A fine Daytona afternoon, the season just begun.
My boys were running one and two, and I was having fun.
I probably could have won the thing, but something held me back.
I was busy watching Jr. and Mike -- and holding off the pack.
I was looking toward the front and not really to the rear.
Something tapped me on my bumper, but still I had no fear.
I thought it might be Sterling - I knew he was nearby.
When Sterling smells the checkered flag, I'll tell you, he ain't shy.
I slipped a bit. I turned the wheel. I sensed something very odd.
It wasn't Sterling's tap I'd felt. It was the tap of God.
"Not now," I said. "I'm racing hard. There's work still here to do."
"Your time is up," He whispered low, "So say a quick adieu."
I wasn't really ready, but I didn't have a choice.
He'd tapped me on the bumper and I'd heard His hallowed voice.
So I did as He instructed. I just packed it in and left.
I guess it can't be helped that I left some of you bereft.
Did you see those birds upon the wall as they scattered in the breeze?
Will it make it any easier to know that one of them was me?
There was also Davey, Dad and Neil and some other guys I've known.
And they all came to Daytona just to escort me on home.
Hey - congratulations, Mikey! You made a worthy run.
I wish you many, many more. Your wins have just begun.
All that fun you had in Victory Lane, I was proud as proud can be.
Did you see a seagull flying low? Yeah, Mikey, that was me.
So, friends and fans and family, don't mourn me for too long.
Get on with life - take care of things - be brave and proud and strong.
I'll surely miss you every one. About that I will not lie.
But as long as you remember me - I didn't really die.