Reutimann: Defying the Odds

By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on

Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway David Reutimann was asked if he pays attention to what the odds are for him winning races. Reutimann responded saying, “I don’t really pay too much attention to it”.

You can’t blame him… If Reutimann had looked at the odds years ago, they would not have been very favorable for him to make it into the Sprint Cup Series all together.

In a sport where it’s getting more and more important to be as young as possible, Reutimann got a shot for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2005. Reutimann was a 34-year-old rookie (Almost unheard of this day in age). During that season Michael Waltrip Racing was a start-up team, so the performance of the team wasn’t quite ready for Reutimann to be a contender.

The odds were stacked against Reutimann from the very start. He was starting out too old, he was not on a great team, and he was racing against the very best in the world… then something happened.

Reutimann began defying the odds.

In 2009 David Reutimann not only proved he could be in the thick of the hunt for the Chase, but he also showed he could make it to victory lane in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I know what you’re saying… “He only won because it was rain shortened” or “He got lucky”. Luck has a part to do with every race, but it is not a fluke when someone goes to victory lane in this sport.

However for people who think that about Reutimann, go ahead. He has shown he is very good when the odds are stacked up against him.

This time the only difference is, he is more experienced, his team is much improved, and he has some talented teammates.

Reutimann will start in the ninth row, from the 17th starting spot in Sunday’s Shelby American GT 350.

Author: Toby Christie

Toby is the Editor of and Social Media Director of all things @TheFinalLap. He is the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly radio show and podcast, and he is the writer and co-host of the Racing Legends podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed the sport as a fan since 1993.

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