took it away from him," someone replied.
Kenny finished 12th, due to NASCAR moving Smith to the tail end of the lead lap. Mikey was four laps down in 19th. David finished eighty laps down in the garage, in 37th.
Next week's Sprint Cup race will be next Saturday night in Charlotte. Coverage of the Bank of America 500 begins at 7:00pm ET on ABC. The Nationwide Series' Dollar General 300 airs the day before at 7:30pm on ESPN2.
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 44 UPS Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing Position: 37th
What happened that took you out of the race?
"It blew up. I blew a right-rear tire and they patched it back together and they did a good job because we could sort of hang in there. Then it dropped a cylinder and got slower and finally decided it wasn't going to run any longer and blew up."
What is causing the tire problems?
"I don't know. It's crazy because you've got guys blowing right-front tires and right-rears and stuff. I don't know -- it could be a debris deal, but it's hard to say. The only thing I know for sure is that when they blow out they do it all of the sudden and without warning. It's unfortunate, but it is what it is."