Daytona Beach, FL. (May 9 2003) - When David Reutimann went to Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in 2002 he was a proud new father with one goal in mind and that was his first NASCAR Elite Division Series win as a tribute to his new daughter ...
Daytona Beach, FL. (May 9 2003) - When David Reutimann went to Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway in 2002 he was a proud new father with one goal in mind and that was his first NASCAR Elite Division Series win as a tribute to his new daughter Alisia.
He achieved that goal and more, winning the first series Bud Pole Award of the season and leading all 140 laps of the rain shortened 150-lap event. As he returns to Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway this year he has another goal in mind and that is climbing back into the points chase toward his first NASCAR Elite Division, Kodak Southeast Series Championship.
Reutimann missed the first series event of 2003, competing in a NASCAR Busch Series race in a new program sponsored by the former title sponsor of this series, Hills Bros. Coffee.
"We were very fortunate to be selected for that program, " commented Reutimann. "It was a tough decision to miss the opening race at Greenville and especially since it was a televised event. We had a good driver, Scott Kilby, in the car but that didn't help me with points towards the end of the year. I don't plan to miss anymore races because with only nine remaining our team has to be on top of everything in order to succeed."
Reutimann will have lots of competition at South Boston with the return of Billy Bigley, Jr., 2000 series champion and Jeff Fultz, 2002 series champion, for 2003. Fultz dualed with Eddie Mercer at Greenville for the first win of the season and the early points lead but a late race incident between the two drivers didn't allow either driver to stop in victory lane.
"I am excited about the "new" concept that NASCAR has devised for the NASCAR Elite Division," Reutimann commented. "That is a great idea and when you bring drivers from across the United States together for one weekend with live television, that has lots of incentive to do well during the season. The potential for every Kodak Southeast Series driver in 2003 is tremendous. Having a name like Kodak involved with this series shows the marketing importance that the corporate views with the Kodak Southeast Series."
A number of drivers have added incentive this year. Steven Howard came away from the Greenville-Pickens Golden Bear Golf 150 with his first Kodak Southeast Series win at his home track putting him at the top of the series points to start the season.
"We couldn't be happier winning at Greenville," said an ecstatic Howard. "We had a brand new race car at Greenville and it worked very well for a new car. We had no idea we would be in contention for the win but as things worked out it became ours to win. I am so proud of these guys that help me from race to race. This really puts us on the right path toward the Toyota All-Star showdown in November."
"Last year at South Boston, 20 cars finished on the lead lap of the 32 that started. That is tight racing on a 4/10- mile oval so a good qualifying position will be important. We just have to be patient and let the race come to us because with the new series qualifying procedure of inverting six, eight or ten cars it will be a tough race. I know the fans will be in for one heck of a show."
Kevin Prince has added incentive in 2003 with his new national sponsor, Land O Frost Luncheon Meats. "We were very fortunate to land a sponsor like Land O Frost," said Prince. That is definitely an added incentive because now we can have the motors to run up front and be a contender. We did that at Greenville and it is entirely different being chased rather then chasing others," quipped Prince.
"There is lots of history with the South Boston track," commented 2000 Kodak Southeast Series Champion Billy Bigley Jr.. "With drivers like Fultz (Jeff), Mercer (Eddie), Gordon, (Benny), Bradberry, ( Charlie), Gentry, (Randy), Hogan (Jason), Robie, (Jarod), Smith ( Stanley), Williams (Dusty), and a very strong rookie contingent this year this will be one heck of a race," continued Bigley who is considered the "ironman" of the Kodak Southeast Series with 178 career starts.
Action gets underway at Big Daddy's South Boston Speedway on Saturday, May 31 with practice at 12:00 p.m through 1:30 p.m. Qualifying will take place at 5:00 p.m. with the Armed Forces 150 presented by Coors Light set for a green flag at 7:30 p.m.