Reutzel Strikes Back At Volusia

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Aaron Reutzel en route to victory at Volusia Speedway Park. (Paul Arch photo)
Aaron Reutzel en route to victory at Volusia Speedway Park. (Paul Arch photo)

BARBERVILLE, Fla. — Unrattled by a Wednesday night performance that concluded with a sixth-place finish in the B-Main, two-time and defending Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 champion Aaron Reutzel was the class of the field on Thursday evening at Volusia Speedway Park.

Reutzel won the finale of the two night All Star run during the DIRTcar Nationals with his 26th career series triumph.

Defending World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series champion Brad Sweet finished second on Thursday night, followed by Ian Madsen, Donny Schatz and James McFadden.

“We do a lot in the offseason to try and make our cars better and better. I just can’t thank my guys enough,” said Reutzel. “Dylan Buswell is with us now because Cheeseburger is gone. He went home to better his career and you can’t blame someone for wanting to do that. This is just another testament to this team. We missed the A-Main last night but we came back with redemption tonight.”

Reutzel, driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Brothers Trucking/Fischer Body Shop/Nattress Construction/No. 87 sprint car, earned his $5,000 top prize from the inside of the second row, eventually working his way around front row starter and Wednesday night winner Sweet, with a diving move in turns one and two on lap eight, all before powering under race leader, Ian Madsen, in turn four on lap 16.

Aaron Reutzel (Frank Smith photo)
Aaron Reutzel (Frank Smith photo)

Despite an abrasive surface ultimately leading to a thin, but ultra-fast racing groove, Reutzel never faltered, maintaining command, as well as his composure, even as tire wear started to become an obvious threat during the later stages of the 25-lap program.

Adding to the drama already assembling due to tire concern, cautions started to flood the main event with just four circuits remaining. In fact, caution lights appeared on lap 22 and again on lap 24, each for right-rear flats, ultimately setting up a green-white-checkered finish.

“The first couple of laps, I just kinda judged myself with everyone else. I could see Brad [Sweet] was moving around and he was pretty good, too. I eventually found the rubber and Brad found it at the same time, but luckily I was able to find it a little before he did,” Reutzel continued. “I eventually ran up on Ian [Madsen]. I thought I was running a pretty smart race, but I think I got to Ian a little too quickly because he ended up seeing me and moving down on me. Regardless, it all ended up playing out in our favor. I was just trying to be as patient as I could.”

The finish:

Feature (25 Laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel [3]; 2. 49-Brad Sweet [2]; 3. 18-Ian Madsen [1]; 4. 15-Donny Schatz [7]; 5. 9-James McFadden [5]; 6. 21-Brian Brown [14]; 7. 83-Daryn Pittman [10]; 8. 57-Kyle Larson [12]; 9. 41-David Gravel [11]; 10. 48-Danny Dietrich [18]; 11. 2-Carson Macedo [21]; 12. 13-Paul McMahan [16]; 13. 26-Cory Eliason [24]; 14. 5W-Lucas Wolfe [15]; 15. 14-Tim Shaffer [13]; 16. 5-Brent Marks [19]; 17. 1S-Logan Schuchart [8]; 18. 17-Sheldon Haudenschild [6]; 19. 2M-Kerry Madsen [23]; 20. 14P-Parker Price-Miller [4]; 21. 2C-Wayne Johnson [17]; 22. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr. [9]; 23. W20-Greg Wilson [20]; 24. 15K-Chad Kemenah [22] Lap Leaders: Ian Madsen (1-15), Aaron Reutzel (16-25)

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