MECHANICSBURG, Pa. — Once Aaron Reutzel secured the pole for Saturday’s World of Outlaws NOS Energy Sprint Car Series Morgan Cup finale at Williams Grove Speedway, his frenetic driving ability took care of the rest.
The Outlaw regular set sail along the top of the track and held on to bask in a shower of confetti in victory lane, signaling his first series win at the historic half mile dirt oval in Mechanicsburg. Reutzel led all 30 laps to bank the $15,000 winner’s check in a 2.190-second triumph over Gio Scelzi.
Lance Dewease entered the picture toward the end, but couldn’t maneuver lapped traffic as swiftly as Reutzel or Scelzi.
It marked Reutzel’s fourth career win at Williams Grove, with this one obviously meaning a little more. It also moved the Outlaws to 3-0 versus the Pennsylvania Posse with six races remaining in the series this season.
“To win at the Grove is one thing, but winning an Outlaw show at the Grove is pretty incredible,” Reutzel said. “There are a lot of guys that haven’t done that. It’s an honor to put my name on that win list.”
Reutzel’s second Outlaw win of the season didn’t get off to the most stylish start. He qualified seventh of 20 cars in flight one and had to start fourth in his heat race.
Reutzel won his heat race from fourth, making a bold move on the initial start to eventually draw the pole for the dash. He won that, too.
“Besides the qualifying effort, we just put a night together,” Reutzel said. “We made the right calls on the car all night. Our car was phenomenal around the top. We maybe weren’t as good as [Dewease] was on the bottom middle. But on the top, I felt like we were phenomenal. I could damn near run around there flat-footed.”
Three laps into the feature, Reutzel established a second lead over Scelzi. Dewease, still chasing an elusive 100th career victory at Williams Grove, shot from 10th to fifth in the opening lap.
Reutzel’s lead grew to two seconds on lap five, but then shrunk to a second when he approached lapped traffic. Reutzel adapted quickly to the dirty air and found plenty of windows to navigate lapped traffic urgently, pushing his advantage back to over two seconds by lap 12.
The top groove was Reutzel’s choice for much of the night, but once it started to fade with nine laps to go, he reverted to the bottom and into a defensive mode. Scelzi, meanwhile, closed to within three cars with seven laps to go and Dewease was not far behind.
“I was starting to get a little nervous,” Reutzel said. “I was starting to hear someone back there but it all played out.”
Reutzel didn’t miss, though, sticking to the bottom in the closing stages while Scelzi tried to make something work along the top.
“It wasn’t probably good enough to beat him, but I ran as hard as I possibly could,” Scelzi said. “Missed the bottom in [turns] three and four with two or three to go and that pretty much sealed the deal. Didn’t know if the rubber was in the middle or the bottom. It was just enough for him to get away from me. Second, it’s hard to be disappointed with how we’ve been running lately.”
To see results, turn to the next page.