Tuesday, April 06, 2010

David Reutimann Phoenix Preview

CORNELIUS, N.C. — David Reutimann is not what you would call a social media expert. The 40-year old Zephyrhills, Fla. native does not have a Twitter account and has yet to fully grasp the concept behind the medium. Luckily, this weekend in Phoenix he is going to have some help as three race fans will follow Reutimann throughout the weekend and chronicle his every move as part his “Tweet Crew Team”.

Best Western and Michael Waltrip Racing partnered to conduct a national job search to find qualified members of internet savvy race fans for the first-of-it’s-kind team. The chosen members of the Tweet Crew Team are:

Randall Martin, (@RLDreams), a father and longtime race fan from Worchester, Mass.

Rebecca Kivak, (@becbeat555), a copy editor and avid NASCAR Tweeter from Plains, Pa.

Nancy Mills, (@NancyEMills) an actress and contractor from Memphis, Tenn.

During the race, the Tweet Crew Team will report on the race and Reutimann’s performance from different vantage points around Phoenix International Raceway. Fans and media can follow the Tweet Crew Team throughout the weekend by visiting www.Twitter.com/tweetcrewteam.

The No. 00 Toyota Camry for Michael Waltrip Racing also will sport a new look as longtime partner Best Western becomes a first-time primary sponsor for a Sprint Cup Series entry.

Best Western’s relationship with Michael Waltrip dates back to 2004 when the World’s Largest Hotel Chain became a primary sponsor for a Nationwide Series entry and served as an associate sponsor of Waltrip’s Cup Series entry.


ON TWITTER AND SOCIAL MEDIA: “I’m not a huge social media person. I don’t have my own Twitter account or Facebook page. I’m sure there are a lot of good things that can come of it and I’m looking forward to seeing what the Tweet Crew Team does throughout the weekend. Best Western has always done a great job of coming up with creative experiences for race fans - this is another example of a creative concept that gives race fans both at the track and at home a behind-the-scenes look at a race weekend. That’s a great deal for everyone.”

ON CONSISTENCY ISSUES OVER THE LAST THREE WEEKS: “It’s a huge concern for me. We got that fifth at Daytona and I haven’t historically run all that well there, so that helps you start to think that we’re well on our way here and we’ve got things going in the right direction. We didn’t have a great run out in California. Then we went out and felt pretty good about our chances at Las Vegas—I got my first top-10 there last year, and I felt like we were going to be good again. We weren’t as good as we expected, but still fairly decent. Then we had two motor issues back-to-back at Atlanta and Bristol. We were actually running second in the race at Bristol and ended up having a motor issue there. And then last week we found all kinds of bad luck at Martinsville. So yeah, we have some concerns.

“What is not of concern to me is that our team is running better than it ever has. Unfortunately the results on the racetrack don’t show that at all. We’re a long way from showing the results that we need to, but with that being said, our team is much stronger. Our pit stops are better. We’re running better. We just haven’t had the results to show for it—mainly because of those two engine issues. Sometimes in racing there just isn’t a whole lot you can do to control stuff like that.”

ON WORKING WITH NEW TEAMMATES MARTIN TRUEX JR.: “It’s an adjustment. It’s not as big of an adjustment as say working with a new crew chief. In the past Michael Waltrip liked a different feel to his racecars. We were at two completely different ends of the spectrum as far as what we liked to feel in our cars. So a lot of the time if one of us was running well and the other wasn’t where they needed to be we weren’t able to share the information like we needed to. We had the information, but knowing what we liked in a race car we couldn’t just go put his setup on my car or vise versa to make us better. We couldn’t do that because our driving styles were so drastically different.

“Now with Martin Truex Jr. I think our driving styles are a little closer. So now what you have is another driver in the stable, along with Marcos Ambrose at JTG Daugherty, that I can go bounce things off of and get information from. So, the whole team concept of having three cars under one roof helps you even more because all three cars are even more similar now. That helps you in the long term because you have two other guys to bounce things off of and look at subtle differences that there cars may have that are going to be able to help you. In the past Michael’s cars have been quite a bit different to mine so we weren’t able to help each other the same way in that respect.”

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