Austin McCarl Holds Off Aaron Reutzel For First-Ever All Star Win In Thriller At Park Jefferson

Story By: TYLER ALTMEYER / ALL STAR CIRCUIT OF CHAMPIONS – JEFFERSON, SD – Unarguably one of the the most exciting main event outcomes in Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 and Bumper-to-Bumper IRA Series history, Altoona, Iowa’s Austin McCarl accomplished the near-impossible on Saturday night at Park Jefferson International Speedway in Jefferson, South Dakota, and held off two-time and defending All Star champion, Aaron Reutzel, for a first-ever Series victory and a $6,900 top prize.

Originally slated to award $6,600, Kevin Rudeen of Rudeen Racing bumped the winner’s share an extra $300 to award $6,900.

Ending with a final margin of victory equalling a fraction of a second, McCarl and Reutzel’s battle for the lead was relentless, exchanging command lap after lap, and sometimes multiple times a lap, during a wild trek through traffic over the final eight circuits. Even the final lap was a barn burner with Reutzel leading the duo down the backstretch and into turn three. Although Reutzel did his best to protect the bottom and shut down any last-ditch effort by McCarl to regain control, the attempt failed, as McCarl was able to maneuver under Reutzel, giving him a slight “kiss” to the inside nerf bar before beating the current All Star championship points leader back to the flagstand.

“I was just trying to beat Aaron (Reutzel),” an elated Austin McCarl laughed, who kicked off the evening with a heat race and dash victory aboard his TMAC Motorsports No. 17A. “I was just trying to run my own race and do what was best for my car. The bottom was better for me, but he was better than me moving up around guys. The bottom was so good there that I was just trying to hit my marks and get guys going down the straightaway and into the corner when they got tight. I just can’t thank my family and supporters enough. To get my first All Star win with my sponsors here, and everyone watching at home, it’s a night i’ll never forget.”

Starting from the pole position, Columbus, Indiana’s Tony Stewart led the first six circuits before Rudeen Racing’s Cory Eliason slipped underneath the three-time NASCAR Cup Series champion to lead lap seven. By lap ten, Eliason and Stewart found themselves swallowed up in slower cars, eventually allowing Stewart to close in on Eliason and regain command on lap 13. Unfortunately for Eliason, a tangle with traffic on lap 14 ended his attempt to regain the top spot, eventually spinning to a stop between turns three and four.

McCarl, who was racing just behind the top-two at the time of the caution, utilized the ensuing restart to slip by Stewart to officially lead lap 14. Reutzel, who started eighth on the feature grid, followed McCarl by Stewart to take second on lap 15. An onslaught of slower traffic on lap 18 allowed Reutzel to close in on McCarl, ultimately igniting a fierce battle between the two frontrunners.

Buzzing the topside, Reutzel drove around McCarl to lead lap 20, only to be denied by McCarl the following circuit with a bold move in turns three and four to complete lap 21. Two circuits later, Reutzel was back on top, desperately trying to separate himself from McCarl with only two laps to navigate. Determined to beat the two-time champ, McCarl quickly persevered, slipping underneath Reutzel to lead lap 24, all before the aforementioned “kiss and run” in the final corner on lap 25.

“It was pretty wild there between Aaron and I in traffic,” McCarl continued. “I saw the white flag and he got around me in one. He did a really good job to open up on me coming out of two and chopping me in turns three and four. He just barely left the door open a little bit and I just kinda stuck my nose in there and gave him a little kiss. I was just trying to win the race and I don’t think it was anything Aaron Reutzel wouldn’t have done. I have a ton of respect for him and his team. They are doing a great job.”

Aaron Reutzel crossed under the flagstand second, followed by Danny Dietrich, Tony Stewart, and Paul McMahan.

What’s Next:
After four days of travel and rest, the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 will continue their trek through the central time zone with a visit to Lawton Speedway in Lawton, Oklahoma, on Thursday, June 4, officially commencing the 2020 edition of Cometic Gasket Thunder Through The Plains presented by Hercules Tires. The Lawton visit will kick-off three straight days of action in the Sooner State with stops at Red Dirt Raceway and Outlaw Motor Speedway to follow, respectively.

Contingency Awards/Results: Park Jefferson International Speedway – May 30, 2020:
Event: All Stars and IRA Invade Park Jefferson
Entries: 42
C&R Racing All Star Warm-Ups: Aaron Reutzel – 13.379
Lincoln Electric Fast Qualifier: Aaron Reutzel – 12.989
Ford Performance Heat #1 Winner: Justin Peck
All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads Heat #2 Winner: Hunter Schuerenberg
Hunt Brothers Pizza Heat #3 Winner: Austin McCarl
Mobil 1 Heat #4 Winner: Tony Stewart
Kistler Racing Products Heat #5 Winner: Chad Boespflug
JE Pistons Dash #1 Winner: Tony Stewart
Kear’s Speed Shop Dash #2 Winner: Austin McCarl
Classic Ink USA Screenprinting & Embroidery B-Main Winner: Skylar Gee
Rayce Rudeen Foundation First Non-Transfer: Josh Baughman
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet A-Main Winner: Austin McCarl
Hercules Tire A-Main Hard Charger: Jake Blackhurst (+10)
(Lincoln Electric, Hercules Tire, Rayce Rudeen Foundation: Need decal to qualify for contingency award)

Qualifying

Group (A)
1. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss, 13.179; 2. 26-Cory Eliason, 13.255; 3. 70-Justin Peck, 13.293; 4. O9-Matt Juhl, 13.338; 5. 5J-Jeremy Schultz, 13.583; 6. 22-Cole Duncan, 13.671; 7. 14m-Jack Rouston, 13.912; 8. 35L-Cody Ledger, 14.283; 9. 14K-Victoria Knutson, 16.644

Group (B)
1. 7-Justin Henderson, 13.258; 2. 17B-Bill Balog, 13.383; 3. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg, 13.433; 4. 23-Russel Borland, 13.652; 5. 44-Trey Starks, 13.682; 6. 2W-Scotty Neitzel, 13.817; 7. Os-Brandon Stevenson, 14.192; 8. 2K-Kevin Ingle, 14.424; 9. O-Johnny Fahl, 14.495

Group (C)
1. 13-Paul McMahan, 13.279; 2. 17A-Austin McCarl, 13.298; 3. 4-Terry McCarl, 13.371; 4. 17-Josh Baughman, 13.394; 5. 3-Tim Kaeding, 13.403; 6. 73-Jake Blackhurst, 13.506; 7. 99-Skylar Gee, 13.849; 8. 33-James Broty, 14.111

Group (D)
1. 14-Tony Stewart, 13.172; 2. 48-Danny Dietrich, 13.179; 3. 21-Brinton Marvel, 13.573; 4. 88-Kyle Offill, 13.578; 5. 3p-Sawyer Phillips, 13.672; 6. 44M-Chris Martin, 13.934; 7. 29-Hunter Custer, 14.288; 8. 55m-McKenna Haase, 99.991

Group (E)
1. 87-Aaron Reutzel, 12.989; 2. 11-Zeb Wise, 13.114; 3. 35-Skylar Prochaska, 13.324; 4. 2ks-Chad Boespflug, 13.357; 5. W20-Greg Wilson, 13.455; 6. O5-Colin Smith, 13.662; 7. 8H-Jade Hastings, 13.731; 8. 97-Alan Gilbertson, 13.855

Heat #1 – Group (A) (8 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 70-Justin Peck [2]; 2. O9-Matt Juhl [1]; 3. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [4]; 4. 26-Cory Eliason [3]; 5. 22-Cole Duncan [6]; 6. 5J-Jeremy Schultz [5]; 7. 14M-Jack Rouston [7]; 8. 35L-Cody Ledger [8]; 9. 14K-Victoria Knutson [9]

Heat #2 – Group (B) (8 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [2]; 2. 7-Justin Henderson [4]; 3. 2W-Scotty Neitzel [6]; 4. 17B-Bill Balog [3]; 5. 23-Russel Borland [1]; 6. 44-Trey Starks [5]; 7. OS-Brandon Stevenson [7]; 8. O-Johnny Fahl [9]; 9. 2K-Kevin Ingle [8]

Heat #3 – Group (C) (8 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 17A-Austin McCarl [3]; 2. 4-Terry McCarl [2]; 3. 3-Tim Kaeding [5]; 4. 13-Paul McMahan [4]; 5. 99-Skylar Gee [7]; 6. 17-Josh Baughman [1]; 7. 73-Jake Blackhurst [6]; 8. 33-James Broty [8]

Heat #4 – Group (D) (8 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 14-Tony Stewart [4]; 2. 48-Danny Dietrich [3]; 3. 88-Kyle Offill [1]; 4. 44M-Chris Martin [6]; 5. 3P-Sawyer Phillips [5]; 6. 55M-McKenna Haase [8]; 7. 29-Hunter Custer [7]; 8. 21-Brinton Marvel [2]

Heat #5 – Group (E) (8 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 2KS-Chad Boespflug [1]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [4]; 3. W20-Greg Wilson [5]; 4. 11-Zeb Wise [3]; 5. 35-Skylar Prochaska [2]; 6. O5-Colin Smith [6]; 7. 8H-Jade Hastings [7]; 8. 97-Alan Gilbertson [8]

Dash #1 (4 Laps)
1. 14-Tony Stewart [2]; 2. 48-Danny Dietrich [1]; 3. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [6]; 4. 2KS-Chad Boespflug [4]; 5. 13-Paul McMahan [3]; 6. 11-Zeb Wise [5]

Dash #2 (4 Laps)
1. 17A-Austin McCarl [4]; 2. 26-Cory Eliason [3]; 3. 70-Justin Peck [1]; 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel [5]; 5. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [2]; 6. 7-Justin Henderson [6]

B-Main (12 Laps) – Top 4 Transfer
1. 99-Skylar Gee [6]; 2. 22-Cole Duncan [4]; 3. 35-Skylar Prochaska [1]; 4. 44-Trey Starks [9]; 5. 17-Josh Baughman [2]; 6. 5J-Jeremy Schultz [7]; 7. 73-Jake Blackhurst [11]; 8. 55M-McKenna Haase [10]; 9. 35L-Cody Ledger [18]; 10. 23-Russel Borland [3]; 11. O5-Colin Smith [8]; 12. 21-Brinton Marvel [16]; 13. 29-Hunter Custer [15]; 14. 2K-Kevin Ingle [20]; 15. 33-James Broty [17]; 16. OS-Brandon Stevenson [14]; 17. 14M-Jack Rouston [13]; 18. 3P-Sawyer Phillips [5]; 19. O-Johnny Fahl [19]; 20. 14K-Victoria Knutson [21]; 21. 8H-Jade Hastings [12]; 22. 97-Alan Gilbertson [22]

A-Main (25 Laps)
1. 17A-Austin McCarl [2]; 2. 87-Aaron Reutzel [8]; 3. 48-Danny Dietrich [3]; 4. 14-Tony Stewart [1]; 5. 13-Paul McMahan [9]; 6. 3Z-Brock Zearfoss [5]; 7. O9-Matt Juhl [13]; 8. 70-Justin Peck [6]; 9. 3-Tim Kaeding [15]; 10. 11-Zeb Wise [11]; 11. 2KS-Chad Boespflug [7]; 12. 7-Justin Henderson [12]; 13. W20-Greg Wilson [16]; 14. 4-Terry McCarl [14]; 15. 55-Hunter Schuerenberg [10]; 16. 22-Cole Duncan [22]; 17. 73-Jake Blackhurst [27]; 18. 88-Kyle Offill [17]; 19. 44-Trey Starks [24]; 20. 17B-Bill Balog [19]; 21. 2W-Scotty Neitzel [18]; 22. 99-Skylar Gee [21]; 23. 44M-Chris Martin [20]; 24. 35-Skylar Prochaska [23]; 25. 5J-Jeremy Schultz [26]; 26. 17-Josh Baughman [25]; 27. 26-Cory Eliason [4] Lap Leaders: Tony Stewart (1-6), Cory Eliason (7-12), Tony Stewart (13), Austin McCarl (14-19), Aaron Reutzel (20), Austin McCarl (21, 22), Aaron Reutzel (23), Austin McCarl (24, 25)

  •  
  •