Monday, September 21, 2009

Reutimann Fights Loose Condition but Scores a Strong 12th

LOUDON, N.H. (September 20, 2009) – It was an up-and-down race for David Reutimann and the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine this week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Even though Reutimann fought a very loose car all day, a shrewd pit strategy moved him into the top five. Unfortunately, the loose conditions on restarts coupled with several caution flags at the end caused the Aaron’s Dream Machine to slide back to 12th at the finish of Sunday’s Sylvania 300.

Starting from the 13th position Reutimann immediately knew he was going to be in for a long day. “It’s wrecking loose,” he radioed in. “It needs grip in the center, really loose on entry … it’s just bad.”

Able to hold on inside the top 15 even those conditions, Reutimann brought the Aaron’s Dream Machine in for service on lap 66. New tires and handling adjustments were made and Reutimann restarted 12th. But it wasn’t long before the driver of the No. 00 Toyota again relayed the bad news. “Still not good off the corner. We’re going to have to do more than that.”

Crew chief Rodney Childers patiently took note and went about making adjustments on the ensuing pit stops. Each time the changes would help the car on the long run, but on restarts Reutimann just wasn’t able to hold the Aaron’s Dream Machine through the corners.Then, on lap 193, the caution flag waved and Childers decided to keep his driver on the track. Knowing that they could make it to the end on just one more stop and because the Aaron’s Dream Machine was better on the long runs, the savvy crew chief gambled to pick up some positions while others pitted. The move vaulted Reutimann up to sixth.

The Aaron’s Dream Machine was still very loose off the corners, but at least Reutimann was competing inside the top ten. In fact, on that run he moved as high as fourth.On lap 247, Childers brought his driver into the pits for the final stop of the race. He again ordered his crew to make adjustments, hoping for some relief from the loose conditions at the end of the race.

Restarting 27th, Reutimann began to make his way through traffic. Moving quickly into the top 20 and then eventually back into the top ten as the leaders made their pit stops. With less than 30 laps Reutimann was running fifth.But the loose condition had not gone away and it reared its head again near the end as multiple caution flags prompted numerous momentum-killing restarts for the Aaron’s Dream Machine. As the final laps wore down Reutimann could only hang on and ultimately bring home the No. 00 Toyota Camry in 12th place.

It was a solid finish for the team based on the struggles they faced, but a disappointing finish for Reutimann who knew they had potential for more.“We just missed it on the [loose condition],” said Childers. “We couldn’t fix it on pit road.”Mark Martin held off a host of challengers to pick up the win. Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Juan Montoya, and Kurt Busch complete the top five.

Next week the Sprint Cup series moves to Dover International Speedway. ABC will provide the television coverage for next Sunday’s AAA 400, beginning at 1 p.m.


  1. Good result for the conditions. The pit stops have improved 100% from the begining of the year, so an atta boy for the entire team. I'm still thinking this team should end up 13th at years end, and be a serious threat next year.

  2. why jr? he knew he was loose, why jr?