Reutimann and the Dollar General Team Bring Home a Fifth-Place Finish at Richmond International Raceway RICHMOND, Va. (September 14, 2009) -- David Reutimann knew he had a fast car for Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at ...
Reutimann and the Dollar General Team Bring Home a Fifth-Place Finish at Richmond International Raceway
RICHMOND, Va. (September 14, 2009) -- David Reutimann knew he had a fast car for Friday night's Virginia 529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway. He started the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota from the 15th spot and immediately went three-wide on the first lap as he drove towards the front. Reutimann brought home a fifth-place finish, his best at the track on which he made his NASCAR debut seven years ago.
Teams lined up on pit road Friday evening, everyone solemnly remembering the events on September 11, 2001. As the pre-race ceremonies concluded and Reutimann climbed into the Dollar General Toyota, he had an additional memory on his mind. In May, 2002, he made his first NASCAR Nationwide Series start at Richmond International Raceway, driving in a one-race deal that he made with fellow Florida-native, Joe Nemechek. Reutimann knew the race was crucial to furthering his driving career. He finished 16th in that event. Seven years later, he is competing full-time in the Sprint Cup Series and running a partial schedule with Braun Racing in the Nationwide Series.
As the green flag fell for the 250-lap race, Reutimann started from the 15th position and immediately went to work passing cars. When an accident in turn four on the first lap brought out the night's first caution flag, he was already in the 13th spot. The race resumed on lap eight.
As he circled the ¾-mile track, Reutimann reported on lap 24 that the car was loose on the entry and really loose on the exit of the corners. Crew chief, Trent Owens, told his driver that they would make adjustments on the first pit stop. That opportunity came on lap 41 when an accident in turn two brought out the next caution flag.
On lap 43, Reutimann brought the No. 32 to pit road for service. The Dollar General crew quickly changed four tires, packed the Camry with fuel and made wedge and air pressure adjustments. When green-flag racing resumed on lap 46, the Dollar General Toyota was in the 15th position.
Reutimann reported on the car's handling again on lap 56. "The car won't get off the corner right now," he stated. "It is wicked, wicked, wicked tight in the center."
"10-4," replied Owens. "Did those adjustments during the stop help?"
"They did at first," said Reutimann. "Now I really need some help in the center off."
Reutimann continued to turn fast laps, driving No. 32 Dollar General towards the front of the field. He broke into the top-10 by lap 105. When the caution flag was displayed on lap 126 for debris on the racetrack, he was running in the ninth position. On lap 129, he brought the Camry to pit road. The Dollar General team quickly changed four tires, filled the car with fuel, and made air pressure and track bar adjustments for the tight-center and loose-off conditions. When the race resumed on lap 133, Reutimann was in the 10th spot. In only four laps, Reutimann advanced to the eighth position before the caution flag was brought out again for an accident in turn four.
The long, green-flag run that followed allowed Reutimann time to methodically pick his way through the field. Remaining quiet on the radio, spotter, Shaun Reutimann, guided him through the traffic and into the third position by lap 224. The caution flag flew for the final time on lap 225 for debris on the track. Owens called his driver to pit road on lap 227. The crew quickly put on four new tires, made a wedge adjustment and topped off the Dollar General Toyota with fuel. The flawless stop kept Reutimann in the third position for the restart on lap 231.
As the race resumed, it was a battle amongst the top-five for position. Being a little stronger early in the runs, the No. 18 and No. 88 were able to creep past the No. 32 in the closing laps. Reutimann brought the Dollar General Toyota home in the fifth position, his best career finish at Richmond International Raceway as well as his top finish for 2009.
"Trent Owens and the guys did a great job tonight," said Reutimann. "We just needed long runs in the Dollar General Toyota to do what we needed to do and couldn't get that at the end. The car started out really loose at the beginning of the night, but Trent and those guys adjusted it on each pit stop. I'm really proud of my guys here at Braun Racing. Everybody did a phenomenal job. It was a lot fun! We had solid pit stops tonight and just a good effort all around."
David Reutimann will drive the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota in two weeks at Dover International Speedway.
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series will enjoy a weekend off before traveling to Dover International Speedway for the Dover 200.