(Matt Hill Photo)
Lonnie Wheatley, TULARE, Cal. (March 9,
2018) – The third time indeed proved to be the charm.
Just the third night of action for the
newly-formed Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports No. 87 Sprint Car team
resulted in a landmark first-career World of Outlaws Craftsman
Sprint Car feature victory for Clute, TX, racer Aaron Reutzel.
Reutzel surged over the final portion of
Friday night’s 35-lap feature
atop the high-banked Thunderbowl
Raceway in Tulare, CA, taking command with just a handful of
laps to go en route to capturing the $10,000 triumph aboard the
Folkens Brothers Tucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution
Triple-X Sprint Car.
It was an emotional win for the past ASCS
National champion that has designs on the All Star Circuit of
Champions title in 2018 with the new BRM combination.
“I don’t even know what to say, I’m trying
not to cry,” Reutzel said upon climbing out of the Precision
Catalyst/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/Beard Equipment machine.
“This is a dream come true. I’ve run a
lot of Outlaw shows since 2015, I think I’ve led two every year
since and you start doubting yourself and thinking you can’t do
it so this is truly amazing. I’m so lucky to
have the people that I have behind me.”
“This really is truly amazing,” Reutzel
exclaimed. “It’s something you don’t ever
think is gonna happen when you’ve tried for so long.
It’s been a dream of mine for a really long time.
I’m talking about dream at night, think of everything you
can to be in this position.”
“I can’t thank Grant (Boyum) enough,”
Reutzel went on to say. “We hired him last
year to be our tire guy and he’s turned into one helluva crew
chief. This was him tonight.
He just kept digging on the car, I kept complaining about
it and telling him what I thought was wrong and he worked his
The triumph aboard the Nattress
Construction/Momentum Racing Suspensions entry was an impressive
one by any measure. After starting fourth,
Reutzel kept himself among the top handful of cars throughout.
As the laps clicked off, Reutzel began to move forward
past the halfway point.
Reutzel raced into third on the 23rd
round and then made quick work of reigning World of Outlaws
champion Donny Schatz just three circuits later to move into
second. He then reeled in race leader Cory
Eliason in short order and finally gained control for keeps on
the 31st round after swapping the point on several
“I knew if I couldn’t pass him right away,
I was at least trying to make him think I was running the
bottom,” Reutzel explained of the winning move.
“I didn’t want to show him my line so it worked out
pretty good there.”
Once out front, Reutzel made some nifty
moves through traffic to put away his second big win atop the
Tulare clay after topping the Peter Murphy Classic in 2015.
“This track is truly special to me,”
Reutzel said of the Thunderbowl. “I came here
with Dennis Roth and won the Peter Murphy Classic and now I won
my first Outlaw show here. It just fits my
driving style, gas it up and on the fence.”
Reutzel will get a shot at two in a row
atop the Thunderbowl Raceway with another round of World of
Outlaws action on Saturday night, weather permitting.
2018 Quick Stats:
3 races, 1 win, 2 top-fives, 2 top-tens.
World of Outlaws at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA on
Saturday. For those unable to catch the
action in person, it is available via PPV on
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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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