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Ford 400 - 11/22/09


Michael Waltrip finished 30th in his last race as a full time driver in the Sprint Cup series, in today's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In victory lane, race winner Denny Hamlin had this to say about the driver of the #55 Napa Auto Parts Camry: "Congratulations to Michael Waltrip on a great career. I was trying to keep him close those last couple laps so I could show some dignity and give him his lap back, but he's done a lot for this sport, and I've got to say congratulations for a great career to him."

David Reutimann's #00 Aaron's Dream Machine finished 15th. After qualifying well and leading for a few laps starting on lap 10, Marcos Ambrose's #47 Little Debbies Toyota suffered a failed carberator and finished sixteen laps down in 35th.

Mikey started 39th today. Marcos rolled off 3rd, David 22nd.

"Hello, 1, 2, 3," Mikey was the first on the #55 frequency at 3:23pm ET.

"10-4. I go you loud and clear," crew chief Gene Nead replied.

"Roger. I got you good."

"You got a copy?" spotter Ty Norris was on the radio next.

"Yes, sir," came Mikey's response.

"10-4. Sounds good today."

Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs gave the call to start engines came at 3:24pm.

"Gene, what are we going to be looking for for pit road speed here?" Ty asked.

"43, Ty," Mikey replied.

"10-4. 43."

"You got me there, Michael?" Gene asked.

"Yes, sir," Mikey replied.

"It will be 4300 and second gear. You got me there? You catch that, Ty? 4300 and second gear?"

"10-4. We've got that covered," Ty said. "4300 and second gear." After a long pause, he pointed out the pit box as Mikey rolled around on the track. "Right there, bud. Right there."

"Front end brake fans when we get going here, and all four brake blowers," Gene told his driver.

"You've got a concrete jungle there behind you there, Gene, so try to talk to him on the front stretch, and if he can't hear you, I'll repeat to him

Gene responded, and Ty asked Mikey if he'd heard Gene.

"I didn't hear a word he said, Ty," Mikey replied.

"That's what I was afraid of." Ty relayed the information. "One to go. Let's give 'em all we've got."

"Michael, let's have us a good day today, man. Guys, we're going to have a good day in the pits." Gene told Mikey to have a good day too.

"10-4. Thank y'all," Mikey replied.

Jimmie Johnson led the field to the green flag at 3:33pm. Marcos immediately jumped into 2nd.

"All right, bud. Be ready. Ready? Green green green. Everybody's rolling, everybody's rolling. Still outside, 98. Three wide right there, 11 in the middle, 98 at the top. It will be three wide off the corner. Still going to be there. See that 37 backing up up top. Still out there. 6 car is going to be in the middle as well. Three wide still. Back to two, back to two. The 98 is behind him. Outside outside. Three wide again, three wide. Clear half back to the 43. Still all the way at the top. See that 98 backing up. Still there half back, 34. Inside, all the way at the bottom. Inside inside."

Mikey was 38th on lap 1. He was 40th on lap 4. David was 19th as Marcos continued in 2nd.

"Still down on your quarter panel, the 34. Still all the way down there."

"33.98."

"There you go. Everybody's rolling. Clear five back."

Mikey was 41st on lap 5. Meanwhile, Mark Martin's #5 got loose chasing Marcos.

"It's so loose," Mikey reported.

"10-4," Gene replied. "34.45."

"It feels good. No rear grip."

"The 7's trying to fill the hole behind you. Still there. Still out there. Clear there three back. Clear now. Still clear now. Have a run coming to the outside. Still there on your corner there. Still all the way at the top, still there."

Mikey was 42nd on lap 8, but he regained the spot.

"Half back. 08 closing. Outside outside. Still out there. Still there."

Marcos took the lead on lap 10 and cheered over his radio. David was 15th. Mikey was last.

"I'm so loose," Mikey said.

"10-4, bud," Gene replied. "Make sure you have your rear blowers off."

"Loose in, loose off, loose in the middle."

"10-4. Make sure you've got your rear blowers on."

"It's ridiculous. It's like crashing loose."

On lap 14, Mikey picked up 42nd from Terry Labonte in the #08. Marcos reported a fear that he was losing a right rear tire. Cars passed him, and he dropped to pit road. Jimmie Johnson reclaimed the lead on lap 15. Meanwhile, the #47 went to the pits.

"Still outside on your quarter. Still there, still there. You're clear now, you're clear. You're clear two back. Still clear."

Mikey was 40th on lap 19. David was 13th, and Marcos was last.

"Clear there, all clear. You're going to be all clear off the corner."

On lap 19, Mikey was 39th. He had passed his former driver, Michael McDowell.

"34.90.

"35 flat."

"So, so far off. So far, so far. Just so far. Can't even run laps without spinning out. Son of a gun. Ridiculous," Mikey said on lap 22. "I mean, you've taken the... I don't do nothing. Son of a gun. Just damn it is all I can say. I can't believe the shape I've gotten myself in."

"Keep going, bud. We'll get you fixed up. 34.80.

"34.90."

"Still all the way at the top. Still all the way at the bottom. You're clear now."

"Quit telling me lap times!" Mikey yelled. "I'm three wide in the middle of a road block, not going anywhere. I don't think it matters what times I'm going."

"Clear the 19 right there. Clear up if you need it, clear up if you need it. Still down there. Still there. You're clear there."

Mikey was 37th on lap 38. He had passed John Andretti and Elliott Sadler.

"Clear two back. You've got a real slow one on the bottom, the 47. He's got some electrical issues. You're going to be clear up behind the 7 if you need it."

Marcos was on pit road on lap 31; his crew was changing the battery. Mikey was 36th, and David was 12th. On lap 33, Tony Stewart took the lead.

"There you go. All clear there. All clear."

Lap 34 saw Mikey pass Reagan Smith for 35th.

"Still up there. You're going to be clear up there. Clear back to that 78. The leader is just now getting into 4. Clear. Clear right there behind him."

"If nothing else, I should be good if I ever decide to go to Finland and race on ice," Mikey commented on lap 37.

"10-4, bud," Gene replied.

"No. Right. Rear. Grip."

"10-4."

"Still on the quarter. Going to be clear up behind him if you need it," Ty noted.

"You've got your right rear blower on, right?" Gene asked.

"YES!" Mikey shouted. "You know what else? I'm not getting in too deep either.

"Still there. Clear there, all clear. 14's the leader, just now in 2. Got two-thirds of a straightaway. Lap 45 right here."

Mikey was 34th on lap 46. He had passed Erik Darnell.

"Stil all the way up there. Still there. Going to be clear up behind him."

"We're going to pit next time by, buddy. Pit next time by. We'll get that wedge adjustment," Gene said on lap 50.

"Why are we pitting so early?" Mikey asked.

"Pit this time, bud. Pit this time."

"4300, 4300. 17's coming also. 4300 at the line right here. 4300 at the line."

Gene guided Mikey to the box on lap 51. "Go all the way out, bud."

"How can we be that bad?" Mikey asked as he left pit road. "I just don't understand it."

"4300 at the line here. All right, let's go, bud. Let's see, the 24 is coming around your right. He has not pitted yet. Still there, still there. Still there."

Stewart pit on lap 53 as green flag stops continued. Kurt Busch took the lead.

"Clear clear."

Busch pit on lap 55, and Clint Bowyer took the lead. Mikey yelled something about fixing the car.

"Did we help your car at all?" Gene asked.

Mikey didn't respond, possibly because he couldn't hear his crew chief.

"All right, man, the leader's the 33. He's at the line now," Ty warned.

On lap 57, Kevin Harvick took the lead. Mikey was 32nd, David 11th, and Marcos 42nd as McDowell had gone to the garage.

"A little bit fresher tires in your mirror right there, the 02," Ty warned. "Got a run, looking on the bottom. Inside, inside. About 7 back to the 29, new leader."

On lap 60, Mikey went a lap down.

"29's looking low on the bottom, 29. 14's right on his flank there, right in your mirror. Inside inside. 33's right there on the bottom."

Mikey was 33rd on lap 61. He had passed Robby Gordon.

"You'll be clear two back to the 5." Ty noted Mikey would race Robby Gordon for the free pass and that Robby Gordon's #7 was attempting to pass with a lead lap car. "Two back to the 48. Still on the bottom, all by himself."

On lap 63, Mikey was 34th. Gordon had passed.

"If it's anything, it's looser," Mikey stated.

"10-4."

"I'd like to get out of it and get one of y'all who thinks he can drive drive this thing. It's pissing me off. I'm doing everything I can, and it's just ridiculously ridiculous."

On lap 65, Stewart was back in the lead. Mikey was 34th and lapped, David 11th, and Marcos 41st and thirteen laps down.

"Looking inside. The 24, all by himself."

A long pause followed.

"Now would be a good time for lap times, ya think?" Mikey suggested.

"Gene, he jumped up to the top this last time," Ty said. "It'll give us a good sense of where we're running here."

"10-4."

"Two back to the 1, closing in fast, running the extrere high side. You'll be clear up behind him. Four back to the 33. 88's going to be coming outside. Still all the way at the top. The 31 all the way at the bottom. Clear of him now by one. Clear two back to the 2. 2 car down there, and he's got one with him. Inside. You're going to be clear there, clear there. Two back."

"35.30."

"Is that any better, Gene, the past couple laps?" Ty asked.

"35.12.

"34.85. Good lap. You're clear two back to the 42. Coming outside outside. He's there. Clear behind him. Fresher tires, that 21 is two back. One back. Outside. You're going to be clear there two back, clear there two back. 39 00 got a run, outside. 00 outside, outside. It will be clear up behind him."

The first caution was on lap 81 for Marcos, who had spun.

"Caution's out, caution's out. Spin in Turn 4," Ty announced.

Gene said they'd make a packer adjustment.

"You made it looser putting one in it the first time, so that makes a lot of sense."

"I think the air pressure adjustment made it looser. Has that thing been hitting the ground at all?"

"No."

"Pull a thirty second packer out of the left front."

People talked at the same time on the radio next, and nothing was intelligable.

"We're going to have to pull the 32 down, put the 36 in then. 10-4," Gene said.

"Gene, I know you don't want to hear this, but if you wave around, you'll only have to give up one lap," Ty suggested.

"Let's pit."

"Okay."

"If you wave around, you get ten laps of doing the same thing. You get ten laps of mainly wrecking, and then you pit."

"10-4. Let's pit and put four tires on this thing," Gene agreed.

"All right, here we come. 4300."

"Five away. 4, 3, 2, 1. Wheels straight, put on the brakes. Go go go. All, all the way out."

"4300 right there."

Stewart led the lap 86 restart, choosing the high side. Mikey was 38th and lapped, David was 13th, and Marcos was fifteen laps down in 41st.

"All right, bud. Pace car's off." Ty said something about hoping for another caution soon. "Spin in front of you. Watch it. You see it. Outside outside. 84. 72's right there with him. Behind that 78 if you need it, if you need it. 78's still up top there. Clear one back to the 47. Still out on your corner, 78. Still out there. 47 jumped out there with him. Coming on your quarter. Can't tell. Clear there, clear there, clear there. Clear three back, 47."

Kevin Harvick took the lead one lap into the run.

"34.29. Good lap times, bud," Gene said to his driver.

"So loose in," Mikey replied.

"Inside, inside. 47 inside."

"Looser in than I've ever been in my life."

"10-4 on the loose in."

"Yeah, 10-4."

"34.50."

"Still outside on you. Clear there. Two back behind you to the 78. 78's trying to close up up top. One back. Half back. Got a run on the inside, the 78."

"34.80."

On lap 98, Mikey was 39th. Reagan Smith in the #78 had passed.

"Still down there."

The second caution was on lap 101 for Andretti, who had hit the wall hard.

"Got a car in the wall in Turn 1. No caution. No caution yet. Keep rolling. Caution's out, caution's out."

"Did we make the thing any better or no?" Gene asked.

Mikey said he hadn't given him lap times, so he didn't know. "It seemed to run better the last couple laps, but I don't know."

Gene said they'd do a wavearound and would do a rubber adjustment later.

"We had some air pressure yesterday that made it plow in, so that might help."

Gene said they'd already done it.

"It's cool. It's probably just me. We'll make it through the day."

"Was it looser in that time?"

"No. It's been the same loose in since we got here, since the race started."

"The wavearound helped some of those guys, didn't it, Ty?"

Ty said it helped two, but one of the wavearound cars, Andretti's #34, had blown a tire. He said he was surprised there weren't any earlier cautions due to everyone sliding around. He told Mikey to get space on the other cars with all the debris.

"Staying out," Gene said.

"Is there anyway, the next time we stop, to do whatever is in y'all's minds to make it plow?" Mikey asked after a pause.

"Yeah, 10-4. I mean, we're definitely trying to get it tightened up here. Hey, did it hit the ground there any?"

"No."

"All right, brother, we're going to be going around the pace car around the start/finish line," Ty said.

"We've got about 40 laps we can run, so hopefully we'll get a caution," Gene said.

Ty told Mikey to line up behind Paul Menard's #98. Six cars had chosen to take the wavearound. Harvick led the lap 106 restart. Mikey was 36th, David 14th, and Marcos 40th and fifteen laps down.

Ty called the green. "Still outside, 71. 78's going to be up there with him. 78's on your corner, on your corner. Still out there, up top. Still there, still there. Coming back. Still out there, all the way to the top, 71. Still there, still there."

The third caution was on lap 109 for Marcos, who had hit the wall again. Reed Sorenson received the free pass.

"34.11."

"47 in the wall right there in front of you. Caution's out, caution's out."

"We're going to put four tires. We're going to do rubbers in the left rear, okay? Second time by, obviously."

"The caution car did not pick up the leader, so pit road will be open next time."

Gene asked Paul if the air pressures were the same. "Let's put two full rubbers in the left rear." He repeated this twice. "Yeah, 10-4, we're going to pit first time by here. Where's the 9 at, Ty? They're pitting and putting on two tires, so I'm a little worried about this."

"Um, it's going to be close. He's about 17th, 18th, 19th range. If we're going to be doing all that stuff, we won't be in a hurry. That's fine. We'll just wait on him."

"Yeah, we'll just wait on him. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Stop. Wheels straight, put on the brakes. Make sure you get the rubbers in, Paul. All right, all the way out. Shake your wheel a little. Your drink bottle is stuck up in the back."

"Gene, do we need to come back, or are we good?"

"We got everything in. We're good. All right, bud, hopefully this tightens you up."

Harvick led the lap 113 restart. Mikey was 36th, David 25th, and Marcos fifteen laps down in 40th.

"All right, pace car's off. Ready? Ready? Green green green. Everybody's rolling. Still inside, all the way at the bottom. Both sides, looking both sides. Outside, you're clear on the bottom. Clear high now. Clear three back. Clear three back. You see that 7 is really struggling. He's the one right in the middle. Still clear up if you need it."

On lap 114, Mikey was 38th.

"Clear two back."

Tony Stewart and Juan Pablo Montoya got together, causing Montoya's #42 to cut a tire and hit the wall.

"Still out there. One in the wall over there in 3 and 4. No caution yet. Caution's out, caution's out, caution's out. He's against the wall. Come through low."

"Y'all have not touched the entry. Y'all have got to put some tow in it like you did at Texas so I can drive it," Mikey said. "So once I turn left, I can drive it and I can go."

Gene wanted to work on tow and emphasised jacking up the car enough.

The fourth caution was on lap 117 for Montoya. During pit stops, Erik Darnell slammed on the brakes going to the garage. Cars piled up. Elliott Sadler sustained significant damage. Mikey scuffed his nose on the #19's rear, and Dale Earnhardt Jr bumped the rear of the #55.

"5, 4, 3. Come on. Turn left, turn left, turn left. Put tires on it. Get the tow done. Get the tow done. Get over the wall. I understand. Just get the tow done. Tell me where they are. Tell me where they are, Ty."

"Middle of the back, middle of the back."

"I'm not even worried about the nose. Let's just get the tow done," Gene told the team. "Come on around. We've got to get ready to go, bud. Come on around. We've got to get ready to go. You got it? Let's go. Let's figure out what's wrong with the front end."

"There are a ton of brake rotors out there, so it's going to be a while, M-Dub."

Gene asked for one crew member to give an update on the nose, and they did. Gene complained about the truck in the middle of the track.

"The truck on the back isn't a problem. Just get the work done," Mikey said.

The #55 pit again, then planned to come back in another time to work on the nose.

"All right, here we go," Ty said.

"They don't want us to pit this time. They don't want us to pit. Do not pit," Gene said.

"All right, we're coming back in now, right?" Ty asked.

Gene said not to pit, and Ty reiterated this.

Mikey went back to pit road when it was open for some nose repairs. Gene talked about fixing the fender.

"All right, do you need anything else in the pits there, Gene?" Ty asked.

"No, we're good."

"Ty, they can't race on the race track and can't hardly wreck to cars out," Mikey commented about the wreck on pit road.

Harvick led the restart on lap 124. Ty noted that the first seven cars hadn't pitted the last two cautions. Mikey was 32nd, David 15th, and Marcos 40th and 16 laps down.

"All clear. Whatever you need, all clear."

Mikey was 33rd one lap into the run. David had also lost a spot.

"Clear one back. You're clear clear clear."

"33.70.

"33.60."

"Still down there, 71. Still on your corner. It will be all clear there."

"33.80."

"It will be clear up behind him. 71's looking low, inside."

On lap 130, Mikey was 32nd after passing Bobby Labonte's #71, who was now attempting to rally back for the position.

"Still hanging on your corner. Still hanging on your corner there, inside."

By lap 133, Mikey was 33rd again as Labonte had passed the #55 again. David was 14th, Marcos 40th. Kurt Busch was now out front.

"34.40."

"Plowing off," Mikey reported on lap 135.

"34.70."

"Do y'all hear me? I don't know."

"10-4, I heard you."

"Communication, man. Let me know you hear something. Shit."

"34.40." He asked something about a trackbar adjustment.

"The right, I think."

"I heard you that time. The 96 is coming along the bottom.

"So you heard me, huh, Ty?"

"10-4."

"What did he say, Ty?" Gene asked.

Ty began answering, then warned that Earnhardt Jr had scraped the wall. "Backing up fast. Inside, inside. No caution yet. Still no caution yet. He's on pit road. No caution." Ty asked Mikey to repeat what he'd said about the trackbar as he didn't know if Gene had heard him.

"I never know if he hears me or not." Mikey suggested raising the trackbar to help with the exit.

"All right, 10-4 on that," Gene replied. "34.80."

On lap 139, Mikey was 32nd due to Earnhardt Jr's misfortunes. Marcos was up to 36th. David was 13th.

"Either that, or I messed up the nose on it when I wrecked on pit road," Mikey added.

"34.80. 10-4. I think we need to get the rotors out of the left rear."

"Yeah, that didn't do shit when you put them in there, so let's take them out."

"34.70.

"34.60.

"34.60. The leader's running 34.10."

"Still down there. All clear, bud. All clear."

"34.95."

"It might just need some more normal air," Mikey suggested.

"10-4. 34.70."

"The right front's blowed up, it feels like."

"35 flat."

"It's really got the right front blowed up, it feels like."

"Leader's the 2 at the start/finish now," Ty warned. "88's one back on the inside, he's there. Inside. Clear there. Five back to the 7. 88's got, I don't know. Five or ten lap fresher tires."

By lap 153, Mikey was 31st. David was 15th, Marcos sixteen laps down in 36th.

"35 flat."

"Inside, inside. All by himself. Still out there, all by himself, still there. You're all clear there. Two back, still two back. One back with a big run. Right on your bumper."

The fifth caution was on lap 156, when Tony Stewart spun. Montoya had spun him out deliberately.

"Back inside inside. Spin off 4, spin off 4. Caution's out, caution's out."

"All right, is our car decent on entry now, bud?'

"Yeah, it's so bad, tight off, that it just goes all to hell. Feels like you have way too much air in the front tires. Feels like a whole bunch of things are wrong with it now. But if you pulled out the rubbers and it didn't help it earlier, I don't think it will help it now."

"Is it tight in the middle as well?"

"Yes. It's plowing."

"10-4. Four tires, guys."

Ty warned Mikey about the #9 being on pit road. Mikey wanted to wait to pit due to the accident last time. He also told his crew chief to make big adjustments. Gene called for a round out of the left rear. "We'll see if we can get 'er fixed up."

After a long stop on pit road, Mikey said they were close to the #36 in points. "And if that just cost us that spot, that would be really dumb. I don't blame you for not answering me there."

Gene said they needed to get the car right and pointed out the #36 was twenty laps behind them.

"We should have gotten our car decent, like, now. In five more seconds, I would have had five more points."

"Yeah, 10-4."

"All right, one to go. We're going to be doubling up here," Ty said.

Denny Hamlin led the restart on lap 162. Mikey was 31st, David 23rd, and Marcos sixteen laps down in 36th.

"Clear whatever you need. All clear. Looking outside on your corner. All the way down. Keep coming, keep coming. Still outside. Still out there, still out there. Still out there. Inside inside inside. It's going to be clear high. Some tire smoke up there, some tire smoke. Inside inside. Clear all clear. That tire smoke is from that 6 up there, left front, so it's on him. We'll keep an eye on him. Clear three back. Half back to the 7. You're clear, clear. One back."

David Ragan's #6 pit with a tire rub.

"Got a run on the high side. You're clear, clear."

On lap 165, Mikey was 30th. David was 22nd, Marcos 36th.

"33.80.

"33.60.

"33.06.

"34.16."

"Inside, the 7. He's got the 47 down there with him. 14's one back, looking outside outside. Clear up behind him. 6 is three back. He came off pit road, fresh tires. You're going to have a big run on the bottom, inside."

"34.50."

Mikey was 31st on lap 173. Robby Gordon had passed. David was up to 20th.

"34.50."

"Good in. Tight tight tight," Mikey reported.

"10-4.

"34.70.

"34.80."

"Half back, half back. Outside, 96. Still there. Clear up there. Clear three back to that 37. Inside, inside. Inside, inside. Clear there three back to the 88."

"35.20."

"88's got a run on the bottom, all by himself."

"35.08."

Mikey was 32nd on lap 181 after Earnhardt Jr passed him.

"35.13."

Kurt Busch was back in the lead on lap 183.

"Leader's at the line now."

"34.90.

"35 flat.

"35 flat. Leader's running 34.40.

"34.90.

"34.90."

"About two back to that 42. Leader's the 2, at the line now. One back. Still clear. He's going to have a big run. Outside, outside."

On lap 193, Mikey was 31st.

The sixth caution was for the #7; Robby Gordon had wrecked in Turn 2 on lap 194.

"How far to our pit stop, Gene?" Ty asked.

"20 laps," Gene replied.

"Spin in Turn 2, spin in Turn 2. He's spinning around. Watch him. He's right in the middle of the track."

"The car's really bad," Mikey said. "Go an inch, I don't care. Take some air out of the right rear tire. Take some air out of the left. I don't care."

Gene called for a pound out of the left front. "You got the air out of the right front? Paul, did you get air out of the left front? 10-4. Go up three on the track bar, okay? Three rounds."

Cars pit under yellow.

"All right, bud. 4300, 4300."

"You're going to have to come around the 9. Stay out if you want."

Mikey asked how many laps Earnhardt Jr got back.

Ty said he didn't know but then said no.

"Then I guess the answer's two."

Ty said he was given one lap back after he was on pit road and NASCAR ruled that it had been before caution came out.

Hamlin led the lap 199 restart, but Jeff Burton took the spot immediately. Mikey was 29th, David 27th, and Marcos sixteen laps down in 36th.

"Clear two back. One back to the 88. Still clear now, still clear. He's going to have a run outside outside. Still outside on your corner, still there."

On lap 200, Mikey was 30th.

"Clear two back."

Mikey was 31st one lap later. David was 22nd.

"Clear two back."

"34.90."

"Still out there, sitll there. Got a run on the bottom inside. Run on the bottom, inside inside. Inside inside."

"34.30.

"34.40."

"One back to the 42. He's going to have a run on the bottom. Inside, inside."

"35 flat.

"34.70.

"34.80. Leader ran a 33.60.

"34.80.

"34.80."

The seventh caution was with 51 laps to go. Tony Stewart got the free pass.

"35.10."

"Caution's out for debris, caution's out for debris."

"Okay, over adjusted. I'm so loose in and off, so loose. Not, I like it better than when I'm tight, but I need for it to be a little tighter," Mikey said.

"10-4. Put the tire pressure back in the left front," Gene replied.

"It sounds like that would be a bad mistake. It's the back that I'm loose, not the front."

"10-4. Leave that air pressure alone, Paul." He said they'd work on the trackbar. "Prop that thing up three rounds. Okay. Back down two."

"Ty, how many spots do we have on that 96?" Mikey asked.

"About five."

"Five, correct," Gene added. "Stay out and lead a lap, if you want."

"Stay out," Mikey replied.

"Okay, when we do pit here, we're going to be good on fuel. We'll just work on leading a lap here."

"All right, this is not one to go, not one to go, so let's stay out and lead," Ty said.

"All right, we'll pit next time."

Mikey led lap 220 before going to pit road. Gene counted him to the box.

Kurt Busch led the restart with 46 laps to go. Mikey was 33rd, David 21st, and Marcos sixteen laps down in 35th.

"Pace car's off. Be ready. Be ready. Ready? Green green green. Everybody's rolling. You're all clear."

Kyle Busch took the lead from his brother with 45 laps to go, but then Denny Hamlin got back around him.

"37's got a run on the top side. Down there with you now. Still all clear, all clear. Still there still there still there. You're all clear, all clear."

Mikey was 31st on lap 224. David was up to 17th.

"Still clear, all clear. Still outside, still there, still there. Still outside on you. Still there, still there. Still barely there, just by a nose. You're clear now, one back, still clear one back, still clear off this corner."

On lap 227, Mikey was 30th. He had passed Reagan Smith's #78.

"37's down there by himself," Ty warned.

"34.24.

"34.19, faster than the next eight cars in front of you, bud."

"14's going to have a run on the bottom. Inside, he's there. 38 to go, 38."

"34.50."

Mikey was 31st on lap 231. Stewart had passed.

"34.59.

"34.55."

"All clear, bud, all clear. Trying to make a run on the bottom. Inside, he's there. All clear, one back. Back ins... okay, back to clear."

"34.68."

On lap 235, Mikey was 30th. David was 15th, Marcos 35th.

"34.60.

"34.70.

"34.57. Got 70's and 80's in front of you.

"34.65.

"35 flat.

"34.75. You've got 35 flat in front of you.

"35.08."

"Front tires are too full of air," Mikey said with 24 laps to go.

"10-4," Gene replied.

"It won't turn in a 100 acre field."

"34.98."

"Man, 21 to go, 21."

"35.02.

"35 flat. You've got teens in front, teens in your mirror.

"34.90.

"34.90.

"34.80. You're three-tenths faster than that car in front of you.

"35.70."

"14 to go, 14," Ty noted.

"35.13."

"Three back, three back to the 96. Two back, two back."

"35 flat."

"He'll have a run here. Half back. One back. 9 to go. One back."

"35 flat.

"35.08."

"Inside, on the bottom. Inside. Clear two back."

On lap 265, Mikey lost the lead lap.

"He's down there. Inside inside. 7's got a look inside. You're clear half back. White flag, white flag. 7's right on your... inside there, right on your door. Still there, still there, still there. You're clear. That's the checkered right there. That's it."

Denny Hamlin won the race, giving Toyota their first win at the track. Jimmie Johnson won his fourth championship in a row. Mikey finished one lap down in 30th, David 15th, and Marcos sixteen laps down in 35th.

The 2009 season has ended. Mikey finished 33rd in the point standings. David finished 16th and Marcos 18th.

Mikey will be racing at Daytona. See you back here in February.





2009 Kellyanne Lynch, in association with Cyber Speed Design. All rights reserved.