BUSCH: Reutimann reflects on Memphis win

David Reutimann earned his career-first NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) win at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday afternoon in the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing. Reutimann also won a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race...

David Reutimann earned his career-first NASCAR Busch Series (NBS) win at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday afternoon in the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing. Reutimann also won a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Nashville Superspeedway in 2005. The win marked the first win for Michael Waltrip Racing and second for Toyota in NBS competition. Reutimann has made 131 starts since the manufacturer joined the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 2004 (75 NCTS, 32 NBS and 24 NNCS). Reutimann currently sits second in the NBS point standings after 32 of 35 races this season.

David Reutimann, Michael Waltrip Racing quotes:

What happened when you returned from Memphis last night with your NNCS team? "It was fairly late last night when we got through tech inspection in Memphis and Michael (Waltrip) flew me back on his plane. We landed right over here (Tara Field) and our sponsor and his wife from Aaron's were standing there -- I thought, 'man, that's really nice that they made a special trip out here to see me get off the plane and congratulate me'. So I got out and walked up to him, we started talking and all of the sudden he backed away real quick. Then it sounded like a herd of cattle coming my way -- I turned to see my entire Cup team running at me and they had somehow secured bottles of champagne, for my Cup guys that's not much of a stretch I guess. They pretty much doused me on the runway. It was pretty neat to get off the plane after having such a great day in Memphis and then to have all my Cup guys there to see me. After having such a rough start to the weekend - - it was really cool. They made me a sign and everything -- I won't tell you what the sign said. It was pretty neat and it's something that I'll always remember -- it really caught me by surprise."

How does it feel to know that your ride is secure for next season? "It's huge because I've been in the situation where I haven't had a ride like a lot of guys are in right now. It's not a pleasant situation to be in -- it's nice to have things all signed up and done. There are a lot of drivers who I feel are pretty good that are out there looking for rides. To be secure and know what my future is, at least short term -- I feel really good about that. Hopefully a lot of those guys will land on their feet and get with a good organization where they can excel. I really feel for them because it hasn't been that long ago that I was in that same situation." How much did that win boost your confidence? "For a day it was really good. To come back here (Atlanta) and I'm not going to the drivers meeting or driver introductions -- that's difficult -- extremely difficult. When you want something as bad as I want to do this, being at the race track when you're not racing is probably one of the most difficult processes that you can go through. It felt good to win the race. It was good for Michael Waltrip Racing because sometimes you have to give them a little shot in the arm to show your guys that all their hard work will pay off. Hopefully that's part of what we did yesterday."

What were you thinking when you took the checkered flag? "I felt much like I did when I won my first truck race. I felt lighter all of the sudden -- like someone had taken all this weight off you and you could breathe again. I could jump around in victory lane and really my biggest concern in my life at that point was how long of a burnout I was going to do. It's great to be in that time and I wish I could be in that moment more often. But, there's always pressure and I put a lot of pressure on myself. I'm not going to lie, it felt great to stand out there last night and get sprayed with the beer and champagne later on -- it was pretty amazing."

What was it like being out there for that race? "You guys saw it -- it was pretty crazy. Just restart after restart after restart. You can never get a rhythm going. The team would ask me, 'how is your car?' I told them, 'I guess it's okay -- if we could run more than five laps at a time I could tell you'. It's just one of those races that you have every so often where you're amazed at the amount of yellows. After a while you just can't believe it and then at the end it gets frustrating. When we went into the green-white-checkered -- I don't even want to go there with you guys on that -- it was an emotional time already and I didn't even cue the microphone, but I was in the car yelling and bouncing around. You don't want that stuff when you have a half-straightaway lead and you know that all you have to do is make it to the white flag. Then all you have to do is make it around one more lap and a tidal wave or an earthquake could come at any moment and the race would be over right there. It just felt like we couldn't get there. But Mike Bliss ran me clean and really everybody that I raced around all day ran me real clean. When I got back in the pack some I thought I might be a perfect candidate for a yellow, but it turned out for the better and that was a blessing."

What does this win say about Michael Waltrip Racing? "It's no secret that we've had a tough year. This just goes to show because our Cup program has been getting stronger and our Busch program has been good all year and in contention to win. I feel like MWR is getting strong as it goes -- we still have more ground to cover, but I'm very proud that the people that are there have hung in there with us. They continue to build me very good race cars so we can continue to go out there and do things like we did yesterday -- I would like to do it more often."

-credit: toyota motorsports

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup , NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Michael Waltrip , Mike Bliss , David Reutimann
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing