Live qualifying report from Pocono by Kellyanne Lynch
8 June 2007
Michael Waltrip Racing's David Reutimann will start 23rd in the Pocono 500, Sunday's Nextel Cup event at Pocono Raceway. His #00 Burger King Camry turned a 54.099-second lap at 166.362 MPH, which was 1.177 seconds behind pole-sitter Ryan Newman. Car owner Michael Waltrip and teammate Dale Jarrett did not make the field for Sunday's race.
"The guys made some really good and really smart changes after practice," David said of his qualifying lap. "In fact, the car was so good in turns one and two that I think I lost a little time because it was better than I anticipated it would be. I got in the corner and got a little loose in turn three, which made the car slip a little, but just enough that I could get the car to turn through the corner. But really, it doesn't matter where we start as long as we get to start."
David also commented on how his practice and qualifying laps in Eddie Sharp Racing's #22 ARCA car benefitted him in Cup time trials. "The laps in the ARCA car this morning definitely helped and that was a great call. I have to thank Eddie Sharp and the guys over there because they brought a great car. The only thing I'm sad about is that I don't get to race the thing, but Josh (Wise) will come in and do a good job tomorrow."
Qualifying began at approximately 3:45pm ET this afternoon. Dale's #44 UPS Camry went out second and ran a 54.853-second lap at 164.075 MPH that ultimately ranked 45th of 49th overall and was 1.931 seconds behind Newman. He was not happy with his qualifying run. When first qualifier Paul Menard asked him about it when Dale got out of his #44, Dale just shook his head.
David was the next MWR driver to make an attempt; he went out 31st.
"One lap, right, Frank?" he asked.
"One lap, buddy. One lap," crew chief Frankie Kerr replied. After the #00 turned that one lap, Frankie reported the lap time. "54 flat, bud. 54 flat."
"Am I in?" David asked.
Frankie said he was.
"Man, I think I'm gonna be sick," was David's response.
"That's all right," Frankie assured his driver. "I'm gonna be sick for you."
David commented that the car was "awesome" in Turns 1 and 2 - "Couldn't have asked for better." He said he had a problem in Turns 3 with getting the nose into the corners. He thanked his crew for a great set-up.
Frankie told David that he'd done a great job.
A couple minutes later, somebody asked over the #00 frequency if David were still on the radio. Frankie said their driver was throwing up.
About six qualifiers later, Mikey came onto the track at 5:04pm.
"Anybody hear me?" he asked before his lap. No one answered. He turned a 54.853-second lap at 164.075 MPH that was 1.931 seconds slower than Newman.
Mikey reported that the car was too hot and was really close but lost a little time off the turn. The team talked about how qualifying would be close, and it was. Mikey was on the bubble until the last go-or-go-home driver took to the track. Dave Blaney qualified 14th and bumped the #55 Napa Camry out of the field. He'd ranked 32nd on the speed charts, but because twelve of the drivers behind him were in the top 35 in points, they were put ahead of him.
Be sure to watch David in Sunday's race! Coverage of the Pocono 500 starts at 12:30pm ET on TNT.