Mechanicsburg, Pa. — Less than a month after etching his name in Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 history books by becoming the first full-time Series regular to defeat the Pennsylvania Posse at Williams Grove Speedway, Clute, Texas-native Aaron Reutzel achieved the once-elusive feat yet again, this time during Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial competition on Friday night, September 20.
Ultimately a wire-to-wire performance by the defending All Star champion, the route to Williams Grove Speedway victory lane was far from plain sailing, as Reutzel was forced to withstand continuous pressure from Kasey Kahne Racing’s James McFadden, as well as a late charge by The Grove’s all-time win leader, Lance Dewease. Impressive enough, Reutzel’s victory bumps his All Star win total to an impressive 14 in 2019, simultaneously increasing his championship point lead to 98 markers over six-time champion, Dale Blaney.
Despite a last-ditch effort to drive around Reutzel during the final two circuits, Dewease was forced to settle for second, followed by Gio Scelzi, James McFadden and Brian Montieth.
“Hats off to this crew. This was one hell of a team effort,” an elated Aaron Reutzel said in victory lane, driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Brothers Trucking/Fischer Body Shop/No. 87 sprint car. “Twenty second laps around this place is really hard. We’ve been working at trying to get better in the slick. Tonight, we basically opened our Port Royal notebook and put that in our car. It was like magic again. Our format is nice because it gives us a chance to test. It’s nice to go out in the dash and try things.”
Launching to a convincing command right from the drop of the green, Aaron Reutzel led the first handful of circuits without a hiccup keeping McFadden, Dewease and Scelzi in check as the first eight circuits checked off the counter. Just as the lead cars were about to hit slower traffic for the first time, yellow flags appeared giving Reutzel the opportunity to start fresh in clean air.
When green flag action commenced, Reutzel returned to his familiar pace, once again relying on the cushion through turns one and two and the bottom groove through turns three and four. By the time the Texan found the back of the field on lap 18, McFadden and Dewease had found Reutzel, soon creating a three-car battle for the top spot.
Lap after lap, McFadden hounded Reutzel for the lead keeping the No. 87 within a car length through lap 27. In a desperate attempt to drive around Reutzel the following circuit, McFadden charged to the top of the corner at the entrance of turn three, hoping to use the cushion as a slingshot to drive around the All Star point leader. Unfortunately for McFadden, the move to the top proved costly, eventually resulting in a pair of lost spots to Dewease and Gio Scelzi.
Now with Reutzel in clear view, Dewease attempted to chase down the front-runner during the final two circuits. Although closing in to a half second, Dewease was out of time.
“I kept watching the scoreboard and I kept seeing McFadden in second,” Reutzel continued. “When Dewease got into second, I could kinda hear someone behind me. I wanted to try and run harder, but at the same time, I didn’t want to get caught up in any of the lapped cars.”
The Tommy Hinnershitz Memorial triumph earned Reutzel $6,000.
The sixth running of the prestigious Dirt Classic at Lincoln Speedway in Abbottstown, Pennsylvania, will follow Williams Grove action on Saturday, September 21. Utilizing a unique format to help determine the evening’s outcome, complete with two rounds of heat race action, the 2019 Dirt Classic champion will leave with a $20,000 winner’s share, a monster portion of the $60,000+ purse that will be handed out at the conclusion of the evening’s main event. Hot laps are set to fire off at 6:30 p.m., sharp.
Those seeking additional news and notes should visit Lincoln Speedway live on the Web at www.lincolnspeedway.com.
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 2. 69K-Lance Dewease ; 3. 71-Gio Scelzi ; 4. 9-James McFadden ; 5. 21M-Brian Montieth ; 6. 2M-Kerry Madsen ; 7. 26-Cory Eliason ; 8. 70-Brock Zearfoss ; 9. 48-Danny Dietrich ; 10. 21-Brian Brown ; 11. 51-Freddie Rahmer ; 12. 72-Ryan Smith ; 13. 99M-Kyle Moody ; 14. 39-Cory Haas ; 15. 1W-Matt Campbell ; 16. 71P-Parker Price-Miller ; 17. 39M-Anthony Macri ; 18. 13-Paul McMahan ; 19. 17B-Steve Buckwalter ; 20. 70X-Justin Peck ; 21. 1X-Chad Trout ; 22. 11-Dale Blaney ; 23. 99-Skylar Gee ; 24. 23-Chris Arnold ; 25. 44-Trey Starks ; 26. 11S-TJ Stutts ; 27. 19M-Landon Myers  Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel (1-30)
-All Star Circuit of Champions Press Release
-Photo credit: Paul Arch