Experience: 10 Seasons (NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series & Camping World Truck Series)
|Wife: Lisa Reutimann
Children: Emilia Reutimann
Height/Weight: 6’0, 175 lbs.
|Born: March 2, 1970
Hometown: Zephyrhills, Florida
Residence: Terrell, North Carolina
Teams: #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota; #10 Braun Racing Toyota
David Reutimann enters his fifth full NASCAR Sprint Cup season driving Michael Waltrip Racing’s Toyota Camry sporting the traditional Reutimann family No. 00 and the equally familiar paint scheme of the Aaron’s Dream Machine – now in its 12th season with MWR and NASCAR.
The 40-year-old Reutimann also begins the 2011 season with his crew chief of three years Rodney Childers and a largely intact No. 00 crew from the previous season. About the only 2011 change for Reutimann will be in his expectations - those are certainly much greater.
The Zephyrhills, Fla. native no longer goes to the track each weekend hoping to qualify or run well. After consecutive seasons visiting victory lane, Reutimann and crew expect those victory lane celebrations to be even more frequent in 2011. With the expected success, the MWR team eyes a place in the 2011 “Chase for the Championship.”
The No. 00 showed the speed and flashes of brilliance in 2010 to make it a Chase contender in ‘11. In July, Reutimann led 51 of the final 55 laps to win at Chicagoland Speedway. He’s led over 100 laps the last three seasons posting 11 top-five finishes in the last two years.
TUMS and Best Western joined the primary sponsorship rotation in 2010 and return in 2011 giving Reutimann solid sponsorship for the next few years at MWR. Life is good for Reutimann who is one of those overnight sensations that took 25 years to create.
Reutimann followed the footsteps of his legendary father, Emil “Buzzie” Reutimann, who is still famous for his dirt-track domination all along the Eastern seaboard. David raced alongside his father, competing in Modified and Late Model races each Friday and Saturday night for the majority of this youth.
His first break came in 1997 when he started competing in the NASCAR Southwest Series where he earned Rookie of the Year honors. He competed in the series throughout the next five years, which included a second-place finish in the 2002 points standings.
During the 2002 season, Reutimann landed a career-changing opportunity courtesy of a connection with his long-time childhood friend Brian Pattie. Pattie was working with driver/owner Joe Nemechek, heading up the Nationwide team as the crew chief. Nemechek needed a driver and following Pattie’s advice offered Reutimann a few races in 2002. Reutimann made his debut at Richmond finishing a respectable 16th-place. He competed in three more races in 2002 and performed well enough for Nemechek to give him a seven-race schedule in 2003, when he earned two top-five and three top-10 finishes.
Collecting his first career pole at Memphis in 2003 allowed Reutimann to say on national television that he was looking for a job. At the same time, Darrell Waltrip was starting a truck series team with new manufacturer Toyota and believed Reutimann was the ideal driver. The 2004 season marked Reutimann’s first as a full-time driver in one of NASCAR’s top touring series. Reutimann won his first career pole, as well as the first pole for Toyota, at Atlanta in just his second career start in 2004. He won another pole and set the track speed record during the season finale at Homestead to finish the year with four top-five and 10 top-ten finishes capturing the 2004 rookie of the year honors. His first career truck series victory came at Nashville in August 2005. In 2006, he won two poles, seven top-five and 19 top-10 finishes that placed him third in the driver point standings at season’s end.
During the 2006 season, Reutimann ran a few races in the Nationwide Series for Darrell’s brother Michael Waltrip. Later that year, the younger Waltrip announced in Reutimann’s hometown of Zephyrhills, Fla. that he would be starting a full-time Cup Series team in 2007 with support from Toyota, which was planning to make its Cup Series debut that year. Reutimann’s performance in 2006 led to his hiring at the newly formed MWR for the 2007 season as the full-time driver for Waltrip’s Nationwide and Cup teams.
The 2007 season presented challenges to Reutimann and his MWR Cup Series team. While competing in 26 of the 36 races, the No. 00 Toyota team showed considerable progress toward the end of the season and finished 39th in the championship points race. Reutimann performed well on the 2007 Nationwide Series circuit, finishing second in the championship points race by collecting one win, one pole, five top-fives and 12 top-ten finishes.
In 2008, Reutimann again competed full-time in the Sprint Cup and Nationwide series and displayed marked improvement in both series, solidifying his position at MWR for 2009. Racing for MWR and Toyota in NASCAR’s two premiere series gave Reutimann a national stage to display his driving talent and established him firmly in the sport.
In 2008, made all 36 races on the schedule, led the most laps at Richmond and posted multiple top-10 finishes. In the season finale at Homestead, Reutimann won his first pole award in front of home state fans. In just his second season of full-time competition, he recorded four top-10, 18 top-20 and 24 top-25 finishes to finish 22nd in the standings.
Reutimann took huge step forward in 2009, earning his first trip to victory lane in the rain-shortened version of the 600-mile race at Charlotte in May. Reutimann’s popularity also soared to new heights. Playfully dubbed “The Franchise” by his team members, Reutimann finished in the top-five of the all-star race fan vote in 2009.
In 2010, Reutimann’s fifth-place finish in the season opening Daytona 500 set a career best in NASCAR’s most prestigious event. In May, he recorded back-to-back top-five finishes for the first time in his career with fifth-place finishes at both Dover and Charlotte. In July he earned his second career NSCS victory at Chicago. The win qualified Reutimann for a second consecutive appearance in NASCAR’s upcoming all-star race in May. Reutimann recorded six top-five and nine top-10 finishes while leading 104 laps and finished 18th in the standings.