Reutzel Red Hot in Florida and Looking for More this Weekend at East Bay
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (February 13, 2020) – Aaron Reutzel and the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports No. 87 Sprint Car team have picked right up in 2020 where they left off at the close of the 2019 season.
After racing to a nation’s best 18 410-ci feature wins last year and a second consecutive All Star Circuit of Champions title, Reutzel and the Folkens Brothers Trucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution Triple-X Sprint Car team went two-for-four in victories with the All Stars over the past week and reeled off three consecutive top-ten finishes in World of Outlaws competition as well at Volusia Speedway Park’s DIRTcar Nationals.
After winning the second night of All Star competition at the DIRTcar Nationals last Thursday and then picking up another one in dominant fashion in the series return to Tampa’s East Bay Raceway Park on Monday night, Reutzel summed it up, ““We kinda picked up right where we left off last year. Whenever you’re running that good at the end of the year, you don’t want the year to end. Momentum can change and you can never be too sure how the next year is going to start.”
Reutzel looks to keep the momentum going, swapping out the 410-ci powerplant to take a shot at the $10,000 winner’s share at East Bay Raceway Park’s “King of 360’s” Nationals that takes place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
“It always takes a few laps to adjust from the 410 to the 360,” the former ASCS National champion explained. “We had two good nights here earlier this week and once we get back in the 360 rhythm, we should be good.”
The only hiccup for the Precision Catalyst/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/Beard Equipment team last week came in Wednesday’s opening leg of the five-night DIRTcar Nationals at Barberville’s Volusia Speedway Park.
“We were a little too tight in qualifying and I just didn’t make very good laps,” Reutzel recalls. “Then it was pretty heavy all night, we were just too far behind to dig out of it.”
Reutzel and the Nattress Construction/Momentum Racing Suspension team rebounded in championship style the following night with his first North American win of 2020 after capturing an earlier win in Australia.
After a heat race win and a critical run from fourth to second in his Dash, Reutzel raced from fourth in the 25-lap All Star feature to capture the lead on the 16th lap en route to his first series win of the year.
“Getting to second in the Dash was critical to putting us in a position where we could win the feature,” Reutzel explains. “We were able to find the rubber early to get around Brad (Sweet) for second and then we got fortunate when Ian (Madsen) made a mistake racing a lapped car that gave us the lead. We had just enough tire to make it to the finish, I don’t think we could have made another lap.”
Reutzel followed that up with three consecutive top-ten finishes with the World of Outlaws including a tenth-place run on Friday, a charge from 23rd to ninth on Saturday and another showing of tenth from 14th on Sunday to finish out the DIRTcar Nationals.
“We missed it a little bit in qualifying each night that put us behind,” Reutzel explains. “We raced really well each night though and went forward, so we feel good about it.”
The All Star Circuit of Champions returned to Tampa’s East Bay Raceway Park for a two-night stand on Monday and Tuesday and the Clute, TX, native turned in a dominant performance to win the opening night before charging from 14th to fourth in the Tuesday card that wrapped up the 410-ci portion of Florida Speedweeks.
In the Monday card, Reutzel needed just three laps to charge from sixth into the feature lead after setting quick time in qualifying earlier in the night.
“I was the only car to go up top early, and it all just worked out from there,” Reutzel says.
After a qualifying miscue on Tuesday, Reutzel rallied from deep in the field to capture fourth, making for six top-tens in seven nights of 410-ci competition.
Now, Reutzel sets his sights on the $10,000 “King of 360’s” prize that awaits on Saturday following preliminary action on Thursday and Friday at East Bay Raceway Park.
2020 Quick Stats: 16 races, 3 wins, 9 top-fives, 13 top-tens.
Next Up: King of 360’s Nationals at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, FL, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
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.