Reutzel Carries Mojo Back To All Star Title Hunt

Reutzel Carries Mojo
Aaron Reutzel (87) battles Joey Saldana for the early lead in Saturday's 59th annual NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals finale. (Mark Funderburk photo)

CLUTE, Texas – After a top-five finish in the NOS Energy Drink Knoxville Nationals, Aaron Reutzel resumes his pursuit of a second-straight All Star Circuit of Champions title this weekend.

Reutzel and the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports No. 87 sprint car team take to Michigan’s I-96 Speedway for the first time Friday night before moving on to Indiana’s Plymouth Speedway on Saturday.

Reutzel was victorious in his first visit to Plymouth Speedway last year.

The driver of the Folkens Brothers Trucking/Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution Triple-X enters the weekend fresh off his third consecutive top-10 finish at the Nationals. He previously earned hard charger honors with a run through the field to seventh in 2017.

After earning a fourth-place finish in 2018, this time Reutzel finished out the Nationals with a fifth-place run aboard the gold and black Precision Catalyst/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/Beard Equipment machine.

Reutzel sat on the pole for the $150,000-to-win event by virtue of a strong qualifying time on Thursday followed up by a critical eighth-to-second run in heat race action before running fifth in the feature.

He started the Saturday night feature in strong form. Perhaps, he noted, it was too strong.

“We were way too good early,” Reutzel said. “I knew we might be in trouble then.”

Leading the way until the 14th round, when he was overhauled by eventual winner David Gravel, Reutzel still held on to second until the midway break in the 50-lapper.

“I knew I was getting loose, so I started searching around and didn’t make very good laps,” Reutzel explained.

With a chance to make adjustments, Reutzel and crew gambled on changes to better their chances for a victory over the final 25 circuits.

“We ended up making too many changes and got the car too tight for the last half of the race,” Reutzel noted.

The reigning All Star Circuit of Champions titlist still maintained among the frontrunner and notched a fifth-place finish, another successful Nationals outing for the BRM No. 87 team.

“We wanted that win, but it was still another great weekend for our team and something we can continue to build on,” Reutzel concluded.

Reutzel leads the All Star title chase by a scant eight points over second-place Dale Blaney.

However, he’s got momentum – and that could be bad news for the rest of his pursuers.


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