Reutzel Crowned East Bay’s King of 360s!
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (February 20, 2020) – Aaron Reutzel and the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports No. 87 Sprint Car team closed out the Florida Speedweeks portion of the 2020 early-season campaign in fine fashion by picking up the $10,000 “King of 360’s” Nationals winner’s share at Tampa’s East Bay Raceway Park on Saturday night.
Following a fifth-place run in the Thursday night prelim before a Friday night rainout, Saturday’s triumph was the third Florida victory for the Folkens Brothers Trucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution Triple-X Sprint Car team and eighth top-ten in nine starts.
“It was the kind of start to the season that you want to have,” said Reutzel, who also earned a pair of All Star Circuit of Champions victories along with three consecutive World of Outlaws top-ten finishes. “We need to qualify better in the Outlaw races to be in a better position to run up front, but we raced really well the entire time. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
The Precision Catalyst/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/Beard Equipment team gets a breather until World of Outlaws action resumes in Texas at Paige’s Cotton Bowl Speedway and then Kilgore’s Lonestar Speedway on March 13-14.
Reutzel will take in the opening portion of the WoO schedule in the ensuing weeks before digging in to take aim at a third consecutive All Star Circuit of Champions title with the April 10 season opener at Ohio’s Attica Raceway Park.
Last weekend’s “King of 360’s” Nationals began with Reutzel posting a fourth-place heat race finish and then earning a fifth-place showing in the feature, good enough to lock into the top six in points and a feature starting position for Saturday’s $10,000-to-win Ronald Laney Memorial.
“It was one of those typical East Bay tide-in racetracks, it was greasy all night,” Reutzel explained. “We were terrible early, we got okay later but had no chance of winning. Luckily, we got just enough points to lock into the feature.”
Saturday looked to be more of the same with Reutzel slipping back several positions from his pole start in the 40-lap feature before the top came in and he moved the Nattress Construction/Momentum Racing Suspension machine back to the front by mid-race and stayed there throughout to earn the crown.
“The track was the same as Thursday night and we still weren’t good,” Reutzel explains. “We tried some stuff in the Dash and still weren’t any good, then we weren’t any better when the feature started. We finally had a long run that made it into a normal racetrack, and I was able to get going up top. I didn’t think we had a chance at it for a while though.”
The Clute, TX, native relished the honor of winning the Ronald Laney Memorial, named for a fellow Texas racer that succumbed to East Bay injuries in 2002.
“Ronald grew up probably about an hour from where I lived,” Reutzel said afterward. “I remember being about eight years old watching him race and getting his autograph after the races, so it’s cool to win this race.”
With a successful Florida trip in the rearview mirror, Reutzel and the BRM No. 87 crew are back in action close to him in March with a pair of World of Outlaws events in Texas.
2020 Quick Stats: 18 races, 4 wins, 11 top-fives, 15 top-tens.
Next Up: World of Outlaws Sprint Cars at Cotton Bowl Speedway (Paige, TX) on March 13 and Lonestar Speedway (Kilgore, TX) on March 14.
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.