Reutimann Salvages Top-15 Finish at Mansfield MANSFIELD, OHIO (May 17, 2004) - David Reutimann salvaged a 14th-place finish with the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra in the UAW/GM Ohio 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event that...
Reutimann Salvages Top-15 Finish at Mansfield
MANSFIELD, OHIO (May 17, 2004) - David Reutimann salvaged a 14th-place finish with the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra in the UAW/GM Ohio 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event that generated 13 caution flags for 94 laps at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway as the race ended in a green-white-checker format on Sunday. Reutimann is now third in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings, only 54 points out of first.
"We were able to finish in the Top-15 after all the problems we endured," said Reutimann. "We were also fortunate to move up a spot in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. It was a tough day for us, but the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team worked hard and never gave up. They're a great group of guys. We're putting this one behind us and looking ahead to Lowe's Motor Speedway this week."
Because NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying was canceled due to inclement weather, Reutimann lined up in the 33rd starting position based on the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rule book. Reutimann made the show, but he was positioned in the midst of accidents that transpired over the course of the 252-Lap event.
"There were wrecks happening all around the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota and we were collected a couple of times," said Reutimann. "There was just nothing we could do."
Early on with 242 Laps to go, Reutimann was spun around by another truck. Leader Jack Sprague and the eventual race winner sailed by the No. 17 NTN Bearings NASCAR Craftsman Truck trapping the Zephyrhills (FL) native one lap down. When another caution occurred at Lap-26, Reutimann received a free pass from NASCAR to advance onto the lead lap while running in the 33rd position.
"We were spun out only eight laps into the event which put us a lap down right off the bat," said Reutimann. "We were also battling loose conditions on the first set of tires that were not scuffed. Once we were able to get our lap back at Lap 24, a truck spun in front of us not long thereafter and we didn't have anywhere to go. We sustained some right front damage to the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota."
Reutimann pitted after being involved in the incident at Lap 69 for the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team to repair right front damage and make a chassis adjustment to the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota. Even though bad luck struck on more than one occasion, by Lap 90 Reutimann was shown in 11th-place.
"We endured a lot in the first half of the race, but we were able to position ourselves just outside the Top-10 after we stayed out while others pitted," said Reutimann. "At Lap 157, the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team made some adjustments to free up the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota because it was snug from the center off by that time. We came back in around Lap 168 for more adjustments to try to free the truck up some more."
Late in the race, Reutimann was forced to pit road. The Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team had to cut off part of the No. 17 NTN Bearings bumper cover, which was hanging down after another truck struck the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports entry.
"We lost some positions when we had to come into the pits after someone got into the back of us," said Reutimann. "A piece of the truck was hanging from the rear end that had to be cut off. Then there were a couple of more cautions near the end of the race that kept us from making up the ground we lost. Whenever we finally got to the point where we were moving forward in the right direction, something else would happen to us. It really hurt us starting at the back of the field at a track like Mansfield. We'll check this one off and change our focus to Lowe's Motor Speedway this week."
Live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Lowe's Motor Speedway takes place May 21, at 8:30 PM EDT. The 250-mile event will be the fifth of 25 NCTS events telecast live on the Speed Channel this season. MRN Radio also broadcasts the entire NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule.