David 11th in Mexico by Kellyanne Lynch
20 April 2008
After a midrace incident with Kevin O'Connell, David Reutimann's battered #99 Aaron's Dream Machine finished 11th in the Corona Mexico 200, today's Nationwide Series race at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
"We missed all that practice on Friday when we banged the car up and practically missed the entire second practice," David said after the race. "We were okay, just a little too tight and Jerry (Baxter, crew chief) made a couple of cars and they got the car a lot better. We got together with a lapped car and that kind of messed us up. We had to go to the back there and worked our way back to the front again. There at the end we played our pit strategy right and ended up with a decent finish. I'm proud of my crew guys as the pit stops were good. Everything went well and the car drove good. I felt like we could have been a whole lot better if we could have had that last practice because I think we only got 15 laps the whole time we were here before the race started. I'm okay with where we finished. We passed a lot of cars and towards the end we were decent. We'll use that and go to Talladega."
Today marked David's second road course race. He competed in this race last year. During the off-season, driver Chris Cook tutored him at Infineon's road course during testing.
The call the start engines came around 2:15pm ET. The field set out on track with Colin Braun on the pole and David in 33rd. The green flag waved at 2:25pm. Brian Simo spun during the first lap, only drawing a local caution. Braun held off Scott Bruett to lead the first lap. Meanwhile, David had picked up 30th. Passing DJ Kensington gained him another spot.
Kertus Davis hit the wall, bringing out the first full-course caution on lap 3. Pruett had just taken the lead. David was marked in 28th, ahead of Brad Keselowski. NASCAR brought out the red flag on 2:47pm on lap 6. The yellow flag returned ten minutes later.
Pruett led when racing resumed on lap 7. David was 34th and lost a spot one lap into the run. On lap 10, Boris slid through the grass. The #99 was 30th at the time. Adrian Fernandez pit one lap later, along with a couple others. Live leaderboard had him tied for 28th with Brian Simo; ESPN's ticker had him running 28th and 30th. Green flag pit stops continued. On lap 13, David was marked in 25th.
A power outtage affected coverage starting on lap 13. On lap 17, Pruett pit. Edwards picked up the lead with his stop. Patrick Carpentier took the top spot when Edwards pit on the next lap. When Carpentier pit, Jason Keller led. Keller stopped next. Scott Wimmer led lap 21. David was 4th.
Kyle Busch took the lead on lap 25, at the same time David dropped to 5th. He was 6th on lap 27 while Wimmer's #29 led. By lap 29, David lost a spot to Colin Braun and was 9th two laps later. Busch had reclaimed the lead on lap 34 when the yellow flag waved for David.
The second caution was on lap 35. David got into the back of Kevin O'Connell's #09, and they both spun. The #99 sustained a great deal of left front damage. Drivers pit under caution.
Busch led the restart on lap 39. Cars bottled, and Michel Jordain Jr rear-ended a car as a result. The yellow flag returned - the third on lap 40. David was 29th. The red flag came on lap 40 at 4:08pm ET. Kennington would get the free pass. The field started rolling again at 4:25pm.
Racing resumed on lap 42 with Busch leading and David in 20th. On lap 43, he passed Kenny Wallace for position. He was 16th the next time around the track. Fernandez and Boris Said were the first to make stops, and others followed suit. David was 15th on lap 46 as stops continued to cycle. Busch pit on lap 47, giving the lead to Edwards. David was 11th. He pit around lap 48.
The fourth full course caution was on lap 49 for a multi-car accident. David Ragan spun out Jason Keller. Shortly after that in Turn 7, Sam Hornish Jr spun and collected Fernandez. Drivers who hadn't pit already made stops.
Pruett led the lap 51 restart. David was 19th. The yellow flag returned for the fifth time on lap 53 for Antonio Perez. The car slowed dramatically on the restart and stopped in the grass.
Racing resumed with 26 laps to go. Pruett led, and David was 15th. A multi-car accident drew the sixth caution immediately. Said got loose, and Ambrose got into the back of him. Said drove back on track with a ripped up car, and he ran into a number of cars such as Steve Wallace and David. Fernandez received the free pass.
Pruett led the restart with 23 to go. David was 15th. He picked up 14th during the first lap back to green. Coleman spun, but racing continued. Ragan spun with 22 to go; again, the field did not see a caution. David was now 13th. Ruben Pardo spun across the nose of Wimmer's #29 with 20 to go, and the race remained under green. Pardo's drop moved David up to 12th. With 18 to go, Braun slowed with a flat tire.
The seventh caution was on lap 64 for Braun. Pruett led the restart with 15 laps to go. Busch made a charge for the lead, but Pruett held him at bay. David was 12th. He picked up a spot with 12 to go. Kyle Krisiloff spun out a moment later with Erik Darnell. The race remained under green. Ron Hornaday got a flat one lap later, and Brian Simo spun. Meanwhile, Carpentier's #9 was overheating due to earlier damage to the nose of his #9.
With 9 laps to go, Busch moved into the top spot. Sam Hornish Jr passed with 2 to go; David was now 12th. He came home 11th, passing Hornish Jr at the end.
"Our stuff was fading a little bit and we were getting a little tight," David said. "He (Sam Hornish Jr.) could get to us and then fade back then get to us and fade back a little bit more. He finally out braked me and out rode me going into turn one so I tucked in behind him when they dropped the white flag. He kind of got into the corner and we went back by him. We didn't hit each other so that's good."
Kyle Busch picked up the win, his third in a row.
NASCAR goes to Talladega next weekend. Coverage of the Sprint Cup's Aaron's 499 begins Sunday at 1:00pm ET on FOX. The Nationwide Series' Aaron's 312 takes place the day before. Coverage starts at 2:30pm on ABC.