Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas
(June 23, 2017) – Aaron Reutzel has been ever so close
to winning Skagit Speedway’s Jim Raper Memorial Dirt Cup
over each of the last two years.
He rides a wave of momentum into
the event in Alger, WA, after topping two of the final
three rounds to claim this year’s ASCS Speedweek
championship aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole
Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car.
And, after winning Thursday
night’s Dirt Cup opener that kicked off the Lucas Oil
ASCS National Tour’s journey through the Northwest,
Reutzel and the Wren Motorsports/Momentum Racing
Suspensions team are in prime position thus far for the
top spot in Saturday’s $15,000-to-win Dirt Cup finale.
“We’ve been fast there each of the
last couple of years,” Reutzel said prior to the event.
“We’ve gone from 10th to second two
years in a row. We’ve just had
trouble on the preliminary nights and didn’t put
ourselves in good position to win.”
Reutzel got this year’s edition of
Dirt Cup off to a favorable start in the Wright Way
Logistics/Walker Performance entry by emerging atop a
battle of slide jobs to win Thursday’s night opener, his
third Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour win in the previous
Reutzel will try to continue to
his recent surge as Dirt Cup prelim action continues on
The 2015 Lucas Oil ASCS National
Tour champion picked up steam during the ASCS Speedweek
that included seven races in nine days from June 9 to
After slogging through the opening
pair of rounds with eighth-place showings at both
Lubbock and Amarillo, Reutzel improved to fourth at
Devil’s Bowl before charging from 18th to
second at Lawton. A win at Creek
County followed with another near-win at Moberly
preceding another victory in the Lucas Oil Speedway
“It was definitely a good rebound
week,” Reutzel said upon his return from a wild ride on
the opening night of Minnesota’s Jackson Nationals that
sidelined him for the balance of the opening weekend of
Speedweek started off
inauspiciously enough with an eighth-place showing at
Lubbock’s West Texas Raceway.
“We rolled out for the heat and
broke a shifter cable,” Reutzel said of his start to the
week. “We rigged it up to work, but
the track was so heavy that there wasn’t any passing.”
Reutzel salvaged the night with a
run from 16th to eighth in the feature aboard
the Nattress Construction/Wings Unlimited machine.
“We passed a few early then got to the guys up
front and fell in line.”
The next night (June 10) at
Amarillo’s Route 66 Motor Speedway produced an identical
“We weren’t very good in the heat,
then the feature start got jumbled up and we got hit
from behind and half spun to the infield,” Reutzel said
of losing several positions from his 13th
starting place in the grid. “We
worked back up to tenth before it rubbered up, then
managed to get a couple more before it was over.”
After two nights off, Reutzel
improved to fourth on a Tuesday night (June 13) at
Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX.
“We drew the front row and won our
heat, then redrew a four for the feature,” Reutzel
recalls. “It was full throttle around
Reutzel was soon engaged in battle
with Sam Hafertepe, Jr., for the win.
“I got to Sam and started trying some stuff, Sam was
getting through lapped cars a little better than me,”
Reutzel says. “A lapped car finally
messed me up, he drove through the back of us while we
were second and knocked us back a couple of spots.”
The following night at Lawton (OK)
Speedway started with another tough draw.
“We started fifth and finished fifth in the heat,
it was one lane and heavy with good cars,” Reutzel
The track soon started to widen
out, with Reutzel winning the “B” Main to earn the 18th
“The track was really good and
made for a lot of passing,” Reutzel says.
“We ran all the way up to second, we just needed
a caution in the last ten laps or so to have a chance at
Moving on to Creek County Speedway
near Tulsa, OK, on Thursday night, June 15, it was time
for the No. 87 to return to victory lane.
After racing from third to second
in his heat race, young son Carson pulled the number one
pill in the redraw.
“The one was much-needed, it was
heavy and one-lane,” Reutzel recalls.
“We got the jump and made it into turn one first, that
was pretty much the race right there.”
Reutzel had his sights on a second
win in a row the next night at Moberly, Missouri’s
Randolph County Raceway until a right rear wheel packed
with mud derailed his drive.
“We started fourth and were
leading on the second lap,” Reutzel says.
“We got in a battle with Brian (Brown) for the
win, I was sliding a lapped car and packed the right
rear wheel with mud. The vibration
got so bad that it shook the right rear arm off and
ended our race, that’ s just the second time that’s ever
happened to me.”
This rendition of ASCS Speedweek
wrapped up on Saturday night at Wheatland, Missouri’s
Lucas Oil Speedway and Reutzel put away the Speedweek
title with his second win in three nights.
Reutzel started the night in
strong fashion by winning his heat from the pole to get
in the redraw. “And Carson drew the
pole again,” Reutzel said of his lucky charm.
“We ran the bottom the first five
laps or so, but I could feel that I was slowing down
each lap so I aborted the bottom to go to the top,”
Reutzel describes. “For the first two
or three laps, Blake (Hahn) was getting even.
But the bottom finally slowed down enough and we
set sail from there.”
With his first ASCS Speedweek
championship in the books, Reutzel and crew made the
non-stop, 2,000-mile trek to Alger, WA, for Dirt Cup
action that kicked off quite successfully on Thursday
Reutzel will try to put together
one more night of strong Dirt Cup preliminary action on
Friday to get in position for Saturday night’s $15,000
2017 Quick Stats:
38 races, 4 wins, 11 top-fives, 18 top-tens.
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour at Skagit Speedway’s Dirt
Cup on Thursday, June 22, through Saturday, June 24.
Keep track of Aaron Reutzel’s on-track action
including schedule and results at
on Facebook at
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can also e-mail Aaron at
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