HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. – David Reutimann and the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper team finished 36th at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway on Saturday night. After racing inside the top 25 most of the night, Reutimann got caught up in an accident with less than 40 laps remaining in the 64th annual Bojangles’ Southern 500.
Darlington Raceway, nicknamed “The Lady in Black,” has earned its nickname for being both physically and mentally demanding on drivers, as well as its unforgiving nature. Recognized as one of the toughest races on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ 36-race schedule, teams work hard to prepare for 500 miles at the South Carolina speedway. The No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper team was no different logging over 50 laps in the two practice sessions on Friday afternoon. Reutimann secured the 33rd starting position for Saturday night’s race, and the team knew they would need to stay focused and avoid earning the infamous “Darlington stripe.”
When the green flag waved, the BK Racing team found the set up on the No. 83 Camry to be a bit too loose. The Burger King / Dr. Pepper team worked carefully during each pit stop to adjust the balance of their Toyota, and dial in the car as Reutimann needed. By the third run of the night, Reutimann was very happy with his car and picking up positions on the track. Solidly racing inside the top 25, the BK Racing team felt they were headed for a solid finish. However, with less than 40 laps remaining in the 64th annual Southern 500, Reutimann got caught up in a wreck entering turn one. Another competitor lost control of their car entering the corner and slid up the track directly in front of Reutimann. Without any time to react or room to escape, Reutimann drove into the other competitor and sustained race-ending damage to the No. 83 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota. When the checkered flag waved, Reutimann was credited with a 36th-place finish.
“I can’t thank my Burger King / Dr. Pepper team enough for all the hard work they put into preparing for Darlington Raceway this weekend,” commented Reutimann. “They built a great Toyota Camry and did a great job on pit road all night. It’s really unfortunate that we were caught up in that wreck, but there was nothing I could do to avoid it. I’m really looking forward to getting to Charlotte Motor Speedway this week, and I’m looking forward to starting our preparation for the Coca-Cola 600 two weeks from now. Our intermediate track program keeps getting better week after week, and I’m looking forward to putting it to the test over the next two weeks.”
With many of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations based in Charlotte, N.C. region, the teams in the highest level of stock car racing will compete in their own backyard at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway for the next two weeks. The Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star Race, both exhibition events, will take place on Saturday, May 18. Fans can tune in on SPEED on Friday afternoon for practice (12 p.m. EDT and 1:30 p.m. EDT) and qualifying (5 p.m. EDT and 6 p.m. EDT) for the two events. Live coverage of the Sprint Showdown and Sprint All-Star Race will air on SPEED, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio beginning at 7 p.m. EDT on Saturday, May 18.