Fontana: David Reutimann preview

FONTANA, CA (September 28, 2004) - Returning to California Speedway for the second time this season and the third time in his career, David Reutimann's NASCAR Busch Series experience is pivotal for his success in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota ...

FONTANA, CA (September 28, 2004) - Returning to California Speedway for the second time this season and the third time in his career, David Reutimann's NASCAR Busch Series experience is pivotal for his success in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra at the two-mile tri-oval for the American Wheels 200.

"I feel really good about our chances in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota at California," said Reutimann. "I've raced there a couple times in a Busch car. Toyota is making really good horsepower and I think we will run really well."

"California is a track similar to Michigan," continued Reutimann. "We did struggle at Michigan, but we know why we struggled. We tried something that we felt would work, but as the race progressed we found out that the truck didn't like it that well. Sometimes you go to races and you don't run as well as you want to and you don't know why. Then, there's sometimes you go to races and you know why."

On Reutimann's initial outing at California, he qualified fourth garnering an impressive 11th-place finish behind the wheel of the No. 87 entry. It was his ninth Busch Series career start.

"The first time I competed at California, we finished 11th said Reutimann. "The first part of the race I was 35th or so. Actually, I came in and made a few pit stops. We got the car pretty good and raced our way almost into the Top-10. It was a good feeling to be able to finish decent with our first time being there. I had never tested there before either."

Overcoming a flat tire on his No. 87 machine last May, Reutimann finished 15th at the tri-oval.

"We went there in a Busch car this year and we had some tire problems early on," said Reutimann, who started 13th. "We cut down a tire and had to come in under green and that hurt us pretty bad. We salvaged a Top-15 finish. Having visited California twice already in a Busch car helps our chances in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra."

With half of the tracks new to Reutimann this season, the Raybestos Rookie points leader relies heavily on Crew Chief Jason Overstreet, Team Manager Bobby Kennedy and the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team. Kennedy, former crew chief of the No. 99 Busch car, guided Michael Waltrip to a second-place finish last season at California.

"I'm ready for California," said Reutimann. "Bobby had a Top-5 finish last year there with Michael. This Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team has a lot of experience. As I've said before, I tend to be a little nervous when we go to places we've really never been. I'm really confident when we go to places like California that we've all been to."

Unlike Las Vegas last Saturday, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will have final practice after qualifying at California, which suits Reutimann, who finished 17th in the most recent NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event.

"We will have final practice, which is good for me because we will have more time on the track," said Reutimann. "It will give the guys another opportunity to work on the truck. I'll be the first to admit that there have been some times this year where if we didn't have final practice, it hurt us. I'm glad we have final practice at California and I'll be looking forward to the extra track time."

Live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at California Speedway is scheduled to air Saturday, October 2nd at 10 p.m. EDT live on SPEED Channel. The 100-lap event will be broadcast on MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Michael Waltrip , David Reutimann , Bobby Kennedy