Reutimann brings Waltrip team back

FORT WORTH, Texas --- David Reutimann has taken Michael Waltrip Racing from a mangled mess at Texas to the front of the field.


Reutimann earned the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the 11/2-mile, high-banked Texas Motor Speedway with a lap of 190.517 mph on Friday.

"I guess that puts an exclamation mark on just how things have changed," said Reutimann, driving the No. 00 Toyota owned by Waltrip.

A year ago, the No. 00 was driven in Texas qualifying by Michael McDowell, who escaped unscathed from a horrific, tumbling crash when he slammed into the wall and rolled at least eight times before coming to a rest at the bottom of the track.

Two years ago, the first for Waltrip's team, Reutimann didn't get a chance to race at Texas after qualifying was canceled because of severe weather. The team didn't have enough points to get into the field.

"I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a miserable time in my life and we actually had a very good car," Reutimann said. "People tend to forget that it wasn't that long ago when we were struggling to absolutely make races. ... Going out there and getting poles shows that you're doing what you're supposed to do, and I think about those times often."

Reutimann, 11th in season points, won his only other pole in last season's finale at Homestead. Waltrip will start 34th Sunday in the Samsung 500.

Carl Edwards, who won both Texas races last year to become the track's first three-time winner, qualified 13th.

Season points leader Jeff Gordon will start his Chevrolet on the outside of front row after a qualifying lap of 190.194 mph on a windy day. Texas is one of two active tracks where the four-time Cup champion with 81 race victories has never won.

Matt Kenseth will start third, followed by David Ragan, Paul Menard and Kasey Kahne.

Kyle Busch, who had a testy radio exchange with owner Roger Penske last week in Martinsville, finished eighth at 189.427 mph.

Coming off pit row after a stop last week, Busch bluntly told his crew on the radio that a "stupid adjustment" had been made and that there was no way to compete for the victory.

Penske responded by telling him to do his best and that he would be fine. But that only led to a testy exchange between driver and owner.

"It's the most frustrating thing in the world to think that you think that we're better than we are," Busch said.

"If you don't blow yourself up, we'd be a lot better," Penske said, referring to the driver's mental approach and not the car. "So let's get serious here, OK? You understand?"

Busch's response: "10-4, dude. 10-4."

On Friday, Busch said he and Penske "are definitely on the same page, and I have the utmost respect for him. In the heat of battle, sometimes things are said that aren't exactly the right thing to say. ... That's behind us."

Gordon, who drives for Rick Hendrick, said he has never had such an exchange with a car owner.

"Can't say I ever called him dude. Just boss," Gordon said. "Yes sir, boss. Whatever you say, boss. Yep. Gotcha. 10-4, boss."

At Texas Motor Speedway

Fort Worth, Texas

Lap length: 1.5 miles

(Car number in parentheses)

1. (00) David Reutimann, Toyota, 190.517.

2. (24) Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 190.194.

3. (17) Matt Kenseth, Ford, 189.954.

4. (6) David Ragan, Ford, 189.934.

5. (98) Paul Menard, Ford, 189.907.

6. (9) Kasey Kahne, Dodge, 189.9.

7. (14) Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 189.807.

8. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 189.427.

9. (48) Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 189.421.

10. (20) Joey Logano, Toyota, 189.268.

11. (47) Marcos Ambrose, Toyota, 189.221.

12. (77) Sam Hornish Jr., Dodge, 189.215.

13. (99) Carl Edwards, Ford, 189.175.

14. (16) Greg Biffle, Ford, 189.155.

15. (31) Jeff Burton, Chevrolet, 189.122.

16. (42) Juan Pablo Montoya, Chevrolet, 188.857.

17. (29) Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 188.831.

18. (83) Brian Vickers, Toyota, 188.778.

19. (33) Clint Bowyer, Chevrolet, 188.772.

20. (88) Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 188.745.

21. (39) Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 188.627.

22. (11) Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 188.541.

23. (5) Mark Martin, Chevrolet, 188.515.

24. (96) Bobby Labonte, Ford, 188.469.

25. (44) AJ Allmendinger, Dodge, 188.298.

26. (34) John Andretti, Chevrolet, 188.291.

27. (09) Mike Bliss, Dodge, 188.009.

28. (2) Kurt Busch, Dodge, 187.95.

29. (7) Robby Gordon, Toyota, 187.898.

30. (71) David Gilliland, Chevrolet, 187.833.

31. (1) Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 187.682.

32. (12) David Stremme, Dodge, 187.493.

33. (78) Regan Smith, Chevrolet, 187.487.

34. (55) Michael Waltrip, Toyota, 187.305.

35. (07) Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 187.279.

36. (26) Jamie McMurray, Ford, 187.24.

37. (21) Bill Elliott, Ford, 187.039.

38. (43) Reed Sorenson, Dodge, 186.948.

39. (13) Max Papis, Toyota, 186.496.

40. (25) Brad Keselowski, Chevrolet, 186.355.

41. (8) Aric Almirola, Chevrolet, 186.156.

42. (19) Elliott Sadler, Dodge, Owner Points.

43. (66) Dave Blaney, Toyota, 186.111.

Failed to Qualify

44. (87) Joe Nemechek, Toyota, 186.034.

45. (82) Scott Speed, Toyota, 185.79.

46. (41) Jeremy Mayfield, Toyota, 185.344.

47. (64) Todd Bodine, Toyota, 184.546.

48. (36) Scott Riggs, Toyota, 183.974.



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