MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- David Reutimann wanted to keep the points he earned in the No. 00 car during the first five races of the Sprint Cup season as he makes the switch to the No. 44 driven by Dale Jarrett for Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway.
NASCAR said no.
"They wouldn't let us switch," Reutimann said Friday. "It puts you back almost in the same boat you were before. It's aggravating."
Reutimann was 27th in owner's points in the No. 00. Jarrett, who is retiring, was 34th in the No. 44 and only 16 points from falling out of the top 35 -- the cutoff for a guaranteed spot in the field for each Sprint Cup race.
Michael Waltrip Racing announced last season that Reutimann would replace Jarrett after the first five races.
John Darby, the Sprint Cup series director, said point swaps typically are granted only when there is a change in a business function or when an owner is trying to reorganize during the offseason.
"This was never meant to be used to give a driver the best position he can get," Darby said. "Most people in the garage understand that."
Rookie Michael McDowell will inherit Reutimann's points as the new driver of the No. 00.
"It was a huge gift for him," Reutimann said. "He can just worry about the race now. This place has enough to worry about without having to qualify."
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com.