Reutzel Controls Knoxville’s Christmas In July

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Aaron Reutzel won for the second time this season at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday. (Ken Berry photo)
Aaron Reutzel won for the second time this season at Knoxville Raceway on Saturday. (Ken Berry photo)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Aaron Reutzel claimed his second feature victory of the year at Knoxville Raceway Saturday on Jersey Freeze/Dennison Racing Tees Christmas in July Night.

The Texas native dominated most of the way, nabbing the $4,000 paycheck aboard the Baughman/Reutzel Motorsports No. 87.

Carson McCarl claimed his fourth career 360 feature, and also took the point lead in that class. Chris Walraven’s win with the Pro Sprints presented by Pace Performance was also the fourth in his career in that class.

Ian Madsen took Guy Forbrook’s No. 5 into the early lead in the 20-lap 410 feature with Austin McCarl and Reutzel in tow. McCarl was fast on the cushion and circled the leader to take the point on lap two.  Lynton Jeffrey stopped with ignition issues three laps in, bringing caution.

The restart was a crazy three-wide battle for the lead in turn two. When things washed out, Reutzel led Madsen and McCarl on lap four.  McCarl was able to wrestle second from Madsen, but the latter battled back to reclaim the spot a lap later.

McCarl would again get by on lap seven, while Brian Brown took fourth from Gio Scelzi.  Scelzi was also not done, retaking the spot on lap nine, while Rico Abreu trailed him into fifth at the halfway point.

Meanwhile, Reutzel was pulling away from those who were battling, entering lapped traffic on lap 10, and opening a 3.4 second lead by lap 12. Scelzi came alive late, passing Madsen for third on lap 14, and rocketing by McCarl for second on the white flag lap.

Reutzel could not be stopped, however, winning by over three seconds, ahead of Scelzi, McCarl, Madsen and Abreu.

“It was another great run for our team here at Knoxville,” said Reutzel. “We strive on trying to be good here.  We try to be good in qualifying, because that’s where it’s at this place. We just keep coming here trying things, and we keep learning every time here. This place pays a lot of money to be good at, so we’re trying to be really good here. We’ve hit on something.”

The finish:

Feature (20 laps): 1. Aaron Reutzel (3); 2. Gio Scelzi (4); 3. Austin McCarl (2); 4. Ian Madsen (1); 5. Rico Abreu (10); 6. Brian Brown (5); 7. Terry McCarl (8); 8. Trey Starks (7); 9. Cory Eliason (18); 10. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (6); 11. Brooke Tatnell (15); 12. Justin Henderson (11); 13. Tasker Phillips (13); 14. Kerry Madsen (14); 15. Josh Schneiderman (17); 16. Matt Juhl (16); 17. Skylar Gee (20); 18. Sawyer Phillips (21); 19. Lynton Jeffrey (19); 20. Davey Heskin (9); 21. Chris Martin (22); 22. Kasey Kahne (12); 23. Skylar Prochaska (24); 24. Bobby Mincer (23). Lap Leaders: I. Madsen 1, A. McCarl 2-3, Reutzel 4-20. Hard-charger: Eliason.