CONCORD, N.C. — Some may think David Reutimann had fallen off the face of the Earth since his last Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start in 2014, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Reutimann, a two-time race winner in the NASCAR Cup Series in 235 career starts, has been focusing on his dirt modified chassis business (Beak Built) while also spending as much time as he can with his family.
“I haven’t fallen off the face of the Earth, but at the same time I stepped away from the NASCAR deal,” said Reutimann, who was in North Carolina this weekend to compete in the OneDirt World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte. “I’m not involved in that (NASCAR) in any way, shape or form. It’s a better living than I expected it to be, for sure.
“I’ve just been building dirt cars and trying to be a dad. When you’re Cup racing and doing things like that…my daughter rides horses and does a lot of horse competitions and doing quite well with that. I didn’t get a chance to go to a lot of those things. Now that I’m not traveling as much I do that.”
When not spending time with his family, Reutimann has been focusing heavily on Beak Built Chassis. The company builds UMP-style modifieds and Reutimann said he does most of the work alongside one part-time employee.
“My background before I got a chance to go Cup racing was in building cars and building chassis,” said Reutimann, who occasionally jumps behind the wheel of one of his modifieds to shake off the rust. “You always kind of go back to what you’re familiar with. Going into the Cup deal and the whole NASCAR thing, you know it’s not going to be forever. So you have to plan what to do afterward.
“So the whole time I was Cup racing I was buying equipment and building a shop and doing different things so we could at some point just build cars and do stuff on the side,” Reutimann explained. “That’s just what we’re doing. It’s certainly gotten to be a lot busier than I ever anticipated it being. It’s just myself for the most part and one other guy that helps me part time. It doesn’t take a lot to keep me busy. We stay pretty covered up all the time.
“We have a lot of fun there. I haven’t really figured out how to make a lot of money at it, but we do have a good time.”
Looking ahead to November, Reutimann is helping promote a race that is near and dear to his heart. On Nov. 18 Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., will play host to the Emil & Dale Reutimann Memorial Race. The event honors David Reutimann’s Uncle and Grandfather, who were killed in a traffic accident when their vehicle was struck by a drunk driver.
“It’s a 50 lap deal that we’ve done for the last few years,” said Reutimann. “We do it in honor of my Grandfather and Uncle who got killed. It’s a good time. I hate the reason for memorial races because somebody is gone. At the same time it is nice to have a tribute for them. It’s been well received and car counts have been good and people seem to enjoy it. So we’ll keep plugging away at it.”
So does Reutimann, a former Coca-Cola 600 winner, miss competing in NASCAR? Not exactly.
“I miss the money,” Reutimann said with a light hearted laugh. “What I don’t miss is having car owners that talk out both sides of their mouth and can’t figure out what they’re going to do from one week to the next. I don’t miss that.
“I kind of control my own destiny here, good, bad or indifferent. I own everything. I pay the bills. But I know where I stand all the time. That’s not a bad thing to have.”
So what does the future hold for Reutimann? He hopes to continue building his chassis business while trying to get back behind the wheel a bit more often.
“I would like to go race more personally. It’s more fun racing than it is being in the shop. Other than that, I’m happy with what I’m doing,” Reutimann said. “We’ll just keep developing our cars and move some product and just try to build a better race car.”