RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY STILL HAS SENTIMENTAL VALUE TO REUTIMANN RICHMOND, Va. (September 5, 2007) -- David Reutimann reflects on his big break at Richmond International Raceway six years ago as prepares to race the No. 00 BURGER KINGÂ®...
RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY STILL HAS SENTIMENTAL VALUE TO REUTIMANN
RICHMOND, Va. (September 5, 2007) -- David Reutimann reflects on his big break at Richmond International Raceway six years ago as prepares to race the No. 00 BURGER KING® Toyota Camry in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series 400-lap event this Saturday night.
"Richmond is where I got my big break thanks to a childhood friend," Reutimann said. "Brian Pattie, who worked for Joe Nemechek at the time, had a lot of faith in me and kept pushing Joe to give me a shot. Brian and I worked together growing up. He was my crew chief when I drove dirt Late Models and we won a lot of races together. I was the only one that had a driver's license at the time. Thanks to Brian's constant pushing, Joe let me test some for his team. He finally allowed me to race a Busch car at Richmond in 2002. We had a respectable finish (16th), but I had to be careful because we only had one car and one motor. After that, Joe put more deals together for me. That's how it all started at this level."
Brian Pattie, who is a crew chief at Chip Ganassi Racing, was glad to return a favor to Reutimann.
"David's cousin (Shawn Reutimann) approached me about working on David's dirt cars after school when I was in seventh grade," Pattie said. "In the beginning at Reutimann Racing, I swept floors and then worked my way up to building dirt cars. I was a self taught fabricator. After high school and winning a lot of races with David, I went to work for Joe Nemechek at NEMCO Motorsports. David wanted to buy a Busch car from us for one race and I convinced Joe it was a good deal. As his crew chief, he did everything he was supposed to do in that race and that led to more races for him with us. He's a very talented driver, easy to work with and he listens. David and I have always been best friends and have always been about winning races. I look forward to seeing him at Richmond."
Earlier this season at RIR, Reutimann qualified 14th and finished 29th behind the wheel of the No. 00 Domino's Toyota Camry. He also finished ninth in the NASCAR Busch Series event that same weekend.
"We learned a lot from our struggles there earlier this season," Reutimann said. "It was one of the earlier (Car of Tomorrow) races and we were disappointed with our finish. Our COT program has strengthened since then and we are encouraged about our possibilities this weekend."
Last weekend, Reutimann led his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series race at California Speedway. A top-10 effort was spoiled abruptly as Reutimann was collected in an accident.
"We were having a good race running in the top-10 and the BURGER KING® Toyota Camry team was having excellent pit stops," said Reutimann, who finished in 32nd-place. "It was a shame we were caught up in an accident. I haven't seen the replay, but I heard the No. 24 car (Jeff Gordon) got loose and got into the No. 36 car (Jeremy Mayfield), which in turn ran into our BURGER KING® Toyota Camry. That kind of thing happens when you are tightly packed in together after a restart and you are trying to make things happen. That is why there is the old saying that cautions breed cautions. We're hoping for better luck in Richmond."