CORNELIUS, N.C. — David Reutimann returns to the NASCAR Nationwide Series Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway. For the first time since October 2009, the 41-year-old reunites with crew chief Jerry Baxter and the No. 99 Toyota he drove to a second-place finish in 2007 points race.
The Zephyrhills, Fla. native substitutes for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing driver Ryan Truex while the 19-year-old rookie points leader recovers from last week’s corrective surgery on his right wrist. Reutimann competed in six Nationwide races in 2010 posting a fourth-place finish at Chicagoland. He owns a pole, four top-10 finishes and has led 22 laps in nine Nationwide starts at the ultra-fast 1.5-mile Texas track.
DAVID REUTIMANN ON RUNNING THE NATIONWIDE CAR: “I don’t know when the last time I was back with (crew chief) Jerry Baxter and the guys, but it’s been a while. I look forward to getting back with that team. I know it’s just a temporary deal, just a one race deal until Ryan (Truex) gets back, but I’m still looking forward to doing it. Texas is one of my favorite racetracks and we run well there. I’m looking forward to getting there, getting some practice in and ready to see what we can do.”
DO YOU FIND ANY BENEFIT TO RACING BOTH THE NATIONWIDE AND CUP RACES IN ONE WEEKEND? “I think sometimes it’s helpful. Obviously both the Nationwide and the Cup cars are different, so there’s not a lot of stuff that crosses over, but I feel like it never hurts to get more time on a racetrack. I’m always learning something whenever I’m on the racetrack no matter what series it’s in, so I don’t think it’s a huge benefit, but it definitely doesn’t hurt you either. If you run good in the Nationwide race there is no guarantee that you’re going to run good in the Cup race, but any time you are behind the wheel is a good thing.”
NOTES OF INTEREST
· Michael Waltrip Racing, Gary and Blake Bechtel and Travis Pastrana own Pastrana-Waltrip Racing that fields Toyota Camrys out of the MWR shop in Cornelius, N.C. The Bechtels have owned cars in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series since 1990. The Morgan Hill, Calif. residents’ teams have visited victory lane 10 times in the Nationwide Series.
· Reutimann owns one victory (Memphis 2007), three poles, 17 top-five and 43 top-10 finishes in 122 Nationwide starts. He’s led 503 laps.
· Michael Waltrip will race the No. 99 in Talladega on April 16 and Ryan Truex will return to action at Nashville Superspeedway on April 23.
· Travis Pastrana will test Monday at the Motor Mile Speedway in Fairlawn, Va. in preparation for his July 30 Nationwide debut at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. Pastrana’s next race will be the K&N Pro Series East race at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 29.