Reutimann Relegated To 28th-Place Finish at Darlington DARLINGTON, SC (November 14, 2004) - After running as high as fifth in his first attempt at Darlington Raceway Saturday evening, David Reutimann was relegated to a 28th-place finish...
Reutimann Relegated To 28th-Place Finish at Darlington
DARLINGTON, SC (November 14, 2004) - After running as high as fifth in his first attempt at Darlington Raceway Saturday evening, David Reutimann was relegated to a 28th-place finish due to a collision with Bobby Hamilton Jr.'s No. 59 Craftsman Truck during a green-white-checkered finish format. Because Hamilton Jr. missed a shift, his truck was turned from behind and deflected from Darlington Raceway's retaining wall directly in front of the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra.
"I talked to Bobby (Hamilton Jr.) in the infield care center and he said that he missed a shift on the restart and got run over," said Reutimann, who was examined and released from the Darlington Raceway infield care center. "He got turned and came down across the racetrack and I hit him. There was nothing I could do. I just can't catch a break. We run the whole race here and hadn't put a mark on the thing and then destroy it at the end of the race. I'm pretty discouraged with that whole scenario. I'm just glad Bobby's okay because it was a really hard hit."
After starting 12th, Reutimann entered the Top-10 by Lap 3. Before Reutimann's first pit stop of the evening at Lap 35 under caution, the Raybestos Rookie points leader worked his way into fifth-place.
"The No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota was really good," said Reutimann, who is currently 15th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "We started off a little free, but we were fine. We've learned a lot these past few races, but we've had some really bad luck overshadow our progress. We cannot catch a break. We've been in the wrong place at the wrong time too many times. I don't know how to fix that."
Restarting 17th at Lap 38, Reutimann reentered the Top-10 at Lap 61. As another caution occurred one lap later, the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team opted to bring the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra to pit road for four tires. As Reutimann was leaving the pit box, his truck stalled proving to be costly as he lost ten spots in the running order.
"When I pitted, the truck stalled and I couldn't get it fired back up," said Reutimann. "Pit road was extremely tight and I was trying to get out from behind Jack Sprague, whose pit box was in front of ours. We went from tenth to 20th in a matter of seconds."
After his final pit stop at Lap 93, Reutimann fought his way into the Top-15 22 laps later.
By Lap 121, Reutimann was forced to give way to trucks with fresher tires that pitted ten laps earlier. Inside five laps to go, Reutimann was trying to hold onto a respectable finish when Bobby Hamilton Jr. cut across the nose of the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra during a green-white-checkered finish format.
"I was trying to be careful there at the end," said Reutimann, who completed 148 of 150 laps. "Bobby, Jason and the guys just wanted to bring home the truck in one piece and so did I. It's a shame we tore up a truck. When a truck comes down in front of you like that, there's not much you can do. I just feel really bad for the guys and everyone involved."
Reutimann returns to his home state of Florida for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway Friday, November 19th. The event will air live on SPEED Channel beginning at 3:30 PM. MRN Radio will begin broadcast at 3 PM.