David 29th at Richmond by Kellyanne Lynch
6 May 2007
David Reutimann finished 29th and two laps down in the Crown Royal 400, today's Nextel Cup race at Richmond International Raceway. His #00 Domino's Camry had sat in the garage overnight after the race was rained out yesterday and postponed until this afternoon. Teammate Dale Jarrett and car owner Michael Waltrip did not make the race.
"Five minutes," spotter Shawn Reutimann said after the national anthem, at 1:03pm ET. The team talked about the windy conditions this aftenoon. The winds were blowing twenty to thirty miles per hour from the northeast, with sixty-one degree weather.
"Maybe if you turn sideways, the wind won't be so bad," a crew member suggested.
"You're funny," Shawn replied. "No, that didn't work either."
"Don't do that! That'll get you a tan line."
"You got a copy?" David came on
"I got ya," Shawn replied.
Someone on pit road said crew chief Frankie Kerr was just putting on his headset.
"How 'bout you, Shawn?" Frankie was on the radio moments later.
"How 'bout you there, Reut?"
"I got you."
"Looking a lot better today," Frankie commented.
The command to start engines came at 1:08pm.
"All right, guys, same thing as yesterday. Competition yellow on lap 40," Frankie addressed the team. "Make sure we have some ice packs for David, in case it gets too hot."
Somebody told someone to go to the back-up channel.
"All right, pit road speed right there," Shawn noted.
"I think that's going to be about 4800," David replied.
"10-4, 4800," Shawn echoed.
"48 and second."
"All right, guys. Have a good day. Got you, Dave, 4800 and second," Frankie said to the team. "42 behind us in the pits."
"All right, one to go when you get here," Shawn said. "All right, next time by. Keep working those things in.
"All right, Frank, they said they're going to have the competition yellow on lap 40. They won't let you put fuel in it before then."
Frankie acknowledged Shawn's words.
"All right, David, 400 laps today. Pull those belts," Shawn said. "Get this bad boy to the end."
Jeff Gordon led the field to the green. David moved up to 13th on the first lap. He was warned about cars on the inside as he moved up to 12th.
The first caution came on lap 6. Johnny Sauter had moved up the track in the corner and had spun Casey Mears. Behind them, Kurt Busch went sideways. He lost the lead lap. Meanwhile, Robby Gordon, who had problems at the start of the race, received the free pass.
"All right, what'd you have there, Dave? It was a good effort on the outside there."
"Once I got to the bottom, feels like it's probably going to be a little tight."
"Pretty good on the outside, Dave," Shawn praised.
Frankie said he could jump up there and pass people on the restart. "Four more laps, then turn on those brake fans." After a moment, he asked the crew, "Can somebody get me a wrench? I don't care what size it is."
Some cars pit unde caution.
"It'll be one to go when you get back around here," Shawn noted.
"All right, buddy, get your tires cleaned off. Have a good restart," Frankie said.
Shawn told him he could only pass on the right.
Racing resumed on lap 12. Gordon led, and David was 13th. He was told AJ Almendinger was inside, but then he was clear.
"Clear by one," Shawn observed.
Robby Gordon pit with another flat tire as David picked up three car lengths on Juan Pablo Montoya.
"Go ahead and turn the brakes on, bud," Frankie directed his driver.
Montoya gained a car length on David.
"It's tight from the centre off," David told his team.
"Clear by three," Shawn said.
On lap 19, Frankie asked, "How's that, Dave?"
"It feels good, just real tight on the throttle," David replied.
Shawn warned him of a slow car on the outside. Meanwhile, Robby Gordon was black-flagged for being too fast coming off pit road. Montoya was now outside the #00.
Montoya and Sauter passed, dropping David to 15th on lap 22. Tony Raines passed along the inside two laps later. Shawn said Tony Stewart was coming with Raines' #96. Lap 26 saw Stewart get around the Domino's Camry. Clint Bowyer looked to pass along the inside next, and he passed on lap 29. Shawn told David to keep working the outside lane.
"Clear behind the #07," Shawn said. "All clear."
JJ Yeley and Kevin Harvick passed on lap 31, dropping David to 20th. Bobby Labonte looked to pass next with Greg Biffle at his heels. Both got around on lap 32.
At the front of the field, Jimmie Johnson took the lead.
David Stremme was next in line to get around the #00. He and Ryan Newman passed on lap 33. David was now 24th. Kyle Busch got around him two laps later. Lap 37 saw Jamie McMurray and Jeff Burton pass.
"Hang in there, buddy. Five laps until we stop," Shawn encouraged.
On lap 39, Matt Kenseth moved David back to 28th. David Ragan passed, just before the second caution came out for the competition yellow.
David talked about how the car was loose getting into the corner and tight off the throttle. "Fucking sucks... again!"
"Too loose in, the frickin' pedal fluctuates so bad, it shakes your teeth trying to stop the thing." "We gotta rotate better through the centre, and when I pick up the throttle, it's got to be a little freer."
Frankie talked about adjustments. Shawn said he had to be quick, because they were pitting.
"Long way to go, long way to go, David. 43 laps complete."
"All right, buddy, hang in there. You're doing a good job." Frankie said. He relayed an observation about cars passing around the bottom but knowing that David was too tight in the corner.
"Oh do I!" David replied.
Frankie talked about a bunch of cars staying out at the tail end of the lead lap.
"That would be why, but trust me, staying out won't fix everything else we've got going on."
Jeff Gordon led the lap 47 restart with David in 35th. Robby Gordon was eleven laps down and off the track. Two laps into the run, David picked up a spot.
"Clear by eight," Shawn said. David passed Casey Mears for 33rd on lap 51. Mears came along the inside and got back around him on the next lap. He passed Jamie McMurray to gain back the spot on lap 54. McMurray had hit the wall and was dropping through the field with a flat. David picked up 32nd one lap later to Sterling Marlin.
"Caution's out. Got one slow up high in Turn 1," Shawn said.
The third caution was on lap 56 for McMurray's shredding tire.
"The freaking brakes are shaking so damn bad," David complained.
Frankie apologised and said they'd keep making adjustments.
"Keep working. You can't hardly stop the thing, because it shakes the car so bad," David added. He said it probably helped the centre.
Shawn said again they needed to talk quick to pit. Frankie called for right side tires and a rubber. The #00 was one of eleven cars to make stops.
"All right, Dave, sorry about the brakes. Just hang in there," Frankie encouraged his driver.
Shawn told the crew chief he needed to be "quick about what you want", because pit road is opening while they're still talking.
"All right, Dave, we'll keep working on this thing," Frankie assured. "You're doing a good job."
"All right, next time by. Try to protect the right," Shawn added.
Lap 63 saw the restart with Gordon leading and David 32nd. Tony Raines jumped in front of Gordon's #24 and took the lead, but Gordon hung with him.
Gordon took back the lead on lap 65. Meanwhile, David was up to 31st, having passed Joe Nemechek.
"Outside," Shawn warned. "Outside. Still there. Gonna be there off the corner. Outside, still there."
David picked up 30th off the corner on lap 70. Shawn told him he did a good job. Bobby Labonte looked to pass next and got around the #00 on lap 74.
"14 right there with you," Shawn noted. Marlin passed on lap 76, moving David back to 32nd. Kenseth got around him two laps later. Nemechek and Menard moved David back to 35th on lap 80. Kyle Petty passed one lap later.
"Won't turn, pushes on the throttle. Same thing, same thing," David reported. "Won't turn on entry, because I have too much rear brake in it. We have to make a big change, or we're going to be screwed."
"Long way to go. Working lap 81. Hang in there," Shawn assured him.
"The thing is, when I pick the throttle, it just plows."
"All right, Dave, we'll keep working on it, bud," Frankie said.
"Clear by eight," Shawn added. "No pressure."
David added that the car doesn't turn in the centre of the turns.
"23.40," Frankie read off the lap time.
Shawn said that a lot of drivers were moving out of the top groove "if you need it."
"Clear by five."
"Clear by five."
"23.40," Frankie continued to read off lap times. "23.50."
"Clear by five."
"This thing is shaking so bad on entry," David commented. "It's just bad everywhere, bud."
Frankie said they would fix it.
"Clear by ten," Shawn observed. "Move up the race track if you need it."
"The line you ran in 3 and 4, that's what the leaders are running," Shawn noted.
"Clear by ten."
"23.60." The leader was closing in, beginning to lap cars at the end of the lead lap. "At the line now."
"No pressure," Shawn said. "All by yourself."
"Clear by five. Got the leader by half a straightaway back."
"23.50," Frankie read off times. "23.40."
"Clear by five."
"Clear by two."
"Clear by two."
Elliott Sadler lost his tire and went through the grass, drawing the fourth caution on lap 104.
"Caution's out. Got the 19 spun behind you," Shawn said.
"All right, four tires, fuel." Frankie talked about adjustments, including taking out wedge. He asked if the rubber was helping.
"Yeah, the right's getting in every lap anyway," David replied. After Frankie further discussed adjustments, the driver asked, "What happened with the 19?"
"Just lost it," Shawn said. "He put too much wheel to it and lost it.
"All right, it will be
"Four tires, rubber in there, one round in there, one round out of there, and air. Dave, I'm going to stop you long, gonna stop you long," Frankie said.
"4800 and second when you get here," Shawn reminded David.
Frankie said the stop was so long, because they were making the adjustments.
"I understand," David replied. "10-4."
"It'll be one to go when you get back around here," Shawn noted. "Pass right, protect the right. Pace car's on the back straightaway. All right, pace car's pulling off. Be ready. Be ready. Green green green."
Jeff Gordon led the lap 111 restart with David in 38th. The #00 passed Ward Burton one lap into the run. Lap 114 saw David get around Johnny Benson for another position.
"Clear by three," Shawn observed. "Pulling away."
"23.60. The leader's 23.50," Frankie said.
"Outside. 4 car outside," Shawn warned. "Outside. Still there."
David was back to 35th.
"Got one wrecking in Turn 2. Caution's out, cautin's out. Watch the 42 come back across," Shawn warned. "All clear."
Lap 120 saw the fifth caution. Montoya went up into Sauter, and both spun. They had been after each other for several laps.
"Definitely think that's better. The problem is, Frank, it's so bad on entry, I have to roll down on front brake," David reported. He said the car was braking a little bit better so the car can at least rotate.
"I don't know if it makes you feel any better, Dave, but you've got about thirty-five other cars complaining about the same thing," Shawn replied.
Cars pit under caution. Johnny Sauter had a hand saw hanging out the rear bumper, and Frankie warned David about it.
Gordon led the lap 125 restart with David in 27th. Two laps into the run, Kasey Kahne passed the #00. Matt Kenseth looked to pass next.
"Inside. Still there," Shawn warned. "Inside, still there. Left rear corner."
On lap 129, Denny Hamlin took the lead. Meanwhile, Kenseth's #17 was inside the #00.
Kevin Harvick passed Hamlin for the top spot on lap 131. One lap later, Kenseth got around David and dropped him to 29th. Bobby Labonte looked to pass along the inside next, and he did on lap 135.
"Clear behind the 43, if you need it," Shawn said. David picked up another spot the next time around the track.
"Three-wide. You're on top. Inside. Three-wide. You're on top. 20 car inside," Shawn warned on lap 138. "Behind the 20."
David lost a spot to Tony Stewart's #20.
"Got one slow on the bottom. You're going to catch him in Turn 2. Slow one on the bottom, clear by three."
David picked up 29th on lap 142 as Jeff Burton dropped through the ranks and fell out of the race with a blown engine. David was warned that Sorenson was coming around to the outside.
"All right, hang in there, buddy. You're doing a good job," Frankie encouraged as David lost a spot to Sorenson's #41 on lap 144. One lap later, Montoya passed. Ricky Rudd looked to get around him next. On lap 147, Rudd's #88 dropped David to 32nd. Rudd's teammate David Gilliland passed one lap later. Two laps after that, Ward Burton got around the #00.
"No forward bite on exit," David reported on lap 152. "It's loose in the centre."
"7 car right there with you," Shawn said. "Inside. Inside, still there."
Robby Gordon passed; however, he was twenty laps down and did not drop David a spot.
"You're going to have to undo that last change," David told his crew chief.
"All right, bud," Frankie replied. "Keep digging."
Jamie McMurray, who was also lapped, passed David.
"Clear by five. Leader at the line now," Shawn said on lap 163. Hamlin picked up the lead one lap later.
"Clear by three. Keep doing what you're doing. It's working," Shawn assured his driver on lap 166. "Clear by three."
"23.40," Frankie read off the lap time.
"Clear by five."
"Clear by four, back to the leader," Shawn warned. "Clear by two."
"Inside, still there. Keep running your line. Three-wide. You're up top. All right, hang with it as best you can."
On lap 173, David lost the lead lap after going three-wide with Hamlin and Harvick. Harvick's #29 reclaimed the lead. Shawn said that Allmendinger was three back, and they were racing his #84 for the free pass.
"84 looking inside. Left rear corner. All clear," Shawn said on lap 183. David stayed in front of Allmendinger. On lap 195, the #84 dropped David to 35th.
"Hey, Frank, we've got smoke coming off that thing somewhere," Shawn said on lap 197. David lost a spot to Nemechek.
"I can't believe how bad this thing is," David complained.
"All right. Hang in there, bud," Frankie said. "Ten laps 'til we stop."
"I can't even run down the straightaway with it without spinning the tires," David added. With Stremme's stop, he was up to 35th. "It just snaps in the centre."
Other cars began making scheduled green flag pit stops.
"Three more and we'll stop," Frankie said.
"You gonna pull that rubber?" David asked.
"Let's put some wedge back in it."
"It's loose in the centre there, bud. You need to help me there too."
"Put the wedge back in it." "All right, guys, get ready. Next time, next time."
Shawn warned that Yeley was coming in with him.
David pit on lap 207. Ryan Newman picked up the lead when Harvick came in. Tony Stewart inherited the lead when Harvick stopped.
"Clear by five," Shawn said. Matt Kenseth was now leading, with Stewart on pit road. David was 38th and three laps down. Shawn noted that Kenseth, who was right in front of the #00, was the leader. David passed the #17 as Kenseth went to pit road. Mark Martin now had the top spot.
"The 29 is only one back. Keep digging," Shawn warned. "Clear by two."
When Mark Martin pit, Harvick was back in the lead. He immediately passed David, who was two laps down now in 36th. Frankie told him to hang in there.
"Working lap 215, David," Shawn said. "Long way to go, bud."
David talked about how the car was driving. "The wedge ain't even done crap."
Rudd pit on lap 224, allowing David to move into 35th. He was still two laps down.
"This thing is screwed up, dude," David reported. He said the wedge was throwing off the gas. He suggested taking about half the wedge back out so he could drive the car. He was 36th by now. "It's just... change something!"
The sixth caution came on lap 251 when Yeley got into the wall.
"Caution's out, caution's out. Wave them off," Shawn reported.
"You want to work on the track bar?"
"You gotta help me stop from snapping in the centre," David said. He gave more input, but people talked through it.
"Not this time, dude. You gotta wait," Shawn told his driver.
"Yeah, I know," David mumbled.
"Pit road's closed. Pit road is closed. Do not come out. Got one spun out on pit road."
Harvick and Kurt Busch were exiting their boxes when David Ragan cut into Harvick. The #29 picked up significant right front damage and spun Ragan's #6.
"Hey, you know, can we get it back closer to where we were? Please?" David asked.
"How many laps we down? Two?" David asked.
"Yeah, we're down two laps," Shawn replied.
"Who we racing? Is anyone else two laps down?"
"We're racing the 84, 88, 19, 46. Actually, the 46 isn't there. So the 19, 84, and 86 are on our lap."
Lap 261 saw the restart. Due to the pit road incident between Harvick and Ragan, Kurt Busch was in the lead. David was 35th.
"You gotta pull the rubbers out," David told his crew on lap 272. "I can't get in there."
"All right, just hang in there," Frankie replied.
Rudd dropped inside the #00 for position and passed on lap 274. David was now 36th, two laps down.
David Gilliland hit the inside wall hard, drawing the seventh yellow flag on lap 278. Gilliland had gotten into Benson and spun. David was cleared passed the #38.
"Well, you just can't roll the centre with it, and it has no bite off," David reported.
Frankie discussed adjustments before Shawn said pit road will be open next time around the track. "Take a half out of the front," the crew chief instructed the team.
The #00 pit under caution.
"All right, bud, you're racing the 84, 19, 88," Frankie said after the stop.
"Be one to go when you get back around here," Shawn added.
Jimmie Johnson led the lap 285 restart with David 36th and one lap down. David was led low around Dale Earnhardt Jr's spinning #8 and warned that Benson's #46 was under him. Earnhardt Jr had spun when Jeff Green's tires smoke and moved up into the #8. That drew the eighth caution.
"Looks like it should have been a big wreck, but everybody missed it," Shawn commented.
"Where's the #88 going?" David asked.
"I don't know where the hell he's going," Frankie answered. He asked about the car, but David said it was too short to tell anything yet.
"Behind the 88 there," Shawn said as Rudd got back in line.
"Guys, can we do anything about the sign right there, without it crashing into the wind?" Frankie asked.
"Hey, Beak, you haven't used that sign above the pit box?"
David said it was at a forty-five degree angle, so it was hard to see. He was again reminded who he's racing.
Jimmie Johnson led the lap 291 restart. David was 35th, in front of Rudd again. Five laps into the run, Kyle Busch took the lead. Johnson took it right back.
Joe Nemechek got into the wall on lap 299. He slowed and went to the pits with no caution. David was led around the #13. Nemechek's departure moved him into 34th.
Kasey Kahne hit the wall after contact with David Stremme on lap 304. Kahne kept moving up the track on the backstretch until he pushed Stremme into the wall. Kahne's #9 went to the garage, and the race remained green. Meanwhile, Stremme stayed on track. Kahne's woes moved David into 33rd.
"It goes from one extreme to the other," David reported on lap 313. "Now the nose plows in the centre."
Rudd moved inside the #00.
David asked Frankie to lower the trackbar on the left side. "I don't know what else to tell you to do with it, Frank. I can't get it... it's tight in the centre now.
"It does so many bad things that I can't even start to tell you where to fix it, bud."
"Caution's out for debris," Shawn called the ninth yellow flag on lap 318.
"We should put tires on it," David suggested. "Do you have anything you want to put on it, because I'm out. I don't know what to do."
Frankie discussed adjustments.
"It's now sliding the nose in the centre, it's tight in the centre." He said other things, but again, people were chattering. He vetoed an adjustment from Frankie, afraid he might lose another lap.
"I can probably do it. Can't change tires and do it. Screw it, we're not doing that," Frankie said. He talked about an adjustment that might help with the centre.
"Just pull some wedge out," David requested. "Pull some wedge out. Go down on the trackbar and take some wedge out of it."
Frankie said he'd go down two rounds. The #00 stopped under yellow.
Johnson led the lap 323 restart. David was 33rd, two laps down.
"Three-wide. You're on the bottom," Shawn warned. "Still three-wide. Back to two-wide. 99 outside. Clear behind the 29."
Passing Allmendinger on lap 332 moved the #00 into 32nd. Allmendinger got into the wall in Turn 2. Two laps later, he was 31st; he got ahead of Sadler. Riggs dropped through the ranks.
Debris on the back straightaway brought out the tenth caution on lap 338. Paul Menard got the free pass.
"All right, what you got there, pal?" Frankie asked.
"It's okay. If we come in, we probably ought to do trackbar," David replied. "If not, whatever."
Frankie said they'd pit and make that trackbar adjustment.
"Frank, we need to find out what the 22, the other Toyota's got, because he's hauling butt," Shawn suggested. Frankie said he would.
"He's not going to tell us, so it's pointless," David commented.
Frankie told the crew not to worry about the gas.
David pit under caution.
"Good stop, guys," Frankie praised. "That was the best stop of the year.
"You did really good, leaning on that shift, pal," he added. "All right, let's see. We're still racing the 88, the 19, and the 84."
"All right, next time by," Shawn said. "How many laps is the 46 down? One or two?"
"The 46 is three laps down," Frankie replied.
"How do you like that? Ricky Rudd just picked up two spots." Shawn called the restart on lap 343. Johnson led, and David was 31st.
David went three-wide, as did many cars on the track. Sadler passed on lap 349, moving the #00 back to 32nd.
The eleventh caution was on lap 350 when Kenny Wallace's #78 stalled on the track.
"Tell NASCAR I tried," Wallace said, saying he was trying to get back going.
"Four tires, no fuel." Frankie laughed. "We have plenty of fuel."
David said the car was loose when he got in the throttle. "I'm pinned down so much, it's hard to tell."
Shawn said it looked like Rudd and Sadler were staying on track.
"That's all right. Come in," Frankie replied. "You'll have to come around the 42. Here you go. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Come on. Wheels straight, put on the brakes.
"Go go go. 45 is on the outside."
"If we've got to do something this run, when I turn into the pit box with the RPM's low, I can't steer it," David reported. "The car won't steer."
"Next time by," Shawn said.
Johnson led the field to the lap 355 restart. David was 33rd. Kyle Busch drove the high line and was marked in the lead on lap 356. The pair continued to run side-by-side.
Greg Biffle spun and hit the wall hard against the driver's side, drawing the twelfth caution on lap 357. David was guided low. Jeff Green had gotten into Biffle, sending the #16 across the noses of a number of cars. Other drivers avoided the wreck.
"All right, 66 got another one," Frankie commented. "Try to clear that 45. He's holding us up, it looks like."
"They're probably not done wrecking yet," Shawn said.
"Yeah, it's about that time - fifty to go... forty to go," Frankie replied. "The part of the race track we see, it's just a wreck every second."
"One to go at the line."
"We're still racing that 88, 84, and 19, buddy."
"How many laps is that 45 down?" Shawn asked. With no answer on the radio, he said, "All right, 10-4."
"What's going on with the 10?" David asked.
Kyle Busch led the lap 363 restart with David in 32nd.
"Caution's out. Caution's out. Turn 1," Shawn reported on lap 364. The thirteenth yellow flag was for Stremme getting into the wall.
"All right, staying out again, guys," Frankie said.
"Be one to go when you get back around here," Shawn noted. He guided
"How many laps the 46 down, Frank?" David asked.
Frankie said Benson's #46 was down three laps, as was Riggs' #10.
Racing resumed on lap 368 with Kyle Busch leading. David was 31st, two laps down.
The fourteenth caution was on lap 372 for a multi-car accident. Dave Blaney lost the brakes in Turn 3 and went three-wide with Ward Burton. Burton and David Gilliland made contact after Sterling Marlin turned Burton's #4, and the #4 and #38 went into the outside wall. Montoya, Stewart, and Martin Truex Jr were also involved; Allmendinger got into the back of Truex Jr's #1 as cars were slowing.
"You'll be racing that 1 car now," Frankie commented. He wanted Benson out of their way, but the #46 team said they were racing the #10 of Riggs. Frankie said they didn't have a chance.
"What place are we anyway?" David asked.
"Right there, you're 28th with 23 laps to go," Frankie replied. "I think there's going to be more accidents before the end of this race."
"Be one to go when we get back here," Shawn said.
"What's with all the speedy dry on the front stretch?" Frankie asked.
"They're getting that now," Shawn answered. "All right, there's going to be some speedy dry up high, like a dirt track. 66 is only one lap down.
"Coming to the green. Pass on the right, protect the right."
Racing resumed with twenty laps to go. David was two laps down in 28th. Kyle Busch led, but Jimmie Johnson dropped inside and took the top spot one lap into the run.
By lap 288, Truex Jr passed David. The #00 was now 29th. The team frequency was loud and staticky. David finished 29th, two laps down while Jimmie Johnson picked up the win.
Tune in next Saturday night for the Dodge Avenger 500, Nextel Cup's Darlington race. Coverage starts at 7:00pm ET on FOX. The Busch Series' Diamond Hill Plywood 200 will air the day before at 8:00pm on ESPN2.