Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas
(June 30, 2017) – Aaron Reutzel came close to the Jim
Raper Memorial Dirt Cup big payday once again in last
Saturday night’s $15,000-to-win finale at Alger,
Washington’s Skagit Speedway.
But, rather than cashing the big
check, Reutzel and the Dissolvalloy Downhole
Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car team
settled for runner-up Dirt Cup honors for the third year
in a row.
The second-place run in the Dirt
Cup finale came after winning the Thursday night prelim
and then a fourth-place showing in the Friday card to
earn a front row starting berth for the finale.
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour
action for Reutzel and the Wren Motorsports/Momentum
Racing Suspensions team continues with this weekend’s
Fred Brownfield Classic at Elma, Washington’s Grays
Last weekend’s Dirt Cup started
out in promising fashion for Reutzel and the Nattress
Construction/Wings Unlimited team, earning the pole
position and then ultimately posting the fourth win of
the year after putting the finishing touches on the ASCS
Speedweek title just five nights earlier.
Starting on the pole didn’t prove
to be advantageous though. “I knew
Seth (Bergman) would get the jump,” Reutzel related.
“He was about the same speed as us, so I knew we
had to wait for traffic. Traffic
usually gets pretty hairy there.”
It did indeed, with Reutzel taking
advantage to slide by in the Wright Way Logistics/Walker
Performance machine and then escaping with the win after
trading a couple more sliders before the finish.
“I slid him for the lead with
about ten laps to go,” Reutzel recalls.
“He slid me back, but then I was able to get back
by him and set sail from there.”
Friday’s card got off to a rough
start when contact from another car knocked the front
end down at the start of heat race action.
“We were able to get back out and lucky to get
back to where we started in fifth,” Reutzel says.
A charge from eighth to third in
his qualifier set Reutzel tenth in Friday’s feature
“Coming in leading points after
Thursday, we decided to try some stuff for Saturday,”
It wasn’t exactly what the team
was looking for, but Reutzel still worked his way up to
fourth to secure a front row starting position for the
Saturday main event.
“It wasn’t too bad, but it was a
little too rolled up to really race,” Reutzel says of
the Friday experiment. “It was
something good to learn.”
As it was time for Saturday
night’s $15,000-to-win Dirt Cup finale to push off, some
last minute track work changed the game.
“They left standing water all
around the bottom of the track,” Reutzel comments.
After Roger Crockett slid into the
lead in the opening pair of corners, Reutzel tried to
return the favor in turns three and four.
“I went through the water, that let Sam
(Hafertepe, Jr.) and (Jason) Solwold get by.”
“It took a while to get back by
Solwold because he’s fast and then it took a while to
get back by Crockett because he’s fast,” Reutzel says of
the race. “By the time I got by them,
there was only about ten laps to go, there wasn’t enough
time to get to Sam.”
While not satisfied with the
runner-up placing at Dirt Cup for a third time in a row,
it was yet another solid weekend for Reutzel and team.
“Overall, it was a good money-making weekend,”
Another weekend of action in the
State of Washington unfolds Friday and Saturday at Grays
Harbor Raceway, a track at which Reutzel hasn’t found
“We have had good speed there, but
zero luck,” Reutzel says. “It’s time
to change that.”
2017 Quick Stats:
40 races, 4 wins, 13 top-fives, 20 top-tens.
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour “Fred Brownfield Classic”
at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, WA, on Friday and
Saturday, June 30 and July 1.
Keep track of Aaron Reutzel’s on-track action
including schedule and results at
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