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Reutimann's engine alters fate of many at NHMS

July 16, 2012, ,

David Reutimann didn't know it when the green dropped on the LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last Sunday, but he would have a major impact on who won the race and how the final laps would play out.

Reutimann has had his share of engine problems this season -- New Hampshire marks the fourth DNF due to an engine this season -- but none has been bigger than at the Magic Mile.

On Lap 233, Reutimann's No. 10 Chevrolet went up in a continuous stream of white smoke, leaving a trail of fluid behind him bringing out the race's third and final caution. Usually, this not a big deal. But the lap before, Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson were running second and third, respectively, when they hit pit road for a green-flag stop. Both drivers fell a lap down, although Johnson was able to get his lap back with the free pass and Busch with the wave-around.

But those two weren't the only drivers affected.

Denny Hamlin dominated all afternoon and had a substantial four-plus second lead when the yellow came out. Not only did the caution wipe out Hamlin's lead, miscommunication before coming in on this final stop dropped Hamlin from first to 13th.

The lap before Reutimann's engine expired, Hamlin, Busch and Johnson were running first, second and third. When the checkered flew 68 laps later, Hamlin was second, Johnson was seventh and Busch was 16th.

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