David 3rd at Gateway by Kellyanne Lynch
21 July 2007
After leading 23 laps, David Reutimann finished 3rd in tonight's Busch Series race. His #99 Aaron's Dream Machine spent all 200 laps of the Gateway 250 in the top ten despite struggling with brake issues.
Pole-sitter Scott Wimmer led the field to the green flag at 8:47pm ET and picked up distance immediately. David rolled off 8th and passed Landon Cassill's #24 before the yellow flag waved.
The first caution was for Steve Wallace on lap 5 when he hit the wall. Green returned on lap 9 with Wimmer leading and David in 7th. Bobby East dropped back by lap 11, allowing the Aaron's Dream Machine to move into 6th. He passed Jason Keller within the next lap and maintained 5th until Dave Blaney got around him on lap 41. David regained the spot on lap 47 when Blaney lost a tire and went to pit road.
Scott Wimmer pit on lap 55 with a right front flat like Blaney had, giving the lead to Reed Sorenson and raising David to 4th.
Sorenson pit on lap 64. Commentators said the stop was early but that people were coming in due to others having tire problems. Mike Bliss led a lap before making his stop and giving the lead to Carl Edwards. David was up to 2nd but took the lead on lap 68 with Edwards' stop. He led two laps.
David pit on lap 69 as one of the last cars to make a stop. His #99 took on four tires. He reported that his car wants to spin out when he put wheel to it, and the team made adjustments to alleviate that problem. Fortunately, his car did not tighten during the run as others had. The Aaron's crew also clean the front valance. ESPN2 commentators noted a slight hesitation on the front during the stop. Cale Gale had more issues and spent longer in his box.
Brad Keselowski moved into the lead on lap 70. Most of the others drivers had made stops, and David was 7th. When Keselowski stopped on lap 76, Sorenson moved back into the top spot with the Aaron's Dream Machine in 6th. Two laps later saw David pick up 5th.
Lap 93 saw the second caution for debris in Turn 1. Drivers made stops, and Todd Kluever received the free pass. The #99 team gained David spots by getting him out 3rd.
Sorenson led the lap 97 restart. David had to fight with Tim McCreadie's #21 trying to get back on the lead lap. McCreadie wiggled up the track and had corrected, but Landon Cassill hit Mike Bliss as the field slowed. Ron Hornaday, Kenny Wallace, Jason Leffler and Kyle Krisiloff were also collected.
The yellow flag waved for the third time on lap 99. Racing resumed on lap 106 with Sorenson leading and David in 3rd. The Aaron's Dream Machine got past lapped traffic immediately. The front three broke away from the pack.
The fourth caution came on lap 104 for Cassill again. He cut down into Travis Kittleson's #20 and wrecked them both. Brad Keselowski was also involved.
Sorenson led the lap 118 restart. Edwards jumped inside Sorenson's #41 for the lead, and David went with Edwards around Sorenson for 2nd for lap 119. Wimmer and Sorenson ran side-by-side behind the #99 just before the yellow flag waved.
Richard Johns' stopped #25 drew the fifth caution on lap 122. Johns got loose in the corner and rear-ended the wall. Mike Wallace received the free pass, and drivers made stops. Most cars, including David's, were too short on fuel to make it to the end of the race but could stretch fuel mileage with enough cautions. The #99 took on just right side tires.
Racing resumed on lap 126 with Todd Bodine leading and David in 4th; Bodine's #03 had not pit. David dropped inside Jason Leffler's #38 for position and completed the pass on lap 129. He was now stuck behind Chase Miller's lapped #9.
The yellow flag waved for the sixth time on lap 132 when Carl Edwards spun out Kevin Hamlin's #42. Jason Keller and Cale Gale were also collected. Kluever pit, moving David into 2nd. When Chase Miller came around to pick up the free pass, Bodine was warming his tires and struck the side of Miller's #9. Under the yellow, Jerry Baxter told David he could make it to the end on fuel with the yellow flag laps.
Bodine led the lap 137 restart with David in 2nd. The #99 moved past lapped traffic and took the lead with 63 laps to go.
Debris in Turn 1 drew the seventh caution on lap 140. Bobby Hamilton Jr received the free pass.
David led the lap 143 restart with Leffler on his tail. When Leffler tried to pass the #99, Sorenson passed for 2nd.
NASCAR brought out the eighth yellow flag on lap 154. Brad Coleman got into JJ Yeley, and when he slid back, Bobby East turned him. Kelly Bires also sustained contact.
Racing resumed on lap 158 with David in the lead. Sorenson passed along the outside during the restart and took the top spot. David was complaining of brake problems.
The ninth caution was on lap 177 for Edwards. Sorenson led the lap 182 restart. With 8 laps to go, Wimmer drove to the outside of the #99 and ran side-by-side for position. David fell to 3rd and finished there.
NASCAR goes to Indianapolis next weekend. The Nextel Cup's Allstate 400 at the Brickyard begins next Sunday at 1:00pm ET on ESPN. The Busch Series' Kroger 200 runs the day before at 7:30pm on ESPN2.