MANSFIELD, OHIO (May 6, 2004) -- Before joining Darrell Waltrip Motorsports this season, David Reutimann had not raced at Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway or Martinsville Speedway. Faced with a similar challenge in his No. 17...
MANSFIELD, OHIO (May 6, 2004) -- Before joining Darrell Waltrip Motorsports this season, David Reutimann had not raced at Daytona International Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway or Martinsville Speedway. Faced with a similar challenge in his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway next week, the Raybestos Rookie contender welcomes the inaugural 250-lap NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at the .44-mile oval, because for the first time this season everyone's starting from scratch.
"I might sound like a broken record by saying it's another track I've never been to, but it's also a track the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has never been to either," said Reutimann. "I'm still trying to figure out what Mansfield's all about. You talk to guys and you hear bits and pieces, but I will not know what's fully involved until I get there with the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota. It's tough and stressful leading up to a race at a track where we've never been. This year I'll probably stay stressed out 90% of the time.
"Coming into a division racing as a rookie is tough," continued Reutimann. "You've got all these great guys that you are racing against that have won Cup, Busch or Craftsman Truck races or championships. I never thought it was going to be easy and it's not harder than I expected it to be."
Entering Mansfield with three starts in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Darrell Waltrip Motorsports entry, David Reutimann has one Bud Pole Award, one Top-5 and three Top-10s occupying fourth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Points Standings. The only thing missing from Reutimann's collection is a victory, which is foreseeable.
"Since the division has never been to Mansfield, it will help even out the field and I think we will have a good shot at one of our best finishes of the year there if we stay out of harm's way," said Reutimann, whose best 2004 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series finish is third at Atlanta. "Mansfield can be a tough place, but the upside is that not many drivers in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series have raced there except maybe a couple of guys that have competed in other divisions at Mansfield. As someone new to the division, when you race at tracks new to the schedule, you don't feel as far behind the veterans."
Reutimann leads the Raybestos Rookie of the Year points standings. Even though the Zephyrhills (FL) native is new to truck racing, he is accustomed to winning and has a laundry list of success in other racing divisions.
"I've been told that I'm up to around 220 wins collectively from racing NASCAR AutoZone Elite Division Southeast Series cars, DIRT and pavement Modifieds; and DIRT and pavement Late Models," said Reutimann who is 31 points out of first in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "I remember there were times where I raced Friday, Saturday and Sunday for weeks at a time. That's why I'm so eager to get back to racing the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota. If I could race everyday, I would."
Prior to running his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota at Mansfield, Reutimann fields the No. 87 Busch Series entry at Gateway International Raceway this Saturday after garnering a fifteenth-place finish in the Busch race at California last weekend.
"I have the best of both worlds because I've had an opportunity to race the No. 87 Natural Gear Busch car while the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series has been on a one-month hiatus," said Reutimann. "We go to Gateway with the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota in July so racing a Busch car there this weekend will be helpful. Gateway is an odd-shaped track and it's a place where you can shift. It's totally different from most places we go to on the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule and it's a type of track I'm accustomed to racing because I 've had to race at so many odd-shaped tracks growing up."
Live coverage of the Charter 250 Busch Series event at Gateway International Raceway is slated to air Saturday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on FX.
Live coverage of the 250-Lap NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Mansfield Motorsports Speedway is scheduled Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. This will be the fourth of 25 NCTS events telecast live on the SPEED Channel this season. MRN Radio will broadcast the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule events.
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 the United States are manufactured by one of the seven manufacturing plants the company operates in the USA. 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 NTN, please visit the company's website at www.ntnamerica.com or www.ntn.ca.