Reutzel Lands First Knoxville Win after Pair of Thunder Through the Plains Scores – Takes All Star Points Lead into Set of Events
Lonnie Wheatley, KNOXVILLE, Iowa (June 24, 2020) – A frenetic month of June continues for Aaron Reutzel and the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports No. 87 Sprint Car team with a set of All Star Circuit of Champions events this week.
Running his season win total to eight with three more triumphs in recent action, Reutzel and the Folkens Brothers Trucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car team take the series points lead into the Wednesday night’s card at central Pennsylvania’s Port Royal Speedway and then on to Bulls Gap, Tennessee’s Volunteer Speedway on Saturday and Sunday.
Reutzel goes into this weekend’s action fresh off his first career win at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday night. The Knoxville triumph came after a pair of wins during the recent “Thunder Through the Plains” series of All Star events.
“It was the first weekly show I’ve ever run at Knoxville,” Reutzel says of the Saturday triumph. “We were just testing some things that we want to try for Nationals. Some of the things we wanted to try worked really well and some things didn’t work as well. “We learned a lot during the night.”
After starting sixth in the 20-lap feature atop the famed half-mile oval, Reutzel needed just a handful of laps to race into the lead and checked out on the field to take the checkered flag by a healthy margin.
The single-race weekend served as a breather for the Precision Catalyst/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/Beard Equipment team after 11 consecutive days at a racetrack during the All Star Circuit of Champions “Thunder Through the Plains” of Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas and Louisiana from June 4 to June 14.
While three nights fell victim to inclement weather, Thunder Through the Plains proved fruitful for the Nattress Construction/Momentum Racing Suspension team with a handful of quick times along the way and wins at Meeker, Oklahoma’s Red Dirt Raceway on June 5 and Kilgore’s Lonestar Speedway on June 13 among a handful of top-fives and six top-tens in the eight-race set.
Following a rainout in the opener, the week officially kicked off with Reutzel outdueling Kyle Larson in an instant classic at Red Dirt Raceway on Friday night, June 5.
“This place is a blast to race on,” Reutzel said of the Red Dirt oval. “It was fun to race with Kyle like that, and you have to feel pretty good about it when you come out on top.”
After a 12th-place showing at 81 Speedway two nights later, Reutel and Larson resumed their duel on Monday, June 8, at Lawton Speedway with Larson coming out on top and Reutzel settling for runner-up honors in the Fischer Body Shop machine.
“I think I raced a little too conservatively this time and let one get away,” Reutzel said afterward.
After racing 11th to post a fifth-place finish at Devil’s Bowl Speedway, Reutzel went on a run of quick times over the last half of Thunder Through the Plains by establishing the qualifying standard over four consecutive nights at Ardmore’s Southern Oklahoma Speedway, Monarch Motor Speedway in Wichita Falls, TX, Kilgore’s Lonestar Speedway and Louisiana’s Chatham Speedway.
After misfortune in the form of a cut left rear tire while running second at Ardmore and then lingering damage from an incident while passing for the lead in Dash action at Wichita Falls, Reutzel finally parlayed a quick-time into a dominant win at Lonestar Speedway.
“I know everyone out here is working their tails off, but I can’t say enough about my guys,” Reutzel said in victory lane. “We should have won at least a couple more of these, but have just had things happen. My guys don’t give up and just keep working, it paid off tonight.”
Reutzel finished off Thunder Through the Plains with a runner-up finish at Chatham, hounding eventual race-winner Dominic Sclezi over the closing laps but was unable to pull off the winning pass.
“I hate to lose, but if we’re going to finish second I guess it’s okay to finish second to Dom,” Reutzel commented.
Reutzel escaped the “Thunder Through the Plains” series of events with a 40-point advantage as he pursues a third consecutive series championship.
“We had a good car every night out, we felt like we had a chance to win about every one of those races,” Reutzel comments.
The grind through the Plains will be repeated very soon with the All Stars Ohio Sprint Speedweek including nine races over the course of ten days from July 3 to July 12.
First however, the team takes aim at Port Royal Speedway and Volunteer Speedway this week.
2020 Quick Stats: 35 races, 8 wins, 19 top-fives, 25 top-tens.
All Star Circuit of Champions “Thunder Through the Plains”
June 5, Red Dirt Raceway (Meeker, OK) – 1st in A Feature (Quick time in qualifying)
June 7, 81 Speedway (Park City, KS) – 12th in A Feature
June 8, Lawton Speedway (Lawton, OK) – 2nd in A Feature
June 10, Devil’s Bowl Speedway (Mesquite, TX) – 5th in A Feature
June 11, Southern Oklahoma Speedway (Ardmore, OK) – 9th in A Feature (Quick time in qualifying)
June 12, Monarch Motor Speedway (Wichita Falls, TX) – 11th in A Feature (Quick time in qualifying)
June 13, Lonestar Speedway (Kilgore, TX) – 1st in A Feature (Quick time in qualifying)
June 14, Chatham Speedway (Chatham, LA) – 2nd in A Feature (Quick time in qualifying)
Knoxville Raceway Weekly:
June 20, Knoxville Raceway (Knoxville, IA) – 1st in A Feature
Next Up: All Star Circuit of Champions at Port Royal Speedway (PA) and Volunteer Speedway (Bulls Gap, TN) on Saturday and Sunday.
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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Article Credit: Lonnie Wheatley