Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (August 9,
2017) – Aaron Reutzel and the Dissolvalloy Downhole
Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car team are set to
kick off their pursuit of 57th Annual Knoxville
Nationals glory with Wednesday’s opening round of qualifying
And, after posting his second top-five
finish over the last three years of 360 Nationals competition
atop the storied Marion County Fairgrounds ½-mile clay oval in
Reutzel and the Wren Motorsports/Momentum
Racing Suspensions team go into this week’s action with
“We learned some things and then learned
some things not to do in Sunday’s Capitani Classic,” Reutzel
says. “If we can qualify like we did in the
360 Nationals, the rest of it will fall in place.”
Qualifying can be key, and Reutzel kicked
off last week’s 27th Annual Knoxville 360 Nationals
with a strong qualifying effort that timed him in sixth among
Thursday’s 43-car field of competitors.
Reutzel then raced to fourth in his heat race to earn a feature
“We made it through the heat and that was
huge,” Reutzel says, as he was only one of two drivers among the
top ten in qualifying to make the feature cut through the heat
race, which weighs heavily with the Nationals point system.
The 20-lap Thursday feature got off to a
wild start with Reutzel fortunate to avoid any race-ending
“The car in front of me ran over the berm
and got completely sideways,” Reutzel recalls.
“He came back across the track and collected us, then we
got run over from behind and it about tore the wing off.”
With an open red, the Nattress
Construction/Wings Unlimited crew was able to make repairs and
get Reutzel back in action.
“We were geared to run the top, but the
bottom turned out to be a little better,” Reutzel says.
“So we were just lugging around the bottom.”
It was good enough with Reutzel bringing
the Wright Way Logistics/Walker Performance machine to the line
with a sixth-place finish and a points night that was good
enough to put him in the fifth starting position for Saturday
night’s $15,000-to-win Knoxville 360 Nationals finale.
“We weren’t good enough to move forward,
but we were good enough to hold our ground,” Reutzel said of
Thursday’s sixth-place run.
Saturday’s 25-lap finale found Reutzel in
the Knoxville 360 Nationals top-five for the second time in
three years with a fourth-place finish after starting fifth.
“We were up to third at one time, then
lost a couple positions before getting back to fourth,” Reutzel
says. “We were good, the guys ahead of us
were just a little better. They have all
raced about a million laps there, they raced a little better and
moved around a little better than us.”
Sunday brought a switch to 410-ci action
with the Sixth Annual Capitani Classic atop the ½-mile clay
After a late draw for qualifying, some
experimentation was in order.
“We tried some stuff on the car that
worked with the 360,” Reutzel explains. “It
didn’t work so well with the 410, so we learned not to do that.”
After timing in 14th-quick
among his group of 34 in the 69-car field, Reutzel ran fifth in
his heat race to set the stage for a sixth-starting position in
“B” Main action.
“We were running fifth and had a shot at
getting into the top three, then the car jumped out of gear,”
Reutzel said of the end of his Sunday efforts.
With a recent 410-ci win at Jackson, MN,
among his six overall triumphs this season and a third-place
showing in 410-ci action at Knoxville in April, Reutzel feels
good about the No. 87 team going into this week’s 57th
Annual Knoxville Nationals.
“I think it’s the best car that we have
had going into the Nationals,” the 2015 Rookie of the Nationals
says. “If things fall right, hopefully we can
be in our first Knoxville Nationals ‘A’ Feature on Saturday
2017 Quick Stats:
54 races, 6 wins, 20 top-fives, 31 top-tens.
57th Annual Knoxville Nationals at Iowa’s Knoxville
Raceway on Wednesday through Saturday.
Reutzel will take part in Wednesday’s qualifier that will set
the stage for Friday and Saturday action.
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