NASCAR »

Waltrip Racing gets 2nd Victory in 2010

David Reutimann takes his second win in the Sprint Cup Chase
They spent lap after lap dueling with one another, each nosing out front and then falling behind, until David Reutimann finally muscled past Jeff Gordon to seize the lead at Chicagoland Speedway. That's when the four-time series champion bestowed upon the one-time race winner the highest of praise.

"I'll tell you," Gordon radioed to his team, "he's pretty damn good."

He certainly was Saturday night, leading 51 of the final 55 laps -- including the last 32 -- to score a career-defining victory that left many in the Sprint Cup garage area as happy as if they themselves had won. In one evening on the outskirts of Chicago, Reutimann's reputation changed from a driver many whispered was fortunate to claim the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte last year, to a multiple-time winner on NASCAR's premier circuit.

Of course, to many within the industry, it was far from a surprise, even though the driver himself admitted to feeling a little sheepish over the way he earned his first career victory last spring. "I felt like there was a cloud over it, no pun intended, but a dark cloud hanging over our head with that win at the 600," Reutimann said. Not Saturday. Saturday at Chicagoland he unequivocally earned it, outrunning Gordon and Carl Edwards, and showing the kind of racer many believe has been inside that No. 00 car all along.

"I've been around for not as many years as most, but I've probably not seen anyone have to walk around for a year-and-a-half and apologize about winning a race," said Ty Norris, vice president of Michael Waltrip Racing, the team that field's Reutimann's car. "Winning that Coca Cola 600 because of rain, everyone sort of like had the asterisk next to that win. [Saturday night] was a huge statement."

And a popular one, judging by the reaction. The victory had crew chief Rodney Childers almost in tears during a pit-road television interview. "Sorry for being so emotional," he said. "He wanted to win one on his own."

Gordon and Edwards each came to Victory Lane to offer Reutimann congratulations. After enduring a difficult night and emerging from a 45-minute debrief with driver Kyle Busch, the first thing crew chief Dave Rogers wanted to do was go over and shake hands with members of the No. 00 team.

"That's a big deal for them," Rogers said of the victory.
As it is for Reutimann, who finally shakes the yoke of that lone rain-delayed win at Charlotte, but didn't necessarily need a second career victory to burnish his reputation among his peers.

"He's a nice guy," Edwards said. "He's very humble. He's just a nice person. He's the first guy to congratulate you on something, and the first to apologize if he feels like he did something wrong. We all get to hang out with each other every week, but he's the guy you'd hang out with if you had an off weekend. He's a good guy."

Added Gordon: "David is a neat guy. I just know that that win that he had in Charlotte, you know, while he took it, not going to throw away the trophy, earning it the way he earned it [Saturday night] is the way he wants to do it. They've been close at times, just haven't had all the breaks. You know, I think that he just drove a great race and had a good race car. I think he deserves to be congratulated."

Reutimann, true to his self-deprecating nature, seemed humbled by the reaction.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
David Reutimann Wins His Second Cup Race
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS finished in third place Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Johnson advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS races to win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory with his daughter, Ella Sofia Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS celebrates his victory win Sunday, September 28, 2014 in the Chase Challenger 16 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Dover International Speedway in Dover, Delaware. Gordon advances to the Contender 12 phase of the Chase which begins next Sunday at Kansas Speedway.  (Photo by Gregg Ellman/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Wurth Ford, races Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, leads Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick drives the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet back to pit road after cutting a tyre during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, lead the field to the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway on September 28, 2014 in Dover, Delaware. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare/Project Pink Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, Driver of the #51 Toyota Care Toyota takes the chequered flag to win the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Erik Jones, Driver of the #51Toyota Care Toyota celebrates winning the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
The green flag waves at the start of the Rhino Linings 350 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Dover 200 at Dover International Speedway on September 27, 2014 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.