Reutimann Scores a Front Row Starting Position at Richmond
David Reutimann secured the first front row starting position of the year for Michael Waltrip Racing during Coors Light Qualifying on Friday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway. Reutimann was second fastest with a lap of 126.618 mph, 21.324 seconds. Reutimann and the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota will start Saturday night’s race on the front row along side Coors Light pole winner Kyle Busch. Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Martin Truex Jr. and the No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota posted a lap of 125.302 mph, 21.548 seconds and will start 26th.
Saturday night’s running of the Crown Royal presents the Heath Calhoun 400 gets underway on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM Satellite Radio 128 starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
David Reutimann, Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry - Qualified 2nd, Front Row
Martin Truex Jr., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry - Qualified 26th
Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole Award with a time of 21.247.
Reutimann joins Kyle Busch on the front row followed by Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Ryan Newman
JTG-Daugherty Racing driver Marcos Ambrose qualified the No. 47 Toyota 20th
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Qualified: 2nd, Front Row
How was your qualifying lap? “The lap was pretty good. I kind of overdrove the second lap getting into (turn) three down there -- which actually under-drove it for me because generally I overdrive everything. It ended up being a good lap. From where we started to where we ended up finishing in practice, we struggled in our first practice. In our second practice, it was like a totally different car -- in a good way. In the end we ended up having a good effort for our Aaron’s Dream Machine and the guys did a good job. I was actually surprised that it held up as long as it did because the track did get a little cooler. It felt like it got a little quicker. I thought those guys were going to knock us down a few more. Thankfully, we got a good starting position and a good pit selection for tomorrow.”
What do you do when racing under different conditions than when you practice? “We struggled so bad early, we were just shooting for anything that was going to drive decent. In the end, I think you just try to make your car drive as good as you possibly can with the conditions that you have. When the night falls you just have to rely on your crew chief to go back through the notes and find out what the tendency of the track is. I’m not smart enough to remember what it does any way. I just sit there and turn the wheel and tell them what it’s doing and I give them time and they adjust on it. That’s just how I kind of do it. Jimmie’s (Johnson) got it all memorized.”
How much has changed for you since winning a Charlotte about a year ago? “Judging from this season, it hasn’t gone the way you want. I’ve gotten older. I haven’t gotten any better looking. But, I’ve still got a great team. I’ve got a good bunch of people surrounding me. I still got the same group of people that got me to that position. Although I heard Jeff Burton say today in an interview that he’s never run as well and had finishes as poor as he has, and I guess we can say the same thing. We’ve definitely run really well and just haven’t had the finishes. Not much has changed. Still got a good team and a little more confident at some places, except for when we turn left and right at road courses. Still working on that.”
Are you happy with the way your car is handling? “At the first practice we were not very good at all. We were way off. The start of the second practice we got a lot better. Progressively, we stayed a lot better as practice went on. So, it ended up being pretty good. It is two opposite ends of the spectrum from where we were when we unloaded, to where we are now. We weren’t very good at the beginning of the practice. We were way off to be honest with you. I felt like we weren’t anywhere near where we needed to be. We made some big adjustments that got us better.”
Does it concern you that your car was off in the first practice? “We unloaded with a little bit different setup than what we had run here in the past just trying to get better, and sometimes when you unload like that sometimes it doesn’t go your way. I don’t have a problem with that. The important thing is we were able to rebound and get it going in the right direction, which is not always easy. A lot of times if you don’t unload good it’s really, really hard to make up any ground. So, we were able to do that and I’m proud of my guys.”
MARTIN TRUEX JR., No. 56 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry, Qualified: 26th
How did your car handle during qualifying? “It was kind of like practice. We were pretty good in race trim, as far as speed and lap times were concerned. I wasn’t happy with the way it was driving. Then we went to qualifying trim and it did the same things it did in race trim -- it just wasn’t fast anymore. The track is real slick and it’s hard to get a hold of, and I just couldn’t get the car to turn at all and can’t get no power down. So, we’ve felt the same thing all day and it did the same thing here in qualifying.”