FORT WORTH, TX (June 8, 2004) After stellar runs in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra at 1.5-mile tracks like Atlanta and Lowe's Motor Speedway, David Reutimann is hungry for a win and optimistic that the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway...
FORT WORTH, TX (June 8, 2004) After stellar runs in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra at 1.5-mile tracks like Atlanta and Lowe's Motor Speedway, David Reutimann is hungry for a win and optimistic that the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway tri-oval will cure what ails him.
"We need a shot in the arm," said Reutimann who is currently 12th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "Our mindset is that we will be a strong contender at Texas because the track has characteristics similar to Atlanta where we sat on the pole and finished third this season. Last year in a Busch car at Texas, I led some laps and had a Top-5 run going until I got caught up in a wreck with ten laps to go. Texas is fast and wide-open and one of my favorite tracks on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule."
Reutimann's been so close to topping the 36-truck field and he knows it's time to seal the deal. From leading laps at Daytona, starting on the pole at Atlanta, and running fifth in front of a hometown crowd at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Reutimann's had a taste of the limelight, but now he wants to steal the show.
"It's time to put up or shut up," said Reutimann. "We've had some really good runs in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota, but we've had some really bad luck. I feel really comfortable and confident going into Texas because I know the track and that's a first this year."
Finally, the Raybestos Rookie points leader races at a track where he has racing experience. In 2003, the Zephyrhills (FL) native was quite impressive leading laps competing in his first race at Texas behind the wheel of the No. 88 NEMCO Motorsports entry owned by Joe Nemechek.
"It was my fifth career NASCAR Busch Series start and it felt so good to be leading over halfway at Texas and then allowing the boss man -- Joe Nemechek -- back on the lead lap after he was caught one lap down was pretty cool too," said Reutimann. "Joe went on to win the race that day. I kid him about it to this day that if I hadn't slowed up and let him by that he would not have won that race."
"Last year, Texas was by far the fastest track I'd ever raced at up until that point," continued Reutimann. "We qualified ninth and ran in the Top-10 all day long. We started conservative, but we got to a point where we were leading late in the race. We had made a stop earlier which got us back up into the Top-10 and then some other guys pitted and that got us the lead. We led about 23 laps or so. At that point we were hoping not to get a yellow. If it would have gone green, we would have been in pretty good shape. We had a yellow and a lot of guys came in and pitted. Basically everybody behind us had new tires. We fell back to fifth at that point and we had a yellow with about 15 laps from the end of the race. Then two guys got together in the corner on a restart and everybody started slowing down. Kasey Kahne was behind me and he didn't have anywhere to go. He ran into the back of me turning me into the wall. We were junk at that point."
Based on his past success at Texas, Reutimann hopes to revamp his momentum with a solid finish at the 1.5-mile tri-oval. To deliver a win for NTN Bearings and Toyota in the Lone Star State will be huge because Texas is labeled as one the largest pickup truck markets.
"As a bearing and C.V. joint supplier to all of the manufacturers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, a win at Texas Motor Speedway would be huge for NTN Bearings," said Reutimann. "We are going to be racing in one of the largest truck markets where we definitely want to showcase the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra for NTN and for Toyota. Texans already buy around 15% of full-size pickups in the U.S. It's a market NTN and Toyota enjoy visiting. NTN has a big hospitality planned for the event. We are fortunate to race our NASCAR Craftsman Truck at Texas two times a year because the fans are so loyal and really support our efforts."
Live coverage of the 167-Lap race at Texas Motor Speedway is scheduled Friday, June 11th at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The 250.5-mile event is slated to air live on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule events.