5 6reutzel
Aaron Reutzel

Reutzel Sweeps Up In Knoxville Opener

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Aaron Reutzel became the fifth different driver in Knoxville Raceway history to sweep both a 410 and 360 feature event in one evening on Saturday night.

Reutzel joined Terry McCarl (4 times), Brian Brown (3), Justin Henderson (3) and Dennis Moore Jr. in the accomplishment.

Reutzel dominated the night’s action on both ends, earning $5,000 for his 410 victory and $2,000 for his 360 win aboard the Ridge & Sons Racing No. 8 in the Kraig Ford/Pella Motors Season Opener.  

Matthew Stelzer moved atop the all-time win list in the Pro Sprints series, earning the 16th victory of his career here. 

Reutzel started the 20-lap feature from the pole and shot out to an immediate lead ahead of Kerry Madsen, Lynton Jeffrey, Chase Randall and Austin McCarl.  He was quickly into lapped traffic, but a spin by Matt Juhl negated his early lead on lap seven. 

Two laps later, Jeffrey slid in front of Madsen to take over the second spot, while Reutzel pulled away and was back amongst lappers on the twelfth circuit. Garet Williamson flexed his muscle a bit as action heated in the top five, by getting by McCarl and pressuring Randall. 

With five to go, Scott Bogucki slid sideways, but kept rolling, blending into the field on the restart. The five lap Dash saw Jeffrey, Madsen, Randall, Williamson and McCarl chasing Reutzel. The action was intense behind the leader, with Madsen taking second late, and drivers swapping spots fourth through eighth. 

Reutzel was victorious for the seventh time in a 410 here, ahead of Madsen, Jeffrey, Randall and Williamson.  

“It’s badass,” said Reutzel of his sweep. “Anyone that’s been watching knows we’ve had a rough start to our year. Trying to figure out the new tires has been a struggle, and (Tyler) Swank never gave up. We’re finally on to something that worked with the 360, and worked with this car. We lost a cylinder there about five laps in. I just wanted to win both to say I did it.  Not too many people have done that.” 

John Carney II got into the wall to start the 18-lap 360 feature. Tyler Groenendyk surged to an early lead over Terry McCarl and Reutzel.  Reutzel slid in front of McCarl on the dry-slick surface in turn four to take second on lap two. Chase Randall was also on the move, claiming fourth from Garet Williamson on lap three.   

On lap four, Reutzel entered low in turn one and passed Groenendyk for the lead as the pair entered lapped traffic. The same lap, Randall got by McCarl for third, and then slid by Groenendyk in turn three to take second on lap five. Williamson moved up to third by lap seven. 

Josh Higday stopped in turn four on lap nine, bringing the final caution. No one had anything for Reutzel down the stretch, but some excitement came when he banged the turn four wall and flattened a tire coming to the checkers for his fifth win here in a 360. He held on over Randall, Williamson, McCarl and Garner.  

“It blew a power steering line on the white flag lap on the backstretch,” Reutzel said about his final lap. “Immediately, my shield got covered with the power steering fluid, and I couldn’t see anything. I was trying to get a tear-off entering the corner, and the steering locked up.  I couldn’t see anything and drove straight in the fence. If that happened any sooner, we would have been done. The car was really good all night.” 

 The finish:

Feature (20 laps): 1. Aaron Reutzel (1); 2. Kerry Madsen (2); 3. Lynton Jeffrey (3); 4. Chase Randall (6); 5. Garet Williamson (10); 6. Tasker Phillips (19); 7. Davey Heskin (14); 8. Austin McCarl (4); 9. Justin Henderson (5); 10. Kaleb Johnson (11); 11. Carson McCarl (7); 12. Ayrton Gennetten (18); 13. Scott Bogucki (9); 14. Brooke Tatnell (13); 15. Riley Goodno (15); 16. Sawyer Phillips (21); 17. Dusty Zomer (12); 18. Chris Martin (20); 19. Christopher Thram (17); 20. Matt Juhl (16); 21. Josh Schneiderman (22); 22. Bobby Mincer (26); 23. Joe Simbro (25); 24. Frank Rodgers III (27); 25. Gage Pulkrabek (23); 26. AJ Moeller (8); 27. Nathan Mills (24); DNS – Dustin Selvage. Lap Leader: Reutzel 1-20. Hard-charger: T. Phillips.