Reutimann Loses Tie To Family History As He Suits Up For UPS

nascar driver david reutimann toyotaBack in February I made the final post in a countdown series to the Daytona 500. That final post featured NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Reutimann and his family’s tie to the car #00 throughout their history in racing. Even before doing that post I was becoming somewhat a fan of David Reutimann. During the last half of the 2007 I remember hoping he would break out and get that first Cup win. After my research on Reutimann, his car number, and the ties his racing family has to that car number, well the more my desire to see him put the #00 in victory lane grew.

As the 2008 season got underway I started to realize that with Jarrett’s retirement would come Reutimann’s move to the UPS car. It’s certainly good news for David as he’ll have a sponsor that Dale Jarrett himself has said was one of the best in the sport. And then there’s the irony that David in fact worked for UPS at one time before he made it big as a race car driver. But what about the car number? I started seeing marketing photographs with David in his UPS drivers uniform, standing beside that spotless UPS sponsored Toyota with a blazing #44 on it. But, but…. where is the #00? Much was made of Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s desire to take the #8 with him to Hendrick Motorsports. Here is a man, and his family, who has arguably had just as much (if not more) history with the #00 as the Earnhardt family had with the #8. What a great story it would be for David, his family, and all NASCAR fans to maybe put the #00 in victory lane in stock car’s premier series with a Reutimann behind the wheel! I realize that to most NASCAR fans the hypothetical win would occur and they’d never know or probably even care. However, THIS fan would have cared and I know there has to be many other Reutimann fans who care too.

Was it that UPS wanted to retain the #44, or that Aaron’s (Reutimann’s sponsor in the #00) wanted to retain the #00? Could the two of them not agree to a number switch to follow their driver? To my understanding Aaron’s is not signed on as a full season sponsor. OK, so UPS is a full time sponsor and has built some equity into the #44. But let’s face it, it’s not a lot of equity when you consider the year before last it was the #88 before UPS followed Jarrett to Michael Waltrip Racing. There’s much, MUCH more equity built-in between Jarrett and UPS than there is #44 and UPS. We’re not talking a number, driver, sponsor tie so strong such as, oh say #43 & STP, #24 & DuPont, or #3 & Goodwrench. Both UPS and Aaron’s were going to have to create new marketing materials anyway that featured their new drivers. It was the perfect time to allow the #00 to go with Reutimann to the UPS car.

I’ve seen a few articles covering the retirement of Jarrett and the transition for Reutimann into the UPS car. But none that I’ve seen or heard have said a word about the car number. While I still don’t have an answer, I have put some e-mails out to Michael Waltrip Racing as well as Reutimann Racing to get an answer on it. I’m really curious why Reutimann had to lose a tie to his family’s racing history just because he gets to suit up with UPS. And I’m curious how Reutimann feels about not getting to have the #00 on his car. Oh sure, he appreciates being where he is in stock car racing, and when it comes down to it, it’s just a number sticker on the car, right? But then, so much BS is raised by some fans about the Toyota sticker on these cars too, so…..

If you’ve read or heard anything, let me know! Hopefully someone from MWR or Reutiman Racing will eventually respond to my e-mails.