Reutimann Strives For First NCTS Victory Under Daytona Lights Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 11, 2005) -- As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series kicks off the "10 Years Tough" celebration at Daytona International Speedway, David Reutimann...
Reutimann Strives For First NCTS Victory Under Daytona Lights
Daytona Beach, Fla. (February 11, 2005) -- As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series kicks off the "10 Years Tough" celebration at Daytona International Speedway, David Reutimann reflects on his debut in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota at the 2.5-mile tri-oval and how tough the division really is.
"This year the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will live up even more to its tough truck racing image," said Reutimann. "You have former champions like Mike Skinner, Ron Hornaday, Jack Sprague and Bobby Hamilton returning. I'm looking forwardto racing with all of those guys. Last year, I was really nervous because I had never raced at Daytona before. This year, I know more of what to expect."
By lap 51 in his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series attempt, the Zephyrhills (Fla.) native had led the 36-truck field to Daytona's start-finish line for seven laps. Reutimann was the highest finishing rookie with his ninth-place finish carving the way to his eventual 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year title.
"To lead at Daytona in my first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race was an incredible feeling," said Reutimann. "I remember getting a good run going down the back straight-away and taking the lead. I'm a lot more confident about this year."
In his first year of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competition, Reutimann collected two Bud Pole Awards (Atlanta Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway), four top-fives and ten top-10 finishes en route to finishing 14th in the division's 2004 points standings. Overall, Toyota Motorsports' fleet of Tundras registered four wins, five pole awards, 25 top-fives and 54 top-10s in their first year in the series.
"All in all, I feel like NTN, Toyota and Darrell Waltrip Motorsports had a good year," said Reutimann. "I learned a lot last season from Bobby Kennedy, Jason Overstreet and the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota team. I had a lot of positive things happen and some things that I wish didn't happen to me. We started the team from scratch. We learned how to work well together and communicate effectively to one another. We started off really strong and then we stumbled a little bit, but we got back our focus. I was able to show what I learned throughout my rookie year during the season-finale at Homestead. I learned to be patient, give good feedback and give the guys time to work on the truck to make it better. It took me some time, but I've got it figured out."
Reutimann closed his 2004 rookie chapter with his second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pole award and a fourth-place finish at Homestead-Miami Speedway. A new character was added to the script in January when Darrell Waltrip Motorsports announced the expansion of a second full-time team with driver Robert Huffman and the No. 12 Toyota Tundra.
"I'm really looking forward to working with Robert this year," said Reutimann. "He's a great guy and we will be able to help each other out. We both will run really well at Daytona. He's won four times at Daytona in the Dash Series and he ran strong at Daytona last year. We'll be working together to come out of Daytona with solid finishes for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports."
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway kicks off at 8 p.m. Friday, February 18th live on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will also broadcast the 100-lap event at the 2.5-mile superspeedway.
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 North America are manufactured by one of the seven manufacturing plants the company operates in the USA and Canada. 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 d, please visit the company's website at www.ntnamerica.com or www.ntn.ca.