Tuesday, February 02, 2010

David Reutimann - No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine Toyota - Daytona 500 Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — David Reutimann and the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota are heading to the 2.5-mile Daytona International Speedway for the 52nd running of ‘The Great American Race’ the Daytona 500. Reutimann and team know a Daytona 500 win would help make the statement that Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) is a force to be reckoned with in 2010.

REUTIMANN ON 2010 EXPECTIONS: “I think it’s a blessing and a curse. Early on, it was like ‘Wow, the 00 car finished in the top-10.’ That was a big deal. I noticed toward the end of 2009 if we were running in the top-10, it was like ‘Good job.’ They expected that. That’s how it should be, they should expect that. A bad race for you needs to be a 12th-place finish, that needs to be a bad day and anything else than that needs to be a miserable day. That’s how you have to do it, because that’s how the guys in the Chase are doing.”

REUTIMANN ON SELF-POLICING DRIVERS: “As a rule, you try to take pretty good care of drivers
around you. You try to take care of one another. Sometimes, you mess up and you don’t take very good care of them. The main deal, -- what you have to do is put some of the responsibility back in the driver’s hands and try to look out for one another a little bit. NASCAR was in a no-win situation with those rules anyway -- they couldn’t win. At the end of the day, if one driver runs over another one, then that guy is mad at the other guy, but at least they’re not mad at NASCAR. The fans are asking for this, they’re asking for less policing of the racing and I think NASCAR is listening. I don’t think any other sport can say they’re doing this. There is no other major league sport that listens to the fans the way NASCAR does and makes changes. They asked for double-file restarts -- they got it. There’s a lot of things they’ve asked for and I think NASCAR is trying to accommodate them.”

(Reutimann) will win races and contend for the Chase. That’s really all you can ask for. It’s really hard to predict that Kyle Busch or Mark Martin could do any better than that. To win a couple races and be a contender for the Chase, unless you’re the Hendrick dynasty, is a bold statement. And I’m comfortable making a bold statement.

“I remember in the closing laps at Texas (Motor Speedway) just a couple months ago when David was racing for the win late in the going. That showed the progress the Aaron’s team made throughout the 2009 season. The progress that David has made the last couple years is amazing. He knows his Aaron’s Dream Machine. He understands his car. He’s a great race car driver and now we’re continuing to provide them with better Toyotas and pieces and parts to race with, so I expect a lot out of him.”

Reutimann is making his 100th start in a NSCS points race in the 2010 Daytona 500.
In 2009, Reutimann recorded his first NSCS win (Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway) and established career-bests in pole positions (two, Texas-1 and Dover-1) top-five (five) and top-10 (10) finishes and final championship driver point standings (16th).

Last season, Reutimann ranked third in the NSCS in laps completed (10,408/10,492, 99.2%). Only Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart (tied for the most at 10,468 laps) completed more laps.

The No. 00 finished on the lead lap in 28 of the 36 NSCS point races and finished four races just one lap down in 2009 .

Reutimann currently has the longest streak of consecutive races finished without a Did Not Finish (DNF) at 41 races of drivers to start every race during that period. He is also one of only three drivers to finish every point race in 2009 - Juan Pablo Montoya and Casey Mears are the other two. Reutimann’s last DNF was Oct. 5, 2008 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Crew chief Rodney Childers will team with Reutimann in 2010. Childers also served as crew chief of the No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota for the entire 2009 season.

Sirius XM listeners can tune into channel 128 every Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. to hear Reutimann’s weekly visit on Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody throughout the 2010 season.

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