David 3rd in Nationwide Nashville race by Kellyanne Lynch
7 June 2008
David Reutimann finished 3rd in the Federated Auto Parts 300, tonight's Nationwide Series race at Nashville. He led for 43 laps and was over one second ahead of 2nd place when a late race caution allowed other cars to catch up. The #99 Aaron's Dream Machine led 43 laps.
The call to start engines came at 7:38pm ET. Joey Logano led the field to the green flag at 7:47pm with David rolling off 12th. The #99 was 10th one lap into the run. On lap 4, David passed Cale Gale for position. David picked up 8th on lap 9 and was the fastest driver on the track.
The first caution came on lap 10 after Jason Keller spun on his own in Turn 2. Danny Efland received the free pass.
Lap 13 saw the restart. Logano led, and David was 8th. The #99 was 7th three laps into the run. One lap later, David got around Carl Edwards. ESPN reported that his car was better in the shade, which was why he jumped down in the corner to pass Edwards. The crew was waiting for the first pit stop to make more adjustments. On lap 50, David lost a spot to Scott Wimmer. He was now 7th.
Lap 58 saw Mike Bliss initiate green flag stops. David was now 6th. David was 5th the next time around the track when Clint Bowyer pit. Scott Wimmer took the lead on lap 61 when the leader pit. David was up to 3rd. Mike Wallace took over the top spot one lap later, when the #99 went to pit road. Marcose Ambrose led lap 63 as stops continued. Chase Miller spun on pit road.
Landon Cassill took the lead when Ambrose pit on lap 65. David was now 10th. When Keller pit on lap 70, the #99 moved into 9th. David was 8th two laps later and was the fastest on track.
On lap 75, Logano was back in the lead. David was 7th with Cassell's pit.
Lap 79 saw the second caution when Ambrose hit the wall hard and was smoking heavily. Steve Wallace had gottoen loose when trying to pass Burney Lamar, and he ran up into Ambrose. Leaders pit under yellow, and Ambrose lost a left rear wheel coming off pit road. Mike Bliss was first off pit road with David in 2nd.
Brad Keselowski was supposed to pit but didn't. He led the lap 82 restart with David in 5th. He went three and four wide and dropped back to 10th. Travis Kittleson and Brad Coleman both hit the wall, due to the clog up on the restart.
The yellow flag waved for the third time on lap 84. On the restart, the field had bottled when Kittleson and Miller bounced off each other. Both were lapped. David was in 13th now. Keller received the free pass. David went to pit road and put on tires, because they had already lost any track position gained by not taking tires under the last stop.
Racing resumed on lap 88, but the race immediately returned to caution. Logano spun and went nose-first into the wall. Miller had struggled on the restart and had dropped back. That's when Biffle decided to jump under Logano, and he hit him. Kyle Busch was penalysed for going too fast coming onto pit road.
Keselowski led the lap 95 restart with David in 12th. The #99 was up to 11th one lap later. David was 10th on lap 97. Two laps later, he was 9th. He passed Edwards along the inside on lap 102 for another spot.
Lap 104 saw the fifth caution for Biffle's spin. The top five leaders stayed on track, but the rest of the leaders pit.
Bowyer led the lap 109 restart with David in 3rd. Lap 113 saw the #99 move into 2nd. Jason Leffler went to pit road on lap 121 with a flat tire. He missed the entrance to pit road and had to go back around the track. Once he was on the access road, he slid and hit the committment cone; his left front was rim riding. He also clipped the grass.
On lap 132, David fell to 3rd with David Stremme's pass.
The sixth caution was on lap 145 when Cale Gale snapped loose and smacked off the wall. Pit road remained closed for a while as Gale's #33 was crashed in the middle of pit road. Leaders pit under caution. David asked for more front grip, so his crew took out air in both front tires. His stop lasted 15.9 seconds. He was fourth off pit road after Biffle gained eleven positions.
Bowyer led the lap 151 restart with David in 4th. Leffler went to pit road three lpas later with another right front flat.
The yellow flag waved for the seventh time on lap 156. Mike Wallace bumped Josh Wise a few times before spinning him out. David was 3rd at the time, having passed Biffle.
"We cannot make it?" David asked under caution.
"No, I cannot see any way we can make it," crew chief Jerry Baxter replied. He talked about drivers who had topped off.
"I hate it when you tell me that."
"Yeah, I know it, I know it. You still love me though."
Bowyer led the restart on lap 160. David was in 3rd.
The eighth caution was on lap 161 when Lamar spun. He got loose in the outside groove on his own and cut down the track into the grass.
Racing resumed on lap 165 with Bowyer leading and David in 3rd. On lap 169, the #99 picked up 2nd from David Stremme's #64. David was gaining on the race lead.
Kyle Busch dropped off the pace on lap 173 and went to pit road with tire issues.
On lap 175, David dropped inside for the lead and took the lead. Jerry reminded David again that he needed to watch his fuel. The #99 was over a second ahead of Bowyer when the yellow flag waved.
The ninth caution was on lap 182 for Bobby Hamilton Jr, who hit the wall. He had lost a right front tire. Some drivers chose to make stops.
Under yellow, an ESPN pit reporter asked Jerry about the fuel situation.
"We're close, we're real close on fuel," Jerry replied. "That's a tough call right there, whether to stay out or to come in for fuel." He pointed out that eight cars came in but said he was "pretty confident."
David led the restart on lap 188. Kyle Busch was two laps down and racing David hard. The leaders were able to get around him one lap into the run.
Brad Teague spun, drawing the tenth caution on lap 213. David had had a huge lead on the rest of the field.
David led the restart with eight laps to go. Bowyer bumped David out of the way, shuffling him to 3rd. David Stremme moved him to 4th. With 5 to go, Keselowski passed cleanly for the lead. He went on to win while David finished 3rd after Stremme bumped Bowyer out of the way for 2nd.
Coverage of tomorrow's Pocono 500 starts tomorrow at 12:30pm ET on TNT.
DAVID REUTIMANN, No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, Michael Waltrip Racing
Can you talk about your last lap and your third-place finish?
"It didn't work out. We had a good car, and that last yellow killed us."
What were your emotions as you climbed from your race car?
"We didn't win the race. When you have a lead like that, and you end up third, it doesn't -- these races aren't all that easy to win, despite what some people think. And, when you have a chance to win, and you don't, its cause for me to get a little upset."
What happened on that last restart?
"The No. 2 got a good start and we got down into (turn) three and he was real close to the back of me and got me loose. He didn't touch me - we were racing. I let him get too close to me and it wiggled us up the race track. Then we got moved up again and just lost positions and had to get back down. Once the 2 got to us, it was game over."
If it would have stayed green, would fuel have been an issue?
"We were riding fairly well, so we would have been okay on fuel. We weren't going to have a whole lot left, extra, but we would've been fine."