Remembering David Reininger

Remembering David Reininger

Larry O'Donohue

David Reininger was not someone who merely passed through your life, no Dave became a part of it.

The sole reason that IN THE PITS- racing radio exists is Dave Reininger! Without my introduction to Dave in 1999, IN THE PITS was a one sheet business plan on page 23 of a note pad. Dave was motorsports and motorsports was Dave.  In 1999 Dave boldly decided what the Metro DC region needed was a Motorsports Expo. Why not?  Our home town Philly had one, why not one here.

10-Tenths Production was Dave’s brain child, as was his ability with the late Dr. Ken Plotkin to start a web focused media outlet (only web focused) this was the first true internet motorsport centric news outlet in the world- today it’s known as Motorsport.com.

So with some funding, Dave laid down the plan for the 2000 DC Motorsports Expo near his home in Chantilly, VA.

I wanted to be a part of this, having worked in the sport for sponsorship and promotions and even owned a few race cars, as well as my insurance agency devoted to collectable cars and race insurance ( Motorsports Insurance Services). I needed a booth.

Dave lived within 2 miles of my office, yet It literally took me 6 months to track him down. I essentially bribed him to let me have a booth- promising 2 cars in my area.

Bad weather and the Redskins being in the playoffs kept the attendance lower than anticipated, but the event was nothing short of spectacular- local, regional and national vendors were in attendance- Champ Cars, Grand AM cars, NASCAR cars and simulators including the venerable #3 Chevrolet. Most of the regions race tracks were in attendance. It was incredible.

At the Expo I met noted editor and syndicated columnist Craig Murto - we discussed this radio show idea I had, Craig, unbeknownst to me already had a show in Warrenton called “ON TRACK” the format was nearly identical, I had  the station contracted  and on February 18, 2001 IN THE PITS- racing radio aired for the first time on AM 1200 WAGE. Unfortunately, the prior Sunday Dale Earnhardt SR was killed at Daytona so the show was a SR. retrospective.

We incorporated Dave into the format in a segment called “The Open Wheel Report with Dave Reininger. He would do it live in the studio if he was in town, or he would do it remotely from an INDY Car event by phone- we kidded the audience by asking “Where in the world was Dave Reininger?” once he called us from Japan.

17 years later we are still going –we added FM in 2007 - 106.7 WJFK- then The Fan as well as many other stations around the country- we added photographers and off we went.

This is all as a result of Dave Reininger.

The show allowed us to travel, often in Dave’s footsteps. Events like the DC Grand Prix, the Baltimore Grand Prix, the Indy 500, Daytona, Sebring we traveled. Often it was Dave and I alone, other times it was the entire Pit Crew. We wrote car reviews, did a little TV and just had a blast no matter where we were.

Dave had begun a new career in racing as well- He had a huge passion for INDY cars and actually open wheel cars of any variety- He had become an Indy car spotter and with Dave’s typical passion, he became one of the great ones.

Dave’s mentorship had grown within me, we had more than a friendship we had bonded like brothers, he accepted my faults as he appreciated my passion. Dave had become one of the most influential people in my life. Whether it was a disagreement over where we were eating, Dave had “more experience” than I had, or if I was late in picking him up to go to an event or the radio broadcast, Dave kept me on my toes.

Often critical of my business decisions, he and I would knock heads until I finally saw it his way.

This Wednesday, IN THE PITS-racing radio will air its first show since the loss of Dave Reininger. It will be difficult, most difficult- we will come to grips with life without him- he would say “the show must go on”

Where in the world is Dave Reininger? Nah, rather how much did Dave Reininger touch our world!

Truthfully, Dave was the show- he was a big part of its head and heart and that voice that made you realize that beyond the entertainment value- IN THE PITS-racing radio was really “Racers talking about Racing”

So our studio from this point forward, no matter what location we broadcast from, will be known as

“The Dave Reininger Memorial Studio”

Thanks for listening-

Keep your green flag flyin’

Respectfully,

Larry O’Donohue on behalf of our family at IN THE PITS MEDIA