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Daytona 500 - 2/22/15

Michael Waltrip overcame early damage, got back on the lead lap, and finished 26th in his 28TH DAYTONA 500 today at Daytona International Speedway. His driver Clint Bowyer came home 7th in the #15 5-Hour Energy Camry. Joey Logano won, and from victory lane, he thanked Clint for his drafting help.

Mikey talked about the Great American Race from FOX's Hollywood Hotel after the checkered flag. "Just like everyone predicted, early in the race, it became a handling race. You had to have a car that would stick in the corners. And our car was really good. And I was driving up through the field, got up inside the top twenty. There was a crash in front of me, and we got a little bit of damage. And then, from then on, I was just behind the eight ball. Congratulations to Joey Logano. Fortunately, I know how that feels like when you get one of those Daytona 500 trophies. I'm so proud of that team, of Joey, the job he does, and really proud too that I've been able to share the track with Jeff Gordon all these years. That's special too."

Mikey's #99 Aaron's Dream Machine started 34th today, and Clint started 9th. During driver introductions, Mikey showed love to the trophy he won twice by hugging it as his presence was announced.

Vince Vaughn gave the call to start engines at 1:18pm ET. Cars rolled off pit road five minutes later.

"You can run seven green, just like in the duels," crew chief Billy Scott said.

"Okay," Mikey replied.

Billy noted when Mikey was at pit road speed. "Look at your tac there."

"All right, Michael, we feel very fortunate and appreciative to have you in the Aaron's Dream Machine today," Billy said. He told Mikey to go out there and get his third Daytona 500 victory.

"Thank you, boys. I really appreciate the effort," Mikey replied. "Taking all this in." He said he is thankful and humble about the opportunity today. He thanked all the people at Aaron's for their support and this chance to race.

"Yes, sir. Well put," Billy said. "Let's do this."

Spotter Roman told Mikey stay cool relaxed and hydrated. He said he would be more aggressive with spotting at the end.

"Okay, Roman. I appreciate it. Thank you," Mikey replied.

Roman warned Mikey that the #18 dropping to the back on the outside. "Probably a couple more coming your way also."

"Yeah, whole bunch of them," Billy said.

Twelve dropped to the back. Two cars had driver changes for the two Busch brothers. Kurt did not race due to a pending court case; Kyle broke his leg and foot in yesterday's Xfinity series race. Reagan Smith was in for Kurt, and Matt Crafton was in for Kyle.

The spotter said that midpack is not always the best. He said they would feel it out, whichever direction MIkey wanted to go.

"Okay, buddy," Mikey replied.

Billy said Mikey would rather be up there if there's a line that's working.

Roman said he would start out like they're going to the front.

Jeff Gordon led the field to the green flag for his last Daytona 500 start, at 1:31pm. Roman warned Mikey the field was three-wide, and he was in the middle. "Still outside at your quarter. 10 jumped up there with him. One and a half back. Still three wide middle. About four of them lined up up top. Still three wide middle. A little help coming behind you, the 20 car. One back with a run. You've got help. Half back to the 20. One off of him. Clear to the bottom. Still got the 20 working the middle. 16 with a run in the middle there. Three wide bottom. Just outside 33, 35 in the middle. Outside on you tight. Two wide, two wide. Still two wide. Still got the 23 outside running the middle. Run in the middle, the 23."

Jimmie Johnson led going into lap 2.

"Loose in traffic, Roman," Billy said of the #15 on lap 5, and Roman relayed this to Mikey.

"I'm tight on exit. I'm tight on exit," Mikey reported on lap 6. He was 33rd as Johnson continued to lead.

"10-4 on the tight," acknowledged the crew chief.

"I feel like if he's loose, and he's tight, everybody's going to be having issues. It's probably not wise to stay in this pack for now."

"10-4."

"Still outside there," Roman said. "Still outside, the 15. I'm watching more up front, for your info. Clear. Two wide behind you, three back. Still one outside. 15's coming down with you. All clear all clear, lined up with you."

On lap 9, the #55 and #15 were 33rd and 34th.

"Just you and the 15 and the 43 broke away a little bit from the 31."

"Lap times are the same as the leaders, Roman," Billy said.

Roman relayed the information to the driver. "Be smooth out there. I spoke with Brett. They're just riding." He said the #15 was best on the bottom. "Lap 11 right there."

"Half second faster than the field, Roman."

"Yeah, went to the bottom, and it sucked right up."

"10-4."

"Still all clear one back to the 15. Behind him is the 43. Still outside, two wide. 15's with you. Still outside. Still two wide. You're clear by half, all clear. Still got the 15 one and a half back. Still clear by half."

On lap 13, Mikey said he was tight on exit. "It's pushy on exit only. It's a little bit free in."

Roman said it hauls ass in the centre.

"Yeah, it's sliding a little bit off."

"All clear on the 42. All clear high low, whatever you need. Just two wide. 33's outside."

Gordon was leading by lap 16. Mikey was 25th.

"Still two wide. Still outside, just two wide. Still two wide. All clear out the back, clear by three. Clear high or low. I don't like running there. There's nowhere to go."

"10-4."

"Wrecking. Just a blown motor. Back it down. No caution. Caution's out."

The first caution was on lap 19 for Landon Cassill's blown engine.

"The caution was out the whole time you said no caution, so tighten it up," Mikey said. "Just err on the side of caution. Just say blown motor." He said the lights were on the whole time.

Billy called for an air pressure adjustment, and he said they'd raise the track bar. "Four tires and fuel."

"Just minor adjustments," Mikey said. "Just a little tight off, a little free off. Do whatever you want to do, but it's pretty good."

Billy assured him the adjustment would be small. He told Mikey to go around the 95 on pit road. They said Michael McDowell's #95 was only getting two tires, so they should be gone. Roman and Billy led Mikey to his box.

"Hold the brakes," Billy said when the #55 stopped. "All clear."

Mikey went back on track.

"Still got the 35 to your door. All clear."

A few drivers took turns staying out to lead a lap.

"All right, one to go at the line."

Billy said they were 16th, and they'd restart on lap 24. "Tires all looked good there."

"Yeah, it felt really good," Mikey commented. "Just one little notch to the tight side, and it takes off up the hill on exit a little bit."

"10-4. Small changes here," Billy replied. "Keep us posted."

"All right, coming to the green here."

Jeff Gordon led the lap 25 restart with Mikey in 16th.

"That's the 41 and 33 lined up behind you. All right. Pace car's in. Get ready, get ready. Green green green. We're rolling. Everybody's rolling. Half back to the 41 and 33. Everybody's still two by two. Still half back to the 41, half off of him. Just those two are tight in front of you. Still got the 41 half back, 33 pushing him. Working the middle there is the 17. Gonna make you three-wide, three-wide. Still three-wide. One back to the 41 in your lane. Still three wide top. Still got the 6 running the middle behind you. Three-wide. Still three-wide middle. 41 did not go with you. Three-wide middle. No holes. Three-wide middle. 6 jumped up to help you. Still three wide middle. Still got the 6 middle pushing you. You're clear low there. Good job. Just one outside, the 16. Five back in your lane. 41 pushing the 16 up top there. Still two wide. No runs. Still two wide. Two back to the 10 car with a little run. Still got the ten one back, still two wide."

Mikey was 17th on lap 27.

"Still two wide. Back to the 10, half off of her. Still two wide, everybody's two wide. Two by two. 33 looks like he's trying to work the middle. He's peaking in there. One back to the 10. Still just two wide. Outside lane running the middle though. Three-wide. Back to two-wide. 41 working the middle, on you tight. Still two wide. Three-wide behind you, half back. Still all clear if you want it right there. 33 in the middle. Little run on the outside one back, two back to the 33. Still two wide. Outside lane's on you tight. Still two wide. Still two wide. Car's trying to jump on the outside of Biffle to make you three-wide. Still two wide."

Mikey was 16th on lap 29 as Gordon continued to lead.

"Still two wide. 2 car outside, one off of him is the 10. Got a run. Still no holes. Just got the 33 in your lane four back, still two wide. No holes, still got the 10 outside. 51 pushing her, 33 two off of you. Still outside. Still got the 10, still there. 51 with a run inside there. Half back to the 6 in your lane. Clear if you want it, all clear. Just three cars behind you, just so you know, and then everyone else single file behind, fifteen or twenty of them. 33 jumping to your lane, one back. 33 with a run, inside. Still two wide. Got the 95 four back."

On lap 32, Mikey was 19th. Clint was 37th.

"Still two wide. Still two wide, two back to the 33 in your lane. All clear. You've got the run. 33 with a little run two back still. All clear, half back 33. He's looking low. Coming inside, inside. Three cars lined up with you inside."

Mikey was 20th on lap 33.

"Still two wide. 31 inside. Still two back to the 33. Half back 33 in your lane with a little run. Still two wide. Two wide. Two wide behind you, half back. Still two wide. Half back 33 in your lane. Still got the 2 car inside. Two-wide with the 51 pushing him. No holes. Catching the 17 hard. They'll probably check up a little bit. No holes. Still two-wide. Good job there. Half back to the 33. Two off of him to the next car. Still got the 41 inside. One and a half back to the bottom, the 10. Still two wide. Still the 51 inside. All clear. 51 half back with a run, coming inside. Inside. Two by two, tight in front of you. Still two wide. Clear all around. One and a half back on the bottom. Still all clear. Half back in your lane. Still half back, half by half. Got the 33 jumping to the bottom now. Still two wide. All clear. Top lane has a little run now. Still half back."

"Lap 15 this run. Roman, do you want to let him know?" Billy asked, talking about how many laps they had on this set of tires.

"Just dump the 78 in the middle there. Still inside. Still one inside. Still got the 2 car one back in the bottom lane with the 17. Sorry, this is 16 here?"

Billy confirmed.

"Lap 16 of this run. 16. Other than the front two, everybody's two by two. Still inside. He's tight, tight in front. Everybody's spread out by one car length now. Inside. They have momentum, starting to tighten up a bit in front of you. One inside, the 4. Wrecking wrecking wrecking. Stay low, stay low. Back it down back it down. Stay low. Clear clear. A little damage."

"Steering wheel's fine. I hit the nose. I don't know how hard. Damn it."

Roman said as long as there's no damage to the wheel, they're fine.

Billy called for four tires and repairs.

"We can win this race. Damn it. I just didn't get off the gas in time. I tried. I barely hit him."

Billy said it wasn't a bad hit, and they'd get it fixed.

The second caution was on lap 41. Tony Stewart's #14 got loose from Denny Hamlin's #11 and fell back, causing a chain reaction on the front stretch that collected Mikey and Clint as well as Matt Kenseth, Ryan Blaney, Jamie McMurray, and Brad Keselowski.

Billy said the nose was knocked down, but he didn't think it was where the nose is. He asked for Mikey's temps.

Mikey said oil is 240, water is 210, pressure's 7. He asked for more of the same adjustment wise and said he thinks it was better and the temps weren't different during the run. "Want to wait a lap, since we'll be there for a while?"

Billy said no, they had time. The #55 pit a few times. Billy said they were in good shape.

"We'll be coming to the green this time. Last car's in the middle of the backstretch now."

Mikey asked if he were good on fuel, and Billy said he was.

Jeff Gordon led the lap 45 restart. Clint was 32nd, and Mikey was 39th.

"Still outside. 21 jumped to the very top. Got the run. Still outside's the 21. Still two wide. All clear all clear."

"Roman, just be careful drafting with the 21 or the 66." Billy said they were slow. "He'll get drug away."

"One inside. Still one inside, two wide. Just the 3 car inside with no help. One off of him. You're all clear, all clear. All clear by one back to the 21. 21's with you half back, still outside."

Joey Logano led by lap 48.

"Still got about five of them lined up on the bottom. Still all clear. Two wide behind you. All clear. Little run coming at you, strength's in the bottom lane. Two wide behind you, half back. All clear, all clear."

Mikey was 35th on lap 49.

"Still outside. All the help's with you, one back. Now they jumped to the outside. One back to the 3 car, in your lane. One back to the 3. Half back from him is the 31. All clear if you want it. All clear. Outside's the 31. There's a hole behind him. All clear. Three cars behind you. Those are the last three. All clear. Still outside the 31, all three are lined up with him. Still no holes. 13 then 18. Still outside. There's the 18, last car."

"I know," Billy said. "Yup, we're good."

Gordon led lap 53. Clint was 30th, and Mikey was 37th.

Roman told Mikey to stay with them. "I mean, it doesn't look as good, but we've never been back there in the pack with all that air pulling us. Lap times still okay with the leaders?"

Billy said they were good and asked Roman to ask Mikey about temps and balance.

"Still all clear. Everybody separated by the same amount." Billy told Mikey to check temps and balance on the straightaway.

"Temps 215. The balance is the same," Mikey said.

"10-4."

A little later, Billy asked what Roman heard about the balance.

"I didn't. It broke up."

"10-4."

"Tell the 18 we gotta go. That 66 is going to lose the draft," Mikey said.

"Already told him, already with you on that."

Billy said lap times were the same.

"I'd feel better if we weren't behind the 3." Roman then told Mikey the 66 was holding him up. "Still there, still there."

"Tell the 18 thanks a lot," Mikey said.

"10-4, already with you. Still there. Clear clear. Dropped in behind you. All clear."

Mikey was 40th on lap 57. He was up to 39th one lap later, now ahead of Mike Wallace's #66. Gordon continued to lead. By lap 60, the #55 lost the draft.

"Give me lap times," Mikey said.

"46.70," Billy said. "46.90, 46.60 in front. 46.80, 46.60 in front."

"The only car laps down is Kenseth whose two do, right?" Roman asked.

"Yes." A little later, he said, "46.30. 47.20."

"Some of the barribond is flapping just a little bit," Roman said he'd let them know if they'd need to fix it.

Billy said it was already flapping a bit near the tire.

"I know it's going to sound crazy, but do they make coloured barribond? Just as a perspective of it looks ilke more damage."

"Minor set-back. We'll get back in it," Mikey said.

Roman said the damage looked worse with the black on white, and the other spotters would tell their drivers not to go with Mikey as a result.

Billy acknowledged this, then resumed giving lap times. "47.18. 47.24. 47.27. That's 27 or so on this run. About 15 or so from stopping."

"Leader's in the middle of 1 and 2 now, for your info," Roman said.

"47.30." Billy said he planned to pit the car on lap 81, 82 on pit road.

"10-4."

"47.30. 47.46. About ten laps away from having to pit. Pit road entrance 4750. 47.28. Better. Seven more laps til we pit. 47.34 - the same as the lap before. 47.36. Five more laps, complete five more. 47.30."

"Leader's at the line now."

"Complete four more. 47.31. Three more. Complete three more. 47.32."

"The first twelve cars are all single file, just for your info. All clear."

"Complete two more. 47.32. Just stay on the bottom, Roman, when they catch us. Complete one more lap."

"About twenty back there. All single file."

"Remember his red switch if he needs it."

Mikey lost the lead lap on Lap 83. He tucked in behind Kevin Harvick's #4.

"Pit this time," Billy instructed.

"2's outside, the 4's one and a half off him. Hole behind the 4. Pit this time. Clear to the next pack. Coming with a run outside. Next eight are single file also."

"Don't slide 'em, don't slide 'em. Right side tires only," Billy said.

Roman relayed the information, and he and Billy led Mikey on and off pit road on lap 85.

"Pack's off of four. Ready? Hard hard hard. Remember your blend rule. Single file. Outside. This group is coming here. THe last car will be two wide here. Three, two. Clear clear clear. Clear by forty, back to the next car. All clear. We're racing the 66, and he's at the tail end of the pack that's behind you."

On lap 87, lead lap cars made stops under green. Mikey was two laps down in 40th.

"Still clear by twenty." Roman said when cars rolled off pit road. "Hopefully, you'll get some help. Clear. Clear. All clear. Line up with them guys in front of you. All clear."

Cars continued to make stops.

"Still a lot of them out front. The last one right there for a little bit. All clear, all clear."

Clint pit on lap 89 and was reporting the car was a little loose.

"Bunch of penalties here," Roman said.

"Yeah, not good for us," Billy said. This would mean more cars that could lose the lead lap and take their chances of getting the free pass.

"No. Slow on the bottom. Clear all clear. Slow one up ahead on top, the 31. He's stuck in the middle. Still all clear."

Carl Edwards led on lap 89 before making his stop. Then Gordon reclaimed the top spot.

"Still inside. Still on you tight. Still inside. Clear all clear. Clear no run, stay lined up. Another slow car ahead on the bottom. Right off of Turn 4, still all clear. Clear. Half back to the 34."

Mikey was 39th on lap 90, now ahead of Mike Wallace's #66.

"Still the lucky dog, Roman, unless they catch that 32," Billy said.

Roman relayed this information to his driver. "Still clear, all clear. Quarter back 34. Still clear all clear."

Billy said the lead pack was catching Bobby Labonte's #32.

"Too tight still," Mikey said on lap 95. He was 38th.

"Inside, inside. There are about eight of them. Still no holes. A couple of them jumped up top with you, the 6. The 6 behind you. No help out back. One inside. Got the 18 inside, 17 behind him, then the 20's the last one."

By lap 97, the #32 lost the lead lap. Mikey was no longer in the free pass position.

"Still pushing off the corner," Mikey reported.

"10-4," Billy replied.

Roman said the barribond flew off, and the gap in the fender was showing. He and Billy said they couldn't keep up.

Roman said that Matt Kenseth in the #20 said he would stay with the #55. "Still lucky dog? They're talking about debris."

"No. 44, then 32. 44 should be at the moment. He's eleven seconds in front of us."

"All clear, all clear. Still all clear out back. One inside. Quarter quarter out back there, got a little help."

"We're going to catch that 44. We can get by the 32 in that pack too," Billy said.

"Still two wide. Plenty of cars in line with you. All clear, all clear. Gotta get that 32. He's the fourth car in front of you. All clear. Still inside. 6 is with you. Clear. Let's keep that run going with the 6."

Billy said they should get to the 44.

"Half back 6. Might not go with you. Didn't go with you. Still inside, inside. Still two wide, still inside. A little help with the 43 and 51. Tight behind you. They dropped back to the bottom. No help in your lane. Still inside. Still inside. Still inside tight, five of them lined up tight on the inside. Still two wide. Three-wide, three-wide top. A little help coming out back. Caution's out, caution's out. Saying debris."

The third caution was for debris on lap 107.

"All right, Michael, I think our best option here is to work on it. Get the barribond to stay down. We could take a chance on a wavearound, but we have to pit in fifteen laps anyway."

"Yeah, the damn pit stop took forever. Put us in a bad spot," Mikey said.

Billy agreed and said they needed to work on it now. "That would be our best bet."

"It's too tight on these damn two..." he faded out. "Tape flapping everywhere."

Billy said they would get it fixed up.

"Okay, great."

"Still a long way. Still over 90 laps to go."

"Come this time to fix it, or no?"

"Staying out, next time by."

Roman told Mikey to line up behind the #46. "There you go. All clear."

Billy told Mikey to pit and told the team to fix the fender and to get all the tape down.

"Okay, 10-4," Mikey replied.

The #55 went to the pits. Roman kept them aprised of where the pace car was.

"Plenty of time," the spotter said. "Middle of backstretch."

"Get all that stuff taped down. Make sure the grill's clean," Billy instructed. "It'll be coming to one to go."

"Entering Turn 3. Middle of 3 and 4."

"Get ready. About eight seconds left."

"Three, two, one. Clear, all clear. They are giving one to go."

Billy and Roman determined that Mikey was just racing the #42, because the #32 took the wave-around. Kyle Larson's #42 was sent to the back, so Mikey would restart the first driver one lap down.

Racing resumed on lap 110 with Denny Hamlin leading, Clint in 7th, and Mikey one lap down in 38th.

"Clear low if you want it. Clear all around. Inside. Clear all clear. Clear by five. Outside on you tight, just one. The 46 two back in your lane. No hole. 13 with a run outside. Clear behind the 13 if you want it. Clear, all clear. All clear. Half back to the 46. Eight behind him is the 42 car that we're racing. Still all clear. 6 outside, one outside. Outside on you tight, one outside. Still one outside, way up top. Middle hole is open. Got the 13 with a run pushing him. 42 is half back off of him pushing him. Working the middle. Still one outside, way up top. Run up top. Three-wide bottom. Clear behind that 51. 47 with a run up top. Outside. Still outside. Still outside, no holes. There's a hole right there. Hole behind the 17. Got four of them lined up."

"Bunch of tape coming up on the right front," Mikey said on lap 87. "Guaranteed it'll be coming off."

"They're crazy up there. Be on your toes. Still clear."

Dale Earnhardt Jr was leading with 87 to go. Logano's #22 was along the outside of the #88.

"43 in your lane, one and a half back. Still got the 43 with you. 47 with a run. Outside. The 32 with him. 43 jumped up top. You've got no help."

"Make sure he knows where the 42 is," Billy adviced.

"Last two are the 38 and the 34. Still outside. There's the last one, the 34. It's clear behind him there. Got a little draft help. Yeah, he knows. It just wouldn't run. It just stalls when he pulls out."

"Gotcha."

"Just going to have to survive."

Larson's #42 passed with 84 to go. Mikey was no longer in position for the free pass.

"Bring a car like this to Talladega, and we'll win that fucker," Roman said. "All clear. The 20 is just going to help you up there. I'm going to watch up front, okay?"

"Okay," Mikey replied.

"All clear. Back to the 20. Still clear. They're bouncing off each other."

"The 20's not going to go with us if we go," Billy said. "He's just going to help us stay in the back of the pack. Make sure he knows that."

Roman relayed this information to Mikey.

"Tell him thank you," Mikey replied.

"These guys can't race like this for much longer up there."

"Yeah, 10-4, Roman."

Mikey told Roman to continue to look ahead.

"10-4. That's what I'm doing."

"Keep in mind that the 20 has to pit eventually," Billy said. "I gotta think he's probably within seven laps, but I'll keep you posted."

"Okay." Roman then told Mikey not to rely on Kenseth's #20 in seven laps, because he got the wave-around and would need to pit.

"Still pushing the right front on exit," Mikey reported on lap 124. He was one lap down in 39th as Earnhardt Jr continued to lead. Clint was 10th.

Billy acknowledged.

"All clear."

"Still no word on the 20," Billy said with 71 laps to go.

"The 20?" Roman asked.

"I think he might be trying to do seven or eight more."

"I'll start to watch his pit."

"10-4."

"Tightening up fast. At his bumper. Still clear, all clear." He then relayed that the #20 wanted Mikey to run the bottom. "I know you're running a little tight."

"32 is back on our lap now as well. I know it doesn't matter this far out, just giving you reference," Billy said.

"10-4." A little later, with 60 to go, Roman said, "20 coming next time. I see them on the wall." He then told his driver this.

Billy said they were less than ten away from their stop. He said they would pit with David Ragan's #34 and David Gilliland's #38, and he told Mikey this as well.

Roman warned his driver that a bunch of leaders were pitting. "Okay, just the 78."

"Yeah, he was fuel only. They probably didn't get it full."

"That 20's unbelievably fast," Mikey commented.

"Yeah, 10-4."

"About five more laps until we pit with the 34 and 38 in front of you," Billy said.

"Still all clear. Catching that 33 in front. Still all clear. About ten in front. You're going to catch him pretty quick. Still all clear."

"About three more laps until we pit."

With 51 to go, Logano was leading.

"Five in front. Three in front. Go low, go low. He's trying to move up. Still outside. Still outside. Still got the 20 with you. You're clear. The 20's clear. All clear. That was a dumb move. All clear."

"Just a couple more laps. Stay with those guys in front of you," Billy instructed. He then said one more.

"The one in front's waving," Mikey said.

"Coming this time," Roman confirmed.

Billy called in the #55. "We'll go on the jack."

Mikey pit with 49 to go. Billy guided him to and from the box.

Leaders pit with 47 to go, including Clint, who was running in the top ten. Logano pit with another group of lead lap cars the next time around the track.

Greg Biffle led with 46 laps to go.

"42, he might get a penalty here for coming in," Roman said.

"Yeah, more than that we're racing, but we'll see. I'll let you know when it all gets sorted out here," Billy replied. "Yeah, they said the 42 and the 23."

Larson's #42 had clipped the grass going to the pits.

"The 42, he might lose the draft."

"So no penalty then."

"That 34 with you, all clear."

Billy and Roman talked about the #42, how he was sixteen seconds ahead with a solid drafting group.

"We just went to the bottom, and that helped us. I don't know why these guys want to run up top," Roman said. "Caution's out. Wreck on the backstretch."

The fourth caution was on lap 161 when Brad Keselowski's #2 lost its engine. Johnson was leading at the time. Kyle Larson got the free pass.

"Save fuel," Billy said.

"Watch for debris back there."

"I think the 2 car blew up. I didn't see anybody wreck."

"Yeah. He's dragging something. Maybe he just blew up."

"I'll keep you posted." Billy said they were going to try to stay out and stretch fuel but would put on four tires and get down barribond if they do stop. "I'll let you know if we do the wavearound or pit, just in a second."

Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray pitted early with damage.

"Yeah, we'll have to pit. Too many stayed out. I'm running to the bathroom," Roman said.

"Four tires and fuel. Get all the barribond fixed."

Mikey said it wasn't as bad, although they only got two tires. "The spoiler got warped really bad though."

"Okay, 10-4."

Lead lap cars pit under yellow with 38 to go.

"Just let me know when we're getting close," Billy said.

"Yup," Roman said. "Off of 4."

"Pit this time. Four tires and fuel."

The #55 made an extended stop to repair barribond.

"Okay, the good news is, we're the only car one lap down now, and we're good on fuel," Billy said.

"Cool. Okay. Everybody likes a little good news every now and then," Mikey replied.

"10-4. If caution comes out again, we'll be the lucky dog."

"If they all wreck in front of me."

Roman said hopefully they'd get a break, would get back on the lead lap, and go race them.

Johnson led the restart with 35 laps to go. Clint was 3rd, and Mikey was one lap down in 36th.

"Still all clear. One outside, just one in the middle. Still outside from behind, one outside. All clear right there, all clear. Four back to the 47, five off of him is a pack of four. Clear by three to the 47 with a run, two back, running the top, outside. Still got that 20 back there, just so you know. Clear behind the 44. All clear. The 20 is the second car back. Outside with a run. Clear, all clear."

Edwards took the lead with 34 to go.

"Outside, two off of him is the 20. One back up top. On you tight. Still clear, all clear. Lined up with you. All clear. The 20, 66 behind him, the 1 in front. All clear. Still clear by one over the 20. I'm going to watch up front now."

"Don't even think about me. Just watch," Mikey said.

"10-4."

Johnson took the lead with 33 to go.

"20 car jumped up high. Clear behind him. Clear clear. Still inside. Clear, all clear. I don't know what the 20's doing, and the 1 just decided to pull over. I don't know. 20 with a run, at your bumper. It's coming. They are dicing it up."

"Yeah," Billy replied.

"Clear if you need it. Clear clear."

"What the hell!" Mikey exclaimed.

"Caution's out. The 21 is smoking up there."

"Yeah, for the whole straightaway!"

"He's on the bottom, on the apron."

The fifth caution was on lap 176 for Ryan Blaney's #21, which lost its engine. Mikey got the free pass.

"All right. That was the break we needed." Billy called for four tires, said they'd make sure everything was taped, and go racing for twenty laps.

"Okay. My water is, like, 180. My oil is 230."

"10-4."

"All right, you got the good ol' lucky dog. Come on. Got two jet dryers off Turn 2. It's going to be a minute. They're cleaning," Roman said.

"All right, we'll pit now. Four tires and fuel. Make sure everything's taped down in front," Billy said. He told Roman to keep them posted on the pace car.

"Yup."

The #55 pitted. During the stop, Roman said they had time, because there was a lot of cleaning to do. When the #55 left the box, Billy said, "Get caught up, and we'll come in again."

Roman asked if Billy wanted Mikey to get caught up and come in next time or pit this time. Billy said they'd get caught up first.

"It needs another pull-off. That was a mess," Mikey said.

"10-4."

"It'll be one to go. We'll have to leave by the way he's in the middle of the backstretch."

Billy said they'd pit and they'd leave the box when the pace car is in Turn 2. "Pit this time. Don't slide 'em." He called his driver to the box.

"Just entering Turn 1," Roman noted.

Billy repeated this.

"Still good. Entering Turn 2."

"All right. Getting into Turn 2? In five seconds, we'll go. All right. All clear. We're in good shape. 4600. All right, bud, we'll have 19 laps to go. I know it's not the best case scenerio. Get all you can get."

"Run hard run hard. Last car in the middle of the backstretch. Dig as hard as you can. Last car is in Turn 3. Pace car's in the middle of 3 and 4. Pace car's getting ready to pull in here. Pace car's in. Keep coming. Come on. Get ready. Green green green."

Johnson led the restart with 19 to go. Mikey was 35th.

"Clear all clear. All clear. Just one outside, the 32. Still there. He's lined up with that 47. All clear all clear. High low."

Mikey said something.

"What'd he say? Look ahead?" Roman asked.

Billy confirmed.

"Okay, looking ahead. All clear."

Mikey was 34th with 18 to go. Clint was 4th. Johnson continued to lead.

"It's wide open, and I can't catch up," Mikey said with 17 to go.

"10-4."

"Now it's caught up. Now I don't know if I want to be caught up. Looks like a mess."

"Even if it's five to go, they'll be waiting on them to wreck," Roman said.

"I got you. 10-4," Billy said.

"Still all clear. Clear up ahead."

Cars were three-wide for the lead with three laps to go - Hamlin, Truex Jr, and Johnson. Mikey was still 34th, 2.5 seconds away from the trio.

"You're clear behind him if you want it. Still outside."

Clint pushed Logano into the top spot with 10 to go along the outside.

"All clear. Slow car ahead on the apron, the 31 up there. Still all clear."

With 9 to go, Mikey was 35th.

"Eight to go. Eight."

Logano shot well ahead of everyone else, with the field three-wide behind him. Clint was leading the outside line.

"Let him know 5 to go this time," Billy said.

"Yup. Stacking up a little. Everybody's rolling. Just a bunch of them on the bottom. Watch it. It's a mess. Still rolling though. Well, that was it. Clear, all clear. One in the wall up ahead. He's rolling slow up top. He's on the apron, the 33. All clear. Back it down back it down back it down. He slid up. Back it down. He's not done sliding. Just the 51. Clear low clear low. All clear."

The sixth caution was for Justin Allgaier's #51 with 3 to go.

Billy asked about the car.

"It's good," Mikey replied.

"I'm sure people will be pitting with damage."

"When the pits are open, there's nobody... well, if nobody pits, or just the ones with damage, I wouldn't mind diving it."

Billy acknowledged.

"All right, all clear."

Billy asked Mikey something about the car.

"No, I think it's mostly on the outside. It's all that speedy dry when I was in the back clobbered me. I know we could be the first off just for a tear-off."

"Pit road is closed. They're going to put the red out."

The field stopped on track at 4:33pm. Mikey was marked in 32nd, Clint in 5th, and Logano in the lead.

"This should be fine where you're at," Billy said.

"I got quite a few behind me. Are they all damaged? Because I'll stay out, if they are," Mikey said.

Billy said there were only two cars behind him, and he'd beat everyone off pit road with just the tear-off.

"Okay."

"All right, they're saying you can crank them up," Roman said at 4:39pm. "All right. Everything's good. Pace car's rolling."

Billy said he thought some people might come in to top off, concerned with the green/white/checkered.

Mikey said he would stay out if anyone besides the torn up cars made stops.

"Okay, sounds good." He then said the #95 was coming in, so go around him.

"Yeah, I'm just going to stay out."

"10-4. 10's on the wall too."

"It'll be one to go at the line." Roman asked where they line up.

"I think we're 29th. We should be behind the 34 car, right?"

"Yup, that's where we're at."

"All right, first attempt at a green/white/checkered." Billy again confirmed they were behind the 34 car.

"Yup."

"Watch that 34. They just commented he's got a lot of speed going through the tears, Roman."

"All right. Coming to the green. Pace car's in. Get ready. Green green green. Everybody's rolling. Two by two. Got the 41 in your lane, last one in your lane. Got the 10 in the middle, three wide bottom. No help out back. Just the 10 outside. Still three wide. Still got the 41 jumped in there. Clear all around. Stacking up out front just a little bit. Still all clear. Clear clear. Clear out back. Coming to the white flag. Still good up ahead, all clear. All clear, clear up ahead. Smoker up top. You're all good. They're wrecking they're wrecking. Back it down. Still wrecking. That's all spots when you get a chance. Come on. Still outside. Still outside. Still got the 1 car on you tight there. Nice and easy, bring it back. Still got the 1 car there."

"Well, the 1 passed three cars, so," Mikey said.

"They'll place it. THey're figure it out."

Billy said they came across 25th. "Thank you very much. Wish circumstances were a little better there." He said at least they came home in one piece. "We'll take it to Talladega."

"Yeah, 10-4. I was really happy early on. I was really racing them. Just tore it up too bad."

"Yeah, 10-4."

Roman said an official was lining them up on pit road.

The race finished under caution after Austin Dillon triggered a multi-car wreck that collected Jeff Gordon, Matt Crafton, AJ Almendinger, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, Kyle Larson, and Reed Sorenson. Mikey was scored 26th, although he was originally scored 25th. Joey Logano won the Daytona 500, and Clint was 7th.







 



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