David 2nd at Nashville by Kellyanne Lynch
7 April 2007
David Reutimann took his #99 Aaron's Dream Machine to a second place finish in the Pepsi 300, today's Nextel Cup race at Nashville Superspeedway. His Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota Camry led thirty-five laps at the driver's "favourite track on the planet."
David Stremme's #41 led the field to the green flag at 3:51pm ET. Rolling off 5th, David held his ground in the #99 Aaron's Dream Machine. He went three-wide with Mike Bliss and Marcus Ambrose on lap 5 and picked up 3rd.
Johnny Sauter dropped on lap 17, and David moved into the 2nd position. Within two laps, he was all over the back of the #41. He passed Stremme along the inside and took the lead going into lap 21. Sam Hornish Jr's #12 suffered a left front flat five laps later. He missed pit road the first time around but ultimately pit. Meanwhile, David opened up a two-and-a-half-second lead on the rest of the field. Crew chief Jerry Baxter encouraged his driver not to relax.
Scott Wimmer's #29 gained on the Aaron's Dream Machine and took the lead along the bottom on lap 52. Jason Leffler dropped him to 3rd two circuits later, and Dave Blaney passed him two laps after that.
Scheduled green flag pit stops began on lap 60 with Mike Wallace's #7. Three laps later, Wimmer dove onto pit road and gave the lead to Leffler. David pit the next time around the track, along with the race leader. He reported to crew chief Jerry Baxter that his car was "bad tight". His crew gave him four tires, gas, a track bar adjustment, and took air out of the left front. Shane Huffman picked up the lead next, but he ran out of gas coming to his stall. Reagan Smith and then David Ragan held the top spot before each made a stop. Smith's #4 stalled on pit road. Stremme had to pit again after a tire rolled away during his stop. After stops cycled, Wimmer held the lead, and David was 3rd. Only fifteen cars were on the lead lap.
The leaders got bogged behind lapped traffic, allowing Leffler to take the lead on lap 78. David moved into 2nd. Lap 81 saw David take 2nd, and one lap later, the Aaron's Dream Machine was back in the lead.
The first caution came on lap 87. Dave Blaney's #10 spun after he'd passed lapped Johnny Sauter's #37, and Sauter turned him. Despite causing the caution, Sauter was allowed to take the free pass back onto the lead lap. Everyone pit. David reported that the car was still tight, and he was given an air pressure adjustment. He was second off pit road; however, he came out with his catch can still in the back of his car. He had to serve a drive through penalty.
Todd Kluever's #16 led the lap 91 restart; David was 13th, the last driver on the lead lap besides the free pass car.
Kertus Davis got loose under Timothy Peters and spun them both. Cars slowed, and Steve Wallace ran into the back of David Ragan's #6 and spun it. The accident drew the second caution on lap 93. Mike Bliss received the free pass. By the time the yellow flag waved, David was up to 10th.
Lap 98 saw the restart. Shane Huffman led, and David was 10th. Four laps later, the #99 moved into 9th after passing Dave Blaney.
The third caution came on lap 104. Jason Leffler moved up into Boris Said and turned him, causing Said to back into the wall. David was up to 7th. Some cars pit.
David was 6th when racing resumed on lap 111, and Huffman led. Passing Wimmer one lap into the run moved the #99 into 5th.
On lap 117, Carl Edwards moved inside Huffman and took the top spot.
The yellow flag waved for the fourth time on lap 127. Johnny Sauter crowded Sam Hornish Jr, causing Hornish Jr's #12 to get loose and slide up the track. The #12 pushed Sauter's #37 into the wall. Drivers pit under yellow.
Racing resumed on lap 131 with Jason Leffler in the lead and David in 7th. Two laps into the run, the #99 passed Steve Wallace's #66.
The fifth caution came on lap 134. Richard Johns got loose under Jason Keller, sending them both into a spin.
Lap 140 saw the restart with Leffler in the lead, but Edwards took the lead three laps into the run. David was 6th, but Blaney passed him on lap 147. Ten laps later, the #99 got around Stephen Leicht's #90 to retake 6th.
Debris drew the sixth caution on lap 180. Steve Wallace received the free pass for the second time this race. Leaders pit under caution, and Leffler picked up the top spot. David came out 4th.
Leffler led the lap 185 restart with David in 4th. Aric Almirola slid up the track with a flat. Meanwhile, David picked up 3rd.
Edwards retook the lead along the inside on lap 201. David passed along the inside for 2nd six laps later. He finished four and a half seconds behind the #60. Toyota finished 2nd, 3rd, and 4th.
"It's still my favourite track on the planet," David said after the race.
Watch Michael Waltrip Racing next week at Texas Motor Speedway! Coverage of the Nextel Cup's Samsung 500 starts Sunday at 1:30pm ET on FOX. The Busch Series' O'Reilly 300 airs the day before at 2:30pm on ESPN2.