17 NTN BEARINGS TOYOTA TEAM DRIVES HOME MESSAGE TO DARRELL WALTRIP MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 20, 2005) -- When Darrell Waltrip walked into Martinsville Speedway's garage today, he noticed NTN was removed from the hood of David ...
17 NTN BEARINGS TOYOTA TEAM DRIVES HOME MESSAGE TO DARRELL WALTRIP
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (October 20, 2005) -- When Darrell Waltrip walked into Martinsville Speedway's garage today, he noticed NTN was removed from the hood of David Reutimann's Toyota Tundra. Instead, there was a big THANKS DW! lettered in white.
"It's a small way of letting DW know that we appreciate and know all he's done for NASCAR and for the Craftsman Truck Series," said Reutimann. "When NTN was asked if we could put THANKS DW! on the tailgate, Rick (Thomas) said we'll do better than that and we'll put it on the hood. It shows how much NTN appreciates everything DW has done. It also shows our support as a team. It's sad to see him go, but I'm glad he's got the opportunity to go out the way he wants to go, driving the No. 12 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville."
"NTN is very proud to be a part of Darrell Waltrip's 'One and Done' and any other endeavor this man may choose," said Rick Thomas, President and C.O.O. of NTN Bearing Corporation of America. "We have had several excellent champions since DW got his last one, but long after most of us have forgotten who they were, Darrell Waltrip's name will be remembered. There are only so many 'impact' players in any sport. DW is an 'impact' player and is synonymous with stock car racing in this country."
A three-time NASCAR Cup champion (1981, 1982 and 1985), Waltrip recorded 84 wins (third all-time) and started 59 races from the pole position (fourth all-time) during his NASCAR Cup career.
"I must confess I was not a big fan of Darrell Waltrip during his championship days," said Thomas. "I considered him a brash young man with abundant talent. He was fun to watch, but other guys were my favorites (I didn't "boo" him however). All that changed when Darrell ran his own team with Western Auto as a sponsor and then drove for DEI. Although he struggled in his own team, I was impressed with the way he never complained; he just jumped in the seat and drove his heart out every week. To me, that is when DW became a champion. His love of the sport, his determination and grit were an inspiration to many. When he drove for DEI later, it was apparent the abundant talent was still there."
As a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor, Waltrip's best career finish is fifth at Martinsville, where he has also registered 11 Cup wins. Overall, the Owensboro, Ky.-native has eight top-10 finishes in his 16 NCTS starts.
"DW has enjoyed racing in the Craftsman Truck Series," said Reutimann. "He's brought a lot to the series whether it's been as a team owner or a driver. He's really taking this NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race serious. I'm glad to have him as a teammate at Martinsville. I think he'll do really well this weekend.
Live race coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, October 22nd begins at 1 p.m. EDT live on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the event.