Hodnett Cup Goes To Aaron Reutzel

Aaron Reutzel won the Hodnett Cup at Pennsylvania's Grandview Speedway. (Dan Demarco photo)
Aaron Reutzel won the Hodnett Cup at Pennsylvania's Grandview Speedway. (Dan Demarco photo)

BECHTELSVILLE, Pa. — Aaron Reutzel won the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 visit to Grandview Speedway for the second consecutive year Thursday night.

Reutzel led all 35 laps aboard the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Brothers Trucking/Fischer Body Shop/No. 87 to become the first winner of the Hodnett Cup at the third-mile race track.

It was Reutzel’s eighth All Star victory of the season and pushed him two points ahead of Dale Blaney in the battle for the series championship.

Before Reutzel could march his way to victory against the infamous Pennsylvania Posse, Mother Nature intervened just after qualifying resulting in a lengthy delay. Suffice it to say, track and Series officials held their ground and allowed the weather to pass.

“I just want to thank all of the fans, as well as all of the officials for sticking this one out and not throwing in the towel. We all really appreciate their efforts,” Reutzel said. “It was definitely a hard call to make, but I’m glad they did it. The track was really fast tonight because of the rain. We were really lucky to draw the one [during dash redraw]. That was a pretty big deal.”

Despite starting from the pole position and earning the initial jump, the path to victory was not paved easy for Reutzel.

After a pair of cautions, one resulting in red-flag conditions, disturbed competition during the first six circuits, a long green followed, thus creating periods of dense traffic around the Grandview bullring.

As traffic started to intensify, so did the pressure on Reutzel for the lead. By lap 20, Paul McMahan, who battled in the second position the entire distance up until that point, was all over Reutzel for the top spot.

Danny Dietrich, a 13-time winner in 2019, soon threw his hat into the ring creating a three-car battle for the lead. The lead trio raced nearly nose to tail until a yellow sign of relief waved for Reutzel on lap 27. The caution allowed Reutzel to restart in clean air, and that is where he dominated.

McMahan held on to finish second at the final checkers, followed by Dietrich, Ryan Smith and Ryan Taylor.

“There were a lot of lapped cars that were not cooperating,” Reutzel explained. “In clean air I was really good, but in dirty air I struggled a little bit. Hats off to my guys. Night in and night out, they bust their butts and it really shows.”

The finish:

Feature (35 Laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel [1]; 2. 13-Paul McMahan [2]; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich [4]; 4. 72-Ryan Smith [5]; 5. 20-Ryan Taylor [3]; 6. 11-Dale Blaney [11]; 7. 98H-Dave Blaney [6]; 8. 14-Tony Stewart [13]; 9. 70-Brock Zearfoss [7]; 10. 26-Cory Eliason [9]; 11. 51-Freddie Rahmer [14]; 12. 91R-Kyle Reinhardt [15]; 13. 88-Brandon Rahmer [16]; 14. 39M-Anthony Macri [22]; 15. 5-Jeff Halligan [18]; 16. W20-Greg Wilson [20]; 17. 99-Skylar Gee [19]; 18. 73B-Brett Michalski [21]; 19. 91-Anthony Fiore [17]; 20. O7-Gerard McIntyre [8]; 21. 87K-Alan Krimes [12]; 22. 40-George Hobaugh [23]; 23. 70X-Justin Peck [10] Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel (1-30)