MWR shines in BGN Bristol race by Kellyanne Lynch
24 August 2007
David Reutimann finished 3rd for Michael Waltrip Racing in the Food City 250, tonight's Busch Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway. His #99 Aaron's Dream Machine enjoyed many laps in the lead midway through the race before falling prey to Jason Leffler and eventual winner Kasey Kahne due to old tires. Teammate Dale Jarrett went two laps down early on and rallied back to a 23rd-place finish on the lead lap.
"Our car was pretty good today," David said after the race. "Everybody that worked on this car did a great job. We lost a little bit on our tires there at the end, but I was pretty happy. It was a lot of fun."
Polesitter Jason Leffler led the field to the green flag. David started 10th, and Dale was 38th. By lap 7, the Aaron's Dream Machine had gained 9th. Getting around Kevin Harvick and Reed Sorenson by lap 11 allowed David to pick up two more spots.
Jeff Burton took the lead on lap 13. The first caution came three laps later when Mike Wallace's #7 spun in the corner. DJ Kennington received the free pass back onto the lead lap.
Burton led the lap 21 restart with David in 7th. Greg Biffle got around the #99 along the high side seven circuits later, and the pair ran side-by-side. Biffle moved ahead of the Aaron's Dream Machine, dropping David to 8th. Meanwhile, Dale was 35th. Lap 31 saw David move inside Biffle's #37 again as the pair battled for the 7th spot. They took Steve Wallace three-wide by going around him on either side before David reclaimed 7th. Dale was now 36th. David was up to 6th by lap 49 after passing Kyle Busch.
Mike Wallace brought out the second caution on lap 51; Casey Mears had spun out Wallace's #7. David pit with a number of other drivers.
Leffler led the restart. By lap 61, David was 15th, and Dale was 40th and one lap down. With other people dropping out of the race, the #44 moved up two positions within the next four laps. Meanwhile, David picked up two spots, and he moved up to 11th by lap 69. Passing Marcos Ambrose put the Aaron's Dream Machine into 10th within the next three laps, and getting around Clint Bowyer gained him another spot a few laps later. Dale moved up to 37th when Matt Kenseth went to pit road, where his crew put up the hood of his #17.
The yellow flag waved for the third time on lap 77. Eric McClure lost a tire and slid up the track, collecting Jeff Burton. David was 8th when the leaders pit under caution. Scott Wimmer received the free pass.
Racing resumed with Kyle Busch leading, David in 2nd, and Dale in 36th. Busch had yet to pit during the race.
Lap 99 saw the fourth caution. David Gilliland lost a tire right in front of the #99 and hit the wall. David got through the scene cleanly. Travis Kvapil got the free pass, and the leader and others pit under caution. David stayed on track to pick up the lead.
David led the lap 106 restart with Dale in 35th. Bobby Labonte slowed seven laps later and went to pit road with a right front flat.
The fifth caution came on lap 119 for Marcos Ambrose's spin. David had been leading by approximately two and a half seconds, and Dale was 34th and two laps down.
Racing resumed on lap 125 with David in the lead and Dale in 34th. The yellow flag waved for the sixth time eight laps later when cars accordianed behind Brent Sherman. Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne sustained damage in the pile-up. The #99 pit under yellow. David reported that he was happy with his car, which is why he took on no adjustments. His crew gave him four tires and fuel during a 16.1 second stop.
On lap 141, cars retook the green flag, but the seventh yellow immediately followed when Reed Sorenson spun.
Five laps later saw the restart. Jason Leffler led, David was 17th, and Dale was 31st.
The eighth caution came out on lap 151 when Kelly Bires spun independently. David was marked in 15th.
Racing resumed with 93 laps to go. Leffler led, David was 11th, and Dale was 30th. The #99 was back in the top ten by lap 160. David continued his advance by getting around Carl Edwards and Aric Almirola for 8th within the next five laps.
David was 7th when the yellow flag waved for the ninth time on lap 172. Ambrose spun again on his own, and Robert Richardson III ran into him. NASCAR red-flagged the race to clean fluid from Richardson's #28 at 9:30pm ET. Eight laps later, the pace car led the field back into yellow flag laps. Some drivers made stops, including the race leader.
Ryan Newman led the lap 179 restart with David in 5th and Dale in 29th and two laps down. One circuit later, the #99 was 4th. He was looking inside the #21 of Scott Wimmer for 3rd, but couldn't get the room or speed to power past him. With 63 laps to go, the #99 got around the #21 along the inside for the position. David passed David Ragan and moved into 2nd seven laps later.
The tenth caution was on lap 205 following contact between Steve Wallace and Bobby Hamilton Jr. Dale received the free pass, gaining back one of his free passes.
Racing resumed on lap 206 with Newman leading, David 2nd, and Dale in 28th and one lap down.
Dale got back onto the lead lap when the eleventh caution came out immediately when Kyle Busch and Brian Vickers beat and banged on each other until Vickers got into the wall.
Newman led the restart with 32 laps to go. David was 2nd, and Dale was 26th and back on the lead lap. The #99 got stuck behind Bobby Labonte's #77, and Kasey Kahne's #9 was all over his rear fender. With 25 laps to go, David lost a spot to Kahne. By 12 to go, Leffler passed David too. The front four were all over each other. The three in front went three-wide for the lead. Kahne took the lead with 8 laps to go, and Newman cut down a tire and fell back.
Leffler looked for the top spot next. He dropped inside the #9 with six laps to go but dropped back. Kahne went on to win. David was 3rd and spun out Leffler after the stripe.
"It's a good thing that he didn't wreck this race car there at the end," Leffler said in regards to David after the race. "But I just checked up there and he got into me -- it was no big deal. I don't know how long he's going to talk about ORP. I didn't spin him out there, that's just bullring short track racing out there."
Meanwhile, Dale came in 23rd after rallying back from two laps down. Be sure to watch him and car owner Michael Waltrip in tomorrow's Nextel Cup race at 8:00pm ET on ESPN.
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Can you talk about your race?
"Our car was pretty good today. Everybody that worked on this car did a great job. We lost a little bit on our tires there at the end, but I was pretty happy. It was a lot of fun."
Were you waiting for Kahne and Leffler to make a mistake to capitalize for the win?
"We were kind of fading there at the end of the race because we were on old tires. I wasn't waiting for them to get into each other; I just didn't have the tires to make any good runs on them. I think every driver hopes that they'll rough each other up and slide by, but I wasn't waiting for it to happen. I knew I had to keep as close as I could to them. I think we ended up okay."
What happened when you got into Leffler at the end of the race?
"He had a run on the No. 9 (Kahne), but had to check up to keep from getting into him. I had a run and got into him. I don't think it had any outcome on the race, like it did with us at ORP. It was a little different."