David Reutimann has signed with Tommy Baldwin Racing for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup season.
Reutimann lost his job with Michael Waltrip Racing after the 2011 season. MWR upgraded their roster for 2012, adding veterans Mark Martin and Clint Bowyer and forcing out Reutimann.
The 41-year-old Reutimann spent five years with the team and earned the organization its first two wins in Cup competition. His first win came in the rain-shortened 2009 Coca-Cola 600 and his second came in 2010 at Chicagoland.
Reutimann scored a total of 12 top-5's, 26 top-10's and four poles during his time at MWR, but his performance declined precipitously in 2011. Reutimann finished a disappointing 28th in the final points with just three top-10's.
Reutimann joins Tommy Baldwin Racing, which fielded the No. 36 car for Dave Blaney last season. Blaney finished 32nd in the points with one top-10 in 2011, a third-place finish in the fall race at Talladega.
TBR hopes to run full schedules for both Reutimann and Blaney in 2012, although details of sponsorship, car numbers and team personnel are yet to be determined. 2011 sponsor Golden Corral is not returning for the upcoming season, but team owner Tommy Baldwin is optimistic.
"Reutimann will be a great addition to our program and to Dave Blaney,” said Baldwin. “Last season, we met our goal of running the entire schedule and making the top 35 in points. This season, our goal is to continue our progress on the competition side. Having two veteran drivers in Reutimann and Blaney is a very important step in our program’s growth."
In a sport in which multiple free agents—including David Ragan and Brian Vickers—remain unsigned with the 2012 Daytona 500 just weeks away, Reutimann is happy to have a Cup-level ride.
“Tommy has built a really good organization from the ground up in a really short amount of time,” said Reutimann. “One of the things I like about Tommy and what’s refreshing about him is that he is just a racer. There are lots of things he could be doing but instead he is at the shop every day working hard to build the organization from the ground up. There are not a lot of true racers in the garage, and he is one of them. It’s the way I was raised with my Dad, so we are on the same page. I’m just really looking forward to the season and seeing what we can do.”