Monday, September 28, 2009


DOVER, Del. (September 27, 2009) – The good news for David Reutimann is the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine came into Dover running well and performing pretty good for most of the race. The bad news: a miscommunication on pit road would put him behind two laps early in the race and he was never able to recover. Reutimann would have to settle for a 21st-place finish in Sunday’s AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway.

David Reutimann had a great qualifying run on Friday to earn the fifth starting spot and had hopes of improving on his performance in the spring race where he led the first 25 laps. Though he slipped back to seventh at the start of the race, Reutimann quietly maintained his place throughout the first 20 laps. Finally, at lap 23 he would report in his first feedback on the car, “really tight on the throttle.”

Just two laps later, NASCAR waved the yellow flag signaling the mandated competition caution at lap 25. This was supposed to be the chance for all teams to put fuel into their cars for the first time. However, there was some confusion over this rule and the No. 00 crew failed to add any fuel to the Aaron’s Dream Machine. This would come back to bite the team later.

On lap 41, Joey Logano and several others were involved in a large accident that forced NASCAR to throw the red flag, stopping the action for more than 20 minutes while they cleaned up the track.

Shortly after the restart the Aaron’s Dream Machine would fall back to eleventh, but Reutimann kept plugging and was able to stay around the top ten until lap 78 when he would radio in, “something is wrong in the front. Lost grip for some reason.” A few laps later a more concerned Reutimann followed up, “I think we might have a front tire going down.”

With a tire potentially going flat, Childers decided to bring Reutimann in on lap 81 and at the same time add the fuel that was missed on the previous stop.

Unfortunately, just as Reutimann was entering pit road another caution came out. Already past the commitment cone, the team brought the Aaron’s Dream Machine down pit road for a quick fuel-only stop. Then Reutimann would come back to his team for tires under the caution. This sequence of events would put the team back to 32nd place, two-laps down.

That small miscue would ultimately cost Reutimann and the Aaron’s Dream Machine any chance to get back into the top ten. A long green-flag run would immediately follow, allowing the race leaders to begin lapping the back of the pack. At times the No. 00 ran as fast as the leaders, but Reutimann was never able to recover. Though he would valiantly fight his way up to the high twenties, as quickly as he would pass competitors the race leader would lap traffic thereby taking away Reutimann’s ability to pick up the Aaron’s Lucky Dog for being the first car a lap behind.

Eventually Reutimann would finish a disappointing 21st.

“This was a pretty frustrating day,” said Reutimann. “It was tight at times, but the Aaron’s Dream Machine was better than we finished. We should’ve been able to get a top-ten, at least. One little mistake in the pits cost us. But my guys work hard and we live and die as a team. I have confidence that we’ll learn from this and move on.”

Jimmie Johnson reminded everyone why he’s the three-time series champion with his dominating win. Mark Martin finished second to maintain his spot at the top of the standings. Matt Kenseth, Juan Montoya and Kurt Busch completed the top five.

Next week the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Kansas Speedway for the Price Chopper 400 presented by Kraft Foods on Sunday, October 4, 2009. ABC will provide the television coverage, beginning at 1 p.m. ET.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, It could have gone a lot worse after that big mistake. Overall, you didn't lose any positons, but lost an opportunity to make some. Put it in the lessons learned file and move on having a good next race.