The worst seven words for a driver to hear with three races to go in the 2011 Sprint Cup Series season: “You can’t drive for us next year.” Unfortunately, these are the words 41-year-old, David Reutimann, driver of the No. 00 for Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR), heard earlier this week.
The Florida-native was the only Sprint Cup Series race winner (two times) with Michael Waltrip Racing; he won the rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2009, and then again the following year at Chicagoland.
Currently scored in the twenty-eighth position in the championship standings, it was formally announced today, November 3, that Reutimann will not return for the 2012 season. This leaves the No. 00 seat open for next season. It has been said that MWR has shown great interest in having Mark Martin, whose contract with Hendrick Motorsports is up at the end of the 2011 season, pilot the No. 00 for a limited number of races since Martin has made it very clear that he doesn’t want to drive full-time anymore in Cup. If Martin does join the team, he will have Martin Truex, Jr. and Clint Bowyer as his part-time teammates.
Tomorrow, Friday, at Texas Motor Speedway, Michael Waltrip Racing will make an announcement, even though the topic is not known.
It has been announced in the press conference today that Mark Martin will run the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 00 for twenty-five races (comprised of twenty-four points races and the All-Star Race) in each of the 2012 and 2013 Sprint Cup seasons - including the 2012 Daytona 500. Owner, Michael Waltrip will race in the three other plate races, as well as at Kentucky. The driver for the other races has not been decided, and will probably be a few drivers - sponsorship being key.