Sky is the Limit for Reutzel in Big Sky Country
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (July 7, 2017) – Aaron Reutzel is slowly but surely chipping away at the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour points lead, cutting the deficit to under 100 points entering this weekend’s double at Belgrade, Montana’s Gallatin Speedway.
Reutzel and the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car team race into Montana off a weekend that included a runner-up finish in the Fred Brownfield Classic prelim before settling for 11th in the Saturday night finale at Elma, Washington’s Grays Harbor Raceway.
Despite a blown power steering hose that relegated the team outside the top ten for the first time in six races since June 16, Reutzel closed the gap to just 91 points as he tries to chase down a second ASCS National championship aboard the Wren Motorsports/Momentum Racing Suspensions machine.
“It wasn’t very long ago we were more than 200 points back,” Reutzel recalls. “We just have to keep putting up good finishes.”
Last weekend’s Grays Harbor Raceway double began with Reutzel advancing from third to second in his heat race and then redrawing the pole position for the feature event.
“It got really, really slick for the feature,” Reutzel says. “The top was too far around and pretty dirty.”
After getting the advantage on the initial start, a restart wasn’t what Reutzel was looking for.
“On the second start, (Matt) Covington got a better start than me,” Reutzel says. “He had a better car, he was able to drive off in open air.”
Reutzel kept searching around in the Nattress Construction/Wings Unlimited machine and soon began to close the gap.
“”I found the rubber and got back to him,” Reutzel explains. “I wanted to get under him and get by before he realized the rubber was there. But then he jumped the cushion and messed up just enough that he saw me down low and moved down there.”
Settling for second on Friday night, Reutzel gridded Saturday’s Fred Brownfield Classic finale inside the second row.
“We tried a few things, we’ve been struggling with forward bite,” Reutzel says. “We were way off with our changes.”
“We fell back to sixth at the start, but then we were able to work back up to second,” Reutzel says.
But, after working the Wright Way Logistics/Walker Performance machine back into a podium position, trouble reared its ugly head when a power steering line blew with five laps to go.
Without power steering, Reutzel still looked to post a fifth-place finish until a final caution flew along with the white flag.
The caution cost Reutzel another half-dozen positions with an 11th-place showing in the final rundown.
“It was going to be a really good points night, we still gained some at least though,” Reutzel says.
Action shifts to Belgrade’s Gallatin Speedway in Montana this weekend.
2017 Quick Stats: 41 races, 4 wins, 14 top-fives, 21 top-tens.
Up Next: Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour at Gallatin Speedway in Belgrade, MT, on Friday and Saturday, July 7-8.
Keep Track: Keep track of Aaron Reutzel’s on-track action including schedule and results at http://www.aaronreutzelracing.com/, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aaron-Reutzel-Racing/117666254913127 or on Twitter at @AaronReutzel. You can also e-mail Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on www.sprintcarmania.com, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events. For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article Credit: Lonnie Wheatley