Monday, October 05, 2009


KANSAS CITY, Kan. (October 4, 2009) – The way the race started on Sunday it looked like it might be an easy day for David Reutimann. However track conditions quickly changed, causing the smooth-handling No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine to suddenly become loose. Not to be deterred, the Aaron’s team made all the right adjustments and Reutimann battled to keep the car on the track, ultimately bringing it home in eighth place in the Price Chopper 400. He was the only non-Chase competitor to finish in the top ten.

On Saturday, Reutimann qualified the Aaron’s Dream Machine 13th. While the team wasn’t happy with the car through most of the practice laps, they thought they found a change near the end of the final practice that would help the No. 00 on Sunday. When the green flag dropped, it appeared they were right. Immediately Reutimann jumped from his starting spot and began picking off his competitors with each lap. By lap 52 he was into the top five.

Staying out through a series of early cautions, crew chief Rodney Childers brought his driver in for the first pit stop on lap 54. Up until that point Reutimann said very little about the handling of his Aaron’s Dream Machine. However, the new set of tires and the changes to the track as the race wore on had a dramatic effect on the car and soon into the next run the driver of the No. 00 Toyota Camry complained loudly about how his car was doing.

“This thing is evil loose right now,” said Reutimann. “It darts all over the place.”

Luckily a caution came out on lap 70, allowing Reutimann to bring the Aaron’s Dream Machine back into the pits to the attention of his crew. In addition to adding four new tires, the team made a tire-pressure adjustment and put wedge into the left-rear tire (which compresses the spring of a left-rear wheel) to help the loose handling condition.

“It’s going to get freer as the day goes on,” explained Childers. “We just have to keep up with it.”

While the changes didn’t instantly make the car better, Reutimann was able to keep pace with the top ten drivers over the next 30-40 laps.

By lap 124 when the team called him in for the next pit stop, Reutimann had made it up to eighth. “It gets a lot better as it goes,” he said.

Over the next few runs the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine would run as high as fifth place, but by lap 170 the loose condition began to rear its head again as Reutimann slipped out of the top ten.

The Aaron’s crew just kept working on the No. 00. Pit stop after pit stop, the team continued to make adjustments until finally on the last stop they were able to hit on the right combination.

With 26 laps left on the final restart Reutimann put the hammer down and drove up into the top ten, eventually holding off Jimmie Johnson to finish eighth.

"We had a really, really good car at the beginning and then we kind of got off there through the mid-point of the race,” said Reutimann. “We had to tighten it up, then we got it too tight and then at the end we had a right rear wheel loose. It was vibrating pretty bad, so we kind of just held on for what we could get there. All in all, it was a really good day. I had a good race car and the guys did a good job - pit stops were good. Everything went pretty well so I'm encouraged. I felt like we could have been a little better there at the end but we still ended up okay."

Tony Stewart was able to stay in front of a hard-charging Jeff Gordon to score the win. Greg Biffle, Juan Montoya and Denny Hamlin followed them across the line.

Next weekend the Sprint Cup series heads to Auto Club Speedway for the Pepsi 500 on October 11. Coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

1 comment:

  1. These are the days that this team is good enough to have more often than not. Keep up the good hard work, it is paying off. You moved up in the overall points, and I still think you can move up two more before the year is out. Good luck