News & Media


Reutimann finds ride with Tommy Baldwin Racing

January 03, 2012, Dave Rodman, NASCAR.com

One-year deal set for what driver says is at least 26 races, with more possible

David Reutimann has finally found his second career Sprint Cup team. He will race for Tommy Baldwin Racing after agreeing to a one-year deal for 2012.

Reutimann, 41, and team owner Baldwin have similar backgrounds. Reutimann raced in the shadow of his legendary dad, dirt modified driver Buzzie Reutimann, and Baldwin did the same with his late father, asphalt modified driver Tom Baldwin.

"One of the things I like about Tommy and what's refreshing about him is that he is just a racer."

--DAVID REUTIMANN

"Tommy has built a really good organization from the ground up in a really short amount of time," Reutimann said in a statement. "One of the things I like about Tommy and what's refreshing about him is that he is just a racer. There are lots of things he could be doing but instead he is at the shop every day working hard to build the organization from the ground up."

"As you walk through the garage and you build relationships through the years, there are not as many of what I would consider to be a racer, and having the true racer's mentality, as there used to be. James Finch [owner of Phoenix Racing] is one of them who just works his butt off to go race, and so is Tommy. It's the way I was raised with my dad, so we are on the same page. I'm just really looking forward to the season and see what we can do."

"How he was brought up and what he's done in his career definitely raises my comfort level," Baldwin said of Reutimann. "He's won a couple races in these cars and that's only gonna help our program. That's what we're looking for, a little bit more consistency on that."

Baldwin's small, three-year-old start-up team set and achieved its primary 2011 goals with Dave Blaney and is looking to continue its steady building process. TBR ran a second car in five races in the second half of 2011.

Baldwin, who won the 2002 Daytona 500 as Ward Burton's crew chief at Bill Davis Racing, said he'll start the season as Reutimann's crew chief, while veteran chief mechanic Philippe Lopez would again work with Blaney.

Reutimann, who has two career Sprint Cup victories and has won races in all three of NASCAR's national tours, was available after being released following last season by Michael Waltrip Racing.

"In 2011 we hit our goals -- we wanted to get into the top 35 and compete in every race, and we did that -- and I can't stress how good a job Dave did with that," Baldwin said. "Our goals for 2012 are a little different. We want to spend our time getting more competitive and we're excited now, because we know we can get to the next level.

"In addition to having Blaney, Reutimann will come in and help us with that; raise the bar a little bit on our program. Just where [Reutimann's] been and the successes that he's had [made me want him for our team]. We feel like he can help Dave and Dave can help him and hopefully we can pick up on our competition."

"I was very impressed with what they did last year," Reutimann said by phone Monday of Blaney's 33rd-place finish in the owners' standings. "They continually showed improvement, week in and week out and everybody knows, in the garage area, what Tommy's got. He started a team from nothing, he's raced it up into the top 35 and he continues to build the deal, and it's impressive to see."

Reutimann said he and Baldwin had discussed their schedule, with start-and-parking not in their plans.

"As we talked [Monday] we're looking at 26 races -- not a full season but that's something we're obviously angling towards and trying to do and we're going there to race," Reutimann said. "They have a great group of guys over there who are really working their butts off and it's really cool. It's gonna be a different side of things, but I think it'll be a good fit for me.

"We feel like he can help Dave [Blaney] and Dave can help him and hopefully we can pick up on our competition."

--TOMMY BALDWIN

"Tommy would be a success no matter what he chose to do, but he's a racer. Some team owners would race and make money, but a racer comes up with money so he can go race, and that's Tommy Baldwin. He wants to come up with the money so he can go and be competitive, and to me that's the definition of a racer."

Baldwin said on Monday that sponsorships for the full seasons and which car numbers his two drivers will use were still being determined, "we've got some things etched on paper and hopefully we can get those announced and move ahead." Accell Construction, which has been with Baldwin in limited appearances the past couple seasons, has already committed to the team.

"All of the guys that we were running with towards the end of the year [in 2011] have stepped it up as well, so we had no choice but to try to do the same thing," Baldwin said. "Having two veteran drivers here hopefully will help us."

Baldwin said his team would bring a new car to the season-opening test at Daytona Jan. 12-14, probably with Blaney driving "to see how it compares to the field." But the team also has the car with which Blaney got his career-best finish, and TBR's best ever, of third last fall at Talladega that it can use for the Daytona 500.

"The biggest key that we need is that we need to secure some more sponsorship for [this] year," Baldwin said. "We have a plan and we're gonna attack that plan, but man, we need to bring some partners on board so we can do a good job.

"Unfortunately, Golden Corral is not coming back with us [this] year -- they decided to spend their money on some TV stuff, I guess. But they were a great partner and they did some great things for us last year. We're gonna find somebody like that and hopefully we can do a good job like we did with Golden Corral."

Reutimann said he has also been talking to some Camping World Truck Series owners about some 2012 races in that series.

"Tommy's obviously had some success and he's a one-man show right now -- a team owner and crew chief -- and I'm looking forward to working with Tommy," Reutimann said. "I know he's a colorful guy and he tells you what he's thinking when he's thinking it. He's a smart guy, a good crew chief and he's honest and up front. I think it's gonna be a good fit."