The rapid rise of Zephyrhills' David Reutimann to stock-car racing's premier series hits full speed this weekend when he'll attempt to qualify for NASCAR's New England 300 in a second car owned by Morgan-McClure Motorsports.
If Reutimann's Pontiac makes the field along with the No. 4 driven by rookie Johnny Sauter, it will mark the first time the Morgan-McClure team has entered two cars in a Winston Cup event. Sauter made his debut Sunday in Joliet, Ill., and finished 35th.
"We wanted a second car for some time, and now seemed like an opportune time to act," team owner and president Larry McClure said. "We feel we have two very talented young drivers to give an opportunity to drive in Winston Cup, and this will give the team time to work with both drivers."
Reutimann, 33, competed in the Busch race at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday in a car owned by Lakeland's Joe Nemechek, a Cup regular. He tested this week in Indianapolis.
"David has made great progress in the Winston Cup car this week on one of the circuit's toughest tracks," McClure said. "He has never been behind the wheel of a Winston Cup car before."
Reutimann's best Busch finish this season was a fifth-place showing at the GNC 250 in Milwaukee. Despite being scheduled to compete in just seven Busch races, Nemechek's NEMCO Motorsports team confirmed this month it was actively pursuing a primary sponsor for a new Busch car to be driven by Reutimann full-time in 2004.
QUARTERBACKS CALL AUDIBLE: Dallas-based Hall of Fame Racing and its principal partners, Roger Staubach and Troy Aikman, have shelved their ambitious plan to field a start-up Winston Cup team in 2004. Citing a lack of sponsorship dollars, the team instead plans to compete full-time in the Busch series.
WHAT A FEELING: Toyota has submitted its Tundra race truck to NASCAR for approval to compete in the Craftsman Truck Series in 2004.
The Tundra submitted to NASCAR will undergo final aerodynamic evaluation by the sanctioning body, along with the other manufacturers' trucks. On-track testing of the Toyota truck is scheduled to begin this summer and continue into the fall.