June 7 2011 by Mark Deyer
After a slow start to the 2011 season, it seems that Best Western sponsored Michael Waltrip Racing has turned it on and created a bit of luck for themselves. With high hopes going into the season, the newly semi-retired Michael Waltrip and newly refocused David Reutimann, had a bit of hard luck to kick off their year. A crash to start the season at Daytona for Waltrip and a series of mediocre finishes for Reutimann weren't what the Charlotte based team was hoping for. In a quick change of luck, however, May couldn't have been sweeter for them.
On the racing front, Reutimann has been pouring it on lately. A top 15 finish on May 15th at Dover got Reuti's luck started. The hard fought 15th place finish at Dover's "Monster Mile" led way to a successful two week stint in Charlotte at Charlotte Motor Speedway for the All-Star Race and the Coca-Cola 600. David raced his way to a 3rd place finish in the All-Star race. Using the knowledge and confidence from the All-Star race, Reutimann's 00 team was able to convert a 9th place finish the following week's 600 mile race.
Enjoying his semi-retirement, Michael Waltrip hasn't been feeling the pressure as much as he felt as a fulltime driver. With bills to pay as a team owner, however, he still has high expectations for the 2011 season. A win in the Camping World Truck Series in Daytona got Waltrip's mojo moving, despite a crash in the Sprint Cup race the same weekend. Waltrip's biggest accolade may be off the track, though, with the release of his best-selling book In the Blink of an Eye. The book has been critically acclaimed by race fans and non-race fans alike. Highlighting his win at the 2001 Daytona 500, the same day that his boss and friend Dale Earnhardt Sr. died, the book is tailor made for the silver screen. The success of the book has certainly been a high mark for Waltrip to hang has hat on this year.
With a few great finishes in their back pocket and a New York Times Best Seller, the rest of 2011 is looking promising for Best Western Racing, Waltrip, and Reutimann. What are YOUR expectations for the rest of the season?