David 25th in Nationwide Vegas race by Kellyanne Lynch
1 March 2008
A late race wreck with Tony Stewart relegated David Reutimann to a 25th place finish in the Sam's Town 300, this afternoon's Nationwide race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His Michael Waltrip Racing #99 Aaron's Dream Machine had been running in the top ten throughout much of the race.
"We had a good car in the beginning and then we messed with it and over-adjusted it," David said after the race. "We had a pit road penalty, but even with all that we were going to be okay. It wasn't going to have an affect on the outcome. We had an incident there and it messed our deal up."
In testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the Aaron's Dream Machine had been the fastest; however, the #99 team did not bring that car this weekend. They had a car that they felt was better. Before the race today, David told the media, "I am concerned about this race."
The call to start engines came at 4:38pm ET. Brian Vickers' Toyota starting on the pole. Although David had qualified 5th, he started 3rd; Kyle Busch had been sent to the rear of the field after a wreck during time trials. David stayed close to Vickers throughout the first lap as Jeff Burton took the lead. A wobble during the second circuit dropped him to 9th.
The yellow flag waved for the first time on lap 3. Brad Baker's #37 car had spun and had hit the wall. Some drivers chose to make stops.
Burton led the lap 7 restart with David in 6th. Burton dropped off the pace and drifted back through the ranks, giving Tony Stewart the lead and moving David into 5th. The #99 got around Marcos Ambrose one lap later.
Lap 10 saw the second caution for a wreck on the front straightaway. Kyle Krisiloff got loose coming off Turn 4 and ran into Jason Leffler. Both cars sustained a great deal of damage. Leffler was able to get his car back to the garage; Krisiloff's car needed to be towed. Some drivers pit under caution. Derrike Cope received the free pass but left pit road with a wrench in his window.
The green flag returned on lap 17 with Stewart leading and David in 4th. Three laps into the run, Burton passed the Aaron's Dream Machine.
The third caution was on lap 25; DJ Kennington blew a right front tire. He had picked up damage earlier from Baker's spin. Cope, who had lost the free pass last time, was now able to get back on the lead lap. Leaders pit under caution.
Before the stop, David had reported, "I am plowing. We're in trouble, boys." His crew put on four tires and made an air pressure adjustment. He lost a number of spots on pit road; however, a couple cars violated pit road speed. Patrick Carpantier's #9 was too fast coming off pit road, while Tony Stewart had been more than fifty miles too fast entering.
Racing resumed on lap 29 with David Ragan in the lead. David was 12th but shot up to 8th one lap into the run by shooting by a bunch of cars along the outside. Meanwhile, Vickers took the lead. David was up to 5th when caution returned to the speedway.
The yellow flag waved for the fourth time on lap 31. Brian Keselowski had made contact with Eric McClure and went nose-first into the wall in Turn 3. Morgan Shepherd received the free pass, allowing him to get one of his laps back.
Vickers led the restart on lap 36 with David in 5th. The #99 lost a spot to Burton one lap into the run; however, David got back around him one circuit later. Lap 37 saw Mark Martin take the lead. On lap 40, David got around Steve Wallace for 4th. He got around Brian Vickers three laps later.
The fifth caution was on lap 45 for Steve Wallace. His #66 got loose in Turn 4 and wrecked into Mike Bliss' #22. Both cars went to the garage. Todd Bodine received the free pass. Carl Edwards pit under caution.
Lap 50 saw the restart. Martin led, and David rode 3rd. Jeff Burton spun the tires on the restart, clogging the field. He reported that he had a left rear tire going down. He continued to fall through the ranks and ultimately had to pit.
Bobby Labonte's #21 took the lead going into lap 54. Kyle Busch was all over the #99's rear fender throughout the run. He edged in front of David just before the yellow flag waved.
The pole sitter wrecked on lap 62 after losing his brakes, bringing out the sixth caution. Johnny Borneman received the free pass. David lost six spots on pit road; he came out 10th. Robert Richardson Jr led a lap under caution.
Kyle Busch led the restart on lap 67 with David in 9th. One lap later, the #99 was 10th; however, David regained 9th the next time around the track. He was 8th on lap 70. Kevin Harvick got around him two laps later.
Bobby Labonte slammed the wall, drawing the seventh caution on lap 74. His car had whipped around on him in Turn 4. Jeff Burton received the free pass back onto the lead lap.
Racing resumed on lap 79 with Busch leading and David in 8th. Four laps into the run, Stewart passed Busch along the inside for the lead. David was up to 7th by lap 90, having passed Carl Edwards. He reported that the car was running better. On the next stop, the crew planned to take the track bar back to where it was. They had lowered it for a loose condition.
Edwards passed on lap 100, moving David back to 8th. Jeff Burton got around the Aaron's Dream Machine one lap after that.
The eighth caution was on lap 104 after Kyle Busch blew a right front tire and hit the wall. He had been running 2nd. Johnny Sauter received the free pass, and leaders made stops. Again, David lost a spot on pit road.
Stewart led the lap 109 restart; David was back in 22nd after a stop under caution. He was 20th three laps into the run and was 18th on lap 116. Lap 119 saw David in 17th. Passing Jason Keller on lap 122 gained him a spot, and getting around Bobby Hamilton Jr put him in 15th on the next circuit.
The yellow flag waved for the ninth time on lap 125; Baker's #37 had hit the wall again. Leaders pit under caution. Brad Keselowski, among others, stayed on track.
Lap 129 saw the restart. Keselowski led, and David was 8th. Mark Martin took the lead just before the next yellow.
Marcos Ambrose attempted to pass a lapped car on the low side and spun, bringing out the tenth caution on lap 131. He came across the track and clipped Mike Bliss.
Martin led the restart on lap 135. David was running 8th but lost a spot one lap into the run. He was in the back of a two-by-two pack of six and was 10th on lap 137.
The #99 was part of the eleventh caution on lap 138. Stewart got loose under the Aaron's Dream Machine and spun the two of them. David went to pit road while Stewart needed to be towed. The Aaron's Dream Machine soon went to the garage.
When asked about the accident, David said, "I don't even know. I thought I gave him room, but maybe I crowded him getting in and got him loose. I'm not really sure. I haven't seen the replay so I can't say. If it's my fault, I certainly apologize to Tony Stewart and his team. I don't know -- I haven't seen it (the replay) and can't make an assessment one way or the other."
The restart came on lap 143 with Martin leading and with David off the track.
With ten laps to go, David was back on track. He was 50 laps down but passed Stewart for 25th. Five to go saw the thirteenth caution, after Mark Martin rammed the back of Carl Edwards and turned him and Keselowski into the wall. Martin picked up the lead.
The field prepared for a green/white/checkered finish. Martin led while David continued to ride 25th. That's where they finished.
Coverage of the UAW-Dodge 400 begins tomorrow at 3:30pm ET on FOX.