BRISTOL, TN (August 26, 2004) - After running as high as third in the O'Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline Maxlife at Bristol Motor Speedway, David Reutimann finished 11th in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra Wednesday night. "We...
BRISTOL, TN (August 26, 2004) - After running as high as third in the O'Reilly 200 presented by Valvoline Maxlife at Bristol Motor Speedway, David Reutimann finished 11th in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra Wednesday night.
"We made some changes to free up the truck early on and we were able to run in the Top-5," said Reutimann. "We got behind near the end of the race, but rooted our way through the field with fresher tires. Bristol's a tough place to pass, but we were able to pass a few guys. We were trying to make up as much ground as we could. We were trying our best not to make any evasive moves."
Starting 12th at the .533-mile oval, Reutimann moved into eighth-place after the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team pitted the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota for four tires and adjustments under caution at Lap 50.
"Once again the team did a great job on pit road," said Reutimann. "We went in 12th and came out eighth on our first stop. We were tight, but we made some changes. The truck drove steady and we were consistent. We got a lot of laps on that set of tires and ended up getting really free."
By Lap 77, the Raybestos Rookie points leader broke into the Top-5. As front-runners began to pit under caution, Reutimann slid into third-place at Lap 103. Reutimann remained in the Top-5 for 41 more laps.
"It felt really good to run in the Top-5 on this level at a place like Bristol," said Reutimann. "Bristol is physically demanding. It's a place where you can hardly catch your breath."
With a strategy to pit out of sequence, Reutimann's last pit stop occurred at Lap 151 which dropped him from 12th to 21st in the running order. As numerous cautions happened inside 50 laps remaining, Reutimann went from 21st to finish 11th in the 206-Lap event which ended under a green-white-checker finish.
"We had a different pit strategy than everyone else," said Reutimann. "We were trying everything we could to win this race. The cards didn't fall the way we thought they would. We just got bad loose there near the end. We were just trying to hold onto it."
Reutimann continues to lead the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year points standings. Reutimann is now 13th in the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings, 75 points out of tenth-place unofficially.
"We gained some ground in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings," said Reutimann. "We are closing in on the Top-10. We're going to Richmond next weekend where I raced a Busch Series car for the first time in my career. I started 34th and finished 16th. Richmond is a pretty special place for me and I feel like we will do really well."
Live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200 at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled Thursday, September 9 at 8:30 PM EDT live on SPEED Channel. The event will be broadcast on MRN Radio.