Reutimann Earns Cup Pole at Texas
By John Sturbin | Senior Writer
Fort Worth, Texas – David Reutimann says qualifying a Sprint Cup car at Texas Motor Speedway can be painful, even under the best of circumstances.
“When you leave pit road here for qualifying, you better be up on the wheel as hard as you can go,” Reutimann said Friday afternoon. “The only thing you have to worry about is biting your tongue in two, because you’re chewing on that thing so much. It’s interesting, but again, a great effort by this team.”
Reutimann and his crew from Michael Waltrip Racing conspired to put the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry on pole for Sunday’s Samsung 500. Reutimann toured the 1.5-mile TMS quadoval in 28.344 seconds/190.517 mph to earn his first pole in four races at “The Great American Speedway.” It’s the second Coors Light Pole Award in 70 career Cup starts for Reutimann, the other being in the 2008 season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway in November.
Reutimann will be joined in the two-car front row by series points-leader Jeff Gordon, the four-time Cup champion who is winless in 16 starts at TMS. Gordon, driver of the No. 24 DuPont /National Guard GED Chevrolet Impala SS fielded by Hendrick Motorsports, was the only other driver to crack 190 at 190.194 mph.
“I was pretty pleased with the lap,” said Gordon, who will be making his sixth front row start at TMS, including four of the last five races . “With the wind gusts and the way it was, I played it a little bit conservative to get back to the throttle in (Turns) 3 and 4. We’d been fighting a little bit of a push and it felt like the wind was contributing to it. So we flew through (Turns) 1 and 2 and still put a really solid lap down. So I am pretty pleased to be on the outside of the front row.”
Matt Kenseth, winner here in 2002, will start third in the No. 17 DeWalt Ford Fusion after a lap at 189.954 mph. He will be joined by Roush Fenway Racing teammate David Ragan, driver of the No. 6 UPS Ford, who hot-lapped at 189.934 mph.
Carl Edwards, who swept both Cup events at TMS last season, will attempt to nail down an unprecedented third consecutive victory here from the 13th position. Edwards qualified the No. 99 Aflac Ford, also fielded by Roush Fenway, at 189.175 mph.
Two-time Cup champion and team-owner Tony Stewart qualified his No. 14 Old Spice/Office Depot Chevy seventh for Stewart-Haas Racing at 189.807 mph. Three-time and reigning Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, winner of last Sunday’s short-track event at Martinsville Speedway, will start ninth after a lap at 189.421 mph in the No. 48 Kobalt Tools Chevy fielded by Hendrick Motorsports.
Two-time TMS race-winner Jeff Burton will start 15th after lapping at 189.122 mph in the No. 31 Caterpillar Chevy fielded by Richard Childress Racing. And fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr., who scored his first Cup victory here in 2000, will roll off 20th after a lap at 188.745 mph in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 88 AMP Energy/National Guard Impala SS.
Drivers failing to make the 43-car field were Joe Nemechek, rookie Scott Speed, Jeremy Mayfield, Todd Bodine and Scott Riggs.
Reutimann praised crew chief Rodney Childers for giving him a hot rod that was fast from the moment it was unloaded. “At the end of the day, it goes to my team,” said Reutimann, 39, son of East Coast racing legend Emil “Buzzie” Reutimann. “Rodney Childers is making a phenomenal difference with our team. I’m proud of what I’m seeing and we’re having a lot of fun right now.
“We have a little bit of work to do (Saturday), but I’m confident that we’ll have a pretty good piece on Sunday.”
The starting lineup for Sunday’s Samsung 500 Sprint Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway”
- David Reutimann, No. 00 Toyota
- Jeff Gordon, No. 24 Chevrolet
- Matt Kenseth, No. 17 Ford
- David Ragan, No. 6 Ford
- Paul Menard, No. 98 Ford
- Kasey Kahne, No. 9 Dodge
- Tony Stewart, No. 14 Chevrolet
- Kyle Busch, No. 18 Toyota
- Jimmie Johnson, No. 48 Chevrolet
- Joey Logano, No. 20 Toyota
- Marcos Ambros, No. 47 Toyota
- Sam Hornish Jr., No. 77 Dodge
- Carl Edwards, No. 99 Ford
- Greg Biffle, No. 16 Ford
- Jeff Burton, No. 31 Chevrolet
- Juan Pablo Motoya, No. 42 Chevrolet
- Kevin Harvick, No. 29 Chervolet
- Brian Vickers, No. 83 Toyota
- Clint Bowyer, No. 33 Chevrolet
- Dale Earnhardt Jr., No. 88 Chevrolet
- Ryan Newman, No. 39 Chevrolet
- Denny Hamlin, No. 11 Toyota
- Mark Martin, No. 5 Chevrolet
- Bobby Labonte, No. 96 Ford
- A.J. Allmendinger, No. 44 Dodge
- John Andretti, No. 34 Chevrolet
- Mike Bliss, No. 09 Dodge
- Kurt Busch, No. 2 Dodge
- Robby Gordon, No. 7 Toyota
- David Gilliland, No. 171 Chevrolet
- Martin Truex Jr., No. 1 Chevrolet
- David Stremme, No. 12 Dodge
- Regan Smith, No. 78 Chevrolet
- Michael Waltrip, No. 55 Toyota
- Casey Mears, No. 07 Chevrolet
- Jamie McMurray, No. 26 Ford
- Bill Elliott, No. 21 Ford
- Reed Sorenson, No. 43 Dodge
- Max Papis, No. 113 Toyota
- Brad Keselowski, No. 25 Chevrolet
- Aric Almirola, No. 8 Chevrolet
- Elliott Sadler, No. 19 Dodge
- Dave Blaney, No. 66 Toyota.