David Reutimann's second-place finish at Bristol didn't pay the dividends in his fight to make the Chase that he would've hoped for. He only gained 10 points on the 12th spot in the standings as a result of his fifth top-five finish this season.
With only two races remaining until the Chase field is set, Reutimann is ready to get back on track at Atlanta this weekend and try to make up the 155-point deficit he faces in his effort to make his first career Chase appearance.
Reutimann is optimistic about his chances of chipping away at the standings with a return to a night race on a 1.54-mile circuit.
"I feel like at the fall night race last year we had a really strong run and we felt like we found some things at that point. Rodney (Childers) and the guys came up with some stuff that really seemed to work well there," Reutimann said. "I just think that we continue to build each time we go there."
The No. 00 team brought home a fourth-place finish in Atlanta last year, and had a strong car in the spring race this year that ran within the top 10 early in the race before being sidelined by mechanical issue.
Reutimann and his team have been consistently strong on 1.5-mile tracks over the last few years. In the last 12 races on 1.5-mile race tracks, which includes Atlanta, Reutimann has captured both of his career NASCAR Sprint Cup victories, posted four top fives, five top 10s and nine top 15s and has led 60 laps.
"I think Rodney (Childers) and the guys, (engineer) Dax (Gerringer) and the guys, have a really good feel for what makes our cars good at those places," Reutimann said of his team's 1.5-mile effort. "I also just like the 1.5-mile racetracks as a driver, so if you combine all that stuff I think it just ends up being a better fit for us."
Reutimann is also looking forward to running a night-race this weekend. He owns top-15 finishes at each of the six 2010 races held under the lights.
"Night races are just a whole different feel. They're just a whole different vibe. It almost takes you back to when you started out racing," Reutimann said. "Almost all of us, at least at one time or another, raced local short tracks on Friday or Saturday nights. It almost takes you back to having that same feel. That same vibe that I did when I was growing up. I think that's one of the things that I like so much about it. It takes me back to my earlier days of racing."
Saturday night's Emory Healthcare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway is set for a 7:30 p.m. green flag.