CONCORD, N.C. (January 27, 2006) - David Reutimann is a third generation driver. His father Emil "Buzzie" Reutimann is a racing legend and so is his team owner Darrell Waltrip. This Saturday, both legendary drivers will be inducted into the Eastern Motorsport Press Association Hall of Fame during the annual convention at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Trevose, Pennsylvania.
"It's a huge honor and I'm really proud that they are recognizing my dad and team owner," said David Reutimann, driver of the No. 17 Darrell Waltrip Motorsports Toyota. "I think they've both given a lot to the sport. It is really special that they are being inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame together. My dad's still racing at 64 years of age and he's still just as competitive as he ever was. I'm so proud of them."
To be inducted into the EMPA Hall of Fame, is a special honor for Waltrip and the elder Reutimann.
"It is always flattering when people want to recognize your accomplishments that you worked so hard to earn," said Waltrip, a three-time NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series champion with 84 career wins. "I'm thrilled Buzzie and I are both winners together. The Reutimann family is a class act and I am excited about the opportunities that lie before Buzzie's son, David, for the future with my team."
The 64-year-old echoes Waltrip's sentiment.
"I would like to thank the press for telling our stories over the years," said Reutimann. "If it wasn't for them writing the stories, we wouldn't be anywhere. Without them, Buzzie Reutimann wouldn't be Buzzie Reutimann. I wouldn't be receiving an award tomorrow night if it wasn't for them. What they write is what you save in your scrapbooks. It is the memories you have. They write the memories we have and I know DW feels the same."
As Waltrip supposedly competed in his final NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway last October, Reutimann continues to race and win championships at age 64.
"When we started running at East Bay Raceway last year, I didn't think about winning a track championship," said Reutimann. "Right there towards the end, I was leading the points. That's when I thought I had a shot at another championship. We ended up winning the Open Wheel Modified championship. I don't know how many more championships this little body's got left in it. I'm 64 and I'll be 65 in May, but I've got a few years to go."
Reutimann's won so many races and championships in his lifetime that he can't seem to keep up.
"I have a friend that comes down each year and he's sort of our historian," said Reutimann. "He's telling me I've got somewhere around 1,200 feature wins in all types of cars. It goes back to when I started with my old Flathead Ford and then onto whenever I moved to Sportsman. I won like 20 features in a row at one time in Florida. As far as how many championships I have, gosh, I don't know. I've won all over at places like Sunshine Speedway, Golden Gate Speedway, East Bay Raceway and up north at places like Middletown, Nazareth, East Windsor, Syracuse and Fullerton to just name a few. We've won championships in all those places. When you race and pay attention to what you are doing, the championship comes along with it."
As Reutimann accepts his award, he will be also accepting on behalf of Waltrip in his absence.
"I want to thank my dear friend Buzzie Reutimann for filling in for me," said Waltrip. "I am so thankful for this honor, but I do have one concern. Buzzie is a racer and he always has been and always will be. He is like me and he is always racing for the trophy. So, I'm a little concerned that Buzzie is taking two trophies to his house tomorrow tonight and that I will never see mine."
"He'll get his trophy some day," laughed Reutimann. "It may just take me a while to give it to him. I've got an extra special place on my mantle to keep it for him until I see him in person. It's an honor for me to accept this award on his behalf. He's got big shoes to fill. I don't know about the speech he gave me to tell everyone. Here I am going to be in front of a few hundred people and I have to make a speech for him. How do you top Darrell Waltrip?"
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