By admin | July 13, 2010
By Richard Allen
David Reutimann won the LifeLock.com 400 in Chicago and that was a good thing. In many ways, this victory showed that good things can still happen in NASCAR. He won the rain shortened Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte last year. This, however, was his first Sprint Cup win at a full race distance.
Reutimann showed that fresh faces can still make their mark in the NASCAR world. Every race does not have to be won by the same small group of guys. And, the upset or dark horse always makes for a great story. After all, there are only so many ways a win by Jimmie Johnson or one of the other dominant drivers can be reported.
Aside from a winner not coming from the same small pool, this race showed that every race winner does not have to come from one of two or three garages. So far in 2010, Hendrick Motorsports, Joe Gibbs Racing and Richard Childress Racing have received 14 of the 19 trophies handed out. And it’s not like the other winners this season have come from the poor house. Penske, Ganassi and Stewart-Haas had been the other victors this year until Reutimann gave Michael Waltrip Racing its second ever race win.
To me, however, an even better thing about Reutimann winning was that he proved a driver does not have to enter the Sprint Cup Series as a teenager or early twenty something to make it. He turned 40 just a few months ago and did not get a full time ride in Cup until he was 37.
It is great to see someone rewarded who has stuck with it through years of struggle rather than to see some spoiled kid have everything handed to him because he happens to present an on-camera image that some sponsor wants.
And besides seeing an individual be rewarded, it is nice to see a family who has given so much to the sport of racing get their just desserts. Reutimann’s father, Buzzie, has been a long time dirt track campaigner and has no doubt sacrificed much for the sport.
The word deserved is one of the most overused words in the English language. But in the case of David Reutimann, the word is appropriate when used to describe his win in Chicago.
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Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly columns appear in The Mountain Press and The Knoxville Journal.
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