Reutzel Eyes Knoxville Nationals Title
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (August 8, 2018) – Current All Star Circuit of Champions points leader Aaron Reutzel sets his sights on the big one this weekend as he takes in Iowa’s Knoxville Nationals for the fourth year in a row.
And his progression at the biggest Sprint Car race in the world has been a quick and steady one over the three previous years.
Reutzel’s first Knoxville Nationals effort in 2015 resulted in Rookie of the Nationals honors. Last year, Reutzel raced into his first Knoxville Nationals championship feature by way of a third-place finish in the Friday “Hard Knox” card and then earned Hard Charger honors by rallying from 19th to finish seventh.
It’s a finish that Reutzel and the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports No. 87 Sprint Car team hope to improve upon this time around with the Folkens Brothers Trucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution Triple-X entry taking in the Wednesday qualifying portion of the event.
“We have a package that we feel good about for Knxoville,” Reutzel says. “We have tried a couple of other things but keep coming back to what we know works well. A good qualifying lap is a must to get things rolling.”
After struggling with mechanical problems over both nights of this past weekend’s World of Outlaws “Ironman 55” at Pevely, Missouri’s Federated Auto Parts I-55 Raceway, the driver of the Precision Catalyst/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/Beard Equipment entry showed a flash of that Knoxville speed in Sunday’s Capitani Classic.
“We qualified too good, it actually penalized us some,” Reutzel said of setting Sunday’s quick time after both Ironman features were cut short by mechanical woes.
Stopping the clocks at 15.587 seconds to turn in the quickest time among the second group despite being the next-to-last car to time in on Sunday night, Reutzel gridded heat race action fourth and finished fourth with just three transferring.
Advancing from “B” Main action, Reutzel then found himself starting the feature from 22nd and made an early exit to preserve equipment for this week’s critical races.
“We were starting so far back, we just did a few laps to make sure things were working and then called it a night to save it,” the driver of the Nattress Construction/Momentum Racing Suspensions entry explained.
It gets under way for real at Knoxville on Wednesday night with Reutzel and the BRM No. 87 hoping to lock into Saturday’s feature without the aid of Friday night’s “Hard Knox” card.
“The Friday show is a good second chance in case something goes wrong, but hopefully we don’t need it and can get locked in on Wednesday,” Reutzel concludes.
2018 Quick Stats: 52 races, 8 wins, 18 top-fives, 26 top-tens.
Next Up: 58th Annual Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville (IA) Raceway on Wednesday (August 8) through Saturday (August 11).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.