- David Newton, ESPN Staff Writer
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LOUDON, N.H. -- David Reutimann expects to get a contract proposal from Michael Waltrip Racing by early next week, but he didn't rule out going to another team.
"It's an option," he said of re-signing with MWR. "It's a solid option. But I haven't seen the proposal yet."
Reutimann, coming off a career-best 13th-place finish at Richmond, said he has other options.
"Michael, being the kind of guy he is, gave me permission to talk to other teams," he said. "That's pretty cool."
Reutimann would not expand on his options, but he said recent improvements at MWR don't hurt the organization's chances. Sponsorship issues with Burger King and Domino's are the biggest question.
"The guys are doing a better job, the cars are better and the pit stops are better," he said. "Things are clicking. That's good to see. Seeing improvement gets you excited about how good the team could be."
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was surprised so many turned what he said after blowing his fifth engine of the season last weekend at Richmond into a conspiracy theory by his team, Dale Earnhardt Inc., to keep him out of the Chase for the Nextel Cup.
"I said that the motors always seem to fall apart when they put them in my car and that sort of sparked all the conspiracy of someone or somehow I was being put in that situation where my motor was going to blow on that exact lap or whatever," he said. "It's just an off-the-cuff comment, just trying to make light of the situation. That's the unfortunate part of where we are now is that, yeah, those comments sort of get taken too seriously. I don't know when everybody started taking me so seriously, but it's not a comfortable situation to be in."
Juan Pablo Montoya said there wasn't enough time in the day for him to talk about the $100 million fine handed to his former Formula One team, McLaren, for a spying scandal.
"In a way, it's sad to see that in a sport and I've got to say that I'm glad I'm not a part of it," he said.
Kyle Busch, asked what he learned about being in the Chase last season, quipped, "Don't wreck yourself on Lap 2 at Loudon and try not to blow up at Dover."
Busch finished 38th and 40th in the first two Chase events a year ago to fall 224 points behind then-leader Jeff Burton.
"You've got to be careful, but you can't be overly cautious," Busch said.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.