David wins the Sam's Town 250!!! by Kellyanne Lynch
27 October 2007
Congratulations to David Reutimann!!! He won his first Busch Series race today at Memphis Motorsports Park, becoming the second Toyota driver to win in the series. He dominated the Sam's Town 250, leading 194 of 250 laps.
"The guys gave me a great car," David said at the end of the race. "I'm glad it is over with. Mike (Bliss) ran me clean there on the last restart. I know there were a lot of yellows today, but everybody that I raced with raced me clean. They could have gone in there and jacked me up, but they didn't and I appreciate that. We were solid and I'm glad we got this win."
He creditted Mark Green with helping him get to Victory Lane. "You take a win any way you can get them. We had this good car. I had no laps on the car and sat on the outside pole. All credit has to go to Mark Green who practiced the car. As far as I'm concerned he is one of the most underrated guys in the garage area. If Mark Green would have been in that car, he would have won that race. He would have sat on the pole and he would have won the race. He makes my job easy."
Pole-sitter Marcos Ambrose led the field to the green flag shortly after 3:30pm ET. David started second but took the lead immediately. He led throughout the beginning stages of the race and held the top spot during two cautions. One was for DJ Kennington spinning and getting stuck in the grass.
Bryan Clausson's spin drew the third caution around lap 38. Brian Keselowski received the free pass, and the leaders pit on lap 40. Ron Young stayed on track and led four laps under yellow.
Young led the lap 44 restart, David immediately passed along the outside. The yellow flag waved for the fourth time at the end of that circuit. Robert Richardson III intentionally wrecked Kyle Krisiloff for an earlier incident and was black flagged as a result. Richardson was held for two laps and told he would need to go to the NASCAR truck after the race.
Racing resumed on lap 51 with the Aaron's Dream Machine in the lead. He got out to half a second lead before the yellow flag waved again.
The fifth caution was on lap 52. Young was running second and got into the corner slow in his #71; Brad Coleman spun him. Coleman apologised and said he didn't mean to turn Young.
Lap 55 saw the restart. David led the run before the yellow flag waved for the sixth time for John Graham's spin. Brett Rowe received the free pass.
The Aaron's Dream Machine led the field to the lap 64 restart. Cars scrambled at the rear of the field, but the race remained under green. David got out to over a second ahead of Coleman's #18. By lap 69, he was two seconds ahead.
Matt Carter drew the seventh caution on lap 73 when his #40 spun. He kept the car off the wall.
David led the field to the green on lap 78. Chase Austin spun to bring out the eighth caution two circuits later.
The #99 was up front again on lap 84 when racing resumed. Austin spun again and rear-ended the Turn 3 wall. The yellow flag waved for the ninth time on lap 85. Cars made stops, including Coleman's second place car; his #18 needed repairs to the nose after getting into Young earlier in the race. Richardson received the free pass and was now back on the lead lap.
Lap 89 saw the restart with David still leading. A multi-car crash came four laps later, bringing out the tenth caution. Young spun on his own and took out Chase Miller's #9.
The green flag returned on lap 97 with David leading the pack. Within two laps, he was ahead of Dario Franchitti by half a second. Jeremy Clemens' #36 was spun by Brandon Miller, and NASCAR drew the eleventh caution on lap 100. Under yellow, Clemens nudged Miller. Miller stopped on pit road by the #36 before going to his pit box.
Racing resumed on lap 103 with David in the lead. ESPN reporters noted how David and Franchitti's teams were playing games with each other, pretending to pit by putting tires on the wall and taking them off again.
The twelfth caution was on lap 104 for Steven Wallace, who wrecked with Brad Keselowski. Keselowski was held a lap for the spin.
David led the lap 108 restart while Keselowski was still on pit road. Landon Cassill's #5 spun in Turn 1 when cars checked up and Jamie McMurray turned him.
The green flag returned on lap 113, and David was out front. Brad Baker's #27 spun four laps later, and the yellow flag waved for the fourteenth time. David pit with a number of other drivers. He got a track bar adjustment and four fresh tires before returning to the track. Sterling Marlin got off pit road ahead of the #99 in his #1.
Stephen Leicht stayed on track and led the lap 124 restart. David was 12th. Passing Marlin one lap into the run moved him up a spot. He passed Chase Miller the next time around the track and Clausson one lap after that. David was 8th when the yellow flag waved again.
The fifteenth caution was on lap 129 for a multi-car accident that collected the points leader. Cars had gone three-wide, and Young got spun as he rode along the outside. Marlin, Brian Keselowski, and Edwards were also collected.
NASCAR red-flagged the race on lap 134 at 5:24pm to clean the track. Engines refired fourteen minutes later. Leicht led the restart on lap 139. One lap into the run, David gained a spot. He got around Scott Wimmer for 6th the next time around the track, and passing Cassill put him in 5th one circuit later. Scott Wimmer's #29 was all over his rear fender.
Kelly Bires spun on lap 146, drawing the sixteenth caution. Edwards received the free pass. Leicht pit under caution, along with others.
Ambrose led the lap 150 restart with David running 4th. Crew chief Jerry Baxter said they were pushing it with the fuel but would not pit again. On lap 153, the #99 got around McMurray for 3rd. Wimmer's #29 passed McMurray on the same lap. The Aaron's Dream Machine was the fastest car on track.
On lap 161, the yellow flag waved for the seventeenth time. Coleman had gotten into the wall and was smoking heavily with a right front flat. He was a victim of an accident the lap before, when Richard Johns' #25 was spun when cars bottled in the corner. The caution helped David with his fuel strategy. Leader Ambrose pit under yellow.
Racing resumed on lap 169 with David running 2nd. Wimmer looked inside the #99, but David held his ground. On lap 173, the Aaron's Dream Machine dropped under Keller's #11 and moved into the lead.
Cale Gale spun Mike Wallace, and others like Brad Keselowski were collected. NASCAR drew the eighteenth caution with 75 laps to go. Keller and Leffler pit.
David led the restart with 69 laps to go. Bobby East spun two laps later to bring out the ninteenth caution.
The green flag returned with 62 laps to go with David in front of the pack. Three laps later, Miller hit the wall hard after Franchitti rear-ended him. The yellow flag waved for the twentieth time, and NASCAR penalised Franchitti one lap for rough driving.
Racing resumed with 52 laps to go and with David in the lead. The field did not even complete a lap before the twenty-first caution for a multi-car accident. Franchitti spun John Graham this time.
David led the field to the restart with 46 laps to go. Franchitti lost his left front tire and headed for pit road. Tim McCready spun, bringing out the twenty-second caution three laps into the run.
With 39 laps to go, David led the restart. He, Wimmer, and Bliss pulled away from the rest of the field. The twenty-third caution came eight laps later. Young checked up, and East got rear-ended and spun. Colin Braun's #16 sustained damage too.
Racing resumed with 27 laps to go. David led the field once again. Steve Wallace spun ten laps later, bringing out the twenty-fourth caution; Brian Keselowski had turned Wallace's #66 in the corner. Wallace retaliated against Keselowski and was parked. Jerry Baxter said he thought David was frustrated with all the cautions.
David led when the green flag waved with thirteen laps left in the race. With nine laps to go, Bliss peaked to the outside of the #99 and fell back in line.
The twenty-fifth caution came out with two laps to go when Brent Sherman spun.
"Don't worry, Dave. You're going to be fine," a voice came over the #99 radio.
The field prepared for a green/white/checkered finish with a single-file restart, and David led it. He held off the field to pick up his first Busch Series win.
"How 'bout that, boys? How 'bout that?" someone asked.
"Thank you, guys. Good job!" David replied.
Be sure to watch his teammate Dale Jarrett and car owner Michael Waltrip in tomorrow's Nextel Cup race, which airs at 1:00pm ET on ABC.
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing position: 1st
How was your race?
"The guys gave me a great car. I'm glad it is over with. Mike (Bliss) ran me clean there on the last restart. I know there were a lot of yellows today, but everybody that I raced with raced me clean. They could have gone in there and jacked me up, but they didn't and I appreciate that. We were solid and I'm glad we got this win."
What do you think about earning your first NASCAR Busch Series win?
"We've been really close and I'm proud that we finally got it. My daughter and wife couldn't be here tonight but I know they are watching and celebrating with me. What a great night. As a driver you don't want to see the yellows when you are up front and they seemed to keep coming and coming. On that last restart I did something my dad taught me back when we were racing dirt racing and we had a good start. To get our first win -- that's pretty exciting."
What did you think of today's race?
"I don't know if there has ever been that many more yellows in a race -- there was a lot of them. Memphis is a pretty challenging racetrack and sometimes it is challenging to pass. It doesn't take much to turn a guy around -- all you have to do is get into the back of a guy. Everybody I raced around raced me clean. Mark Green did a good job at practicing the car for. Jerry Baxter (Crew Chief) and all the guys gave me a great piece. They say after you win one they come a little easier, we'll see."
What does this win mean for Toyota and Michael Waltrip Racing?
"This means a lot. Toyota has done a great job all year long. We've had great horsepower and great motors from TRD (Toyota Racing Development) since the start of the season. We as teams have had to get better to be able to use what Toyota had to offer us. Now we are getting a little bit closer. There are only three teams that use Toyota anyhow and we are really the minority. We share a lot of information with one another as best as we can -- then we go out on the race track and try to kill each other. It's one of those deals where it is good for Michael Waltrip Racing because we were able to give them their first win on the race track in a few years. I'm proud of my guys -- our pit stops were great. Aaron's has been such a great sponsor and they really get what racing is about. I'm glad that we are able to represent them the way they should be represented."
Was there a reason for more cautions today?
"I think that the competition is so tight. You get down in there and a guy will move down and take the line away and you have to check up pretty hard and it is a chain reaction deal -- that's just getting ran over. It's a pretty fast race track but the course speeds aren't really high."
Did missing the race in Atlanta give you more determination today?
"I was mad, you know. I was really, really upset because I missed the race. I came here and I try as hard as I can anyways. There's only two ways -- you are like a bull in a china shop or you are nothing. You just drive as hard as you can. It was good to win here and it would have been nice to go and race there tomorrow, but that's not going to happen. There are going to be more Cup races for me, and hopefully for a long time. We'll make up for it."
Was the win more satisfying because you dominated it?
"You take a win any way you can get them. We had this good car. I had no laps on the car and sat on the outside pole. All credit has to go to Mark Green who practiced the car. As far as I'm concerned he is one of the most underrated guys in the garage area. If Mark Green would have been in that car, he would have won that race. He would have sat on the pole and he would have won the race. He makes my job easy."