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Reutzel Eyes King of 360’s Loot
Lonnie Wheatley, CLUTE, Texas (February 23, 2017) – Last week’s DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park definitely proved to be a test for Aaron Reutzel.
“Volusia was definitely tough,” the 2015 Lucas Oil ASCS National champion from Clute, TX, commented of the half-mile clay oval near Barberville, FL. “That was place one of a kind.”
Reutzel acquitted himself well though aboard the Dissolvalloy Downhole Revolution/BC Fundz No. 87 Triple-X Sprint Car, making the first four feature events of the five-race set before an overheating powerplant forced him into start-and-park mode in the Sunday finale with the World of Outlaws.
“We felt good about making the ‘A’ every night,” Reutzel said. “When you looked around each night at some of the guys that didn’t make it, that was a good indication of just how tough it was.”
Now, with eight nights of 410-ci competition with the All Star Circuit of Champions and World of Outlaws over the past couple of weeks in the books, Reutzel and the Wren Motorsports/Momentum Racing Suspensions team shift gears for their first 360-ci action of 2017 with this weekend’s “King of 360’s” Nationals at Tampa’s East Bay Raceway Park.
The event fires off Thursday night before ultimately wrapping up with Saturday night’s $10,000-to-win finale.
“We’ve always had good speed and pretty decent luck there,” Reutzel said of East Bay Raceway Park. “There has just always been someone a little better.”
Reutzel tries to turn that around this time after finishing fourth and second in the last two editions of the “King of 360’s” Nationals.
“Maybe this is the year we can put it all together,” Reutzel says.
Last week’s DIRTcar Nationals began with a pair of All Star Circuit of Champions cards on Wednesday and Thursday followed up by the World of Outlaws season opener on Friday night and then a WoO double on Sunday after a Saturday night rainout.
The theme of the week was consistent for Reutzel and the Nattress Construction/Wings Unlimited team.
“We were three to fourth tenths off each night we hit the track,” Reutzel said. “That had us sitting 18th, 22nd, or whatever each night. That makes it pretty tough.”
The week started with a broken rear end in hot laps on Wednesday night, relegating Reutzel to the end of qualifying with just one lap. “We think we figured out our problem there, so that shouldn’t happen anymore.”
Later in the Wednesday opener, the throttle hung at one-quarter throttle, forcing Reutzel pitside in the feature event.
Reutzel had his strongest run of the week going in Thursday’s All Star card, holding down seventh in the feature event. “We had a long caution and the tires cooled down,” Reutzel relates. “We pushed really bad on the restart and ended up tenth.”
In Friday’s WoO opener, Reutzel rallied from seventh to capture the fifth and final transfer position in his heat race aboard the Wright Way Logistics/Walker Performance Filtration entry before finishing 19th in the feature.
“We were okay, we just never could really find a place to get going,” Reutzel comments.
Set up for a Sunday double after rain on Saturday, Reutzel won the “B” Main on Sunday to make the cut for his fourth consecutive feature.
“We won the ‘B’, then we started fighting motor problems,” Reutzel said. “The motor ran hot all day.”
The overheating engine forced Reutzel to an early stop in the Sunday afternoon feature. Unfortunately, the team was unable to diagnose the problem, which eliminated any chance of racing competitively in the Sunday night finale.
Attention shifts to East Bay Raceway Park beginning tonight. And the sledding doesn’t get any easier with a strong field of cars expected for the ASCS Southern Outlaw Sprints season opener.
“This may be about the toughest field of 360’s I’ve ever seen,” Reutzel said. “We definitely have some work to do.”
2017 Quick Stats: 10 races, 2 top-tens. (2016 stats: 99 races, 8 wins, 33 top-fives, 50 top-tens)
Up Next: “King of 360’s” Nationals at Tampa, Florida’s East Bay Raceway Park on Thursday, 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.
If you would like Aaron Reutzel Racing press releases e-mailed directly to you, send your e-mail address to Lonnie Wheatley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on www.sprintcarmania.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.