Tuesday, October 20, 2009


CONCORD, N.C. (October 17, 2009) – David Reutimann was ill all day Saturday to the point where Michael Waltrip Racing asked Dave Blaney to serve as relief driver should Reutimann need to get out of the car before the end of Saturday night’s Banking 500 only from Bank of America. But Reutimann refused to climb out of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine. Despite getting sick in the car on more than one occasion, Reutimann persevered and was able to gut out a 15th-place finish in his return to the track where he scored his first win earlier this season.

On Friday night David Reutimann felt a little under the weather before getting into his Nationwide car. But he felt fine during the race so he thought it had passed. Later that night Reutimann awoke to realize the ailment had not passed after all.

“I thought maybe I was just coming down with something or whatever and then last night about three or four in the morning I woke up feeling really bad,” explained Reutimann. “I got up today and it just got worse and worse. By one o’clock I was starting to wonder how things were going to go.”

But no matter how bad he felt throughout the day, Reutimann was determined to run the race on Saturday night.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, you never want to give up your ride,” said Reutimann. “Dave Blaney was there and I appreciate him coming down. Dave (Blaney) would do a tremendous job and probably would have run better than I did really. I waited my whole life to go Cup racing so as long as I still have a pulse, I’m going to stay in the car if I can, as long as it’s not going to affect the overall performance of the car. If I’m just not doing the job then I need to get out because it’s more than just me involved here, it’s a lot of other guys.”

After starting the race 21st, Reutimann quickly piloted the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine into the mid-teens where he would spend much of the race. On lap 35, crew chief Rodney Childers brought his driver into the pits for new tires and fuel, but the car was running so well that no adjustments were made to it.

By lap 74, however, the Dream Machine was starting to lose front grip so an air-pressure change was made on the next stop.

But Reutimann reported in that his car was still sliding the nose going into the corner and was really loose coming out of the turns.

Throughout the middle part of the race the Aaron’s team would continue to make adjustments to the No. 00 in an effort to get the handling under control. All the while their driver would battle his own illness as well as the car, admirably keeping the Aaron’s Dream Machine inside the top 15 and even as high as 10th by lap 195.

Then on lap 290 Reutimann averted a near disaster. While he was in the pits a caution came out. The team scrambled to get the Aaron’s Dream Machine serviced as quickly as possible and only went one lap down before receiving a wave-around to get back onto the lead lap.

When the checked flag dropped to end the agonizing evening for David Reutimann he was in the 15th position, a remarkable accomplishment for his condition.

“I’m one notch above death,” said an exhausted Reutimann. “With about 30 (laps) to go, we were struggling pretty bad. The yellows helped a little bit. The guys were able to keep fluids in me and stuff like that. I was having a hard time concentrating and kept getting sick. Getting sick in your helmet is not exactly – I wouldn’t recommend it if you can avoid it.

“Towards the end, the car got better and better as we went,” Reutimann continued. “The guys did a good job. They gave me a good car to drive and if it would have been something really, really bad then we wouldn’t have been remotely competitive so I’m really proud of my guys.”

Jimmie Johnson extended his points lead with another dominating victory. Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano completed the top-five.

Next weekend the Sprint Cup series returns to short-track action at Martinsville Speedway. ABC will provide television coverage for the Tums Fast Relief 500 beginning at 1:00 p.m. ET on October 25.

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