Tuesday, June 01, 2010

David Reutimann - Pocono Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann looked like a long-shot to make a run at the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase for the Championship just five races ago as he left Texas with his third DNF in the first eight races of 2010. Reutimann had fallen to 30th in points and trailed the top-12 by 218 points.

But the Michael Waltrip Racing driver is charging back into contention by posting five consecutive top-15 finishes, including his first career back-to-back (Dover and Charlotte) top-five finishes. The Zephyrhills, Florida native is 19th in points just 125 points outside the Chase at the halfway point of the 26-race regular season.


REUTIMANN ON CHANCES OF MAKING THE CHASE: “There is only one way to approach this thing - we are here to make the Chase (for the Championship)! Everyone on the Aaron’s Dream Machine crew truly believes that we have what it takes to make a run and get into that top-12. We had a couple tough breaks early in the season that put us behind a lot of the other teams, but we’ve been finishing races and making strides each week. Just a couple weeks ago we were 30th in points and now we’re 19th, so things are starting to go our way and we’re consistently racing each week with the leaders and bringing home top-five or top-10 finishes. We just need to keep doing what we’re doing right now and I believe we’ll be there right when we need to be.”

REUTIMANN ON BACK-TO-BACK TOP-FIVES: “It feels good to have back-to-back top-fives for the first time, but to be honest we should have been a little better than that. Last week we spent the whole race in the top-five, led a couple laps and had a great race, but I think we could have finished a spot or two better if not for one pit stop where we got blocked coming in by another car that dropped us back before the final restart. We need to keep at it if we want to have a shot at the Chase. I would’ve really liked to turn one of those top-fives into a win. Top-fives are great, but wins are better. We are getting closer and hopefully we can start collecting wins - they count as top-fives too.”


• In the last five point races, Reutimann has scored 699 points - sixth most of any driver and moved from 30th in points to 19th. He is one of only six drivers to finish on the lead lap of the last five race and has collected 20 bonus points for leading laps in four of the five races. Reutimann has two straight top-five and five straight top-15 finishes.

• Last Sunday in the Coca-Cola 600, Reutimann was one of only two drivers to have an average running position of 5th or better. Kurt Busch’s average running position was second and Reutimann’s was fourth. Reutimann also recorded the fastest lap 38 times.

• After Texas, Reutimann trailed the top-12 by 218 points, now he is heading to Pocono trailing the top-12 by just 125 points - shaving 93 points heading into the Gillette Fusion ProGlide 500.

• Reutimann recorded his first top-five, a third place finish, in six career Sprint Cup Series starts at Pocono Raceway in the June race last year. He also was on his way to a top-10 in the fall race before getting caught up in a racing incident with eventual race winner Denny Hamlin that caused damage to the Aaron’s Dream Machine and dropped Reutimann to a 29th-place result.

• Reutimann spent Tuesday and Wednesday road course testing in a non-Sprint Cup Series car at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. in preparation for the upcoming race.

• Reutimann has finished 20th or better in nine of the ten races that he has been running at the finish in 2010—and 15th or better in eight of the 10.

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