David Reutimann OK, ready for Mexico
Following a hard crash at California Speedway during the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series event, David Reutimann is doing well and is focused on racing his No. 99 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Busch Series Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 on Sunday, March 4th at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
“I feel really good and I’m ready to race the Aaron’s Dream Machine this weekend,” Reutimann said. “My left foot hurts a little bit and I’m walking with just a slight limp. The swelling has gone way down. If I can have something like that happen and come through it with just that little bit, I’ll take it any day.”
“It’s a combination of several things that helped me walk away,” Reutimann continued. “It’s the faith in the man above looking over me, to the safety crew working quickly, to the SAFER barrier wall system in place (which I’m a huge advocate of), down to my helmet and HANS device. Also, it is the seat that I used that was made by Randy LaJoie's company (The Joie of Seating). It’s all the things that NASCAR mandates to help us. NASCAR does a phenomenal job in keeping their drivers safe. Because of all those things combined, I’m going to test the No. 00 Domino’s Pizza Cup car at Bristol Motor Speedway tomorrow.”
Following his Car of Tomorrow NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series test at Bristol Motor Speedway, Reutimann boards a plane on Thursday for Mexico. This will be Reutimann’s first visit to Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez and his first time racing on a road course. To help prepare for the 2.518-mile road course, Reutimann attended Bondurant Racing School in Phoenix, Ariz., in December.
“I learned a lot about braking and shifting and the heal toe technique,” Reutimann said. “I was there testing for two or three days learning basic knowledge. It really helped me.”
Crew Chief Jerry Baxter has some obvious advice that is important for his driver to follow.
“I’m trying to stress to him to stay on the road,” Baxter said. “He’s got to avoid getting caught up in the gravel trap. His focus should be racing the track and not the other cars around him. We are going get the car driving as good as we can especially since he doesn’t have much experience on a road course. We’ll apply what we learned from Michael (Waltrip) last season. David just needs to run some laps to learn.”
Baxter hopes their efforts pay off like last week. Reutimann advanced 18 positions to 11th-place in the NASCAR Busch Series drivers points standings following a 14th-place finish at California Speedway. The Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota Camry team are set to continue their points climb this weekend at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course.
“We hope to continue to move forward in the points,” said Reutimann, who is 148 points from leader Kevin Harvick. “The guys have been giving me good cars. We had a respectable finish last week and we’ll keep building off of that.”
Live coverage of the Telcel-Motorola Mexico 200 at Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on Sunday, March 4th begins at 1:30 p.m. on ESPN2 and MRN Radio.