Bowyer cuts down David's tire in Carfax 250 by Kellyanne Lynch
16 August 2008
Clint Bowyer swept up the track into David Reutimann's #99 Aaron's Dream Machine and cut down the left front tire, ending Michael Waltrip Racing's chances of a top five finish in the Carfax 250. David finished 34th in this afternoon's Nationwide Series race, 27 laps down after spending time in the garage.
In preparation for this race, the #99 team made three visits to the wind tunnel. Concerned with how the car would work with the new taper modifications, they wanted to work on downforce.
Carl Edwards led the field to the green flag while David started 5th. The first caution came out after the first lap when Mike Bliss' #1 spun out Mark Green's #70. Meanwhile, Bobby Hamilton Jr spun Steve Wallace, who sustained a great deal of damage and went behind the wall. The field remained under the yellow flag for six laps.
Early on, he led for a total of thirty-three laps, and Tony Stewart led for two. Brian Vickers then picked up the lead; there was a total of five lead changes.
By lap 47, David was 6th as Brian Vickers led. The #99 gained a spot within the next three laps.
The second caution was on lap 52 for David Ragan, who spun off Turn 2 and rear-ended then nosed the wall. Jason Keller, who was riding 21st, received the free pass. Vickers and David went to pit road. The last adjustments for the #99 had improved the car, but David was still reporting that he needed more help exitting the turns. Crew chief Jerry Baxter called for a slight air pressure adjustment.
Racing resumed on lap 58 with Carl Edwards leading. Tony Stewart took the top spot almost immediately. David was 12th. Within the first lap back to racing, the Aaron's Dream Machine moved into 11th. It was 10th one lap later when the yellow flag waved again.
Robert Richardson III caused the third caution on lap 61 when he backed into the wall on his own. Hamilton Jr received the free pass back onto the lead lap.
Stewart led the restart on lap 64 with David in 10th. The #99 was 8th one lap into the run. Passing Cale Gale on lap 66 moved David into 7th. On lap 69, he picked up 6th from David Stremme.
On lap 78, David passed Greg Biffle for 5th. He took 4th from Clint Bowyer six laps later. Pit stops began around lap 87 with Scott Wimmer's #29. Others followed suit.
The fourth caution was for David on lap 91. He had hit the outside wall.
"2 car hit us and flattened our left side," somebody explained on the #99 radio.
Clint Bowyer had a different view of his cutting into David's line on the track. "He thinks that I came up into him?" Bowyer asked on the #2 frequency. "He had tons of room!"
David took his #99 to the garage as Patrick Carpentier accepted the free pass.
Racing resumed on lap 97 without David. The yellow flag waved for a fifth time immediately when David Stremme took out Carpentier to stay on the lead lap.
During the caution, Mike Massaro for ESPN2 caught up with David in the garage area and asked what happened.
"We just got run into, and it knocked the left front fender in and cut the left front tire down," David replied.
When Massaro told David about Bowyer's radio chatter - that he said the #99 had room - David grimaced. "Not from where I was sitting," he said. "The only thing between me and Clint was the wall, so I don't know. I will have to see the replay. I was getting a little tight on exit, so I was coming out a little bit lower.
"If that's his version, fine. If he doesn't want to own up to wrecking me, that's no big deal."
Edwards led the restart on lap 101 as the #99 team continued to work on the car. David returned to the track 27 laps down in 34th. The yellow flag came out on the final lap, and Carl Edwards picked up the win. David wound up finishing 34th, 27 laps down.
The Sprint Cup's 3M Performance 400 at Michigan International Speedway airs tomorrow at 1:00pm ET on ESPN.