Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (February
23, 2017) – Last week’s DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway
Park definitely proved to be a test for Aaron Reutzel.
“Volusia was definitely tough,” the 2015
Lucas Oil ASCS National champion from Clute, TX, commented of
the half-mile clay oval near Barberville, FL.
“That was place one of a kind.”
Reutzel acquitted himself well though
aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87
Triple-X Sprint Car, making the first four feature events of the
five-race set before an overheating powerplant forced him into
start-and-park mode in the Sunday finale with the World of
“We felt good about making the ‘A’ every
night,” Reutzel said. “When you looked around
each night at some of the guys that didn’t make it, that was a
good indication of just how tough it was.”
Now, with eight nights of 410-ci
competition with the All Star Circuit of Champions and World of
Outlaws over the past couple of weeks in the books, Reutzel and
the Wren Motorsports/Momentum Racing Suspensions team shift
gears for their first 360-ci action of 2017 with this weekend’s
“King of 360’s” Nationals at Tampa’s East Bay Raceway Park.
The event fires off Thursday night before
ultimately wrapping up with Saturday night’s $10,000-to-win
“We’ve always had good speed and pretty
decent luck there,” Reutzel said of East Bay Raceway Park.
“There has just always been someone a little better.”
Reutzel tries to turn that around this
time after finishing fourth and second in the last two editions
of the “King of 360’s” Nationals.
“Maybe this is the year we can put it all
together,” Reutzel says.
Last week’s DIRTcar Nationals began with a
pair of All Star Circuit of Champions cards on Wednesday and
Thursday followed up by the World of Outlaws season opener on
Friday night and then a WoO double on Sunday after a Saturday
The theme of the week was consistent for
Reutzel and the Nattress Construction/Wings Unlimited team.
“We were three to fourth tenths off each
night we hit the track,” Reutzel said. “That
had us sitting 18th, 22nd, or whatever
each night. That makes it pretty tough.”
The week started with a broken rear end in
hot laps on Wednesday night, relegating Reutzel to the end of
qualifying with just one lap. “We think we
figured out our problem there, so that shouldn’t happen
Later in the Wednesday opener, the
throttle hung at one-quarter throttle, forcing Reutzel pitside
in the feature event.
Reutzel had his strongest run of the week
going in Thursday’s All Star card, holding down seventh in the
feature event. “We had a long caution and the
tires cooled down,” Reutzel relates. “We
pushed really bad on the restart and ended up tenth.”
In Friday’s WoO opener, Reutzel rallied
from seventh to capture the fifth and final transfer position in
his heat race aboard the Wright Way Logistics/Walker Performance
Filtration entry before finishing 19th in the
“We were okay, we just never could really
find a place to get going,” Reutzel comments.
Set up for a Sunday double after rain on
Saturday, Reutzel won the “B” Main on Sunday to make the cut for
his fourth consecutive feature.
“We won the ‘B’, then we started fighting
motor problems,” Reutzel said. “The motor ran
hot all day.”
The overheating engine forced Reutzel to
an early stop in the Sunday afternoon feature.
Unfortunately, the team was unable to diagnose the
problem, which eliminated any chance of racing competitively in
the Sunday night finale.
Attention shifts to East Bay Raceway Park
beginning tonight. And the sledding doesn’t
get any easier with a strong field of cars expected for the ASCS
Southern Outlaw Sprints season opener.
“This may be about the toughest field of
360’s I’ve ever seen,” Reutzel said. “We
definitely have some work to do.”
2017 Quick Stats:
10 races, 2 top-tens. (2016 stats: 99 races, 8 wins, 33
top-fives, 50 top-tens)
“King of 360’s” Nationals at Tampa, Florida’s East Bay Raceway
Park on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Keep track of Aaron Reutzel’s on-track action including
schedule and results at
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