After starting third in the 100-lap event at California Speedway, David Reutimann finished sixth in the American Wheels 200 Saturday night.
“The Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team did another great job this weekend,” said Reutimann, who led the first seven laps of the 200-mile event. “We were able to lead some laps and run in the Top-5. Bobby Kennedy said we had some really fast lap times there near the end. We just ran out of time. We were able to gain some points and come away with a Top-10 finish.”
Reutimann led the 36-truck field to the green flag at the start of the race after polesitter Travis Kvapil and second-place qualifier Mike Skinner incurred problems during final practice Friday.
“Unfortunately, Travis cut down a tire in final practice and had to go to his backup truck and Skinner’s team changed an engine,” said Reutimann. “They had to drop to the rear of the field.”
As Reutimann fought to keep the lead, eventual winner Todd Bodine maneuvered by the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra for first-place at Lap 8. Reutimann maintained a Top-5 position in the running order before pitting under caution at Lap 29 for four tires and adjustments. Restarting seventh at Lap 36, Reutimann slid to 12th-place before returning to pit road under caution at Lap 58.
“The Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team picked up several positions on pit road during that stop,” said Reutimann. “Before pitting, we were tight behind the 2 truck trying to pass him.”
As leader Ted Musgrave showed the way, Reutimann was seventh on the restart at Lap 63. The Raybestos Rookie points leader moved up to sixth-place while another caution immediately followed. Reporting he had a vibration four laps later, Reutimann reentered the Top-5 at Lap 71.
“On the last restart, we picked up a vibration,” said Reutimann. “I had to hold it in gear. It jumped out in the corner. I wasn’t sure if it would have stayed. I held it in gear for the rest of the race.”
With a skating nose on the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra, Reutimann slid to seventh. Regaining momentum, Reutimann overtook sixth-place at lap 89. Chasing down the fifth-place truck of Bobby Hamilton with some of the fastest lap times on track, Reutimann ran out of time as the checkered flag waived in the 100-lap event at the two-mile tri-oval.
“We had transmission problems, but the truck never fell off,” said Reutimann. “We had some of the fastest laps at the end and that’s attributed to some really good changes the team made. We were really close to getting to the 4 truck. There were some races this year where I would have given my right arm to finish sixth. We had a good race. We came here and qualified third, we led some laps and we come away with another Top-10. I’m learning a lot my first season and I’m looking forward to starting a new season. I think next year will be a really good year for us.”
“We have an off weekend coming up,” continued Reutimann. “After that, we are heading back to Texas to one of my favorite racetracks. We were able to run exceptionally well there earlier this season and finish third. We are looking forward to returning to Texas.
Reutimann is currently 14th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. The Raybestos Rookie points leader has one Bud Pole Award, three top-fives and nine top-10s in 20 starts this season.
Live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled to air Saturday, October 16th at 2 p.m. EDT live on SPEED Channel. The event will be broadcast on MRN Radio.
NTN, headquartered in Osaka, Japan, is one of the world's largest producers of ball and roller bearings. With manufacturing plants throughout the world, NTN is a leading bearing supplier to both the industrial and automotive markets. In addition to bearings of all sizes and types, NTN is also one of the largest producers of constant velocity joints for automotive front-wheel and four-wheel drive applications. Over 70% of the bearings sold by NTN in the United States are manufactured by one of the six manufacturing plants the company operates in the USA. Founded in 1918, NTN has long been recognized for the most stringent quality standards in the industry and counts some of the most recognized automotive and industrial brand names as its customers. NTN employs more than 13,000 dedicated people throughout the World and is traded on the Tokyo stock exchange. For more information on NTN, please visit the company's website at www.ntnamerica.com or www.ntn.ca.