Live Pocono Saturday practice report by Kellyanne Lynch
9 June 2007
David Reutimann participated in two practice sessions in his #00 Burger King Camry today at Pocono Raceway, in preparation for tomorrow's Pocono 500. He ranked 29th in the first, turning his best of twelve laps his second time around the track - a 54.864-second circuit at 164.042 MPH that was 1.090 seconds behind session leader Tony Stewart. In happy hour, he was 39th with a 55.409-second lap at 162.428 MPH; he ran it on his second of ten laps. He was 1.117 seconds behind Denny Hamlin, who had topped the charts in that practice. Car owner Michael Waltrip and teammate Dale Jarrett did not run practice, because they did not make tomorrow's race.
"How 'bout you, Shawn?" #00 crew chief Frankie Kerr spoke over the team frequency just before second practice. When spotter Shawn Reutimann responded, Frankie told his team to make sure the tires were torqued. Shawn commented on the wind down the back straightaway.
Practice began at 10:00am ET. Frankie told David to run his brake and b fans but to leave off the brake fans for a little while first. He told his driver to "run as long as you feel comfortable." When David asked if he should run the gear fan, Frankie told him yes.
"Can you give me a paper towel so I can wipe my face?" David asked his crew. Once he got the towel, he asked, "All my rubbers are up, right?"
Frankie said they were and told David to be cautious of his speed over the bumps. David asked if they were set to get rolling, and he left the garage at 10:02am.
Frankie asked his driver to give him an idea of how the car runs, because time drop off significantly.
"Okay," was David's response.
Frankie said other drivers were going out on sticker tires and were a second slower after just five laps.
Shawn cleared David behind Dave Blaney's #22. "Pretty good guy to follow around here a couple of times," he commented.
David ran two laps, and Frankie read off lap times of 55.18 and 54.86.
"It turns really good on the bottom," David commented as he returned to the garage. He said he loses ground in Turns 3 and 4 but was good everywhere else. His temps were 200 and 250. "Want a tire sheet?"
Frankie said he did.
"Are we ten miles off?"
Frankie told his driver they weren't. They were on scuffs when the rest were on sticker tires, and they were running around 10th.
David reported that the car was fine through the bumps and the tunnel turn but a little free; however, he said that didn't affect anything. He said he can't rotate across the bottom on the flat smooth part of track. He said it was a little tricky in the tunnel turn but told his team not to worry about it.
Frankie wasn't sure if they had enough cambre for that end. He said the car was in qualifying mode and they would have to look at it. He asked how the air pressure felt.
David said that the air pressure wasn't too low and got better as they went. He noted that the grip was decent and they may even be able to go lower.- "whatever we can do to get me through the flat part without whacking it out too much". He stated again that the car was really good through the bumps and he was happy with it there.
"Coming to you," Shawn said. David explained there was a long line at Goodyear.
Frankie asked if David had put on his fans. David said he put on his brake fans on the last fans but not the B fans.
"Brakes look good," Frankie commented. He told his crew, "Get a flashlight and look at the house."
"Just under thirty minutes left," Shawn warned.
Frankie asked David for clarification, if the tunnel turn was a little free and if he needed to turn on the flat.
"That's correct," David replied. "Now how much is one turn?"
Frankie talked about cambre in the right front and said he would put two rubbers in the right rear. After the crew did some work, he asked, "No issues otherwise dave? No vibrations or anything? Okay."
David asked if he were losing time in Turn 3. After a long pause, Shawn asked if he were talking to him. When David said he was, David was pulling away from others in Turn 4 and he gained in the tunnel but lost in the middle and off of Turn 3.
The #00 was back on track at 10:23am.
"55.14," Frankie read off the lap time after the run. Turn your fans on, buddy."
David said that, if he slowed way, way down in the corners, he could make it through. He felt that he needed to be freer on exit. When asked about the car in the tunnel turn, he said not to worry about it and that he would take care of that. "Have a little faith, Frank! That's all I'm looking for."
Frankie said okay. When David asked if they needed another tire sheet, his crew chief said they were good. "What did you think of the rubbers?"
David said it didn't make sense but the rubbers probably made the car tighter.
Assuring him that made sense, Frankie said they would raise the track bar up a half inch and see what that does.
"Come on, Frank, think outside the bun," Shawn quipped.
"Come on, guys, get serious," Frankie replied. He talked about playing with air pressures. Shawn reported that seventeen or eighteen minutes remained in practice.
"Hey, Beak, rubber make you tighter?" a crew member asked.
David said the right rear corner felt like it planted more and moved the nose more. He didn't think that adjustment was what they needed. It didn't help what they needed and had hurt them with other things.
Frankie said they would move the track bar and would run again. David commented on someone else bleeding over their frequency right when he was going onto the track.
"Coming to you there, Shawn," Frankie informed the spotter when the #00 was ready to return to the track.
Shawn asked what track temperature was supposed to be like tomorrow.
"Like today's," Frankie replied. He commented on how it was slick.
Shawn cleared David behind Kyle Busch and JJ Yeley at 10:32am. The #00 turned a 55.70-second lap.
"That helped it on both ends," David commented. He said the car rotated better and was now pretty tight fron the centre off. When he got back to the throttle quicker, he was tight off Turn 3 and 4.
Frankie said he was putting in sway bar and working on the right corner. Eight minutes remained in practice.
David asked what they needed to run to be close. Frankie stated it was hard to tell; David's speeds were the same as the Ganassi cars, but some people were on stickers and some were on scuffs.
The #00 was back on track at 10:40am. Shawn cleared David to roll off behind the #01 of Mark Martin. At the end of the lap, Frankie said it was a 55.90 and noted that most guys this side of the wall were putting on tires. David ran a second lap - a 56 flat - and Frankie told him to go get a plug check.
Practice ended. Shawn observed that David looked like he lost a lot of time in Turns 1 and 2 this time.
David thought the last adjustment took away some from the rear and said he needed help with the front. He said the only thing that would help would be to unhook the back all the time. He also said he wasn't turning as well in Turns 1 and 2.
Frankie said the shock and travel were good. "All right, kid, I'm taking my radio off."
The radio was quiet for about forty-five minutes, until happy hour began.
"Hey, Round Root, you up there?" a crew member addressed Shawn just before final practice. The crew member said to make sure they were cool on tape.
"Is Dave about ready?" Shawn asked.
Frankie said they were checking something in the car. "Sit tight a little bit," he requested.
Final practice was barely underway when NASCAR stopped it at 11:21am for oil on the track from Clint Bowyer's #07. Shawn said they must have left out a plug. When Frankie asked if a connection rod was hanging out, Shawn replied, "I don't think it blew up, just forgot the plug."
"All right, kid. Wheels torqued, right?" Frankie asked.
"Does it look like anyone's working on the car?" David asked. "No. Then let's go."
"Come on, Dave, give me the bird," a crew member said as he cleared David to back out of his garage.
The #00 was on track at 11:26am. Shawn warned his cousin about the oil in Turns 1 and 2. No speedy dry had been put down, and the spotter said to be careful.
"I don't know why the guy in the front tells you to stop and the guy in the back says go," Shawn commented while they were made to wait on pit road. He told David to keep coming back.
"Yeah, I don't know what that was all about," David replied.
Shawn said he guessed they were in the wrong lane. "I guess we should roll. Is that what he's telling you?" Soon, he cleared David behind the #45 of Chad McCumbee.
"I scuffed the fence, Frank," David said during his time on track. "The right rear corner."
"All right, we'll fix it up, buddy," Frankie assured his driver.
David said the car was a lot freer on exit and that he had hung it back on the dogleg.
"Are you sure you hit it?" Frankie asked. David said he was. Shawn said that, if there were any damage, it was very slight.
"Is it okay?" David asked after he'd returned to his garage, when his crew was looking under the car and hood.
"Yeah, it's perfect," Frankie replied. The crew studied the side and looked under the deck lid. Frankie said they needed to tape stuff back together. The #00 team got a wractchet stap to fix it and worked on fixing the fender by strapping it to the car and having a crew member jump on it.
A crew member said they made need an axel strap too.
"Get all juked up and lets go," Frankie replied. After the adjustments were done, he added, "All right, buddy, no big deal."
"Sorry bout that," David replied.
A crew member reiterated that the car didn't look like anything was wrong with it after the contact but the tail was "whacked".
David said the car was freer on exit, and if there were no safer barrier, he wouldn't have hit the wall.
Frankie noted that everyone was free off the dog leg.
David was back on track at 11:41am.
"All right there, Harvey, you're clear all the way out," Shawn said.
After the run, David stated, "We got it really, really loose on entry now." He said it was a lot freer on exit through the dog leg, but don't worry about it. The car was "big time sideways" in Turns 1 and 3. He said it felt like it needed more in the front and that might just be the tire pressures doing that.
Frankie talked about making a track bar adjustment and other adjustments.
David said the adjustment had affected a fair amount of the exit and entry but not the centre.
Frankie thought the extra rebound they had put in had probably done that. They made adjustments, and David was back on track at 11:48am.
"All right, go ahead and roll clear all the way out," Shawn said. A moment later, he added, "That looked really good through 1 there."
"55.40," Frankie read off the lap time.
"It's really good in 1 and 2," David commented. "The back just frickin' unhooked on the race track." He said he was even free in the centre on the dog leg. "The front's not a whole lot better, but the back's better," he added. He said he wasn't free, but rather, he was loose. He couldn't carry speed through the corner.
Frankie called for a left rear spring adjustment. he wanted to unhook the shock and take a rear measurement.
David was back in the garage at 11:53am.
A crew member noted the water temperature was 190 this time. Frankie said that would probably be just right when they get into traffic.
David headed back onto pit road at 11:56.
"Hold up a minute here," Shawn said. "All right, go ahead and start rolling." He cleared the #00 after JJ Yeley's #18.
David ran a 56.00 before being cleared off the track.
"It's so bad on entry getting into 3," David reported. He said it was kind of a wash. The car was tight when going up the banking and "acceptable" in Turns 1 and 2. "It's so frickin' evil,"
David complained. He said they would have to shake it up back when following Yeley, because they can't make that arc. He said he was tighter from the centre off in Turn 3, but that didn't affect anything as far as turning into the centre.
Sixteen minutes remained in practice, and David was back on track at 12:07pm. Shawn told his driver to start rolling and to watch out for some dumbass.
After running a 55.80, David relayed, "Just a little bit better on entry." He said the car rotated better before the centre of the turns but was tight on the throttle on the exit. He said he gained on entry through the centre but was definintly too tight off Turn 4.
Frankie wanted to take out 75 of the left rear and said he wanted to keep the car, because it was getting into the corner well.
"I can gain on those guys anywhere, but they just kill me on the other end," David commented.
After a pause, Frankie asked David to repeat.
"Uh I didn't say anything just now," his driver replied.
David asked for a little less spring with six minutes left in practice. As they rolled the car out and shook it, the team lost one of those minutes.
David was back on track at 12:15pm. Shawn cleared him behind "that red and white 9."
"Did we go up or down on the left rear spring?" David asked.
"We went down, bud," Frankie replied.
After the lap, David said they must be missing something, because the car was so tight it wouldn't turn. He said the car now plows on exit. He asked about the left rear spring.
Frankie said he didn't know, but they couldn't go back out. They put the car on scales and got it ready for the next day.
"Thanks, guys, appreciate everything today," David praised his team.
"Good job, Reut" was Frankie's response.
"Sorry about putting it in the fence," David apologised again.
"Hey, how about bringing the guitar home tonight?" a crew member asked.
"I'll try," David replied. Practice ended just after that.
Coverage of the Nextel Cup's Pocono 500 starts tomorrow at 12:30pm ET on TNT.