REUTIMANN FINISHES FIFTH AFTER LEADING NCTS RACE AT DOVER DOVER, DE (June 5, 2005) -- David Reutimann finished in fifth-place after leading 33 (149-181) laps with his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series MBNA...
REUTIMANN FINISHES FIFTH AFTER LEADING NCTS RACE AT DOVER
DOVER, DE (June 5, 2005) -- David Reutimann finished in fifth-place after leading 33 (149-181) laps with his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series MBNA 200 at Dover International Speedway.
"We made a call to win the race and if the elements would have fell another way we might have," said Reutimann, who had the top finishing Tundra. "We just had old tires and the guys that had fresh tires that got by me were fast anyway. I'm just real proud of our guys. I've got to thank them, NTN and Toyota for sticking by me because we've had a rotten year. It's only going to get better."
Running seventh at Lap 146, a caution came out for debris on the racetrack. Reutimann watched as the leader and the rest of the field dove to pit road. Reutimann and crew chief Jason Overstreet agreed it was best to stay out for track position and assume the lead on Lap 149.
"We did what we came here to do," said Overstreet. "This Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team came here to run up front and finish in the top-five toturn our season around. This gives us momentum heading into Texas. We've got a great setup for that track and a great shot at winning. David finished third there last June. Both teams will do well there. We're overdue for a win."
Extending his lead, Reutimann had to deal with another caution at Lap 168. Restarting first with older tires at Lap 171, Reutimann held his groundas the eventual winner and Nextel Cup driver Kyle Busch was glued to his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra bumper.
"Every caution hurt us," said Reutimann. "We had a little bit of a lead there at one point and I thought we would be fine. I was like man we're going to be okay. Then the yellow would keep coming out.If it would have stayed green, I think we would have had a shot to win or finish second or third."
As Tony Stewart nudged alongside Busch to challenge for second, Reutimann marched forward leading the way. Immediately the ninth caution of the 200-lap event occurred at Lap 176. Restarting at Lap 180, Reutimann led the truck field into Turn 1 as Busch began to pass him on the outside with Stewart in tow. J "It would take a couple of laps for my stuff to get going really good and they just drove in on the outside," said Reutimann. "My hats off to Kyle Busch, which is a good buddy of mine. I'm glad to see him win, but he's got a Cup ride and I'm trying to win my truck race here. At the very end, I thought we might be able to leave with at least a third-place finish."
Stabilizinghis third-place position,the yellow flag waived againwith less than 15 laps to go.
"The cautions are what hurt us the most I think," said Reutimann. "I'm just glad we were able to come away witha top-five finish. It helps us going into our next race."
Inside ten laps remaining, the final caution of the race was displayed. On the single file restart, Ron Hornaday was able to drive aroundReutimann for fourth. Reutimann's fifth-place finish gained himfour spots in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. Reutimann is now 13th, only 54 markers out of tenth.
"I'm happy to get out of here with asolid finish and a good points day," said Reutimann. "I'm excited aboutTexas next week because we'veran so well there.We finished third there last June. We would have a solid finish there last October if we hadn't been involved in that accident.It's still one of my favorite tracks and I'm looking forward to racing there on Friday."
Live race coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, June 10th begins at 9:15 p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the event.