David Reutimann will drive the James Finch-owned Phoenix Racing Chevrolet instead of his usual ride at Tommy Baldwin Racing this weekend at Pocono Raceway.
Phoenix Racing’s regular driver, Kurt Busch had been suspended for one week by NASCAR officials for verbal abuse of a media member.
TBR issued a statement: "In an effort to help a fellow small team, Tommy Baldwin and James Finch worked out a deal for David Reutimann to drive for… Phoenix Racing.
“Dave Blaney will pilot the TBR No. 10 Chevrolet, and Tony Raines will return to the No. 36 Chevrolet for the Pocono 400 presented by NASCAR.
Blaney will get behind the wheel of the No. 10 Chevrolet in his 57th start for Tommy Baldwin Racing and 25th start at the Pocono, Pa., racetrack. Raines will return to the No. 36 Chevrolet. The Indiana native ran the 2012 and 2010 Sprint Showdown races for the team.
“I understand the position James was put in this week,” explained Tommy Baldwin. “As an owner of a small team, I wanted to help him out. We talked and thought that this lineup would be best for both of our teams.”
Busch’s current boss, Finch, is not happy with his driver and said so on satellite radio.
"It's going to be race by race. It's not going to be probation with us," Finch said. "Here's the deal: Quit wrecking the cars, get a good finish, be nice to people. That's not real hard to do."
As a one-car team Phoenix Racing struggled to find sponsorship and the team owner said he’s nearing the end of his rope.
"It's affecting me. If I can't get a sponsor, I can't keep running without a sponsor," Finch said. "That's a slow death. I don't want to do that. Hopefully if we can get Kurt's mind right, we can win some races. If we can't get his mind right so we can race into the future, then I'll go do something else. It's just that simple. I'm doing my part. We've wrecked 14 cars this year. Four at Daytona. We've killed three or four cars and had to completely throw them away."
While Busch was looking to secure a full-time deal with a big team in 2013, his current season is looking tenuous.
"We've met every green-flag drop, and the guys at the shop about worked themselves to death to do whatever they can for Kurt," Finch told SiriusXM. "And he's going to have to do his part. If it takes just slowing down a little bit, he better slow down just a little bit."
On Wednesday Cup Series teams will conduct a tire test of the repaving at the two-and-one-half mile Pocono track.