Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wreck Takes Reutimann Out Of Race Contention at Coke Zero 400

DAYTONA, Fla. (July 4, 2009) – David Reutimann came into Daytona with the goal of racing safe and bringing the Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry home in one piece. For nearly half of the race he was able to do just that, looking very strong as he moved from 41st to 11th in 68 laps. But at Daytona sometimes trouble has a way of finding you, and on lap 75 the Aaron’s Dream Machine was hit from behind while trying to avoid a wreck. The resulting damage would ultimately leave Reutimann with a 36th place finish.

Reutimann officially started 14th because qualifying was rained out, but the team found a problem with the engine on Friday and decided to change it out, forcing Reutimann to move to the back at the start of the race. Nevertheless, the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry was strong and by lap 12 Reutimann was in 25th. A few laps later, after pit stop on lap 15, he was up to 17th.

For the next 50-60 laps Reutimann would methodically move up to just behind the top 10. The Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota was running very well on the bottom of the track and able to easily pass cars. “It’s a little bit free on the top, about perfect on the bottom,” Reutimann reported.

The race had the makings of a successful night, as those in front of Reutimann in the points were having various problems. Then on lap 77, Kasey Kahne and David Stremme tangled and started a chain-reaction wreck that collected the Aaron’s Dream Machine and sent Reutimann spinning.

The damage would initially only cost Reutimann four laps as the team worked hard to make repairs and get the Aaron’s Dream Machine back onto the track. But a resulting tire-rub eventually caused a blown tire on lap 102, sending Reutimann into the wall and forcing the No. 00 Toyota Camry into the garage for extensive repairs.

It would take the Aaron’s crew until lap 130 to get Reutimann back on the track. By this time he was 33 laps down, but with the points race so close every lap counts. Finishing the race on the track in 36th helped keep Reutimann in 14th place in the points, nine markers behind 13th.

Tony Stewart picked up the win with a last-lap pass on Kyle Busch, who spun into the wall as he tried to block Stewart. Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards and Kurt Busch round out the top five.

Next weekend the Aaron’s Dream Machine rolls into Chicago for the 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, live on TNT at 7:30 p.m.

1 comment:

  1. That car was fast and David was moving to the front quick. The crew did a great job on the pits, the best so far this year. I hope they can keep doing that for the rest of the season, because David is going to need it to get in the chase. Keep up the good work guys.