Memphis: David Reutimann preview

REUTIMANN ON PATH FORGOOD FORTUNE AT MEMPHIS MOTORSPORTS PARK MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 13, 2006) -- David Reutimann makes his third attempt in the No. 17 Team Tundra Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck at Memphis Motorsports Park, where he posted a ...


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (July 13, 2006) -- David Reutimann makes his third attempt in the No. 17 Team Tundra Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck at Memphis Motorsports Park, where he posted a second-place finish last year.

"We were able to start on the outside pole and finish second at Memphis Motorsports Park," Reutimann said, who is currently third in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. "In the beginning, short tracks were a challenge for us. Then we turned the corner. I've had some really good things happenat Memphis Motorsports Parkand I'm hoping mygood fortune there continues."

Last year's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at the .75-mile tri-oval was action packed down to the last lap according to Reutimann.

"The race was pretty good at the end," said Reutimann. "There was a long red flag and there were not many laps left when we restarted. We were third and couldn't make a charge on the guys ahead of us. We thought we were going to finish third. Then, we came off of Turn 2 and my spotter said that a truck had spun in Turn 4. He told me there was a lot of smoke when I was coming down the middle of the back straightaway, but that it was clear and to drive through it. Something happened and Ron Hornaday checked up (leader) a little bit and Brandon Whitt was right behind him running second. Brandon's spotter evidently told him the same thing and to drive through it. When Hornaday checked up, Brandon got into him a little bit and got Hornaday's truck turned sideways. We ended up crossing the finish line second and it was a pretty exciting finish and Brandon won."

Before becoming a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular, Reutimann was unsure of his career.

"I was doing a limited schedule with Joe Nemechek and the races that I was scheduled to run were up," Reutimann stated. "I was there to practice and qualify the No. 7 car for Greg Biffle since he was racing at Martinsville Speedway and couldn't be there. It just so happens that the car was really good. We laid down a good lap and got the pole. It surprised a lot of people. It was my first NASCAR Busch Series pole. I only had 15 starts up until that point. I was supposed to drive the No. 7 car for Joe Nemechek the next year in the NASCAR Busch Series, but that fell through. I wasn't sure what I would be doing the following year."

That's when Reutimann received the call from Darrell Waltrip to drive the No. 17 Team Tundra Racing entry.

"After I got the pole, I was interviewed on national television and I mentioned that I didn't have a full-time deal with Joe Nemechek because of sponsorship issues," Reutimann stated. "That opened doors. I flew home Sunday and then on Monday around dinner time, Darrell Waltrip called me and asked me to drive for his new team. I thought it was a joke. While workingat NEMCO Motorsports, I had a good relationship with all the guys in the shop. We would always joke with each other. They would come over the loud speaker and say that Roger Penske was on line one for me, Richard Childress was on line 2 or Jack Roush was on hold. They were trying to make me believe that these owners were calling me to drive full-time for them. Then when Darrell Waltrip called me at home, I just thought it was one of those guys. I thought they had moved the game from the shop to my house. I was about to brush DW off because I didn't want those guys to think they got me. I played along for a minute there and actually realized it was him. Thankfully, I didn't say anything smart, negative or stupid. I really thought it was one of the guys from the shop pulling my leg."

Today, Reutimann continues to compete full-time in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as well as in the NASCAR Busch Series on a limited basis. After the event at Memphis Motorsports Park, Reutimann prepares to compete in the No. 99 Michael Waltrip Racing entry at Gateway International Raceway, where he finished third in the No. 17 Team Tundra Racing entry in April.

"I really like Gateway International Raceway because of its odd shape," Reutimann said. "I'm ready to get back in the car. If I could have it my way, I would race both that car and my truck full-time, but you can't do that because of the schedules. We had three top-10 finishes in a row last month in the No. 99 Aaron's Dream Machine. Michael (Waltrip) had a good run recently in the Jani-King car. It's a good deal and I'm ready to get back behind the wheel. We've got Cottman Transmission on board that weekend and we hope to do a good job for them as well."

Live coverage of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Memphis Motorsports Park on Saturday, July 15th begins at 9 p.m. Eastern on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the event.

-Darrell Waltrip Motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Michael Waltrip , Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle , David Reutimann , Brandon Whitt , Jack Roush , Roger Penske
Teams Michael Waltrip Racing , NEMCO Motorsports