FREMONT, Ohio – After a two-race winless skid to open Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek, Aaron Reutzel returned to his winning ways with the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions Sunday night.
Reutzel, who rolled off third for the 35-lap feature at Fremont Speedway, patiently picked his way toward the front before a picture-perfect slider in turn one handed him the point on lap 16.
From there, Reutzel steamrolled the field, even despite an open red with 12 laps left that brought the competition back to the bumper of his familiar Folken Brothers Trucking No. 87. The Clute, Texas, native pulled away following the final restart and took the checkered flag 1.731 seconds up on Paul McMahan.
It was Reutzel’s seventh All Star win of the year, his third Ohio Sprint Speedweek victory and the 32nd of his All Star career, as well as his second win at the third-mile Fremont dirt track.
“I actually didn’t feel great after the red (flag); I felt really good right before the red, and I don’t know if putting fuel back in it made our balance go away or what, but it was definitely different,” Reutzel noted in victory lane. “I think I needed to move the wing back forward, but I didn’t want to because I’d had a hard time getting it back for some reason.
“It was pretty cool to win on this race track like this, though,” Reutzel continued. “Last time we were here, it was rough and heavy … kind of more my style, but this was as slick as it gets tonight. Anything we had in our notebook, we couldn’t look at; we basically had to ask ourselves what a non-winged guy would do … because the wing wasn’t working very well. But it was pretty cool to win on a track like this.”
The first 15 laps of the feature had their fair share of moments before Reutzel took control, with McMahan starting from the pole and leading the opening circuit before Lee Jacobs fought his way to the front by the conclusion of lap two.
A yellow with four laps scored, for the spun Trey Jacobs machine at the bottom of turn three, did little to slow Lee Jacobs’ roll. The leading red No. 81 took off on the ensuing restart, just before a subsequent spin by ninth-running Tyler Street, and did so a second time after that as Reutzel moved into second.
It took five laps for Reutzel to track down Lee Jacobs for the lead, but once Reutzel got there it was a war at the front. He tried several times to go to the bottom and make the move stick, but each time, Jacobs fended him off. Finally, working lap 15, Reutzel got a lane and put himself alongside for the point.
The slide job down into turn one paid off moments later, giving Reutzel a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.
After that, only a 360-degree spin by Friday-night winner Cap Henry on lap 18 and a similar spin by Reutzel’s teammate, Josh Baughman, with 12 to go slowed the pace in the closing stages of the night.
The 12-to-go yellow eventually went red to get an infield ambulance into the pit area, so that EMTs could tend to a medical situation, but after the green returned for good Reutzel was in his own league.
McMahan eventually worked back past Lee Jacobs to claim second, with Jacobs filling out the podium.
Buddy Kofoid charged from 11th to fourth, while Cale Conley crossed fifth. Nate Dussel, Tim Shaffer, Travis Philo, Brian Smith and Greg Wilson made up the balance of the top 10 finishers.
Wilson’s run through the field to 10th, after using a provisional to start 25th, gave him hard-charger honors for the night.
Cometic Gasket Ohio Sprint Speedweek continues Monday night at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio. Reutzel enters the event with a two-point edge on Kofoid in the Ohio Sprint Speedweek standings.
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 2. 13-Paul McMahan, 3. 81-Lee Jacobs, 4. 11n-Buddy Kofoid, 5. 3c-Cale Conley, 6. 1-Nate Dussel, 7. 28-Tim Shaffer, 8. 5t-Travis Philo, 9. 2p-Brian Smith, 10. W20-Greg Wilson, 11. 26-Cory Eliason, 12. 7bc-Tyler Courtney, 13. 3-Jac Haudenschild, 14. 5x-Justin Peck, 15. 5-Byron Reed, 16. 99-Skylar Gee, 17. 11-Zeb Wise, 18. 5h-Jordan Harble, 19. 4-Cap Henry, 20. 09-Craig Mintz, 21. 4s-Tyler Street, 22. 17-Josh Baughman, 23. 22c-Cole Duncan, 24. 35-Stuart Brubaker, 25. 15k-Chad Kemenah, 26. 3j-Trey Jacobs.
Lap Leader(s): Paul McMahan 1, Lee Jacobs 2-15, Aaron Reutzel 16-35.
Hard Charger: W20-Greg Wilson (+15)
SPEED SPORT’s Ohio Sprint Speedweek coverage is presented by Cometic Gasket Inc., a leading worldwide supplier of gaskets and engine sealing solutions for the automotive performance, powersports, original equipment and remanufactured engine industries. No matter what you ride, Cometic Gasket can seal your machine so you can focus on the finish line.
Since 1989, Cometic has been living, breathing, and eating powersports. As a proud supporters of GNCC, AMA, NASCAR, and other race-teams across the country, Cometic understands what it takes to put everything on the line with one goal in mind. When you earn your living racing at the highest level against the best in the country, engine failures simply aren’t an option. Champions across the world continue to use Cometic Gasket for their engine-sealing solutions. Whether they’re driving a Gen-6 stock car or riding a top fuel motorcycle, Cometic Gaskets are the reliable source in extreme conditions.
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