If Florida results could give any indication on how the 2020 All Star title chase will unfold, Clute, Texas’ Aaron Reutzel is a surefire favorite to earn the $65,000 top prize which would ultimately increases his consecutive championship run to three.
Now with two consecutive All Star victories in the Sunshine State, the first occurring during Volusia Speedway Park’s DIRTcar Nationals on Thursday, February 6, Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports’ Aaron Reutzel continued his Florida dominance with a convincing All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Winn-Dixie victory at East Bay Raceway Park on Monday evening, February 10, taking command for the first time on lap three before escaping from the rest of the field to snag the $5,000 payday. In addition, the win was Reutzel’s 27th during Series competition, doing so from sixth on the grid.
“We kinda picked up right where we left off last year. Whenever you’re running that good at the end of the year, you don’t want the year to end. Momentum can change and you can never be too sure how the next year is going to start,” Aaron Reutzel explained, driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Brothers Trucking/Fischer Body Shop/Dissolvalloy/No. 87 sprint car. “Even when we had the opportunity to practice last week, I told the guys I didn’t want to practice. I just wanted to head into race night like it was another race from last year.”
A takeover that proved to be just as impressive as the driver performing it, Reutzel’s bid for the lead on lap three consisted of two parts, the first segment being a slingshot move around the outer edge of the speedway in turns one and two to power by three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion, Tony Stewart. Reutzel’s maneuver in the first two corners was soon followed by a dive through turns three and four to sneak by Brian Brown for the top spot. The multi-time Knoxville Raceway track champion led the first two circuits
Hear from the top 3 finishers from night #1:
Reutzel went on to race unchallenged throughout the remaining distance, easily navigating through slower traffic while Tony Stewart, Cory Eliason, Ian Madsen and Brian Brown all jockeyed for position. Climbing ahead from eighth, Madsen eventually settled into second on lap 18 and desperately attempted to track down the two-time champion during the second half of the 30-lap program. The effort was present, but the gap was too much to overcome, even in late stages of traffic. Reutzel lapped all but the top 11 cars and, at one point, maintained a near-five second advantage. The final margin of victory equalled 2.5 seconds.
“The track was phenomenal tonight. I’d love to see a race track like that the entire time we are here,” Reutzel continued. “That was a lot of fun. I can’t thank my team enough for what they do for me. I wouldn’t be where I am today without their hard work and dedication.”
Following Reutzel and Madsen to the line were Cory Eliason, Tony Stewart and Chad Kemenah, who advanced four spots to secure his top-five performance. On a special note, Aaron Reutzel is now the second Texan to score an All Star Circuit of Champions main event victory at East Bay Raceway Park, now joining Gary Wright on the Florida wins list.
Watch the feature from night #1: