NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Tag Archives: David Reutimann

Nextel Cup Rookie Report: No Place Like Kansas for David Ragan

In a race that offered multiple wrecks, wicked weather, hot tempers, and an unusual finish, simply surviving the Lifelock 400 must have seemed like a victory for many participants... especially the rookies. On Sunday, David Ragan simply did just that, overcoming obstacles better than any of his other freshmen counterparts. After starting 18th, the No. 6 Ford Fusion struggled for the first 100-lap segment of the race, falling as low as 30th at one point. However, crew chief Jimmy Fennig and the AAA crew figured out what the car needed to turn Ragan's race around, all while using pit strategy to boost the team into the top 10 just before a two-hour rain delay on lap 148. Following that red flag period, Ragan narrowly avoided a multi-car wreck on the backstretch to keep himself in contention, quietly soldiering on to a 16th-place finish by race's end.

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Fanning the Flames: New Schedule, Same Ol’ NASCAR

You'd think NASCAR would have learned by the near-miss rainout of the Michigan event just over one month ago to change some of its dates around. That race in August did not get completed until the Tuesday after its scheduled Sunday start. Talk was such at the time that if, indeed, the event was a total washout not shoe-horned in before the circuit hit Bristol on Thursday, the sanctioning body would be forced to make Michigan the final date on the schedule. As a result, NASCAR would essentially bump all the other events, both regular season and playoff, up one week from their regularly scheduled dates.

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Nextel Cup Rookie Report: Juan Pablo Montoya Does the Monster Mash

Juan Pablo Montoya tied this career-best starting position by placing his Donnie Wingo-prepared Dodge on the outside of the front row for the third time this season (the other two second-place starts were at Indianapolis and the August Bristol race). Matching the start with an equally impressive finish did not look likely for much of the day, however. The No. 42 Avenger quickly dropped out of the top 10 as Montoya and Wingo fought a loose condition throughout much of the race. But after running around 15th for virtually the entire event - surviving a brush with Jamie McMurray in the process - the team was able to make a late surge after avoiding a 12-car wreck on lap 385. As the checkered flag flew, Montoya had moved up to 10th, earning his fifth top-10 finish of the year. It was also the 12th top finishing rookie award for Montoya in 2007, tying him with Ragan in that category.

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Fanning the Flames: Crazy Eights, Busted Tapes, & Can Kasey Kahne Relate?

Anyone hear about a little press conference that took place yesterday in Dallas? You may not have heard much, as it only involved the sport's favorite son... plus some new friends from PepsiCo and the National Guard. There was also something about a number, what was it, No. 88? Seriously, I think I speak for the majority of race fans out there, well, the die-hards, anyway, when I say, "Thank you for finally laying everything out on the table!" We can now refocus and move on with the rest of our lives.

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Nextel Cup Rookie Report: Regan Smith’s Rocky Road at New Hampshire

For much of Sunday's race, it looked like it would be a long day for Ragan and his AAA crew. After starting in the 38th position, it took the No. 6 car nearly half the race to work its way out of the lower third of the field. However, slow and steady proved to be what won the race for Ragan on this day; never faltering, adjustments from crew chief Jimmy Fennig continually kept making the car slightly better each run, pushing it to the point where his driver could finally pop his head inside the top 20 in the race's waning laps.

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Running Their Mouth: 2007 Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond

Each week, we'll go through all the media reports, interviews, PR, and all our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Nextel Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It's the most original commentary you'll ever find; the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and the car owners themselves. This week, here's a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

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Rating the Nextel Cup Rookies: 2007 Sharp Aquos 500 at Fontana Edition

After starting a dismal 33rd, David Ragan slowly made his way into the top 10 by lap 104. The AAA team would experience a "yo-yo" type of night for the rest of the race, dropping as low as 36th after a pit road speeding penalty, before coming home in 12th position. Saturday night's finish marked Ragan's sixth top-15 finish of 2007 and his 10th top rookie finish of the season.

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Nextel Cup Rookie Report: 2007 Sharpie 500 at Bristol Edition

For the second time in the past five races, Juan Pablo Montoya qualified his Texaco Havoline Dodge on the outside of the front row; but this time, more than a few eyebrows were raised. While qualifying second at Indy was impressive, the Colombian had made huge strides towards conquering his hardest challenge to date; transitioning to stock cars on tracks less than a mile long. For the first 200 laps, it looked as if the former road course ringer had figured out his short track game, never falling out of the top 10. However, as the race wore on into the night, the No. 42 Dodge slowly faded, eventually finishing 17th. Still, the Sharpie 500 marked the 11th time in 2007 that Montoya finished as the race's top finishing rookie, continuing to lead this year's freshman class in that category.

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Beyond the Cockpit: David Reutimann at the 2007 Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono

David Reutimann knows all too well what it feels like to be on a roller coaster. The first-year driver from Michael Waltrip Racing has experienced the ups and downs of Nextel Cup racing harder than most everyone this year, going through the nerve-wracking procedure each Friday of attempting to qualify for races on time... not provisionals. When Reutimann HAS cracked the starting field, he's had to deal with the gremlins of mechanical failure and rookie mistakes, all of which have taken their toll on a new Toyota team working hard to catch up to the rest of the pack. But having made six consecutive races on speed (PJ Jones drove the No. 00 at Watkins Glen), it's clear the Burger King Camry is heading in the right direction - and a lot of that has to do with the way one of NASCAR's brightest future talents has conducted himself behind the wheel.

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