Reutzel’s Next Stop on The Pandemic Tour – Great Lakes Shootout!
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (May 15, 2020) – From South Dakota, to Iowa, to West Texas and now back north to Minnesota, the Pandemic Tour continues on for Aaron Reutzel and the Folkens Brothers Trucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution Triple-X Sprint Car team.
This weekend’s action is the Great Lakes Shootout at Minnesota’s Jackson Motorplex on Friday and Saturday, a 410-ci event that features an entry list of 75 competitors.
After a rousing start to the 2020 season that included three early wins aboard the Precision Catalyst/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/Beard Equipment machine in February, Reutzel looks to turn his recent fortunes around.
With schedules shuffled and crowd restrictions put in place where races have been permitted in recent weeks due to the current COVID-19 situation, Reutzel has finally been able to get back on track.
“It’s pretty weird,” Reutzel said of racing in front of empty grandstands. “But at least we’re racing. We really appreciate each of these promoters that are taking a last-minute risk in putting these races on and giving all of us a place to race.”
After sitting idle for more than two months, Reutzel and the Nattress Construction/Momentum Racing Suspension crew finally got back into action on April 25 at South Dakota’s Park Jefferson International Speedway “Open Wheel Nationals”.
And for much of the night, it looked as if it would result in Reutzel’s fifth overall win of the season.
“I felt like we had the fastest car all night long,” Reutzel relates. “It’s one that just wasn’t meant to be.”
After setting quick time on the night, Reutzel gridded the feature fourth and powered into the lead on the initial restart only to have the caution fly moments later as rain pelted the track.
Once the rain passed and the race reverted to the original lineup, Reutzel made his way into second on the ninth round and took command another nine rounds later, appearing to be well on his way to victory lane only to run short of fuel.
“We added fuel during the open red during the rain,” Reutzel recalls. “It was just locked down and fast, and with each cautions there were a lot of laps.”
Next up, Reutzel took in the World of Outlaws “Return to Racing” at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway on Friday, May 8.
And once again, Reutzel set the standard in qualifying with a lap of 15.162 seconds in qualifying that nobody else among the field of 48 could match.
Reutzel held a commanding lead in his heat race that would have secured a Dash position only to suffer mechanical failure that brought an early end to the BRM team’s night.
The team made it’s way to Lubbock, TX, for this week’s West Texas Crude Nationals at West Texas Raceway on Tuesday and Wednesday, an event featuring Sprint Cars running under ASCS engine rules and the All Star Circuit of Champions format that was promoted by team co-owner Josh Baughman.
It proved not to be a friendly return to his native Lone Star state after a heat race incident on Tuesday night and then a Wednesday night rainout.
Reutzel held a transfer position in his Tuesday night heat race until slipping high exiting turn four, slapping the wall and getting upside down. Mired at the back of the “B” Main, his night was effectively done.
“I felt like I was only a lane or two off of the bottom and then I just caught the wall,” Reutzel recalls.
Now, just two nights and more than 1,000 miles later, the Pandemic Tour resumes with 410-ci power in place at the Jackson Motorplex.
2020 Quick Stats: 21 races, 4 wins, 11 top-fives, 15 top-tens.
Next Up: “Great Lakes Shootout” at the Jackson Motorplex in Jackson, MN, on Friday and Saturday. Sunday raindate in place if needed.
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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Article Credit: Lonnie Wheatley