Engine Woes Mar Tommy Baldwin Racing’s Race at Phoenix

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Blaney finished 23rd in the No. 36 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet Chevrolet; Reutimann finished 36th in the No. 10 Accell Construction Chevrolet

AVONDALE, ARIZ. (March 5, 2012) – Tommy Baldwin Racing looked to ride the momentum of a solid finish and good exposure in Daytona with two entries this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway. David Reutimann made his team debut in the No. 10 Accell Construction Chevrolet. He started 32nd and drove into the top-25 before an engine failure relegated the team to a 36th-place finish. Dave Blaney started 23rd, and the No. 36 Ollie’s Bargain Outlet team worked on the Chevrolet throughout the day. The team finished 23rd in the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

David Reutimann – No. 10 Accell Construction Chevrolet
Locked into the show, the No. 10 Accell Construction team focused on race runs during both practice sessions, and Reutimann posted the 34th and 22nd-fastest laps in his first two practices with TBR. The Zephyrhills, Fla., native qualified 32nd for the Subway Fresh Fit 500.

By the first caution on lap 18, Reutimann drove the No. 10 Accell Construction Chevrolet to the 31st position and radioed to the crew that the car was loose on entry, plowing on exit and needed to rotate in the center better. The team changed four tires and made a spring rubber adjustment. The changes helped the Chevrolet’s handling, and Reutimann raced into the 26th position by the second caution of the day on lap 61. The crew made another four-tire stop and spring rubber adjustment.

The field went back to green flag racing on lap 65 with the No. 10 in the 28th spot. As he drove into the top-25 on lap 76, Reutimann radioed that the exit of the turn was better but he was still loose on entry.

A caution for an incident with the No. 13 car in turn two allowed Reutimann to drive down pit road for four tires, fuel and air pressure and wedge adjustments. Twelve laps later, a three-car incident brought out the caution with the Accell Construction Chevrolet in the 22nd position. The team made another four-tire pit stop with an air pressure and wedge adjustment to help the No. 10 Chevrolet on entry.

As green-flag pit stops started on lap 181, Reutimann moved into fifth place before pitting on lap 194. He returned to the track in the 25th position, one lap down. A lap 229-debris caution allowed the team to stay out for the wave around. The No. 10 Accell Construction Chevrolet restarted on the lead lap in the 22nd position. By lap 244, Reutimann radioed that the car was smoking. He brought the Chevrolet down pit road to assess where the fluid was leaking.

The team found a terminal issue in the engine. The No. 10 Accell Construction Chevrolet finished 36th in Reutimann’s debut. The No. 10 team is now 42nd in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) Owner Points. They are one point behind the No. 98 in 41st, five points ahead of the No. 21 in 43rd and eight points outside of the top-35. Reutimann is 29th in NSCS Driver Points. He is one point behind Terry Labonte in 28th and one point ahead of Tony Raines in 30th.

“I’m disappointed,” explained Reutimann. “I felt like we had an okay car and were making it better throughout the race. It looked like we were going to have a decent finish, but we had a mechanical issue at the end of the day. I felt like we had things going in the right direction, but it didn’t work out. Our focus right now is getting in the top-35, so we don’t have any issues qualifying later in the season. We’ll go into Vegas and try to make up the points we lost this week.”

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