Monday, October 26, 2009

Reutimann Comes from the Back to Finish 8th at Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (October 24, 2009) – David Reutimann was forced to start the Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 from the rear of the field on Saturday, a result of having Trevor Bayne qualify the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine while Reutimann was in Martinsville, Va. for the Sprint Cup events. However, once the green flag dropped Reutimann simply powered his way through the field and into the top ten, ultimately finishing eighth.

Reutimann was excited to get back to Memphis Motorsports Park, a track where he’d finished first and second the previous two races. With his past success at the track, Reutimann knew there would be plenty of time to work his way up from the back but the larger concern would be keeping his nose clean while doing so.

On lap 8 oil on the track resulted in a multi-car accident right in front of the No. 00, but Reutimann was able to maneuver through the melee without any damage to his car. During the caution period Reutimann would radio in that his car was “a little free on throttle but other than that, pretty good.”

Again on lap 25 multiple cars wrecked near Reutimann, but he would make it through without any major damage the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine and continue his march to the front.

While the numerous caution flags provided several near-misses for Reutimann they also allowed him to quickly make up ground during the double-file restarts now a part of the Nationwide Series.

When the caution flag flew on lap 61, the No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine was all the way up to sixth place. Crew chief Jerry Baxter summoned his driver to pit road to pick up four new tires and fuel.

Unfortunately, even though he was able to avoid several collisions on-track, while exiting pit road Reutimann wasn’t able to evade the No. 20 of Matt DiBenedetto who was leaving his pit stall as Reutimann drove past. The contact with the 20 also bumped Reutimann into another car forcing the team to pit a second time for repairs. As a result, the No. 99 would restart 33rd.

Frustrated, but still confident, Reutimann would now have to work his way through the field once more. The frequent cautions would again work in his favor as he quickly drove into the top ten by lap 100.

Following a red flag that stopped the race on lap 166 to clean up the track after a hard hit by the No. 24, Reutimann had made it to the fifth spot.

In order to maintain track position, Baxter decided to keep the No. 99 on the track throughout the next run. During that time Reutimann would slide back to 13th before a caution flag on lap 227 finally allowed him to pit.

With just 27 laps Reutimann was able to battle his way back into the top ten, scoring an eighth-place finish.

“We had a good car today,” said Reutimann. “It was aggravating having to fight my way through traffic twice to get to the front, but I’m really proud of my guys for giving me an Aaron’s Dream Machine capable of doing it.”

Brad Keselowski held off Kyle Busch to pick up his fifth Nationwide win of the season. Jason Leffler, Mike Bliss and Brendan Gaughan round out the top five. Busch’s second-place finish wrapped up the manufacturer’s championship for Toyota.

The Nationwide Series will be off next weekend, but returns November 7 with the O'Reilly Challenge at Texas Motor Speedway. ESPN2 will provide television coverage beginning at 12:00 p.m. ET. For this race the Aaron’s Dream Machine will once again don a special camo paint scheme as Trevor Bayne pilots the No. 99 Aaron’s Outdoors Mossy Oak Dream Machine.

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