Reutimann Fights to Stay in Championship Hunt Phoenix International Raceway PHOENIX, Ariz. (November 7, 2006) -- Entering Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this weekend, David Reutimann is only 28 points behind Johnny Benson and trails the ...
Reutimann Fights to Stay in Championship Hunt Phoenix International Raceway
PHOENIX, Ariz. (November 7, 2006) -- Entering Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) this weekend, David Reutimann is only 28 points behind Johnny Benson and trails the points leader - Todd Bodine - by 165 points. Reutimann is one of three drivers behind Bodine that currently retain a mathematical title chance.
"We've been trying to stay in the championship hunt," said Reutimann, who knows Bodine can clench the championship by finishing 12th or higher in the two remaining races. "We've almost run out of races. There are only two left, but we are not giving up. We were able to gain some ground at Texas Motor Speedway last weekend even though we didn't have the finish (seventh-place) we hoped for."
Reutimann has the most top-10 finishes of any Craftsman driver this season. Collectively, the No. 17 Team Tundra Racing driver has two pole awards, seven top-five and 17 top-10 finishes in 23 starts. Reutimann is poised to improve his record at the one-mile oval this weekend, where his best finish is seventh-place (11/11/05).
"We have a top-10 finish there," Reutimann said. "We had a good truck last year, but we had a horrible qualifying draw and didn't qualify well. We were tight during the race. Hopefully, we'll have a better qualifying effort this time. To start up near the front really helps because it is a tight race track."
Following the race at Phoenix International Raceway, the Florida native concludes his season by competing in both the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NASCAR Busch Series events at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
"I'm running both races," Reutimann said. "My best truck finish there is fourth (11/19/04). Last year, we had a big lead and at Lap 21 our day ended (clutch) abruptly. I've also ran a coupleBusch races there."
Reutimann, who has been a full-time driver for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports since 2004, will never forget these last couple of races. "I'm an emotional kind of guy and the next couple of weeks are going to be tough for me," Reutimann said. "I've been with my truck guys for a long time and that will all change after Homestead. I'll run a Craftsman truck race or two next year, but it's never going to be the same. I've tried not to think about it because it makes me sad. I hope to have the opportunity to race with all of them again. I'm not sure how I'm going to handle it when we get to Homestead. They're a great group of guys and we've had a lot of good times."