Jul 12

Reutimann winner at Chicagoland

For his second Sprint Cup series career win

David Reutimann kept Carl Edwards at bay in the closing laps of Saturday night’s race at Chicagoland Speedway, claiming his second Sprint Cup series career win. The Michael Waltrip Racing driver emerged as the winning force in the last quarter of the race after spending most of the race running in the top-5. Right before the leaders pitted for the last time he was all over Jeff Gordon’s rear bumper, trying to find a way past to grab the lead.

The Hendrick Motorsports driver was able to keep him behind for a number of laps until he eventually conceded the lead 54 laps from the end. Following his last pitstop Reutimann stretched the gap to Gordon to more than 3 seconds, but then the Roush Fenway Ford of Edwards started to close on him, cutting his lead in half in a matter of laps. However as the laps faded Edwards’s charge started to vanish in the traffic, letting the No. 00 Toyota cruise on its way to victory.

Last year Reutimann won for the first time at NASCAR’s top-level in a rain-shortened event at Charlotte, partly due to a strategy gamble paying off. This time there was little luck involved in his win as, besides some strong cars encountering problems, there was nobody able to match his pace consistently in the last two stints of the race.

“No rain tonight, we earned this one and nobody gave it to us and that feels really good,” said an excited Reutimann. “I’ve heard so much stuff for winning a rain-shortened event that everybody said we didn’t earn it. Tonight I don’t know what they could say about this one.”

Edwards was happy to claim his best result in more than a year by taking second place, showing signs of recovery for his outfit, which has yet to win a Cup event this season. His team-mate Greg Biffle was enjoying a good run but retired late in the race with a broken engine, while the other two Roush cars were 12th and 13th.

“We are definitely on the horizon,” said Edwards. “We haven’t quite gone over, but I know we can run that well because we have done it and we did it tonight. We just have to figure out how to do it every week. I hope this is something we can go back on Monday and talk about – why our car was so much different this week than it has been.”

Jimmie Johnson was probably the only driver who could have prevented Reutimann from taking victory but the reigning champion hit trouble after leading for the first 92 laps. He first misjudged his speed entering the pits for his second stop under green, getting sideways while braking and being forced to abort his run into pitlane and complete another lap. Then, as he was making his way back up front, he spun exiting turn two after a restart and despite staying on the lead lap he struggled from then on. A later scrape with the wall and issues with the right-front tire forced him to pit under green and drop two laps down to the leader.

Gordon, who was celebrating his 600th consecutive start in the Sprint Cup series, looked like taking his first win of the year until Reutimann’s late charge. Instead he ended up third, ahead of Richard Childress’s Clint Bowyer and Earnhardt Ganassi’s Jamie McMurray, who led for 72 laps until losing his momentum and seeing Gordon get past him with about 100 laps remaining.

“At times it looked like our car was the one to beat,” said Gordon. “But I think David was really, really strong and we got the lead that one time and when he ran us down I knew we were in a little bit of trouble. We made some adjustments on that last pit stop and unfortunately they didn’t go the right way for us.”

Points leader Kevin Harvick struggled with balance and then with a fuel pump issue that sent him to the garage for lengthy repairs. He was classified 34th in the end, 16 laps down, but maintained his lead in the points, trailed by Gordon and Johnson.

Pos  Driver                Car        Laps

 1.  David Reutimann       Toyota      267
 2.  Carl Edwards          Ford        267
 3.  Jeff Gordon           Chevrolet   267
 4.  Clint Bowyer          Chevrolet   267
 5.  Jamie McMurray        Chevrolet   267
 6.  Kasey Kahne           Ford        267
 7.  Jeff Burton           Chevrolet   267
 8.  Denny Hamlin          Toyota      267
 9.  Tony Stewart          Chevrolet   267
10.  Paul Menard           Ford        267
11.  Martin Truex Jr       Toyota      267
12.  David Ragan           Ford        267
13.  Matt Kenseth          Ford        267
14.  A.J. Allmendinger     Ford        267
15.  Mark Martin           Chevrolet   267
16.  Juan Montoya          Chevrolet   267
17.  Kyle Busch            Toyota      267
18.  Brad Keselowski       Dodge       267
19.  Joey Logano           Toyota      267
20.  Regan Smith           Chevrolet   267
21.  Elliott Sadler        Ford        267
22.  Ryan Newman           Chevrolet   267
23.  Dale Earnhardt Jr     Chevrolet   267
24.  Sam Hornish Jr        Dodge       267
25.  Jimmie Johnson        Chevrolet   267
26.  Kurt Busch            Dodge       265
27.  Reed Sorenson         Toyota      265
28.  Marcos Ambrose        Toyota      265
29.  Bobby Labonte         Chevrolet   265
30.  Scott Speed           Toyota      264
31.  Travis Kvapil         Ford        261
32.  David Gilliland       Ford        261
33.  Kevin Conway          Ford        256
34.  Kevin Harvick         Chevrolet   251
35.  Greg Biffle           Ford        225
36.  David Stremme         Ford        184
37.  Bill Elliott          Ford        176
38.  Robby Gordon          Toyota      174
39.  Landon Cassill        Chevrolet    73
40.  Casey Mears           Chevrolet    49
41.  Mike Bliss            Toyota       40
42.  Max Papis             Toyota       40
43.  Joe Nemechek          Toyota       20

source: Racer.com