Reutimann, Banking on Superseding Last Effort at Michigan
BROOKLYN, MI (July 27, 2004) -- After garnering a pair of ninth-place finishes in his last two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series outings, David Reutimann's confident he's capable of topping his prior Busch success in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra at the two-mile Michigan International Speedway oval.
"In the past two events, we've had better trucks than where we finished," said Reutimann. "I feel like we should have had Top-5 finishes in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota our last two times out, but we had issues at Kentucky and troubles at Gateway. Even though we had problems at Gateway, it felt really good to lead laps again. It gives us a boost of confidence heading into Michigan where I ran well at in a Busch car last season. I'm excited about going back and our chances to have a good finish."
Starting from the outside pole in the No. 88 NEMCO Motorsports Busch Series entry last year, David Reutimann finished sixth in his first attempt at Michigan.
"After testing at Michigan, I had a solid run and a Top-10 finish in Joe Nemechek's No. 88 Busch car," said Reutimann. "The race was shortened due to rain, but we collected a hard fought Top-10 finish."
Reutimann's not the only one at Darrell Waltrip Motorsports that has reaped benefits at the two-mile oval. Team Manager Bobby Kennedy was the winning Busch Series crew chief at Michigan with driver Michael Waltrip in 2002.
"We had a great car and a great motor," said Kennedy. "To get around Michigan it takes a lot of motor and a good aero package. Drafting will come into play since the first time this year at Daytona. I think David will do a heck of a job in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra at Michigan. He has no problem with holding it wide open. He qualified well there last year and finished in the Top-10. Actually, that race ended up being shortened by rain, which affected the outcome. A lot of people were getting ready to pit. We had pitted as soon as we had got into our window. Everybody else was going to have to pit. We would've had better finish if circumstances were different."
"Obviously, it helps that Kennedy has won a Busch race at Michigan before," said Reutimann. "The fact that he's won there gets us pumped up. It's just unfortunate that 100% doesn't transfer over from the NASCAR Busch Series to the Craftsman Truck Series."
Entering Michigan, the Raybestos Rookie points leader has one Bud Pole Award, two Top-5s and six Top-10s and occupies 13th-place in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings.
"I really see us getting more consistent from here on out," said Reutimann. "I see us having better finishes more often. We've got some good tracks coming up for us that I really like. I think the Toyota program is going to get even stronger. That's how I see things going and I hope that's the way things end up for us."
Live coverage of the Line-X Spray-on Bedliners 200 at Michigan International Speedway airs Saturday, July 31st at 1:00 PM EDT live on SPEED Channel. The 100-lap (200-mile) event at the two-mile Michigan oval will be broadcast live on MRN Radio.