NASCAR & Auto Racing

Late-season surge is to team's credit, Reutimann says

David Reutimann, who drives for the second-year Michael Waltrip Racing team, heads into Loudon with two straight ninth-place finishes, matching his career-best performance.

"I think it says a lot, not only about this team but about this organization," said Reutimann, who is 25th in the season points. "At one point, all three of our teams were running in the top five (last Sunday) at Richmond, so it's the organization as a whole that is making strides."

Rookie teammate Michael McDowell, who was replaced for several races by veteran Mike Skinner, finished 20th, while team boss Waltrip was 28th.

"All of our drivers had positive things to say when we got out of the car," Reutimann said. "Michael (McDowell) was back in the car for the first time in three races and it was his first time driving one of the new chassis that our team has built in-house. He immediately could tell a difference and that's a compliment to the hard work that the guys are doing back at the shop.

"For our team, I think it's a big statement that we've finished in the top 10 the past two weeks and it's been on two completely different racetracks," he added. "To me, that means we are making gains overall, not just on short tracks or just speedways, but everywhere. That's what it's going to take to be successful as the season continues."