PLYMOUTH, Ind. — Lapped traffic seemed to be the only thing to slow down Aaron Reutzel Saturday night at Plymouth Speedway, as the Clute, Texas, speedster captured the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions 30-lap winged sprint car feature race.
Attempting to win his second consecutive All Star series title, Reutzel wheeled his Fischer Body Shop/Folkens Bros. Trucking/Nattress Construction-sponsored No. 87 to his seventh tour victory of the year. Taking the lead at the start of the 30 lapper from his inside front row starting spot, Reutzel held off a pesky Brock Zearfoss for the win.
With only one caution flag slowing the action with seven laps complete, Reutzel began tracking down slower cars by lap 10 as he weaved his way around the 0.375-mile dirt oval. Racing through lapped traffic, Reutzel passed some cars easily with others slowing Reutzel’s progress to the checkered flag.
Reutzel held off the charging Zearfoss with Greg Wilson taking third. Gerard McIntyre Jr. and Justin Peck finished fourth and fifth with former NASCAR champion Tony Stewart coming home sixth after starting 12th.
“Early in the race when I was passing the first group of lapped cars, it was pretty easy to get by them,” said Reutzel. “I got to the middle of the pack (of lapped cars) and it was a different breed of racers there. They were having a hard time getting around the track themselves and they were bouncing off the fences so I really slowed my pace down. I didn’t want them to take me out with them. I’m glad that we were able to make it through this one.
“I had no clue whether anyone was there (a close second) or not. I was just trying not to leave the door open but not race those lapped cars at the end. It was pretty stressful. They (the lapped cars) were all over the place.”
Reutzel had been the series points leader until recently, giving up the points lead to Dale Blaney, who finished eighth in the feature.
“It been stressful for the whole team,” said Reutzel. “We were leading (a race) a month ago and a lapped car spun in front of me and took us out. We were running second at Lebanon Valley (Speedway in New York) and guy half spun in front of me and put me in the fence. Last night (at Michigan’s I-96 Speedway), we slow down for a red (flag) and second place ran through us and junked our car. It’s been pretty tough for us running up front. We can’t control what other people do.”
Reutzel took home $5,000 for his feature victory and was the fastest qualifier among 26 entries.
Illinois standout Mike McKinney won the accompanying 25-lap feature race for DIRTcar UMP modifieds. Being rained out at Fairbury, Ill., McKinney won for the 10th time in modified competition as he defeated Frank Marshall, Dylan Woodling, Dillon Nusbaum and Michael Tarlton. Not winning in a long time, Nate Payton bested Lee J. Hall and Clint Hall in the 20-lap main event for Thunder Stocks.
Aaron Reutzel, Brock Zearfoss, Greg Wilson, Gerard McIntyre Jr., Justin Peck, Tony Stewart, Paul McMahan, Dale Blaney, Skylar Gee, Cory Eliason, Buddy Kofoid, Paul May, Parker Price-Miller, Max Stambaugh, Shawn Dancer, Danny Smith, Chad Boespflug, Brinton Marvel, Gregg Dalman, George Hobaugh Jr., Tyler Esh, Garrett Saunders, Josh Shantz, Mark Coldren.