Reutimann Wins Rain-Interrupted Coca Cola 600

David Reutimann scored his first ever Sprint Cup win on Monday, at the end of the four-time rain interrupted Coca Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The fans had to wait more than six and a half hours to finally see the Michael Waltrip Racing driver cross the finish line, as the race was also red-flagged 3 times during the course of action.

When Reutimanm got to the chequered flag in first place it wasn't just a maiden Sprint Cup win for him, but also for Michael Waltrip as team boss, as this was MWR's first Sprint success in its 3 years of existence.

And it took an extraordinary decision from the MWR pits to scores this extraordinary result, as Reutimann's win was the result of both team strategy and God given luck. It was on lap 221 that rain started to pour down on the Lowe's Motor Speedway for the 4th time on Monday and most of the leaders (including first placed Kyle Busch), decided to stop for refuel. Reutimann, Ryan Newman and Robby Gordon were the only drivers who decided to stay on the track.

As simple the reason, as risky. If the rain had intensified in the following laps, NASCAR officials would have had to call it a day, as the drivers had already completed half the distance (the race was scheduled for 400 laps). The trio in front of the field were eventually right, as the downpour left the series' officials no other option but to stop the race.

However, that didn't happen right away, but after almost 2 hours of waiting for the rain to go away. The wait was worthwhile for Reutimann, though, as he congratulated his crew for making the right call before the 6th caution of the day.

You never dream about winning a rain-delayed race. But I'm proud of my guys and (crew-chief) Rodney Childers made a great call. He said 'OK man, we're going to stay out, we're going to gamble here a little bit and see what happens. He won us the race, it was the right call,” said an overenthusiastic Reutimann in the victory lane.

The top 5 was completed by Carl Edwards and a frustrated Brian Vickers, who felt he drove the car to beat on Monday. Kyle Busch, however, had to settle for 6th place at the chequered flag, despite leading most of the 221 laps of action (173). He was followed by last year's winner of the event Kasey Kahne, Juan Pablo Montoya, rookie Joey Logano and Matt Kenseth.

Hendrick Motorsports duo Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon finished the Coca Cola 600 in 13th and 14th respectively, but the latter extended his lead to Tony Stewart in the point standings thanks to finishing ahead of his nearest rivals for the Sprint Cup lead. He is now 44 points clear of Stewart and 115 ahead of Kurt Busch.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories