David 15th in final BGN race by Kellyanne Lynch
17 November 2007
David Reutimann's #99 Aaron's Dream Machine was running in the top ten toward the end of the Ford 300, today's Busch Series race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Unfortunately, the yellow flag waved just after he came off pit road and nearly trapped him a lap down. David held onto the lead lap and crossed the stripe in 15th. Michael Waltrip Racing's Michael McDowell finished 32nd in his #00 Napa / Best Western Toyota.
"When we pitted it was an inopportune time and got caught a lap down when the yellow flag came out," David said after the race. "That's the way it goes and you take your chances. We had a great car and the pit stops went great. Everything went just like it needed to go with the exception of getting the yellow at the wrong time. I'm disappointed with that but I'm proud of my guys and we had a great car."
The call to start engines came at 3:37pm ET. Polesitter David Ragan chose to start his #6 on the outside of row one, giving second place starter Carl Edwards the inside line. David rolled off 17th.
The green flag waved at 3:47pm. Edwards' #60 got out to a solid start and took the lead as Ragan dropped back. By lap 3, David was 14th.
Bobby Labonte's #77 drew the first caution on lap 4. His car went around on him in the corner, and he rear-ended the wall.
Harvick led the restart on lap 7 with David running 13th. The Aaron's Dream Machine picked up a position one lap into the run. Passing Sam Hornish Jr by lap 11 moved the #99 into 11th.
Lap 13 saw the second caution. Patrick Carpantier had washed up the track into Jason Leffler's #11 in the corner. His #19 bounced off the #11 and slid through the grass. Carpantier's car was towed, and Leffler spent a great deal of time on pit road.
Racing resumed on lap 17 with Harvick leading and David in 11th. Denny Hamlin immediately passed the #99.
Morgan Shepherd spun through the grass, bringing out the third yellow flag on lap 19. David was now 13th. Harvick led the lap 24 restart, and David was 13th.
The yellow flag was back out two laps later for the fourth time. Stephen Wallace took JJ Yeley and Richard Johns three-wide. Yeley slid up the track and ran into Johns, and both spun. Robert Richardson Jr received the free pass. The leaders made stops, and Dave Blaney was the first to return to the track. Hornish Jr was sent to the tail end on the restart for having too many men over the wall when he pit. Mike Wallace led a lap under caution; he was fighting to hold onto tenth in the point standings.
Brad Keselowski led the lap 30 restart with his brother Brian in 2nd. Many had pit earlier and had stayed out; David was back in 25th while Michael was 10th. By lap 34, David was 24th. The #00 was 14th two laps after that.
Dario Franchitti's #42 drew the fifth caution on lap 44 when he hit the wall hard. The back end sparked a great deal before he even struck the Turn 3 wall, and springs and sheet metal flew in front of Michael's #00.
Allmendinger led for the first time in his career when he stayed on track. He took the field to the green flag on lap 49 but lost it immediately to Harvick. David was 18th, and Michael was 29th. David picked up a spot on lap 55.
Around lap 63, Blaney coasted by Harvick along the outside groove and took the lead. Three laps later, David picked up 16th. He picked up another spot on lap 71, and 14th three laps later after passing Edwards. On lap 82, David got around Bobby Hamilton Jr for 12th.
Matt Kenseth's left rear tire came apart on lap 85, causing his #17 to crash and bringing out the sixth yellow flag. Leaders pit, including the Aaron's Dream Machine. Aric Almirola almost hit Kelly Byres' jackman.
Lap 90 saw the restart. The yellow flag returned one lap later for Wallace's wrecked #66. David narrowly dodged him. Kenseth and Edwards were both penalised for pit road violations; Kenseth lost the lead lap for coming down pit road too soon. Bobby East received the free pass.
Harvick led the lap 96 restart with David in 7th and Michael in 21st. Wallace's #66 lost a tire, bringing out the eighth caution one lap into the run.
Racing resumed on lap 101. Harvick led, David was 7th, and Michael was 21st. The #00 lost a spot to Mike Wallace one lap into the run while Clint Bowyer made contact with the wall and slid back through the ranks. David got around Casey Mears for 6th a couple laps after that.
With 95 laps to go, Dave Blaney got loose and spun. He drew the ninth caution. Hamlin narrowly dodged Blaney's #10, and David drove high through the smoke.
The restart came with 91 laps to go. Harvick got out to a solid lead immediately while David ran 5th and Michael was 21st.
The tenth caution was on lap 112. Todd Bodine's #03 got loose on the high side and spun, collecting Sam Hornish Jr.
Harvick led the restart with 80 laps left in the race. David was 5th as cars went four-wide on the bottom after Kyle Krisiloff struggled to get going. Michael was 18th.
With 78 laps to go, the yellow flag waved for the eleventh time for debris. Four laps later saw the restart with Harvick leading, David in 6th, and Michael in 16th. With 71 to go, Ragan dropped the #99 to 7th; meanwhile, the #00 dropped to 19th. David picked up 6th with 64 laps to go. He was reportedly happy with the car.
With 60 to go, Burton took the lead. Michael was now back to 21st. Green flag pit stops began nineteen laps later with Casey Mears' #24. Mears had a long stop due to a dropped jack. Kasey Kahne hit pit road next, and Mark Martin's #5 followed the #9 the next time around the track. Mike Bliss also made a stop, as did Harvick and Blaney.
David pit with 36 to go. The team changed tires and fueled the car; they also made a track bar adjustment. Burton pit two laps later and green flag stops continued.
Ragan's #6 spun and hit the yellow barrels when pitting, bringing out the twelfth caution with 30 laps to go. He spun again when driving around the track. Some leaders pit under caution. Michael came out 10th, and David was at the tail end of the lead lap.
Burton led the restart in traffic with 25 laps to go. Blaney hit someone immediately and dropped through the ranks. David was 15th four laps into the run. Michael was initially 12th but then went to the garage with less than 20 laps to go following a transmission failure.
With 15 to go, David passed Harvick for 14th. Jeff Burton went on to win. David finished 14th, and Michael was 32nd and off the track.
Watch David and teammate Dale Jarrett race in tomorrow's Ford 400, the final race of the Nextel Cup season at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Coverage starts at 3:00pm ET on ABC.
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Finishing position: 15th
How did you get put a lap down near the end of the race?
"When we pitted it was an inopportune time and got caught a lap down when the yellow flag came out. That's the way it goes and you take your chances. We had a great car and the pit stops went great. Everything went just like it needed to go with the exception of getting the yellow at the wrong time. I'm disappointed with that but I'm proud of my guys and we had a great car."
Can you assess your 2007 NASCAR Busch Series season?
"It was pretty good. You don't start the season saying 'we want to finish second' -- you want to win. We had good cars all year. We struggled a little early on and then Jerry (Baxter, crew chief) and I really started to communicate better. I think we did good anyway. I knew what he needed to hear and he knew what I wanted when I asked for it. It starts to show in the race cars. It's been a fun year and we are ready to go back racing next year."
Are you going to contend for the championship next year?
"We definitely have a good enough team to go after the championship next year. I don't see any reason why not to try for it next year."
What do you think about going to a new motor in 2008?
"It breaks my heart to see it go. To me, that's the perfect motor -- it runs all day and makes great horsepower and doesn't break. You can't ask for anything more. I have all the confidence that the motor they give us next year will be every bit as good. I ran a version of that motor in my first Craftsman Truck race and it's been awfully good to me. It's kind of like loosing your best friend. I'm sure Toyota will give us something that will be just as good and I'm excited about that."