REUTIMANN, NTN BEARINGS TOYOTA GOOD AS GOLD AT CALIFORNIA ONTARIO, Calif. (February 22, 2005) -- After a trying 12th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra, David Reutimann's relieved...
REUTIMANN, NTN BEARINGS TOYOTA
GOOD AS GOLD AT CALIFORNIA
ONTARIO, Calif. (February 22, 2005) -- After a trying 12th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra, David Reutimann's relieved California Speedway is next on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series 25-race schedule since experiencing success at the two-mile tri-oval last October.
"I enjoyed racing at California last season because we were very competitive," said Reutimann, who is 11th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "It's one of my favorite tracks because it's fast, smooth, and has many grooves. It will be different for all of us this year because the tires are different. Also, there's not a final practice session."
Last October, Reutimann started third, led seven laps and finished sixth in the 100-lap event.
"When I was reminded that we finished sixth, it was hard to believe that we didn't finish higher because we ran so well," said Reutimann. "We weren't that great off the trailer, but the Darrell Waltrip Motorsports team kept working on it and got it better. We qualified well and during the race, the truck was better on long runs. We were chasing everyone down the last half of the race. We just ran out of time."
Returning to California with the same chassis he raced there last season, Reutimann's agenda is to top his best career finish of third occurring at both Atlanta and Texas Motor Speedway.
"We're bringing the same chassis that we used at California, Las Vegas and Homestead last year," said Reutimann. "Last week, Daytona was disappointing because we ran in the top-5 and top-10 all night and then we were collected in an accident one lap from the finish. We expect to run well at California and if we can avoid bad racing luck, we'll come out on top."
Two years ago, Reutimann produced an 11th-place finish in his first outing at California Speedway in a Busch Series car owned by Nextel Cup veteran Joe Nemechek. The following year he finished 15th.
"It's hard to transfer over what you learn in the NASCAR Busch Series to the Craftsman Truck Series," said Reutimann. "A truck and car drive so different. I don't think my experience in the other series helped me as much as I would have liked it to. Coming into the Craftsman Truck Series was not an easy transition. I had a lot of things happen that I wish I could take back, but I was able to learn from the mishaps. It only made me stronger."
Becoming comfortable in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series was a challenge for Reutimann last year. Wrapping up his season as the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year in the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway, those feelings subsided.
"It was hard to go to a track that you had never been to before and I was faced with that on several occasions," said Reutimann. "It's unnerving not knowing what to expect. Also, I didn't know many people in the garage area last year. Just after racing at Daytona last week, I know this year will be different for me in many ways. I really feel like we have a shot at winning some races, collecting some top-5s and top-10s along the way and if the cards fall right maybe we'll have a shot at the championship as long as stuff like what happened to us at Daytona doesn't happen again."
This Friday, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to California Speedway for the ninth time in series history. The American Racing Wheels 200 begins at 9:00 p.m. live on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the 100-lap event.
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.