Reutzel Takes West Texas Momentum to Devil's Bowl!
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (March 18, 2014) – Aaron Reutzel went into this past weekend’s West Texas 305 double looking to pick up some momentum to carry into his Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour title pursuit. And that’s exactly what he came away with by posting a pair of top-five finishes in El Paso and Las Cruces including a Hard Charger bonus aboard an El Paso-based Casey Minks entry.
The pair of strong runs is precisely what the Clute, TX, racer was aiming for as he climbs back into his Stafford Performance-powered Bob and Christie Miller’s Car Parts Machine/Wren’s Motorsports No. 87 Triple-X for this weekend’s ASCS National double at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals on Friday and Saturday.
“We need a couple of good nights this weekend to get into the top ten in points and into tow money for the next events at Lexington and I-30 on April 11-12,” Reutzel commented. “A couple more top-fives this weekend will get us there.”
Reutzel comes off a pair of top-fives that nearly didn’t happen this past weekend after a good practice night gone wrong.
“We were one of the fastest cars in practice on Thursday night with our Shark 305, then we blew it up in the final practice session,” Reutzel explains.
“We were about ready to go to the Gulf South races, then Casey called later that night and said he’d found an engine.”
It wasn’t ideal. One of the original Racesaver engines built in 2006 and never freshened, Reutzel spotted the strong field considerable horsepower.
But Reutzel was up to the challenge in the Momentum Racing Suspensions/Danny Sander Construction/ButlerBuilt machine by crossing the stripe third on Friday night at El Paso Speedway Park and then charging from 16th to fifth on Saturday at Las Cruces’ Southern New Mexico Speedway.
“After we lost that engine on practice night, it looked like it was just going to be another one of those bad weekends,” Reutzel explained. “Even though we were a little down on power, it worked out really well. The car was flawless both nights.”
In Friday’s night El Paso card, Reutzel rallied from the tail of his heat to rank as top point earner of the night and landed third row inside of the feature in the redraw.
“We got to rolling the top really well early on and reeled in Jeff Swindell and Derek Drown to take the lead in traffic,” Reutzel commented. “Just when I was thinking we had this one, here came the rubber.”
With rubber laying on the El Paso surface, the dated motor couldn’t keep pace. “Jason (Johnson) drove right by me, the engine just couldn’t hook up that much. We did good to hang on to third.”
On to Las Cruces for another $3,000-to-win ASCS West Texas 305 event, Reutzel raced from the tail of another heat to earn the 16th starting position for the feature. And it was a feature in which Reutzel raced forward in short order.
“The track was perfect, slick top to bottom, we were up to about eighth when a caution came out about half way through,” Reutzel explains. “They do the double-wide Delaware restarts there and the guy inside me was so worried about blocking me that I lost five or six spots on the restart.”
Reutzel rebounded quickly though and raced back up to fifth at the checkered flag, hot on the heels of the three cars directly in front of him.
“We really had at least a second place car. But we got a $500 bonus for Hard Charger, so the way I look at it we made as much as finishing second place and it was a lot more fun passing all those cars,” Reutzel surmises.
It’s back to business this weekend for Reutzel and the Lone Star Hydro Maintenance/Wright Way Logistics crew with two nights atop the storied ½-mile Devil’s Bowl Speedway clay oval where Reutzel posted a podium finish by crossing the stripe third in last October’s Winter Nationals.
“Devil’s Bowl can be so much about the draw,” says Reutzel. “But hopefully the track is racy enough in the heats that we can make the most of whatever we get and then go from there. We’ve had some good finishes there, we just need a couple more this weekend.”
2014 Quick Stats: 9 races, 2 top-fives, 5 top-tens, 1 “B” Main win.
Up Next: Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour action at the Devil’s Bowl Speedway Spring Nationals in Mesquite, TX, this Friday and Saturday.
Keep Track: Keep track of Aaron Reutzel’s on track-action including schedule and results at http://www.aaronreutzelracing.com/, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aaron-Reutzel-Racing/117666254913127 or on Twitter at @AaronReutzel. You can also e-mail Aaron at email@example.com.
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Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on racinboys.com, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events. For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at email@example.com.
Article Credit: Lonnie Wheatley
Submitted By: Shelbey Reutzel