Aaron Reutzel Outruns Cole Duncan For Dean Knittel Memorial All Stars Win At Atomic

Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS – CHILLICOTHE, OH – After winning the first two nights of competition at Atomic Speedway, Warrnambool, Australia’s James McFadden was a surefire favorite to claim the historic Saturday night payday and earn the weekend sweep, but defending Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 titleholder, Aaron Reutzel, had something to say.

Just one week after claiming the largest payday of his career, as well as the largest payday in Port Royal Speedway history, Clute, Texas’ Aaron Reutzel etched his name in another set of sprint car racing history books, doing so by scoring the second edition of the Dean Knittel Memorial at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio – the largest paying sprint car event in the track’s storied history.

Nearly sweeping the entire evening program at the ‘Fastest 3/8-Mile Dirt Track in the Nation,’ Aaron Reutzel earned his $12,554 score in fantastic fashion, ultimately leading all 30 circuits while holding off charges by current track championship point leader and former Atomic Speedway Ohio Sprint Speedweek feature winner, Cole Duncan.

The victory bumped Reutzel’s All Star season win total to 13, now with 22 on his career. On a side note, despite not winning all three events at Atomic Speedway, Reutzel’s speed was still the topic of conversation, as the Series win leader set ‘quick time’ during all three programs.

“This is really cool,” Aaron Reutzel said in victory lane, driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Brothers Trucking/Fischer Body Shop/Hollywood Blasting and Coating/No. 87 sprint car. “Hats off to the entire Knittel Family for putting up this kind of money for us to race for. From one driver to the next, we really appreciate it.”

Although Reutzel was on the point for all 30 laps, Lockbourne, Ohio’s Cole Duncan did everything he could to drive around the current All Star Circuit of Champions point leader. A quick, but abrasive racing surface did make things difficult for Duncan, but on more than one occasion, the local favorite put himself in position to capitalize.

The main event’s second and final caution, the first being on lap two for Paul McMahan who stopped on the backstretch, set-up Duncan’s eventual late-race surge for the lead. Helping set Duncan’s stage, traffic entered the picture on lap 18 ultimately slowing Reutzel’s pace around the middle and top of the speedway.

By lap 21, Duncan was all over the back bumper of Aaron Reutzel, chasing the Texan as the duo started to enter slower traffic. Despite keeping pace with the defending All Star champion for the next three circuits, Reutzel soon discovered another gear, eventually finding a way to put a lapped car between himself and Duncan. The trend continued on lap 26 when Reutzel found his way around another slower car, now separating himself from Duncan with two lappers. By the time the final checkers flew, Reutzel’s command was nearly two seconds.

“I felt like I was good enough to win the last two nights, but I kinda gave them away,” Reutzel continued. “I got a phone call from the guys at Fischer Body Shop today and they were kinda giving me a hard time. I wanted to make sure I didn’t give this one up.”

Cole Duncan held on to finish second, followed by Jimmy Stinson, Chad Kemenah and Dale Blaney.

It was announced during opening ceremonies that the 2020 edition of the Dean Knittel Memorial will award a $15,554 top prize.

Tony Stewart’s All Star Circuit of Champions will continue their final month of competition with one last multi-race road trip, and by no surprise considering their latest travel trends, the traveling sprint car wheelmen will hit the Keystone State, ready to invade Williams Grove Speedway and Lincoln Speedway, yet again, on Friday and Saturday, September 20 & 21. On top of that, Hagerstown Speedway in Hagerstown, Maryland, will host the All Stars on Sunday, September 22.

Contingency Awards/Results: Atomic Speedway – September 14, 2019:
Event: 2nd Annual Dean Knittel Memorial
Entries: 39
C&R Racing All Star Warm-Ups: Cole Duncan – 12.124 seconds
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Aaron Reutzel – 11.663 seconds
Ford Performance Heat #1: Cory Eliason
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2: Brinton Marvel
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3: Dale Blaney
Mobil 1 Heat #4: Chad Kemenah
JE Pistons Dash #1: Aaron Reutzel
Fatheadz Eyewear Dash #2: Cole Duncan
Classic Ink USA Screenprinting B-Main Winner: Greg Wilson
Non-Qualifier Event: Gerard McIntyre
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet A-Main Winner: Aaron Reutzel
MSD Performance Hard Charger Award: Cap Henry (+7)
Cometic Gasket Most A-Main Laps Led: Aaron Reutzel (1-30)
Rayce Rudeen Foundation First Non-Transfer: Gerard McIntyre
(Lincoln Electric, MSD Performance, Fatheadz Eyewear, Rayce Rudeen Foundation, Cometic Gasket: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 11.663; 2. 3-Jac Haudenschild, 11.766; 3. 26-Cory Eliason, 11.814; 4. 35-Zach Hampton, 11.903; 5. 99-Skylar Gee, 12.033; 6. A79-Brandon Wimmer, 12.097; 7. 45-Trevor Baker, 12.787; 8. 27-Cody Gallogly, 12.967; 9. J4-John Garvin, 13.030; 10. 44-Charlie Vest, 13.779

Group (B)
1. 9-James McFadden, 11.792; 2. 13-Paul McMahan, 12.004; 3. 4X-Jimmy Stinson, 12.293; 4. 21-Brinton Marvel, 12.340; 5. 2-Nathan Skaggs, 12.382; 6. 40-George Hobaugh, 12.463; 7. 83X-Nate Reeser, 12.807; 8. OOH-Hunter Lynch, 12.908; 9. 15-Mitch Harble, 12.910; 10. 40I-Mark Imler, 13.555

Group (C)
1. 22C-Cole Duncan, 11.720; 2. 14-Tim Shaffer, 11.801; 3. 70-Brock Zearfoss, 11.840; 4. 11-Dale Blaney, 11.920; 5. G1-Cale Thomas, 12.095; 6. 4-Cap Henry, 12.200; 7. O7-Gerard McIntyre, 12.306; 8. W20-Greg Wilson, 12.504; 9. 42-Sye Lynch, 12.531; 10. 9J-Dean Jacobs, 12.635

Group (D)
1. 70X-Justin Peck, 12.042; 2. 81-Lee Jacobs, 12.207; 3. K4-Chad Kemenah, 12.537; 4. 60-Kory Crabtree, 12.650; 5. 35R-Ronnie Blair, 12.653; 6. 54-Danny Smith, 12.887; 7. 4D-Josh Davis, 13.032; 8. 9W-Lance Webb, 13.246; 9. 1B-Keith Baxter, 13.336

Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 26-Cory Eliason [2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [4]; 3. 3-Jac Haudenschild [3]; 4. 99-Skylar Gee [5]; 5. A79-Brandon Wimmer [6]; 6. 27-Cody Gallogly [8]; 7. 45-Trevor Baker [7]; 8. J4-John Garvin [9]; 9. 44-Charlie Vest [10]; 10. 35-Zach Hampton [1]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 21-Brinton Marvel [1]; 2. 4X-Jimmy Stinson [2]; 3. 9-James McFadden [4]; 4. 13-Paul McMahan [3]; 5. OOH-Hunter Lynch [8]; 6. 15-Mitch Harble [9]; 7. 2-Nathan Skaggs [5]; 8. 83X-Nate Reeser [7]; 9. 40I-Mark Imler [10]; 10. 40-George Hobaugh [6]

Heat #3 – Group (C) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. 11-Dale Blaney [1]; 2. 70-Brock Zearfoss [2]; 3. 14-Tim Shaffer [3]; 4. 4-Cap Henry [6]; 5. 22C-Cole Duncan [4]; 6. W20-Greg Wilson [8]; 7. O7-Gerard McIntyre [7]; 8. 42-Sye Lynch [9]; 9. 9J-Dean Jacobs [10]; 10. G1-Cale Thomas [5]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 5 Transfer
1. K4-Chad Kemenah [2]; 2. 60-Kory Crabtree [1]; 3. 81-Lee Jacobs [3]; 4. 1B-Keith Baxter [9]; 5. 70X-Justin Peck [4]; 6. 4D-Josh Davis [7]; 7. 35R-Ronnie Blair [5]; 8. 9W-Lance Webb [8]; 9. 54-Danny Smith [6]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel [1]; 2. 21-Brinton Marvel [3]; 3. 3-Jac Haudenschild [4]; 4. 4X-Jimmy Stinson [5]; 5. 26-Cory Eliason [2]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 22C-Cole Duncan [1]; 2. K4-Chad Kemenah [2]; 3. 60-Kory Crabtree [4]; 4. 70-Brock Zearfoss [3]; 5. 11-Dale Blaney [5]

Non-Qualifiers Event (12 Laps)
1. O7-Gerard McIntyre [1]; 2. 2-Nathan Skaggs [2]; 3. 9J-Dean Jacobs [8]; 4. 42-Sye Lynch [6]; 5. 15-Mitch Harble [7]; 6. J4-John Garvin [5]; 7. 45-Trevor Baker [4]; 8. 83X-Nate Reeser [12]; 9. 9W-Lance Webb [10]; 10. 44-Charlie Vest [11]; 11. 35-Zach Hampton [3]; 12. 40I-Mark Imler [9]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. W20-Greg Wilson [3]; 2. 4D-Josh Davis [6]; 3. G1-Cale Thomas [2]; 4. 27-Cody Gallogly [5]; 5. O7-Gerard McIntyre [7]; 6. 2-Nathan Skaggs [8]; 7. 35-Zach Hampton [1]; 8. 45-Trevor Baker [10]; 9. J4-John Garvin [13]; 10. 42-Sye Lynch [11]; 11. 15-Mitch Harble [4]; 12. 9J-Dean Jacobs [15]; 13. 40I-Mark Imler [17]; 14. 9W-Lance Webb [14]; 15. 44-Charlie Vest [18]; 16. 83X-Nate Reeser [12]; 17. 54-Danny Smith [16]

A-Main (30 Laps)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel [1]; 2. 22C-Cole Duncan [2]; 3. 4X-Jimmy Stinson [7]; 4. K4-Chad Kemenah [4]; 5. 11-Dale Blaney [10]; 6. 9-James McFadden [11]; 7. 3-Jac Haudenschild [5]; 8. 81-Lee Jacobs [13]; 9. 4-Cap Henry [16]; 10. 14-Tim Shaffer [12]; 11. 70-Brock Zearfoss [8]; 12. 60-Kory Crabtree [6]; 13. 70X-Justin Peck [17]; 14. 99-Skylar Gee [15]; 15. A79-Brandon Wimmer [18]; 16. G1-Cale Thomas [23]; 17. W20-Greg Wilson [21]; 18. 54-Danny Smith [25]; 19. 21-Brinton Marvel [3]; 20. 4D-Josh Davis [22]; 21. 13-Paul McMahan [14]; 22. OOH-Hunter Lynch [20]; 23. 1B-Keith Baxter [19]; 24. 27-Cody Gallogly [24]; 25. 26-Cory Eliason [9] Lap Leaders: Aaron Reutzel (1-30)

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