SPARTA, Ky. (July 10, 2005) -- David Reutimann collected his third top-five finish of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra with a third-place finish at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night. "We ...
SPARTA, Ky. (July 10, 2005) -- David Reutimann collected his third top-five finish of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra with a third-place finish at Kentucky Speedway Saturday night.
"We unloaded good and we ran strong," said Reutimann, who also finished third at Kansas Speedway last week. "We thought we had a shot at winning the race. Then, we had a lug nut fall off the right front that cost us valuable track position with about 46laps to go. It's unfortunate. I feel like we could've won the race, but weran out of time."
After qualifying third, David Reutimann passed Mike Skinner's No. 5 Toyota Tundra to lead Lap 35. Sliding to second on the next lap, Reutimann led again at Lap 45 when leader Jack Sprague cut down a right front tire. After leading the field down pit road under caution, Reutimann restarted third at Lap 49.
"We were running really good," said Reutimann. "It took it a little bit to get going. Our truck stayed consistent throughout the race. I felt like we had a good shot at it. If we keep running this way, we'll get us one here soon."
As the race was red flagged at Lap 52 for a multi-truck accident, Reutimann rested in fourth-place. On the restart at Lap 57, Reutimann protected his fourth-place position and overtook third-place at Lap 86. Settling into second-place at Lap 98, Reutimann gradually reeled in leader Terry Cook.
"We passed Mike Skinner for second after he got a little loose trying to pass Cook for the lead," said Reutimann. "After we passed Skinner, we closed in on the 10 truck."
Five laps later, Reutimann was at the rear quarter panel of the No. 10truck when Cookmade contact with the lap truck of Robert Huffman. As Huffman tried to regain control of his No. 12 Toyota Tundra, his truck shot in front of Reutimann. Reutimann maneuvered around his teammate making only slight contact with the lap truck of Timothy Peters.
"We were able to come away unscathed," said Reutimann. "I was running second when that happened. Skinner got back by me.I was trying my best not to run into Robert." J As the caution flag waived, the front-runners made their final pit stops of the evening. When Reutimann entered his pit box for four tires and fuel at Lap 104, a lug nut was left off the right front of his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota.
"Wecame into the pitsthird and we had a lug nut fall off," said Reutimann. "My guys do great pit stops every week. I've given more away on the racetrack and I don't fault them. I thought it was going to be another great pit stop. Then, I saw the official point at the right front tire. Our front tire changer ran back around the truck and put it on. When those guys jump over the wall, I'm sure there's a lot going through their mind."
After pitting, Reutimann dropped from third to 14th. By Lap 145, Reutimann reentered the top-five. As the race concluded under a green-white-checkered flag situation, Reutimann finished third for the second week in a row. Reutimann is now ninth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings, 97 points out of fifth-place.
"We are gaining in the points," said Reutimann, who has three top-five and five top-10 finishes in 13 NCTS starts this season. "Our goal is to shoot for the top-five. We've got a week off before heading to Memphis. I collected my first-ever NASCAR Busch Series Bud Pole Award at Memphis when I qualified the No. 7 car for Greg Biffle in 2003. The year before, I qualified fifth and finished 12th in the No. 87 Busch car. Last year, we finished 17th in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra. We just need to keep the fenders on it and bring home a good finish to keep our momentum going."
Live race coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 23rd begins atx p.m. EDT on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the event.