#99 12th in Charlotte BGN race by Kellyanne Lynch
12 October 2007
David Reutimann's #99 Aaron's Dream Machine finished 12th in the Dollar General 300, tonight's Busch Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He spent 173 laps in the top ten, despite hitting the wall halfway through the race. His crew got him fifteen spots on pit road during the caution after their initial repairs, and David held onto the top ten until the last few laps.
When asked how much he was thinking about points after points leader Carl Edwards struggled, David said, "I'm not thinking too much about the points -- I'm thinking more about the fact that tonight the driver was an idiot. I got loose and got into the fence. There's just no excuse for that -- I need to apologize to everyone on the team, everyone at Aaron's and everyone back in the body shop. They gave me a great car for tonight and I managed to run into the wall with it and finish 12th. I'm proud of my guys and they really fought back tonight -- I just blew the chance at a real good finish and maybe even a win."
The call to start engines came at 8:06pm ET, and the green flag waved ten minutes later with Greg Biffle leading the field. Matt Kenseth tried to get around Biffle's #16 during the next few laps, but Biffle held the spot.
Meanwhile, David made his way through the field. He'd started 8th and was up to 6th by lap 5. Lap 16 saw him pick up 5th, and he got around Denny Hamlin for 4th on lap 21.
The first caution came on lap 27 for Marcos Ambrose, who lost his right front tire and hit the outside retaining wall. Carl Long, Morgan Shepherd, and Kertus Davis were already in the garage. Leaders pit under caution. David had initially reported that his car was loose but said it had tightened up during the run. He took on four tires with no adjustments.
Kasey Kahne was the first driver off pit road, and he led the lap 31 restart. David was 6th.
The yellow flag returned for a second time on lap 33 for Richard Johns' spin. Kyle Krisiloff received the free pass.
Racing resumed on lap 36 with Kahne leading and David in 6th. He picked up a spot immediately. Passing Denny Hamlin on lap 40 put him in 4th.
On lap 44 and in Turn 1, Greg Biffle passed Kahne for the lead along the inside. He held it for fifteen laps, until Carl Edwards took it going into lap 59.
David continued to run 4th until lap 70, when Matt Kenseth passed him for position. He fell to 6th on lap 76 after Kyle Busch got around him. His speeds were a half to a full mile per hour slower than those around him.
Lap 86 saw the third caution for debris on the frontstretch. Stephen Leicht received the free pass, and the leaders pit under the yellow flag. David reported that his car had no front grip. His crew put on four tires and gave him an air pressure adjustments.
Edwards led the lap 90 restart. Two laps into the run, Biffle dropped under his teammate's #60 and took the lead. David was 6th at the start of the run, but Jeff Burton passed him on lap 94. The #99 moved back into 6th when Kyle Busch got loose under Kahne's #9 and dropped through the ranks.
Bobby Santos' #92 hit the wall, bringing out the fourth caution on lap 96. Mike Bliss received the free pass. Matt Kenseth pit with a tire rub, which allowed David to gain a spot.
Biffle led the restart on lap 99. Three laps into the run, Edwards took the lead. David scrapped the wall on lap 106 after coming through the turn too high. He was losing spots and was back to 9th when the yellow flag waved.
The fifth caution was on lap 106. Cars had slowed in front of Jamie McMurray, and he spun and hit the wall. Brad Baker spun behind him. The #99 team pulled on the right front fender during two stops under the yellow flag. Reed Sorenson received the free pass.
Racing resumed on lap 110 with Edwards leading and David in 22nd. Edwards brake-checked and slowed the field on the restart. David picked up 21st from Sorenson on lap 120. On the same lap, Dave Blaney's #10 slowed and went to pit road with suspected engine problems. Blaney's departure moved David up to 20th by lap 123.
Blake Bjorkland's #28 lost an engine, bringing out the sixth caution on lap 126. Robby Gordon received the free pass, and the leaders pit under caution. David picked up fifteen spots on pit road after taking on just two right side tires only.
Clint Bowyer, who took no tires, led the lap 132 restart with David in 5th. A wreck started immediately.
The seventh caution was on lap 133. Jimmie Johnson spun on his own. Edwards tried to avoid him and collided with Jason Keller. Both spun and hit the wall. Kenseth spun behind Edwards in the smoke, and he smacked the wall too.
Racing resumed on lap 137 with Bowyer leading and David 5th. Caution came shortly thereafter.
The yellow flag waved for the eighth time on lap 138. Bowyer spun, bouncing off Biffle. David was one of many drivers who went through the grass to avoid the scene. Mike Bliss, Jeremy Clemens, and Stephen Leicht were also collected.
Jeff Burton led the lap 145 restart. Dale Earnhardt Jr dropped inside immediately, and the pair ran side-by-side. David was 3rd throughout the short run.
The ninth caution was on lap 147 when Jason Keller spun through the grass.
The race continued on lap 151 with Burton leading. Kyle Busch passed David almost immediately, dropping him to 4th. On lap 157, the #99 was 5th after Aric Almirola's #18 passed. Denny Hamlin got around David eleven laps later, and Kelly Bires passed on lap 176. David was now 7th. He lost another spot to Kasey Kahne just before the yellow flag.
A right rear axel cap came off the #66 of Reed Sorenson, drawing the tenth caution on lap 182. Sorenson's rear struck the wall and slid and smoked sideways down the track.
Burton led the lap 189 restart, and David was in 8th. Four laps later, the #99 was 9th; Robby Gordon had passed. David regained 8th by getting around David Ragan on lap 194 but lost it the next time around the track. He fell to 10th with Bowyer's pass on lap 198. Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski got around him the next time around the track.
Burton won, and David finished 12th. When interviewed after the race, David said the #99 had finished 12th because "the driver's an idiot and put it in the wall." He apologised to his team for what had happened on lap 106 and praised them for their work after that. He would not even look at the camera.
Mikey and David will compete in tomorrow's Nextel Cup race. Coverage of the Bank of America 500 begins at 7:00pm ET on ABC.