LOUDON, NH (September 15, 2004) - With only seven races remaining entering New Hampshire International Speedway, David Reutimann has already learned a lot from his first year as a rookie driving the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota in the NASCAR...
LOUDON, NH (September 15, 2004) - With only seven races remaining entering New Hampshire International Speedway, David Reutimann has already learned a lot from his first year as a rookie driving the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.
"Being a rookie, you have highs and lows," said Reutimann, who leads the 2004 Raybestos Rookie of the Year points standings. "This first year driving the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been a learning experience. We started the year off with our first Top-10 of the season at Daytona. Then we came out at the next race, got the pole at Atlanta and finished third. Then to have another third-place at Texas felt just as good. We've led some races and collected a few Top-5 and Top-10 finishes, but we've also seen our fair share of misfortune."
"Being a rookie can be tough, but it's something that really counts," continued Reutimann. "Your competing for Raybestos Rookie of the Year and a lot of people put emphasis on the rookies because they want to know if you are going to make a rookie mistake or finish well. It's a little nerve wracking being a rookie at some of these places. Thanks to the team, they've helped me learn a lot this season both on and off the track."
Reutimann has never competed at New Hampshire, but was close to his first NASCAR Nextel Cup Series attempt two years ago before weather wreaked havoc on the 1.058-mile oval.
"I was scheduled to run the No. 04 Nextel Cup car for Morgan-McClure Motorsports and Johnny Sauter was to run the No. 4," said Reutimann. "It rained the majority of the day washing out practice and qualifying. NASCAR decided to start the race off of points. The 4 car had points and the 04 car literally had no points. We didn't have a shot to get into the race at all. I climbed into the car and adjusted the seat belts and that's as far as I got.
"The deal was unexpected," continued Reutimann. "At that point, I had around five Busch races under my belt. I was running Chicago in Joe Nemechek's car. I qualified well and was running third when we lost a motor. I got out of the car and there was a guy from Morgan-McClure Motorsports standing there, who said that Larry McClure wanted to talk to me. When I went to see him, he asked me if I was interested in testing Indy. After we tested Indy, he asked me to race at New Hampshire for him. It was an incredible opportunity even though we didn't get to race the 04 car."
Even though Reutimann's never raced at New Hampshire, he's doing his homework.
"I've talked to a lot of people about New Hampshire," said Reutimann. "It's pretty fast, flat and really smooth racetrack from what I hear. The groove has widened up quite a bit. It will be a good race for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series."
Live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at New Hampshire International Speedway is slated to air Saturday, September 18 at 1:00 PM EDT live on SPEED Channel. The event will be broadcast on MRN Radio.