Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (February
15, 2017) – It will be new territory for Aaron Reutzel this week
as the Clute, TX, racer takes to the lightning-fast, ½-mile
Volusia Speedway Park clay oval for five nights of DIRTcar
Nationals competition beginning on Wednesday night.
The five-night run at the Barberville, FL,
track not too far away from Daytona Beach includes two nights of
All Star Circuit of Champions competition on Wednesday and
Thursday followed up by the opening three rounds of 2017 World
of Outlaws Sprint Car action on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
“I’ve never been there, so it’s all new to
me right now,” the 2015 ASCS National champion commented of
Volusia Speedway Park. “I know I have a good
motor and we’re usually good on big tracks, so we’ll see.”
Reutzel and the Dissolvalloy Downhole
Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car team come off a
three-night set of All Star events at Ocala’s Bubba Raceway Park
this past weekend, finishing out the weekend with a strong
sixth-place run on Saturday night after battling gremlins the
opening two nights.
“We had a good car all weekend, but just
had some little problems that held us back a little,” Reutzel
The Thursday opener started out in
promising fashion with Reutzel timing in 13th among
the 38-car field. “We were just a little off
in qualifying, then we were really good in the heat.”
Earning a feature starting position with a
fourth-place heat run, Reutzel was confident going into the
feature aboard the Wren Motorsports/Momentum Racing Suspensions
entry. “I felt like we would be good.”
But on the practice lap before the field
aligned, a nozzle line came off to force Reutzel to the work
area where repairs were not able to made in time to make the
Friday started out with Reutzel early in
the qualifying order. “We rolled out third
and it was still greasy. I thought it would
change more, so we were way too loose.”
Gridding tenth in his heat race, Reutzel
raced up to sixth aboard the Nattress Construction/Wings
Unlimited machine. Missing the cut by just
one position would put Reutzel at the tail of the “B” Main.
“We were good in the heat, but with the
All Star format we were going to have to start at the back of
the ‘B’,” Reutzel explains. “So we just
decided to park it and make sure we had things ready to go for
the next night.”
The decision paid off for Reutzel and the
Wright Way Logistics/Walker Performance Filtration team with
Reutzel beginning Saturday’s tilt with a strong qualifying
effort of sixth.
“Qualifying was good since we were the
third-to-last car out, it was the total opposite of the night
before,” Reutzel related before going on to win his heat race.
Starting Saturday night’s 30-lap feature
in sixth, Reutzel worked his way up to fourth at one point
before ultimately settling for sixth at the line.
“I passed Sheldon (Haudenschild) for
fourth and was up to Gravel,” Reutzel recalls.
“The fuel load was coming off though and the car kept
getting tighter and tighter. It was still a
good car, but not good enough to race with (Tim) Shaffer and
Haudenschild. If you’re off just a little
bit, it costs you against that caliber of racers.”
A finish of sixth to finish off the Bubba
Raceway Park triple gives Reutzel positive momentum going into
this week’s DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
And it all begins tonight.
2017 Quick Stats:
5 races, 1 top-ten. (2016 stats: 99 races, 8 wins, 33
top-fives, 50 top-tens)
DIRTcar Winter Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville,
FL, on February 15-19 (All Star Circuit of Champions on February
15-16 and World of Outlaws on February 17-19).
Can’t be there to see all the action live?
You’re still in luck as
you covered with PPV action of all five nights of competition.
Keep track of Aaron Reutzel’s on-track action including
schedule and results at
on Facebook at
or on Twitter at @AaronReutzel. You can also
e-mail Aaron at
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address to Lonnie Wheatley at
Penning the recurring series of “The
Wheatley Chronicles” articles on
Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for
select tracks, drivers and events. For more
information, Wheatley may be contacted at