Tuesday, June 15, 2010

David Reutimann - Infineon Raceway Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann admits he isn’t a road course racing expert, but that hasn’t stopped the 40-year-old former dirt track racer from working hard to perfect his skills for Sunday’s race at Infineon Raceway in California.

The Zephryhills, Fla. native spent much of his free time in the last few months working with road course experts Michael McDowell and Marcos Ambrose racing go-karts in the Charlotte area, driving late models at Infineon and riding in a team-built two-seater car at Virginia International Raceway. Reutimann hopes the extra work continues the Michael Waltrip Racing team’s recent string of strong performances. Reutimann has scored the seventh most points of any driver in the last seven races gaining 11 points positions—the most of any driver.


WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF GOING TO A ROAD COURSE? “Leaving (laughs). I mean, it’s just another racetrack. There are tracks on the circuit that aren’t necessarily your favorite, but you have to go to them anyway and not make it a big deal. That’s how this deal is for me.”

ON PREPARING TO VISIT INFINEON RACEWAY: “Michael McDowell and Marcos Ambrose have both helped me out a lot both last year and this year. We’ve worked on a combination of things like trying to slow down at the right times to get a little quicker, working on shifting better and being more precise – a lot of things like that. Michael Waltrip Racing has done a really good job of trying to get me as much time as they can in different cars, whether it be late models at Sonoma or the multiple tests that we’ve done at VIR (Virginia International Raceway), so the team has really gotten behind me to give me the chance to get better. All in all, I feel like we’ve made a lot of gains. I don’t know if we’ve gained in one particular area or not specifically, but I feel like all around we’ve gotten better.”

WHAT MAKES INFINEON RACEWAY SUCH A CHALLENGE: “Infineon is very, very technical and it’s easy to overdrive. Forward bite is a problem there and struggling with wheel spin. It gets pretty hot out there and the track gets slick. I think the main thing is conserving your tires to keep good grip. We try to work on our shifts so we can save some tires. That’s a lot of the different things that we learned while we were out there. It was a good experience to spend some time out there. We learned a lot.”

ON QUALIFYING AT INFINEON RACEWAY: “It’s tough. Last year I just didn’t drive hard enough. I was really concerned about overdriving and messing the corners up and as a result just didn’t drive hard enough to be fast – I didn’t get the most out of the car when I needed to. That was my mistake last year. It’s tough. You’ve got one lap and you just have to let it all hang out even when you’re trying to be conservative. We’ve qualified in the tank about every time we’ve been to a road course and now it’s time to get that turned around.”


• In the last seven point races, Reutimann has scored 926 points - seventh most of any driver and moved from 30th in points to 19th (See Sidebar). He is one of only five drivers to finish on the lead lap in each of those races. He also collected 20 bonus points for leading laps in four of the seven. During that span, Reutimann has six top-15 finishes, including top-fives at Dover and Charlotte.

• Reutimann has finished 20th or better in 11 of the 12 races that he has been running at the finish in 2010—and 15th or better in nine of the 12. Reutimann’s lowest finish in a race that he finished was 28th at Martinsville.

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