Bristol: David Reutimann preview

MWR Teammate will sorely be missed when he steps out of the ...

MWR Teammate will sorely be missed when he steps out of the #44 UPS Toyota Camry after Bristol Motor Speedway NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500: "I can't believe this weekend is DJ's (Dale Jarrett) last race in the #44 UPS Toyota Camry until the NASCAR Sprint All-Star race in May," Reutimann said. "That bums me out a lot. He will sorely be missed. I've always said from the beginning that I am going to miss having him as my teammate and the time has now come. It is so hard for me to see him go. NASCAR as a whole is going to miss having a guy like Dale Jarrett. It's been great having him as my teammate and he has helped me tremendously. I'm so thankful we will still be able to see him on the weekends. He will be in the mix and working with ESPN. He's not leaving the sport all together and I'm truly happy about that"

Reutimann hopes to be locked in top 35 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) owners points after Bristol: "All of the Michael Waltrip Racing teams need to qualify for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway and post solid finishes to lock ourselves into the top 35 and then go into Martinsville like we've wanted to all along," Reutimann said. "To be inside the top 35 has been our main focus since the start of the year and that goes for all of our NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams - #00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry, #44 UPS Toyota Camry and #55 NAPA AUTO PARTS Toyota Camry. We are close to being able to do that. I know that would make life a little easier."

Under pressure: "We are under an extreme amount of pressure with Cup racing anyway, but entering Bristol it is at an all time high," Reutimann said. "We have to get in the race. There is no exception. If we can get locked into the top 35 this weekend, at least the pressure will not be as intense during qualifying for the Cup races. You're always going to put pressure on yourself because you still want to qualify well and have a good finish, but the pressure will not take a toll on us like it has before when you are outside the top 35. Just to be able to show up at a track and know that you are in the race is going to be a different feeling all together. I'm looking forward to being able to do that."

Missed Bristol Motor Speedway NSCS races last season: "A perfect example of what a bad draw can do for you happened to our #00 Toyota Camry team last year at Bristol," Reutimann said. "We were one of the fastest of the go-or-go-homers cars and we ended up being the first or second car to go out to qualify. Because we had such a terrible draw, it resulted in us missing the show. I am so grateful this season that NASCAR has now grouped all of the go-or-go-homers together so that we can all qualify around the same time. Everyone is on the same playing field more so than ever. There's no guarantee you are going to get into the show, but at least everyone has a fair shot."

Bristol Motor Speedway Experience: "I haven't raced a Cup race there before," Reutimann said. "We finished third there last year and ninth in 2006 with the #99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. I also ran three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races at that track and my best finish is tenth and I have a pole award (2005) too when I raced for DW (Darrell Waltrip Motorsports)."

Tested Virginia International Raceway road course on Tuesday: "The test with our #99 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota Camry went well," Reutimann said. "I applied all of the stuff that Chris Cook taught me at his school in Sonoma last week. We had a very productive day. I still have a lot to learn. I'm certainly not a road course ace and I have only a couple races at those type of tracks under my belt, but I'm getting closer to being more comfortable and knowing what I need to do when I need to do it."

-credit: mwr

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Drivers Dale Jarrett , Darrell Waltrip , Michael Waltrip , David Reutimann
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing