Buzzie Reutimann In Accident... Robie Hurt By Lapped Traffic
A torrential downpour just after Southeast qualifying, along with a month's worth of heavy rain in the area, made for some water seepage issues all day long at South Boston. At one point after a thunderstorm moved through the area, over 13 different areas of water seepages could be seen from the stands.
Many of the track's local racers didn't want to even compete on the track that night. Only a handful competed in the first race after three-consecutive local late model drivers spun during their qualifying runs.
Buzzie briefly spent some time in the hospital. He continued to experienced pain in his ribs and difficulty breathing. He's also taking antibiotics for fluid in his lungs, although he believes the main problem is a rib fracture that didn't show up on X-rays
David, who said the car was brand new, was terrified when he got to his father's side.
"I had put a bottle inside the car and forgot to take it out before he went out," said David. "When I got to the car, the bottle had spilled and the red liquid was over the inside of the car. I almost passed out when I saw it. I was freaking out, even though he didn't appear to be in much pain."
WATER SEEPAGES A PROBLEM ALL DAY LONG
THE ELDER REUTIMANN MISSING FROM SOBO
Buzzie Reutimann wasn't in attendance at South Boston Speedway. It was weird to see his David Reutimann competing South Boston Speedway without father's presence.
Come to find out that Buzzie was involved in a IMCA modified crash at East Bay Raceway on May 22. Buzzie suffered a broken and badly cut right leg when a piece holding the driveshaft in place on the car snapped, causing part of the universal joint to penetrate the driver's compartment.
"I've got to get rested up and feeling better, because we're going to Nashville with the All-Pro [Southeast series] car,'' Buzzie told a local Florida newspaper. ``We've never won on a superspeedway, but we've done some things to the car to make it faster, so we're looking forward to it.''
The water coming out of the track played havoc with the day's schedule.
Florida legend Buzzie Reutimann is a regular in his son David's pits.
"I think we were better than the third-place car in front of us," said Robie, who finished fourth. "I don't know if we would have had anything for Fultz and Bigley or not. We had a lot better car than the race showed. With the inversion putting us back in sixth, we really had to try and fight our way up.
"We got caught up by some of the lapped cars and they just wouldn't get out of the way. I guess you have to be a little more aggressive. We got taken advantage of by them a few times.
"Near the end of the run, I got up underneath John Boy near the end and we rubbed a little bit. Then we rubbed again. Then we rubbed some more going down the backstretch which knocked out the tow-in a little more than it was already knocked in when I got into it with one of the lapped car. We finally got by him and finished fourth. Not too bad I guess. It is hard to get up there in these really short races."
HOGAN / REUTIMANN GET TOGETHER EARLY
As Jason Hogan was moving up through the field, and front row starter David Reutimann was falling back, the two found themselves battling for several laps. Hogan, who appeared to be just a bit faster than Reutimann, finally got into David just a little too much, spinning the #00 Pennzoil car around in a complete 360 without causing a caution.
"I got in the water coming up off of two when we were making a mock qualifying run and spun down the backstretch," said Flutz. "Luckily, I didn't hit anything. This is a great track, but it had a lot of water coming out of it tonight. You hit those patches and it just makes your car really loose. If you really arced into the corner, you were going to hit a lot of the water that was coming out of the track. It really made it a driver's track during the race."
POLE SITTER INVERTS TO SIXTH
Jarod Robie earned his first career Bud Pole in Southeast Series competition, but thanks to a new rule in the SES this year, he started the race in sixth spot. This year, the series inverts the top six, eight or 10 cars, depending on a pill picked out of a hat by the pole sitter.
Eventual race winner Jeff Fultz walks the track where he spun ealier in the day.
The problems even got to eventual winner Jeff Fultz, who spun his car in some water during the afternoon practice.
"What can you do when you get under someone three or four times," said Hogan. "The first of the race, you just have to go because these are short races. I got up under him three or four time and got him sideways and let him go. Then I got him sideways again and let him go, but one time I got up under him to far I guess. That is just one of them racing deals."
Reutimann didn't have too many bad things to say about the incident. He was just biding his time early in the race.
"The biggest problem though was the panard bar bracket bolt worked loose. I felt something rattling around. By the time they could have fixed it, we would have gone many laps down. So we went out there and just rode around and hoped it didn't come loose completely.
"It wasn't too bad considering what we had to go through today. It was a good race weekend. There is nothing wrong with the car, just some minor cosmetic stuff. We got some real big accomplishment made today and I am proud of these guys."
REUTIMANN'S NIGHT GETS WORSE
If it wasn't bad enough that Reutimann's green-flag spin put him almost ¾-lap down, but as he was making his way back through the field, something quickly went wrong inside the engine compartment.
"Something in the valve train, probably camshaft related, broke," said Reutimann. "It was running along fine and it just up and quit. We jerked the distributor cap off and the rotor wasn't running any more, which basically means it was the camshaft or something in that region.
FROM ENGINE CHANGE TO TOP 10
Dusty Williams' day started out bad and appeared that it was about to get worse. But his Dixie Racing team stepped up to the plate, changed an engine between practice and qualifying after a valve problem, and got the car solidly up front for the race.
Williams stayed out of trouble, fought off a couple of other mechanical problems and finished eighth.
"I bounced off a few cars and the wall out there," said Williams.
"I don't know what happened there," commented Reutimann. "I was on the bottom of the race track there. I was going to have to go a while before my stuff got any good. He got into me and stayed in the gas and turned me around. It isn't a big deal. It didn't tear the car up or anything. No biggie. No harm no foul."
"BOY" ROOKIE DOES JUST FINE
"We had a better car than that," said rookie points leader John "Boy" Wilkinson, who finished fifth. "The lapped cars kept giving me fits. Every time we got he cleared of them, the leaders were a straightaway ahead of us already. We just didn't get a good opportunity to sit there and race with them like we needed too. Then a lapped car got into me and knocked the toe-in out. We were pretty much junk from there with five to go and the 89 car (Jarod Robie) got around me."
LAVENDER SAYS PRACTICE ONE LAP TOO LONG
Jody Lavender probably thought practice was just one lap too long. After finishing second in the season-opener in Greenville (SC), he was looking for another good run in South Boston.
But just as the red and black flags were being displayed to end practice, Lavender's car and slammed into the outside wall.
"We don't' know what happened there," said Lavender.
"Something just broke. It was just as I was going to take the flag to end practice and the car just nailed the wall. It did some pretty significant damage to the whole right front suspension of the car."
Lavender's team got the car repaired enough to make two laps at the beginning of the race, pull in and finsih last in 25th spot.