David Reutimann surprised by firing

Updated: November 9, 2011, 5:43 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

CHARLOTTE -- David Reutimann said Tuesday he had no idea he was about to be fired last week and that he expected to be with Michael Waltrip Racing at least through the end of his contract in 2012.

Reutimann said his representatives are working with MWR to resolve his contract situation.

"That was certainly a pretty big surprise," said Reutimann. "Last week was a rough week for sure. It was pretty rough all through the race weekend (at Texas). You go through different emotions. Sometimes you're upset. Sometimes you're angry.

"It flip-flops around time to time. It's just a bummer to be in this situation, but there's nothing I can really do to change it."

Reutimann, whose wins at Charlotte in 2009 and Chicago last season are the only times MWR has visited Victory Lane the past five years, said he was told the change came at the request of sponsor Aaron's.

"I had no indication," said the 41-year-old Reutimann, who is 28th in points after finishing 18th and 16th the past two years. "They never told me my job was on the line or in jeopardy."

Reutimann is being replaced next year by Mark Martin and team owner Michael Waltrip in the No. 00.

Reutimann doesn't know what he will do next season. His first choice would be to remain in the Sprint Cup series, but understanding the options are few he would be willing to drop down to the Nationwide Series or Truck Series.

He said there was brief communication last week about him replacing Kyle Busch, parked by NASCAR for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday in Friday's Truck Series race, for Joe Gibbs Racing in Sunday's Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway.

"I'm open to any team that wants me there," Reutimann said. "I know I can win races. I can contribute a great deal to a team. I want to get involved with a team that really wants me there."

David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at dnewtonespn@aol.com.

David Newton | email

ESPN Carolina Panthers reporter

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