#99 Practice, Live From Loudon by Kellyanne Lynch
29 June 2007
Michael Waltrip Racing's David Reutimann completed three practice sessions today in preparation for the Camping World 200, this weekend's Busch Series race at New Hampshire International Speedway. He ranked 9th in the first, turning his quickest circuit in 29.819 seconds at 127.731 MPH - his eighteenth of nineteen laps in the session. He was 0.409 seconds behind pace setter Clint Bowyer. He trailed Juan Pablo Montoya by 0.409 seconds and ranked 2nd of thirteen cars in rookie practice; he turned his quickest lap on his eleventh and last in 29.965 seconds at 127.108 MPH. After completing twenty-eight laps in final practice, he was 15th on the speed charts for that session. His twenty-seventh circuit was the fastest - a 29.769-second lap at 127.945 MPH that was 0.569 seconds behind leader Denny Hamlin.
The first session began shortly after 9:40am. Within the first half hour, he had put sixteen laps on his tires. Spotter and cousin Shawn Reutimann cleared David behind Kelly Bires' #47. Crew chief Jerry Baxter read off lap times of 30.20 and 30.14 before David returned to the garage.
"Can you see what it does there, Jerry?" David asked. "We have to... I don't know. Hang on a second. It's real real unpredictable."
Bobby Kennedy hadd observed a hop in the car in the spot David had indicated on the track. Jerry said they were aggressive in the right front.
David noted that he felt the hop more with that right front shock but the car had the same basic feel as it did earlier as far as the snap was concerned. "It was free, but it didn't snap," he said. He told his crew chief it was hard to get the car to settle back down.
Jerry wanted to put the car back the way it had been before that run, particularly the track bar. As the #99 crew made the adjustment, Bobby observed that Scott Wimmer's #29 car looked similar but looked like it had more wheel input, and David was "hoppier." Jerry told David to run hard and then see how the car looks.
"Coming to ya, Reut," Bobby addressed Shawn, letting the spotter know that David was returning to the track.
"10-4," Shawn replied.
The Aaron's Dream Machine was back on track at 10:29am. Shawn cleared him after David Ragan's #6.
"23," Jerry read off lap times. "29.81. All right, bring her in here, Dave." He said to get travels. The #99 ranked third on the speed charts at the time.
"Hey, Jerry, do you get rookie practice?" Bobby asked.
"10-4," Bobby replied. He said he hadn't seen the hop on the first lap and noted the car rolled well ont he second.
David returned to the track at 10:38am. After his run, he reported that the car was "really squirrelly" in the first corner and said he needed to be faster from the start of a run.
The #99 team was finished with first practice. Rookie practice began at 11:20am. David took to the track eight minutes later and ran a 30.37.
"Yeah, it just will not settle down with that spring for some reason," David commented on his first run. He said the car was loose when he rolled off the throttle and was not consistent.
Jerry said they were persistant about this adjustment, because it had worked last week. "We'll calm it down."
The #99 spent some time in the garage and was about to return to the track when Shane Huffman hit the Turn 1 wall hard at 11:36. David was told to line up on pit road.
During clean-up, Jerry asked if safety workers had laid down anything to dry the track.
"Negative," Shawn replied. "He was out of the groove." He said that Huffman had gotten to far down into the turn, had lost it, and had "cut the rear quarter panel good."
The track went green at 11:42am, and Shawn cleared the #99 onto the track immediately.
After his run, David assessed, "It didn't like that at all. It's gonna wreck. Everything we've done to it hasn't helped. Is the track bar back down?"
Jerry said it was.
David said he couldn't turn the wheel without the car getting free. "It's awful."
Jerry called for a spring change in the right rear. David questioned the decision and suggested they put the front bar back in. He was concerned that the car would get too tight. Jerry said he would go up on the front bar.
"Up on the front bar," David repeated. "How can it be free with more front bar? I don't know. I sailed off in there when I barely turned the wheel, and it got loose on me." He said all his problems were off the throttle. He wanted them to fix it through the centre without making the car too tight.
Jerry discussed adjustments and noted they only had five minutes left in practice. A moment later, Shawn informed the crew chief that NASCAR had extended practice an extra five minutes.
"We're coming to ya, Reut," Bobby said when David was ready to return to the track. Jerry noted they had thirty-four laps on this set of tires.
David ran a 30.18, 30.20, and a 30.20 before Jerry praised David for running a good lap after he had turned a 30.10. The next circuit for the Aaron's Dream Machine was a 30.00. Shawn told him practice would end when David came back around the track. The last lap was a 29.95.
"It's got a wait on it, bro," David commented. He said he had to run three or four laps and then could roll off the centre. He said he was free on entry and free on exit but thought that was just the way it was going to be.
"What did you do to it, Jerry?" Bobby asked.
Jerry said he had taken out tow, changed the right rear spring, and had taken sway bar out.
The #99 team wrapped up rookie practice five minutes early so David could get to the Cup garage to run his #00 in the upcoming practice session.
"Thanks, Shawn. See you in a while," Jerry said to the spotter.
Final practice for the Busch Series' Camping World 200 began at 1:45pm. David started the session with sticker tires and went right out when the track went green. David ran a series of laps when he took to the track, halfway through which he was asked to turn on his brake fans. He turned a 30.19 and a 30.25. Jerry noted David had run ten laps when he read off a 30.18. David continued with a 30.25, 30.34, 30.40, and 30.39. He was told he was wrapping up fifteen laps.
"Okay, just hang on," David said. "I'm going to run about two more."
He turned a 30.49 and a 30.50 and was told to get tire sheets.
"It's pretty good through the centre, Jerry," David commented. "Id' like it freer on exit. That's my only complaint." He said he will need the car to be freer from the centre off but can deal with the tightness at the beginning of the run.
Jerry asked if the tight off condition was that bad.
"No, not that bad," David replied. However, he said the car was going to the tight side. He assessed that it was half as bad as it was last week.
Jerry called for a track bar adjustment, which he said would be more effective in the centre than entering. He told David to keep that in mind.
"Come on, old man," David chided his crew chief while the team worked on adjustments.
Jerry noted there were 58 laps on their present set of tires and that they had less than an hour left in practice. "Coming to ya, Reut," he said at 2:04pm.
"10-4," Shawn replied.
Bobby Kennedy observed that Clint Bowyer's #2 looked "stout" and was able to go around the yellow line on both ends.
David turned a 30.25 and 30.19.
"14," Jerry said for the next lap. "Stound laps right there, brother."
David said the car was okay in the centre. "I just want something that helps it rotate on the throttle," he requested. He said the last adjustment had "helped it some."
Jerry wanted to go five down on the left rear before they made one more quick run. David commented the car was probably that much worse getting going but that they would need it for the long runs. Jerry said he was sure David could deal with it for a couple of laps.
When David returned to the track at 2:10pm, he ran a 30.29, 30.25, and 30.18.
"That didn't do a whole lot," David said.
Shawn warned David about the Cup cars being pushed onto pit road for qualifying; Carl Edwards' #99 was blocking the path back to the Busch garages.
David said he couldn't tell much of a change.
He was going to make another run when Ian Henderson got into the Turn 2 wall at 2:18pm. Practice resumed ten minutes later, but a minute after that, Kertis Davis hit the wall in the same spot.
David was back on track when it went green at 2:35pm. He got in a 29.76 and a 29.77 before he assessed that the car was too tight.
"Good, that's what I wanted to hear," Jerry replied. "How tight?"
David said he needed it to rotate better, but it wasn't plowing. "I think it just needs some tape on it. I don't know why you're so scared of the tape. We never had problems before."
"Good job, guys," Jerry praised the crew. David asked if they were done. "I'm thinking that's it."
"I can finally come down from here?" Shawn asked.
"Yes," Jerry replied. "Good job, Reut."
"Then I can get me a hot dog!"
The #99 team finished practice twenty minutes before the session ended and cars were impounded.
Qualifying for the Camping World 200 is tomorrow at 10:05am. Coverage of the race starts tomorrow at 2:30pm ET on ABC, and the Cup race airs Sunday at 1:00pm on TNT.