Reutimann Reflects on Richmond Debut Two Years Ago RICHMOND, VA (September 6, 2004) - Richmond International Raceway has abiding significance to David Reutimann. In 2002, the Zephyrhills (FL) native made his NASCAR Busch Series debut in the...
Reutimann Reflects on Richmond Debut Two Years Ago
RICHMOND, VA (September 6, 2004) - Richmond International Raceway has abiding significance to David Reutimann. In 2002, the Zephyrhills (FL) native made his NASCAR Busch Series debut in the No. 87 NEMCO Motorsports car at the .75-mile oval.
"It was my first shot to do anything at that level," said Reutimann, who has one Bud Pole, two Top-5s and three Top-10s in 15 Busch Series career starts. "We had one car and one motor. That's pretty much it. We showed up and I tiptoed in practice because I didn't want to wreck anything. There wasn't a backup. I felt like this was my one shot to make something happen or it wasn't going to happen. I didn't sleep much and I stayed sick most of the day."
Reutimann finished sixteenth in his first Busch Series career start at Richmond.
"We ran all right, we finished on the lead lap and we didn't tear it up," said Reutimann. "I knew I better not blow it because there might not be another chance. It was nerve racking. From that point on, things started to change. It opened the door to a lot of other opportunities. Richmond was a really big turning point. I was at a crossroad career wise. Everything we had was lumped into one shot. Carl Wagner cut us a good deal on a motor and we had sponsorship from Geico. It took everything that everybody put in, plus a little more than we didn't have, to make the deal go. In the end, it all worked out."
Two years later Reutimann returns to Richmond in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra leading the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year points standings while owning one Bud Pole Award, two Top-5s and seven Top-10s in 16 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts.
"I'm looking forward to returning," said Reutimann. "It's special to be able to go back to Richmond with sound support from NTN Bearings and Toyota. Both have been a natural fit for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. NTN is dedicated to racing just like Toyota. NTN is a leading bearing supplier and is one of the largest producers of CV joints. Racing at this level, with major automobile manufacturers, is a perfect fit for NTN because of their significance in the growth of automobile production."
With nine races remaining, the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota driver still has a shot at a Top-10 seat in the points standings. Not bad for a so-called rookie aligned with a new team, a new crew chief and a new manufacturer that's found success in their first year of competition in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"Toyota has shown a lot of support to the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series," said Reutimann. "You can see their level of commitment whether it's in the commercials airing, race sponsorship, bringing 10,000 extra people to an event or whatever. They are introducing new people to the series and giving existing fans the opportunity to come out and see races.
"One of the neatest things that I like about Toyota is the Toyota All-Star Showdown at Irwindale which takes place in November," continued Reutimann. "They give guys, at a touring series level, a chance to race for a lot of money, which they don't normally get to do. Plus the drivers are getting additional exposure with live national coverage on SPEED Channel. That's one of my favorite things that Toyota does because, heck, I was one of those guys a couple years ago. Richmond definitely takes me back."
Live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 200 at Richmond International Raceway is scheduled for Thursday, September 9 at 8:30 PM EDT live on SPEED Channel. The event will be broadcast on MRN Radio.
NTN, headquartered in Osaka, Japan, is one of the world's largest producers of ball and roller bearings. With manufacturing plants throughout the world, NTN is a leading bearing supplier to both the industrial and automotive markets. In addition to bearings of all sizes and types, NTN is also one of the largest producers of constant velocity joints for automotive front-wheel and four-wheel drive applications. Over 70% of the bearings sold by NTN in the United States are manufactured by one of the six manufacturing plants the company operates in the USA. Founded in 1918, NTN has long been recognized for the most stringent quality standards in the industry and counts some of the most recognized automotive and industrial brand names as its customers. NTN employs more than 13,000 dedicated people throughout the World and is traded on the Tokyo stock exchange. For more information on NTN, please visit the company's website at www.ntnamerica.com or www.ntn.ca.