NASHVILLE, TN (August 15, 2004) - After cutting down a right front tire and brushing the Nashville Superspeedway retaining wall while running second, David Reutimann rebounded to finish ninth with his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota in the Toyota...
NASHVILLE, TN (August 15, 2004) - After cutting down a right front tire and brushing the Nashville Superspeedway retaining wall while running second, David Reutimann rebounded to finish ninth with his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota in the Toyota Tundra 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Saturday afternoon.
"We had an awesome truck today," said Reutimann, who was the second fastest qualifier. "It was unfortunate that we cut down a right front tire and got into the wall, which knocked the front end out. We had a lot of damage to the right front. I can't say enough about this Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team that worked hard to make repairs. They are the reason way we were able to salvage a Top-10 finish. We had the truck to beat until we ran into some bad luck."
Misfortune struck at Lap 37 as Reutimann's chances for a victory unraveled due to a deflated tire and substantial damage to the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota's right front fender. A calculated Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team pitted the truck for right side tires and front-end repairs at Lap 38 and then left side tires at Lap 40 under caution.
"This Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team wouldn't give up," said Reutimann, who was mired back in traffic running 25th after repairs. "They kept on working on it and did a great job. We never lost a lap."
At Lap 42 under caution, Reutimann pitted again for the crew to continue work on the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota's right front fender. As Reutimann exited pit road, the team pieced together a corner nosepiece. As the caution flag waived 12 laps later, Reutimann reentered pit road at Lap 57 for the team to attach the piece to the right front corner.
"The way the guys put this truck back together was impressive," said Reutimann. "At that point, the toe was knocked out, but I told them just to leave it. We were still able to make up lost ground. We made our last pit stop of the day around Lap 85 for a chassis adjustment and four tires while running 18th. The team picked up three positions which positioned us inside the Top-15."
As another caution occurred, Reutimann rejoined the Top-10 echelon at Lap 118. Sliding into ninth one lap later still under yellow flag conditions, Reutimann held onto the spot for his seventh Top-10 of the 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season.
"Obviously, there was a sense of urgency to have a good showing in the Toyota Tundra 200," said Reutimann, who is 14th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "There were thousands of Toyota fans, representatives from NTN Bearings and Darrell Waltrip in attendance. We were in the Top-3 in practice and backed it up with a second-place qualifying effort. To get out of Nashville with a ninth-place finish after running into the problems we did is not too bad."
"I've learned a lot these past few races from DW," continued Reutimann. "He's taught me to stop putting myself in places where you don't need to be and don't let anything affect what you are doing. We didn't win at Nashville and we ran into some problems, but this weekend was still a good morale boost for all us. We qualified well, we ran well and we didn't give up when we were dealt a bad hand. We are excited about going to Bristol, which is another one of my favorite tracks. We'll get one here soon."
Live coverage of the O'Reilly 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway is scheduled Wednesday, August 25th beginning at 9:00 PM EDT live on SPEED Channel. The event at the .533-mile concrete oval with 36-degree banked turns will be broadcast live on MRN Radio.