SYLVANIA, Ga. – Kyle Reinhardt rebounded from mechanical hiccups to post one of the more-notable performances of the young season over the weekend at Screven Motor Speedway.
The 26-year-old finished second with the All Star Circuit of Champions Saturday, one night after steering issues led to a 22nd-place result in the series opener.
It’s a promising and needed run for Reinhardt, who’s trying to establish footing with a new-look team as he runs the full All Star season for the first time.
“We were all definitely excited,” Reinhardt said. “We kind of exceeded our expectations a little bit. Friday we had a couple bugs to work out, but we got it good for Saturday.”
Reinhardt started the feature seventh and methodically worked his way to the front as the 35-lap main event wore on.
It took him just five laps to move into the top five, and by the race’s third caution on lap 19, Reinhardt made his way to fourth. He slipped to fifth by lap 28, but a caution for Sheldon Haudenschild gave the driver of the Capitol Renegade No. 91 what he needed.
Reinhardt powered to third on the ensuing restart, and then picked off Sam Hafertepe for second as eventual winner Aaron Reutzel reached the two-to-go signal.
The race ended under a yellow-checkered flag condition when a pileup occurred on the frontstretch right as Reutzel rounded turn four for the final time.
Any sooner, and Reinhardt might have had one last shot at the victory.
“Who knows what would have happened,” Reinhardt said. “I think we would have had a shot if we got that yellow. Without a yellow, we weren’t going to beat [Reutzel], just with the rubber and how the track was.”
Reinhardt showed solid speed all weekend. Though Friday didn’t yield a desirable result, he qualified 16th out of 34 entrants. The only thing that worked against him was he had the stiffest heat race of the night, needing to somehow overtake Donny Schatz, Sheldon Haudenschild, and Aaron Reutzel for a decent starting spot.
On Saturday, Reinhardt qualified fourth, behind only Schatz, Tyler Courtney, and Gio Scelzi. Now, he looks to build on the run behind car owners Wayne Quackenbush and Jeff McCall.
Quackenbush has served as Reinhardt’s car owner in the No. 91 in central Pennsylvania since 2017. McCall, on the other hand, came into the fold with a national profile, having crewed in the past for Dave Blaney in the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
“It got everybody’s confidence up, everybody who is working together for the first time,” Reinhardt said. “It worked out nice. There were a lot of good cars there, between all the Outlaw guys that were there and almost all the All Star guys that were there. The competition was definitely heavy. For us to have that much speed, it was a really good thing for all of us and all the people involved.”
“We’re just hoping to keep racing here and keep the ball rolling,” he added.