David Reutimann will return to action this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway as Xxxtreme Motorsports attempts to make its Sprint Cup debut with the No. 44 No Label Watches Ford.
Xxxtreme Motorsports owner John Cohen, a Gotham-based businessman, dabbled in the Nationwide Series in 2009 and in drag racing prior to deciding to make a run at NASCAR's top division. While Cohen's father was himself a drag racer, his own interest in racing came while studying at Delaware State University across from Dover Downs International Speedway in 1997.
Cohen's expectations this weekend are simple - just qualify for the race and build toward next year.
"We ran with Chase Austin and Josh Wise in the Nationwide Series, so it's not my first time," Cohen said. "We just want to put on a good show for No Label Watches and then run the full season in 2013."
Cohen enlisted veteran racer Frank Kerr to be his general manager and crew chief. For Kerr, who is still technically employed by JTG/Daugherty Racing, it will be his fourth start-up operation in NASCAR.
"We were going to sell John some cars from JTG," Kerr said. "Then about a month ago he said, 'Hey, I can't get anyone to work on this stuff, would you help?' We were ready to go racing ... and we started to build this thing for him. It just worked out.
"We're going to start and park this weekend but that's because there are only seven or eight of us going and we're doing what we can. Hopefully, it will work into a full-time Cup deal moving forward."
Xxxtreme Motorsports is leasing engines from Roush Yates and will attempt to make the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway next weekend as well. Cohen is hoping to stay the course with Reutimann moving forward.
"David is a solid veteran," Cohen said. "Considering that he worked with Frankie before at Michael Waltrip Racing, they bring a lot of experience to the table. I believe together they can help build a good team."
Reutimann qualified and finished seventh at Phoenix last fall. It was his best performance in 10 starts.