Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (August 24,
2017) – After racing into his first Knoxville Nationals
championship feature event, Aaron Reutzel and the Dissolvalloy
Downhole Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car team
look to finish strong as the stretch run of the 2017 season
Not only did Reutzel race into the recent
Knoxville Nationals “A” Main for the first time, he capitalized
on it by rallying all the way from 19th to finish
seventh for Hard Charger honors
in the biggest event in all of
Sprint Car racing.
“It was a great Nationals for us,” the
Clute, TX, racer sums up.
After running afoul of lapped traffic
while leading Sunday night at Sedalia, MO, Lucas Oil ASCS
National Tour action for Reutzel and the Wren
Motorsports/Momentum Racing Suspensions team resumes on Thursday
night at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, AR,
and then Saturday night at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville,
Going into the 57th Annual
Knoxville Nationals with momentum after a top-five Knoxville 360
Nationals finish, Reutzel’s Wednesday night, August 9, effort
got off to a solid start with a good qualifying run.
Reutzel then raced into a transfer spot in
heat race action, only to have his Nationals qualifying run
unravel when a lost muffler negated the run.
“That did our night in,” Reutzel says.
That left the Friday, August 11, Hard Knox
event to determine Reutzel’s Nationals fate.
And he was ready to make the most of it in the Nattress
Construction/Wings Unlimited machine.
“We were second quick and then made it to
the feature through the heat race,” Reutzel recounts.
“That was good because they lined up the feature by
Gridding the feature third, Reutzel needed
to run among the top four to lock himself into his first
Knoxville Nationals “A” Main event.
“We got up to second at one point, then
fell back to fourth and then got back up to third,” Reutzel
In the end, Reutzel captured the third
position to secure his first Nationals finale starting berth.
“We were pretty good,” Reutzel says.
“We didn’t have a lot of speed, we were just good enough
to hold on to what we had.”
Saturday’s Nationals finale started in
“We tried a few different things on the
car in hot laps, and they felt really good,” Reutzel says.
Starting 19th in the field,
Reutzel had 50 laps to move the Wright Way Logistics/Walker
Performance machine through the field. And
that’s exactly what he did.
“We had a lot of speed,” Reutzel recalls.
“Nobody else was working the bottom.
We were really good down there, so we pretty much had an open
Nearing the top ten by the mid-race red
flag, Reutzel and crew made more improvements to the No. 87
“We tightened up some and got even better
in the last half of the race,” Reutzel recalls.
Reutzel worked his way up into a battle
for fifth before ultimately settling for seventh and Hard
“We got by (Brad) Sweet for sixth and then
tried to slide (Brian) Brown for fifth,” Reutzel relates.
“I missed the slider, got a little sideways and lost my
That allowed Sweet to slip back by with
Reutzel settling for a strong seventh-place run.
“We were really pumped to run seventh from
so far back against those guys,” Reutzel says.
There was little time to reflect upon
perhaps one of the most impressive performances of a burgeoning
career, as Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour action resumed Sunday
night at Sedalia’s Missouri State Fair Speedway.
And Reutzel was in position to land his
seventh overall win of the year after climbing from fourth to
second in heat race action and then redrawing the pole position
for the main event.
Reutzel took advantage of that pole start.
“We got out to the lead and felt pretty
good leading,” Reutzel says. “We felt decent,
but I thought that somebody could be a little faster than us.”
Reutzel soon found himself in traffic as
he tried to protect his lead.
“I came up on a car that slid all the way
from the bottom to the top,” Reutzel says. “I
got myself in a bad situation. When I
realized I couldn’t clear him, I had to get on the brakes.
That got me up on the curb and I spun.”
In retrospect, it was a mistake that might
have been avoided.
“After I spun, it felt like forever before
the second place car went by,” Reutzel recalls.
“If I had known we had that kind of lead, I wouldn’t have
pushed it that much. But you never can tell.”
Reutzel rejoined the chase and was able to
salvage a 13th place finish.
“We got back out and then it rubbered up
pretty quick, so there wasn’t much chance to move forward,”
Reutzel wraps up.
Action for Reutzel and the No. 87 resumes
at “The Ditch” on Thursday and then a first-time visit to Smoky
Mountain Speedway on Saturday.
2017 Quick Stats:
58 races, 6 wins, 21 top-fives, 33 top-tens.
Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour at Riverside International Speedway
(West Memphis, AR) on Thursday and Smoky Mountain Speedway
(Maryville, TN) on Saturday.
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