CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann is no stranger to upstate New York. Early in his career, the Zephyrhills, Fla. native spent years racing on the Empire State’s dirt tracks in Weedsport, Canandaigua, Rolling Wheels and The Syracuse Mile. Reutimann hasn’t lost touch with the area. He still spends days at Watkins Glen International under the tutelage of fellow racer Michael McDowell. The pair drive a variety of racecars perfecting Reutimann’s road course skills in preparation for the Sprint Cup Series annual visit to The Glen.
WHAT WERE YOUR BIG TAKEAWAYS WHEN TESTING AT WATKINS GLEN?: “We went up to Watkins Glen and ran the driving school cars to work on racing lines and braking areas and things like that. Michael (McDowell) is a great guy with a ton of patience thankfully and he has helped me out tremendously – he has definitely helped out program, but we’ve still got some ground to cover, but it’s been a good fit so far and we are getting better each time we visit a road course. I think we’ve been able to get as many of the big things as we can as far as some of the road course fundamentals, now we are in a place where we aren’t cutting off seconds per lap, but maybe a tenth here or a tenth there. Michael has really been able to help my technique out, because before I met him I didn’t really have any technique at all. Mike really works hard and he’s definitely made it better. He gives a lot of good information and makes you focus and work on a lot of different areas that you need help in. He is a good teacher and it’s been helpful.”
DO YOU ENJOY VISITING WATKINS GLEN MORE THAN YOU DO SONOMA? “Yeah, probably so. I mean, both are great racetracks, but I enjoy going to Watkins Glen just a bit more. Watkins Glen is just a little faster. It’s a little more of a thrash kind of deal – although all road courses are technical, but it is faster and just overall I seem to like it a little bit better. I’m still not a huge fan of it, but I like it better than I do Sonoma.”
IS THERE ANY PART OF ROAD RACING THAT YOU ARE STARTING TO ENJOY? “No, not really. I still don’t enjoy it at all, but I’m trying real hard.”
ON RACING IN UPSTATE NEW YORK BEFORE HE MADE IT TO NASCAR: “I raced a around Watkins Glen when I was younger at places like Weedsport and Canandaigua, Rolling Wheels and The Syracuse Mile. I enjoyed racing up there and the racetracks. I spent about three years up there racing myself. I never really stayed up there long term and certainly didn’t spend as much time in that area as my Dad did. I didn’t have nearly the success he did either.”