Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Class Act - SYMT

When I was introduced to the local racing scene back in the mid seventies, the Reutimann brothers were firmly established as fan favorites in the Tampa Bay area. Buzzie, Wayne, and Dale were among the most dominant drivers at both Golden Gate Speedway (the asphalt track now long gone) and East Bay Raceway, the dirt track located just south of Tampa.

It all started in the early twenties when Emil Reutimann moved his family to the small town of Zephyrhills, Florida. It was there that he started the family business of working on Model A automobiles.

Emil started out as a mechanic, but it wasn't long before he was experimenting with differrent ways to make a car go faster. Emil Jr. shared his fathers need for speed and soon they both were participating in car races with friends and neighbors in a small field just outside of town.

By the time little Emil L. (Buzzie) was born racing cars had become a part of the families life. If anyone was ever destined to become a race car driver it was Buzzie. It wasn't long after he started working on cars that he began building his own to race along side his father against all comers.

Buzzie was followed in the tradition by younger brothers Wayne and Dale. While the older brothers Buzzie and Wayne were on the road in the northeast making a name for themselves, younger brother Dale was back home racing with his dad in central Florida. In fact Dale was developing into a very talented driver and according to older brother Wayne, " if any of us would have made it he would have". That hope ended late one afternoon when Dale and his father were killed when a drunk driver crossed the center line of U S Highway 301 and crashed head on into their truck.

It is now over thirty years later and one of the family has made it to the big show. David Reutimann has taken the family tradition all the way to the top. He represents three generations of drivers who were also skilled mechanics and fabricators who built their own cars and established a reputation of being a class act.

David now drives for Michael Waltrip Motorsports and is out there on the biggest stage in American sports. Being from the same area I feel a sort of kinship to the Reutiman family. I grew up not far from Zephyrhills and traveled the short distance on Highway 301 to Golden Gate Speedway to watch Buzzie, Wayne, and Dale tear up the track and competition.

Being a part of NASCAR's top series has always been a dream shared by the Reutimann family, but to have the 00 on the side of David's car is truly the stuff of which dreams are made. You see the Reutimanns not only have a rich tradition in racing, but have been associated with the 00 since the early days back in Zephyrhills.

David now continues the proud tradition of the old 00 and of living up to the family creed of going first class all the way.


  1. Great write up! It is great that David "The Franchise" has been improving and I hope he stays around for a long time. What a great racing family, I learned a lot. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Lori, I was a fan of the Reutimann boys a long time ago, but I drifted away from the sport in the late seventies. I am very happy for David and his family.

  3. Very nice Blow by Blow Areo. You mentioned David making it to the Big Show .....his father was the Big Show of course and was one of top short track racers in the county during his career.

    North Eastern short track racing was extremely popular back in the day and he was a large part of it.

    On a side note, edit Darrell to Michael Waltrip Motorsports.

    Great story Aero

  4. Thanks RL, I was in awe of the guy when I was a teenager. He and his brothers could sure put on a show.

    I don't know how I screwed that Michael and Darrel thing up, but as soon as I figure how to, I will fix that mistake.

    Thanks for the tip and your visit.

  5. Great post, Aero!

    I knew that David's father raced, but I didn't know all that history of family racind. I wonder if they ever raced at Palm Beach Speedway at the WPB Fairgrounds?

    Thanks for the racing info.

  6. Hey Gene, I know that Buzzie and Wayne were all over the place in the seventies and eighties. I know they raced at the Florida State Fairgrounds for a while, so I would imagine the raced in West Palm Bch also.

    Thanks for the visit, always a pleasure.

  7. Great SYMT blog aero! that is a cool name for a small town.

    So which old timer is David descended from? I learned a lot about this...amazing how many racing families have been in it for so many generations!

  8. Hey k, David is Buzzie's son. I have no idea why I left that information out of my post.

    I love the history of these families and of the sport.

    Thank you very much for stopping by. Take care.

  9. Nice write aero. I became a fan of David's just because of the 00 number. Its nice that he has that family tradition with it. Racing is a family sport. I think thats why most of like it so much. It help to connect us to our past and link us to the future.

  10. Aero my friend, You have hosted your first SYMT race and you didn't let us down in any way, It was a great family racing read and I am glad I push you to get into

    Thanks for the get well wishes on my post, this bug/flu is still kicking my a&&, You think your getting better and then it slams you to bed again. Hope all is well with the family and my buddy Jack.


  11. A very informative blog on the Reutimann's. Must say I did not know anything about them. But now I know alittle bit thanks to you.

  12. Thanks Storkjrc, I thought it was cool that David kept that number alive. It is a fine tribute to his family's history.

    It has been the history and humanity of the sport that I have learned while reading the posts on this site that has drawn me back to racing.

    Take care my friend.

  13. Hey Jamie, I'm very sorry to hear that you're not feeling well. I will pray for your speedy recovery.

    Without your help and inspiration this post would not have happened. With a little more practice I will be able to improve my writing and layout skills.

    Jack is doing great. He is growing up so fast now that he is healthy.

    Please take care and get well soon my friend.


  14. Hey TSfan, it is I who should be grateful to you and all the other fine people on this site. I have learned so much by reading everyone's posts that it has rekindled an affection for racing.

    Thank you!

  15. The greatest stories of sports and families are mostly about racers. Great job here, Aero.

  16. Woot! Could be my lucky week...I have the #2!