Monday, June 15, 2009

Reutimann Struggles With A Loose Car at MIS and Finishes 19th

BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 2009) - While the team might strain to see the silver lining after such a tough race, sometimes it’s the really bad ones that let you know how far you’ve come as a team. From the start of the race until the checkered flag, David Reutimann battled an Aaron’s Dream Machine that was just too loose to handle. “It’s so bad I’ve nearly wrecked it twice,” said Reutimann on lap 28. But on a day that might have ended with a 30th place finish in years past, the Aaron’s Team fought relentlessly and eventually brought a home 19th place finish in Sunday’s LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. The valiant effort kept Reutimann within three points of the all-important 12th place in the Sprint Cup standings.

After brushing the wall in practice the Aaron’s Team was able to recover and capture a solid fourth spot in qualifying on Friday. Reutimann and the team hoped they could build on their impressive qualifying run, but quickly realized it was going to take some work. By lap 30 Reutimann had fallen out of the top ten and was imploring his crew chief to make some changes to an ill-handling car. “We gotta do something,” Reutimann radioed in. “It’s a handful … looks like we missed it by quite a bit.”

On lap 39, Reutimann brought the Aaron’s Dream Machine in for a pit stop and crew chief Rodney Childers went to work, making some air pressure adjustments to the tires. Restarting in 16th place after all of the cars came in for pits, Reutimann started to make some progress. While he still wasn’t happy with the handling of the car his team continued to encourage him, telling him that he was running similar speeds to the top ten cars.

However, the handling would continue to be a problem throughout the race. Over the three remaining pit stops Childers and the crew would make several attempts to correct the problems with trackbar and wedge adjustments to the rear suspension. But with not enough pit stops to work on it, the team wasn’t able to dial in the No. 00 Aaron’s Toyota Camry.

As the final laps wore down the Toyota engine in the Aaron’s Dream Machine showed once again that it combines great horsepower with dependable fuel mileage. Holding on over the last 20 laps as a few cars ahead of him would run out of fuel, Reutimann guided the Aaron’s Dream Machine across the finish line 19th.

Mark Martin picked up his third win of the 2009 season by outlasting Jimmie Johnson and Greg Biffle as they raced each other so hard at the end they both ran out of gas, dropping Johnson to 22nd place and Biffle to fifth. Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin and Carl Edwards complete the rest of the top five.

“It was just a terrible, terrible day,” said a frustrated David Reutimann. “We missed it I guess, and no matter what we did to it the car wouldn’t respond to any changes - we changed a lot. Our guys tried really hard but the package we started off with was not any good. Sometimes you just can’t fix things. Disappointing, but it could have been worse. We’ll come back and see what we can do next time.”

Next week David Reutimann and the Aaron’s Team will tackle their first road course of the season at Sonoma. The Toyota/SaveMart 350 at Infineon Raceway will begin at 4:30 p.m. ET with TNT providing the television coverage.

No comments:

Post a Comment