"I just don't understand all this fuss over a lug nut," Newman commented to his former teammate. "You were at Roush. What's so special about this particular lug?"
"Don't ask me," Busch replied. "I never heard anything about it while I was there. Jack must have gotten hold of it after I left." Tony Stewart was walking by and overheard the two drivers discussing the Lug Nut.
"I'm sick and tired of this Lug Nut b.s.," Stewart complained as his "shadow" listened intently. "If I had the blasted thing, I'd give it to Helton just to get him off my back. He thinks I have it. Darian says Chad has it. Chad says Ray never took it off the T-Rex. If you ask me, I'm beginning to think that it's all a NASCAR plot to keep us off our game so that Jimmie can win a 4th straight championship." Busch and Newman nodded as Stewart and the girl walked off.
...the #2 Miller Lite Dodge of Kurt Busch.
You see, Pat Tryson- then crew chief for RFR driver Mark Martin- had come into posession of the Lug Nut in November 2005 when he noticed the hallowed piece of metal fall from the right rear tire of Jimmie Johnson's badly damaged race car at the season's final race at Homestead. Tryson was able to retrieve the Lug Nut before anyone on the #48 team discovered that it was missing.
When Tryson left RFR in 2007, the Lug Nut was stashed in his pocket ,and a masterfully crafted forgery was left in its place. And like that day when he left Roush, Tryson would leave Penske Racing taking the Maltese Lug Nut with him to his new position at Michael Waltrip Racing.