Reutzel Ready for Knoxville 360 Nationals after Big Score at Jackson
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (August 3, 2017) – Coming off the heels of a $10,000 triumph at Minnesota’s Jackson Motorplex last Friday, Aaron Reutzel and the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car team set their sights on the Knoxville 360 Nationals crown this weekend.
Reutzel and the Wren Motorsports/Momentum Racing Suspensions team will hit the ½-mile clay oval at Iowa’s Marion County Fairgrounds on Thursday night to set the stage for Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win Knoxville 360 Nationals finale.
Reutzel will then round out this weekend with Sunday night’s Capitani Classic atop the Knoxville, Iowa clay leading into next week’s 57th Annual Knoxville Nationals.
The Clute, TX, racer looks to improve upon his previous best Knoxville 360 Nationals finish by two positions after finishing third in the event in 2015.
Saturday’s $15,000 winner’s share would go nicely with the $10,000 that Reutzel pocketed in Minnesota last weekend. The Jackson Motorplex triumph was Reutzel’s sixth overall win of the year and first in 410-ci competition.
“It was great to finally get that first 410 win at Jackson,” Reutzel says. “We’ve been so close there a few times before, we’ve always been good there.”
Reutzel started the night fast out of the box aboard the Nattress Construction/Wings Unlimited entry. “We were fast in hot laps,” Reutzel recalls. “Then we qualified tenth, the track came in a little later.”
Timing in tenth worked to Reutzel’s advantage this time around.
“The heat races were a little one lane and a lot of the guys that timed ahead of us didn’t make it to the top four to transfer,” Reutzel says. “We ran fourth in our heat and that put us front row for the feature.”
Reutzel took full advantage of that front row starting position by racing on to a $10,000 payday, even if he had to battle back from a slow start.
“We were fighting a stumble all night, so we weren’t good on the starts,” Reutzel says. “We were lucky to hold on to second at the start of the race.”
Once up to speed though, there was no holding back Reutzel.
“We were staying with Zomer,” Reutzel relates. “I knew I just had to be patient and stay on him, then try to get by him in traffic.”
The plan worked out to perfection with Reutzel racing by in traffic and then cruising on to the checkered flag aboard the Wright Way Logistics/Walker Performance machine.
A pair of Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour nights in Iowa followed at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday and then Mason City Motor Speedway on Sunday.
The Knoxville card started out in promising fashion with a time that was sixth-quick among his group of 31 in the 62 car field.
“We were great in qualifying, but then we were way too loose in the heat race,” Reutzel says.
After gaining just one position from sixth to fifth in his heat race, Reutzel was forced into “B” Main action.
“We weren’t very good in that either,” Reutzel says. “I got into the wall on the last lap and had a flat tire down the backstretch and barely missed a transfer position.”
Reutzel and crew went on to Mason City Motor Speedway on Sunday for the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour’s first visit to the facility. A high draw number was not what the doctor ordered on this night.
“It rubbered up in hot laps,” Reutzel says of the Mason City racetrack.
Mired at the tail of his heat race on a rubber-down surface, Reutzel salvaged a top-ten finish on the night.
“We gained one position in the heat race,” Reutzel says. “Then we started 16th in the feature, passed six cars on the opening lap and that was pretty much it.”
Attention shifts exclusively to Knoxville Raceway for the next ten nights, beginning with Thursday’s qualifying round at the 27th Annual Knoxville 360 Nationals.
2017 Quick Stats: 51 races, 6 wins, 19 top-fives, 29 top-tens.
Up Next: Knoxville 360 Nationals qualifier on Thursday night, Knoxville 360 Nationals finale on Saturday and the Capitani Classic at Knoxville (IA) Raceway on Sunday night.
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 email@example.com.
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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 email@example.com.
Article Credit: Lonnie Wheatley