Aaron Reutzel was one of the hottest sprint car drivers in the country this season, recording 18 victories and wrapping up his second straight championship with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions.
But for many Midwest race fans, it seems Reutzel has burst onto the racing scene the past two seasons. Besides scoring 25 All Star victories in two years, he has also defeated the World of Outlaw NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series drivers and tamed the Pennsylvania Posse on its home turf.
“We weren’t really planning to follow the All Stars in 2018,” explained the Flute, Texas, native. “But Josh Baughman called me around December (2017) and asked me to meet with him to discuss my plans. So I flew to Odessa (Texas) and listened to their proposal.
“It was also when the Folkens (Brothers Trucking) called and wanted to talk about 2018, so it really was great timing,” Reutzel continued. “And the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports team was born. I can’t thank Mike and Josh Baughman enough for the opportunity they have given me along with our great sponsors.”
Combining the resources of the two teams has helped produce tremendous results.
“This has allowed us to put together a great team with great people, better motors and more financial resources,” Reutzel said. “I couldn’t have been in that great situation if it wasn’t for a lot of people who helped along the way like Bob Miller of BC Fundz, who really got us going in sprint car racing, and my longtime crew chief, Grant Boyum. We have a great group of guys working on this team. ‘Jim Bob’ (Ben Kruse), ‘Cheeseburger’ (Jason Tetrault) and ‘Dylzo’ (Dylan Buswell) bust their butts to put us in this position.”
Reutzel, who claimed rookie-of-the-year honors in the Lucas Oil ASCS Sprint Car Series in 2011 and was the series champion in 2015, was also named Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year in 2015. Reutzel picked up his first winged 410 sprint car triumph at Arizona’s Cocopah Speedway in 2015.
“I think 2015 opened a lot of people’s eyes as to what we could do given the right equipment and situation,” Reutzel said.
That success gave Reutzel the confidence to expand his schedule, traveling to nearly 100 races in 2016 while recording 33 top-five finishes and scoring a victory at Ohio’s world-famous Eldora Speedway upon his first visit to the half-mile track.
But it’s been the past two seasons that have really solidified Reutzel as one of the top sprint car drivers in the country.
“This year alone, we’ve won 18 races but that easily could be nearly 25. We had six DNFs with the All Stars because of engine failures, tangling with lapped cars or flat tires and we were leading four of those and were running second in the other two,” Reutzel said. “Just having the resources now, thanks to the Baughmans, these Rider Engines have been phenomenal, we can concentrate on winning with no worries.”
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