Saturday, December 13, 2008

David Reutimann Talks About Winning his First NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pole Award at Homestead-Miami Speedway in his 63rd Career Start

// Courtesy : Autostock Images //

"I feel like I've come a long way," Reutimann said. "I remember winning my first NASCAR Nationwide Series pole at Memphis in 2003 with NEMCO Motorsports and then the next year winning my first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series pole for Toyota at Atlanta with Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. Winning a pole in any series is something memorable, but to win my first Cup pole award felt incredible.” 


Score one for the home team as a Florida native will start on the pole position for Sunday’s race at the Homestead-Miami Speedway. David Reutimann, a native of Zephyhills, Fla., posted his first career Sprint Cup Series pole on Friday in the UPS Toyota. Reutimann was the fastest of the 47 cars attempting to qualify for the Ford 400, the final race of the 2008 season.

“To get a pole feels great,” Reutimann said. “We got a fairly late draw and we got a little cloud cover so that helps us a little bit. Sometimes that stuff works for you and sometimes that stuff works against you. The UPS Toyota unloaded pretty fast and we just worked on it a little bit at a time. Before I went out a friend of ours that used to take pictures of my dad’s (race car) all the time gave me a business card with my dad’s picture on it so I put it in my pocket. Maybe I should start carrying that more often. Either that or my old man was helping me with driving the car.”

Reutimann was the 32nd driver to take the track in Friday’s qualifying session. The benefit of a late draw proved its worth for Team 44 as track temperatures dropped significantly from the start of qualifying to when Reutimann took the track. On his first lap, Reutimann posted a fast lap time of 31.462 seconds at 171.636 mph, good enough to deliver the UPS Toyota to the top of the speed chart.

While this marks Reutimann’s first pole in the Sprint Cup Series, he has two first place starts to his credit at the 1.5-mile southern Florida speedway as a driver in the Craftsman Truck Series, one of which scored him the track qualifying record. Today’s pole win now adds Reutimann’s name to a list of 23 drivers who have scored pole wins in all three national NASCAR series.

“It’s a great way to start your weekend,” Reutimann continued. “Starting up front and getting a great pit selection, that aside our team is a second-year organization. Last year we were just worried about getting in races, much less even worrying about poles. Our team has come an extremely long way. I’m proud of what my team’s accomplished, proud of my guys and the work-ethic they have and I’m proud of as far as we’ve come. We just keep plugging away at it and hopefully get some more of these lined up and some wins as well.”

Reutimann stole the spotlight for Michael Waltrip Racing during Friday’s qualifying session as his teammates Michael Waltrip and Marcos Ambrose struggled during their two lap efforts. Waltrip and Ambrose will both have to rely on their status inside the top-35 owner’s points for starting positions with the #47 starting 41st followed by the #55 in the 42nd spot.

Starting outside of Reutimann on row one will be Scott Speed in the #84 Red Bull Toyota who posted a fast lap time of 31.494 seconds. Two Roush-Fenway drivers will sit on the second row as Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards will start from the third and fourth positions respectively. Kevin Harvick will round out the top-five starters with the #29 Chevrolet in the fifth position.

The Ford 400 is scheduled for a 3:30 pm ET start on Sunday with live pre-race coverage beginning on ABC at 3 pm ET. The Motor Racing Network (MRN) will provide live radio coverage.