Live qualifying coverage from Loudon by Kellyanne Lynch
14 September 2007
David Reutimann's #00 Burger King Camry will start 20th in the Sylvania 300, Sunday's Nextel Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway. He turned his best lap in 29.577 seconds at 128.776 MPH, which was 0.371 seconds behind pole winner Clint Bowyer. Teammate Dale Jarrett and car owner Michael Waltrip did not make the field.
"It was a good lap," David said after his qualifying run. "Both laps it was good. We needed to be tighter, and the first lap it was too tight to be real, real fast. The second lap, the tires came in, and it drove good. We probably should have run a little quicker than that. We've been fighting center-off all day, and it was really good there - it was really good everywhere. I was just pretty conservative on the first lap. It's been best on the second lap anyway. I just tried to get some heat in the tires and some heat in the brakes and not do anything stupid. Frankie (Kerr, crew chief) and the guys told me we just had to back-up what we ran in practice, and we'd be okay. I'm bad about overdriving it anyway, so I tried to be a little conservative. It worked out."
Things did not work out for Mikey, whose #55 Napa Auto Parts Toyota was the first in his three-car stable to take to the track.
"Got a copy on me?" Bobby Kennedy asked just after 3:00pm ET.
"I don't think he's hooked up yet," someone replied.
Bobby requested that the crew make sure they could hear the driver before the qualifying lap. He said he was switching to the NASCAR channel.
Seconds later, Mikey was on the radio. He told his crew not to tell him his lap times during his run. "I'm just going to try as hard as I can," he said. He mentioned that his temperatures were never past 200, so they would keep the tape on, if it mattered.
The #55 was the 3rd car to take time and was on track at 3:14pm. Mikey turned a 30.313-second lap at 125.61 MPH on his first lap and spun off Turn 4 during the second. He kept the Napa Camry off the wall. He took it to the pits, where he climbed out and walked away. The #55 radio was silent. When an MRN pit reporter caught up to him, Mikey said that he had struggled at flat tracks with the car of tomorrow and that it's sad he can't do better than that with the resources he has. "We'll get 'em next week," he concluded.
About ten minutes later, the #44 UPS team performed a radio check.
"Nice and smooth," crew chief Jason Burdett told driver Dale Jarrett. "Get a good lap. Everything will be all right."
"10-4," Dale replied.
He was the tenth driver to make a qualifying run when he took to the track at 3:34pm. After his run, Jason read off, "30.06, 30.20."
"I got loose in 1 and 2, getting back to the gas," Dale commented. He also asked where AJ Allmendinger's #84 had run. Allmendinger would make the show, but Dale would not.
"DJ got loose also," #00 spotter Shawn Reutimann relayed to the Burger King team.
"How 'bout you, buddy?" crew chief Frankie Kerr addressed his driver. "Do the same thing you've done all day. You're the man. Let's kick its butt."
The #00 Burger King Camry was about to take to the track. Frankie added, "All right, Dave, get a good lap here. All you need to run is a 29.8, and you're in the field."
"10-4," David replied.
"Come on, bud, get some heat in those brakes. Everything's going to be fine."
David was the 17th driver to take time. He went out at 3:49pm and turned a 29.909 second circuit his first time around the track. His radio remained silent until he made his second lap.
"Good job, Dave!" Frankie exclaimed. "29.57. Way to go, pal! That would be P3, pal. P3."
"That would put us in though, right?" David asked.
Frankie laughed. He told his driver he was the best of the go-or-go-home cars and was 3rd overall. David admitted that he "drove it like a girl" on the first lap, and Frankie said he was in on that first lap but that he didn't want to tell him. When Frankie asked for temps, David said he was 190 at the line.
"Way to go, you girl!" somebody praised.
Coverage of the Sylvania 300 begins Sunday at 1:00pm ET on ABC.