Aaron Reutzel, shown earlier this season, won Saturday's All Star feature at Atomic Speedway. (Trent Gower photo)

Reutzel Banks Knittel Memorial Cash

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Aaron Reutzel added another handsome payday to his stellar season, winning Saturday night’s Dean Knittel Memorial for the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 sprint cars at Atomic Speedway.

Nearly sweeping the entire evening program, Reutzel earned his $12,554 score in fantastic fashion, ultimately leading all 30 circuits while holding off Cole Duncan.

The victory bumped Reutzel’s All Star season win total to 13, now with 22 on his career.

“This is really cool,” Reutzel said in victory lane beside his 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, 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 flag 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 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 checkered flag, 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.”

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

The finish:

Feature (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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