Saturday, April 4, 2020

TRUCKS: Bobby and Roger Reuse Enjoy a Solid Afternoon in Mosport

Roger Reuse
PHOTO: Brock Beard
Traveling to Canadian Tire Motorsports Park poses a logistical challenge to the competitors of the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series. Last year’s running saw just 29 starters make the journey, three short of a full field. Curiously, it was one of the series’ underfunded teams – Jordan Anderson Racing – which brought three trucks for the race. While Anderson himself would drive his #3 Chevrolet, the other two would be run by brothers Roger Reuse and his younger brother Bobby.

Bobby Reuse
PHOTO: Brock Beard
The Alabama-born Reuse brothers own WCIParts, a longtime backer of Anderson’s. The two owned the WCIParts-sponsored pro late model Anderson drove to victory at Alaska Raceway Park last May. Bobby bought the Anderson team’s uniforms in 2019. The two are also racers themselves, having competed against each other on road courses across the country. “We’ve raced together a long time,” said Roger. “We’ve road raced together, so it seems like we’re always running around each other.”

In 2014, the Reuse brothers made the jump from Trans-Am into NASCAR national series competition. Both started out driving for Mike Harmon, who also helped Anderson in his rise through the ranks. Bobby made his debut at Road America and finished 29th despite engine trouble. Roger’s first start came at Watkins Glen, where he finished under power in 30th. In the next round at Mid-Ohio, the two then raced against each other in a pair of Harmon cars. Bobby finished 24th while Roger finished last in the 39-car field.

The 2019 running at Bowmanville offered the brothers still another chance to compete against one another. Prior to the race, Bobby finished 17th in the 2017 running for Mark Beaver while Roger ran 27th for the Little family’s team in 2018. This time, the brothers would each drive one of Anderson’s trucks, each using the Owner Points of a different single-truck team. Roger would drive the truck Anderson raced the previous round at Bristol, converted to a road course setup, and bearing the #04 of the Texas-based Roper Racing. Bobby ran a third Anderson truck with Hill Motorsports’ #56 on the yellow-and-white Chevrolet.

“The Ropers are out of Texas and they weren’t gonna run this race,” said Anderson. “Same thing with Timmy Hill. We were able to go to them and get some of their guys up here with us to make it all happen. So I’ve always believed the small teams need to stay together to make it as healthy as possible for all of us.” Both the Reuse’s trucks carried associate sponsorship from WCIParts and had Ilmor engines under the hood. The brothers also provided a hauler of their own to help bring the three trucks north.

The weekend got off to a rough start when Anderson backed his #3 into a tire barrier in practice, completely destroying his rear clip. With just 30 combined crew members among his three entries, and no backup truck due to the Reuse effort, Anderson had no choice but to rebuild the rear of his truck, hammering the pieces straight. The team rebuilt and re-decaled the truck in time for the main event, where Anderson matched his 2018 finish of 16th.

“I’m really proud of Jordan,” said Roger Reuse. “It’s amazing what he’s been able to do. And to pull this off with three teams. That’s what I tweeted out earlier – three teams, there was two practices, one qualifying, and all three of us. He had a wreck, but he was able to qualify, and he did it all in the second practice. So we made all the practices, all the qualifying, and we were all running at the end.”

As for the Reuse brothers, Bobby came out ahead, taking the checkers in 22nd despite a persistent tight condition and a spin on the last lap. “It was good,” said Bobby. “I had a lot of fun. Raced with Jason White for a long time and tried really hard to get around him. And when I finally got close to him coming up the frontstraightaway, I was a carlength off of him, and I guess I decided to give the frontstraightaway crowd a show, and I did two pirouettes in the middle of the track and threw it in first gear and kept going.”

Bobby also engaged in the same class racing that’s become a part of today’s NASCAR, where teams not contending for the win battle hard against one another to be best of their group. “I think we weren’t the best today, but we might have been the best of the rest. And we beat the guys we were supposed to beat. I really wanted to race with Jason (White) and that was fun to do. I really wanted to beat the 12 (Gus Dean) – I needed to get a little bit faster. I know we were faster in the race today than we were in qualifying. And that’s all you can ask for - as long as everytime you go on the track you go faster. It was a good day. No scratches.”

“He seemed to handle this a lot better than I did,” said Roger, who finished three spots behind his brother in 25th. “I got to see him a few times, but he was faster.” For Roger, the challenge was radio issues, which drew a black flag late in the third stage. “My radio wasn’t working, so they black-flagged me. I couldn’t hear and I was trying to get out of the way. I really didn’t think I was going that slow. I was just trying to get out of the way and let them all get by. So I’m not really sure. The problem is I couldn’t talk to anybody to find out what it was for. I figured it was coming out of the radio, but I came in and no one knew I was coming in. So I don’t understand why NASCAR didn’t tell the crew what was going on.

For all the challenges, the three teammates enjoyed their afternoon north of the border. “The fans here are fantastic,” said Bobby. “Every caution you’re riding around and they’re waving at you. You can’t really wave under caution, but I do my best to wave at them after the race, before the race. I’m only in Canada today, I want to be supportive, and these fans are supportive up here. It’s fantastic.”

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