Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 00 car was making headlines at the qualifying session for the 2008 edition of the Samsung 500 not for a good run, but for the horrific wreck that sent driver Michael McDowell barrel rolling eight times down the two-and-a-half story banking of Texas Motor Speedway’s turns one and two.
At Friday’s qualifying for this year’s Samsung 500, the No. 00 was making headlines again, this time for driver David Reutimann’s pole-winning lap.
“Franchise” as Reutimann’s team has come to call him, [it’s even printed on his car over the window] earned his second career Sprint Cup pole Friday. It’s his fourth top 10 start of 2009, a marked changed for a team that just two years ago, didn’t even make this race.
“People tend to forget that it wasn’t that long ago that we were struggling just to make races,” Reutimann said. “You work so hard to try to get your organization to where you don’t have to worry about just making races and going in there and getting poles shows you’re doing what you’re supposed to do.”
From McDowell’s wreck last year to sitting on the pole, “that kind of puts an exclamation mark on how things have changed,” Reutimann said.
Jeff Gordon will join Reutimann on the front row, where his car will start second. Gordon has had an up-and-down relationship with TMS, it’s one of only two tracks where he hasn’t won, and the only track where he has two 43rd place finishes. It’s Gordon’s fifth top-ten start of the year.