ANGELTON, Texas – Caleb Martin has hand-picked fellow Texan Aaron Reutzel to pilot his sprint car this week during the Tony Stewart presents the VANKOR Texas Sprint Car Nationals.
Reutzel will be behind the wheel of the Martin Motorsports No. 51 this Thursday and Friday when Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track in Fort Worth, Texas, hosts the Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour event.
“My first time to a race track when I was 11 or 12 my best friend’s grandpa hauled Aaron’s dad’s car to the track,” Martin said. “I think it’s cool that Aaron and I grew up racing together. When I was 15 years old at the track racing mini sprints he was 10-years-old racing junior sprints and restrictors. He’d ride behind me on the four wheelers and do wheelies. When I went off to college and came back he was in mini sprints. He went off and did the sprint cars a few years before me. We’ve stayed in contact.”
Reutzel, who has 18 feature triumphs this season, will be the first driver other than Martin to drive for the team, which was created in 2009. Martin has three micro sprint wins in four starts and one sprint car triumph in five starts this year.
“I’ll be there for customers for the NASCAR race so I wouldn’t be able to focus on driving,” Martin said. “I want to sit back and enjoy the sponsors and customers and the event without the stress of driving.”
Reutzel has enjoyed success during the event, winning in 2016. He also posted a third-place outing in 2017 and fourth-place finishes in 2015 and 2013.
“The goal is a top three both nights and hopefully at least one win,” Martin said. “We have Tim Courmier crew chiefing. He’s been on the road for a lot of big professional teams. With him doing the setup, Aaron doing the driving and me pitching in my two cents, I think that will be a pretty good recipe for a good finish.”