Tuesday, May 25, 2010

David Reutimann - Coca-Cola 600 Race Preview at Charlotte Motor Speedway

CORNELIUS, N.C. — No. 00 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver David Reutimann is learning first hand that winning races makes for a little bit more hectic schedule. The defending Coca-Cola 600 winner worked overtime in the weeks leading up to Sunday’s race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Reutimann attended track press conferences, sat with print journalists, talked to television camera crews, gave fans rides around the track, took part in the Victory Burnout Challenge, joined in the activities that come with a Sprint All-Star Race birth and will serve as the guest of honor at a black tie Speedway Children’s Charities Gala on Wednesday. These obligations have Reutimann working harder than ever … but he says he wouldn’t have it any other way.


REUTIMANN ON WINNING THE COCA-COLA 600: “Winning the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte was a huge deal for everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing. That was our first win as an organization in the Sprint Cup Series and to have it come at Charlotte in the 50th running of the Coca-Cola 600 is about as good as it gets.

“I remember when (crew chief) Rodney (Childers) told me to stay out instead of coming in to pit, thinking that he was out of his freaking mind. Then as the rain kept coming and we were standing there on pit road I thought this might just work out in our favor. Then we got big trophy at the end of the race I remember thinking maybe he knows what he’s talking about. Now I know to just keep my mouth shut and drive the race car and let Rodney make those calls.”

“I wish we would have won the race without the rain, because no one wants their first win to come in a rain shortened event, but it’s also not like I’m the first guy to ever win a rain-shortened race. I know Joey Logano probably feels the same way about his win at New Hampshire, but a win is a win and we’ll take them where we can get them.”

REUTIMANN ON THE DEMANDS OF BEING A DEFENDING RACE WINNER: “The last couple weeks have really been busy, but I’m honestly enjoying it. I knew winning a race came with it’s fair share of obligations, and especially a race like the Coca-Cola 600, but even this may be a little more than I expected. But if winning races means that my schedule gets busy then that is okay with me. I’d like to win a few more races, so I can keep busy!”

• Reutimann is making only his third start in a Coca-Cola 600. In his previous two starts at NASCAR’s longest event, Reutimann has one win and has never finished outside of the top-10. Reutimann’s lone career Sprint Cup Series win came in last year’s rain delayed and rain shortened race that was called due to rain after only 227 of the scheduled 400 laps.

• Reutimann has six career starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway—two Coca-Cola 600 starts and four starts in the fall event. Reutimann has two top-10s (both in the 600) and three top-15 finishes. Reutimann won the 600 last year and finished 15th in the fall race. He has led a lap in two of his last three starts at Charlotte for a total of six laps (One lap in 2008-2 and five laps in last year’s 600).

• In the last four point races, Reutimann has scored 539 points—the seventh most of any driver and moved from 30th to 20th in points. Has collected 15 bonus points for leading laps in three of the four races (five laps at Talladega, three at Darlington and one at Dover), recorded two top-five qualifying efforts (second at Richmond and fourth at Darlington) and has one top five and four top-15 finishes.

• Reutimann has finished 20th or better in eight of the nine races that he has been running at the finish in 2010—and 15th or better in seven of the nine. In his three DNFs (Did Not Finish), Reutimann was racing in the top-five of all three races at the time he radioed of the issue leading him to retire from the race. (5th at Atlanta, 2nd at Bristol, 5th at Atlanta).

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