Memphis: David Reutimann preview

MEMPHIS, TN (June 16, 2004) - Fresh off a third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota, David Reutimann expects better results this weekend in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 at the ...

MEMPHIS, TN (June 16, 2004) - Fresh off a third-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway in his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota, David Reutimann expects better results this weekend in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly Auto Parts 200 at the .75-mile Memphis Motorsports Park oval.

"We had everything we needed to win at Texas in the No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota Tundra, which makes us feel really good about our chances at Memphis," said Reutimann. "The finish at Texas is just what we needed to lift our spirits and regain our momentum. I've tested, raced and won a Busch Bud Pole Award at Memphis so I've been pondering the possibilities."

Last season, Reutimann earned his first NASCAR Busch Series Bud Pole Award at the southwestern Tennessee oval after qualifying the No. 7 NEMCO Motorsports Busch Series entry for driver Greg Biffle.

"Last year, I was working at NEMCO Motorsports as a fabricator and we all knew that Greg Biffle was going to drive the No. 7 Busch car, but that he wasn't going to be able to qualify it at Memphis," said Reutimann. "Eric Phillips, Travis Kvapil's present day crew chief, was crew chief for the No. 7 Busch car that worked with me on that deal. The car unloaded good and we were on top of the sheet in practice. The only other car that we were worried about beating us out for the pole was another NEMCO car driven by Kyle Busch. I qualified the car and we were able to beat him, but I didn't get a chance to race the car."

Piloting the No. 87 Busch car for four events in 2002, Reutimann started fifth, led 12 laps and finished 12th at Memphis Motorsports Park. Running in the Top-5, Reutimann was spun out with 18 laps remaining in the 250-lap Memphis event two years ago.

"I was pretty upset because we got turned around by a car behind us while we were running in the Top-5 with less than 20 laps left to go," said Reutimann, who led laps 58-69. "I think he went on to finish third, but it ruined a Top-5 effort for us. We ended up having to settle for a 12th-place finish. We easily would have had a Top-5 there."

With his past success at Memphis Motorsports Park, Reutimann's ready to turn his short track game around after finishing ninth and 14th at Martinsville and Mansfield respectively in his No. 17 NTN Bearings Toyota.

"We definitely thought that we would be much better at short tracks," said Reutimann. "We are going to try our best to turn things around before we get back to Martinsville in October. We should do well with the No. 17 NTN Bearings Darrell Waltrip Motorsports entry at Memphis. I've been there a few times and it's another track that I am comfortable at. Memphis is considered a short track, but it seems kind of big because it's a fast short track."

Reutimann's primary goal entering Memphis is to top his best career finish of third - Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway - to regain ground in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. The Raybestos Rookie points leader leaped five spots to seventh-place in the Craftsman Truck title chase last weekend after finishing third at Texas.

"It feels good to be getting back to the area where we should be," said Reutimann. "We've had some things work out the way we didn't need them to, but I'm learning that we have to put those races behind us and move on."

Live coverage of the O'Reilly 200 at the .75-mile oval begins at 3:00 p.m. EDT live on SPEED Channel. MRN Radio will broadcast the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series schedule events.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Darrell Waltrip , Greg Biffle , David Reutimann , Kyle Busch , Travis Kvapil
Teams NEMCO Motorsports