PITTSBURGH, Pa. — For the fourth time in five events, Aaron Reutzel earned his way to Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 victory lane, this time by taming “Dirt’s Monster Half-Mile” at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway (PPMS) during the second and final leg of the 2018 I-79 Summer Shootout.
For Reutzel, his evening in Western Pennsylvania was nearly flawless, not only leading all 25 laps of the All Star main event, but also kicking-off the evening with the fastest time during qualifying time trials, as well as earning an impressive heat race win. The victory, Reutzel’s seventh of the 2018 All Star Circuit of Champions season, concluded a model weekend for the Clute, Texas, native that also included a victory on Friday night at Eriez Speedway. Reutzel is now the owner of two perfect weekends in 2018, actually winning back-to-back events at Plymouth (Ind.) Speedway and Dirt Oval (Ill.) at Route 66 on June 29 & 30.
“We are doing one heck of a job right now,” Aaron Reutzel explained in victory lane, driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Bros. Trucking/Hollywood Blasting & Coating/No. 87 sprint car. “Our cars have been fantastic, as well as holding together. When nights go as smooth as this, you can’t ask for much more.”
After finishing second during the evening’s dash, his only defeat at PPMS, Aaron Reutzel lined up on the outside of row one for the start of the 25-lap main event. Although flawless for most of the program, immediately gaining the lead after the initial start, Reutzel did encounter a few hazards, mostly in the form of lapped traffic which nearly cost Reutzel his lead. Reutzel’s first, and perhaps his most challenging situation during the 25-lapper occurred on lap eight when the driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports entry nearly made contact with a lapped car twice while trying to work around him.
Although unable to keep up with Reutzel for the first few circuits, Carson Macedo, who started from the pole position by way of dash victory, was able to chase down Reutzel as the pair encountered lapped traffic. Reutzel’s near-mishap was just what Macedo needed, using his momentum to pull even with the Texan as the duo battled through turns one and two on lap 10. Luckily for Reutzel, the potential lead change was negated after caution flags flew for a slowing Tyler Esh.
After the feature’s first and only caution appeared, action resumed with Reutzel still in command of the field over Macedo and Cole Duncan. Periods of heavy traffic came into play once again with less than ten circuits remaining thus allowing Macedo to close the gap once more. Although Macedo made a tremendous effort to track down Reutzel, the former ASCS national champion was just as strong, if not stronger in traffic.
“The top of the speedway was pretty dominant tonight. You were able to carry a lot of momentum up there,” Carson Macedo explained. “I kept trying to get closer in traffic, but (Aaron Reutzel) was really good, too. He made good, consistent laps.”
“There were a couple of guys out there that made things tricky; bottom to top then back to the bottom,” Reutzel said about traffic. “They were making me a little nervous. I really didn’t know which way to go, but luckily we got through them without getting into any trouble.”
Up next on the calendar, the Arctic Cat All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 will conclude the month of July with a four-pack of events across the Midwest beginning with action at Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wis., on Thursday, July 26. The four-day, three-state trek will continue at Jackson (Minn.) Motorplex on Friday, July 27, followed by a two-day stop in Iowa where Tony Stewart’s All Stars will invade the world-famous Knoxville Raceway on Saturday, July 28, followed by a stop at 34 Raceway on Sunday, July 29.
More information pertaining to the All Star trip west will be published in the coming days. Fans should stay tuned on the Web at the official online home of the All Star Circuit of Champions – www.allstarsprint.com.
A-Main (25 Laps)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel ; 2. 3G-Carson Macedo ; 3. 70-Dave Blaney ; 4. 13-Paul McMahan ; 5. 10H-Chad Kemenah ; 6. 22C-Cole Duncan ; 7. 81-Lee Jacobs ; 8. 49X-Tim Shaffer ; 9. 4-Parker Price-Miller ; 10. 3-Jac Haudenschild ; 11. 11-Gary Taylor ; 12. 14-Tony Stewart ; 13. 98-Carl Bowser ; 14. 42-Sye Lynch ; 15. 7K-Cale Conley ; 16. 33-Brent Matus ; 17. 22-Brandon Spithaler ; 18. 1R-Gale Ruth Sr. ; 19. 35-Tyler Esh ; 20. 13M-Brandon Matus ; 21. 51-John Garvin ; 22. 40-George Hobaugh  Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel (1-25)
-All Star Circuit of Champions Press Release
-Photo credit: Paul Arch