HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – David Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota team finished 41st at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway on Sunday afternoon after being involved in “the big one” on lap 42. Involved in the accident entering turn one, Reutimann’s Camry suffered extensive damage and the BK Racing team was forced to retire from the Aaron’s 499.
Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota team knew they were facing a challenging weekend when they looked at the weather forecast for Talladega, Ala. The team realized there was a realistic chance that qualifying would be cancelled and the field would be set by the first practice session. As a result, all 44 teams attempting to make the race worked hard to post a fast lap in the 45-minute practice. As expected, qualifying was cancelled on Saturday afternoon and Reutimann was slated to start the 188-lap race from the 35th position.
At a track where anything can happen, the BK Racing team worked hard throughout the weekend to make sure their No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota would race well in the draft. As the green flag waved, Reutimann was able to quickly move toward the front of the field and raced inside the top 10. With a fast car, the BK Racing team knew their biggest challenge would be running a clean race.
As two competitors touched exiting the tri-oval on lap 42, chaos ensued at the front of the field. With cars sent spinning across the track, drivers scrambled to avoid the mayhem. Running in the upper groove and nearly clear of the incident, Reutimann’s rear quarter panel was tagged by a car sliding up the race surface. The contact sent Reutimann sideways and caused the right rear of the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Camry to make contact with the outside retaining wall before sliding down the track to sustain additional damage to the front end of his car. Reutimann was able to drive the No. 83 Toyota into the garage and the BK Racing team worked diligently to repair their Camry. As the team assessed their car, they noticed damage to the engine of the Burger King / Dr. Pepper machine, which forced them to retire from the event.
“I’m really disappointed that we got caught up in an accident this afternoon,” commented Reutimann. “We almost cleared the accident, but I got turned around at the last second and at that point there was nothing I could do. Our No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry was a really strong car; I had guys willing to work with me and I was able to run wherever I needed. Unfortunately, we got caught up in the product of superspeedway racing. I’m looking forward to rebounding next weekend at Darlington Raceway.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series will make its annual trip to the historic Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Saturday, May 11. Fans can tune in on SPEED on Friday, May 10 at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. EDT for practice from the legendary speedway. Qualifying to set the 43-car field will be held on Friday afternoon at 5 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast on SPEED. Live coverage of the Bojangles’ Southern 500 will air on FOX, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio at 6:45 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 11.