Aaron Reutzel Holds Off Lasoski For The Victory At The Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown

Aaron Reutzel

(WOMR file photo)

The final night of the five nights of racing was capped by still another first time winner!  With all the big time names that showed up for the inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown at “The Diamond in the Desert”, aka Cocopah Speedway, located just on the southern outskirts of Yuma,AZ, a little known young gun, Aaron Ruetzel, captured his very first winged 410 sprint car victory.

Aaron Reutzel capped the inaugural Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown by accomplishing a goal that had evaded him throughout the first week and a half of the new year.

Reutzel led all but one lap on Saturday at Cocopah Speedway, where he recorded his first career 410 sprint car feature victory.

“It’s unreal,” he said. “To come out of the box and lead the first two nights and then something happened.”

The first night of this event, Reutzel was leading the feature when he got into the retaining wall off of turn four around lap 6, cutting down a right rear tire, and ending his challenge for a win.  On Saturday night, night number 2, Reutzel was leading the race when a support bracket for big top wing broke and allowed the wing to collapse, and obstruct the driver’s view and reducing down force on the race car. Once again ending Aaron’s opportunity to log a victory.

“We were leading this deal and I was just waiting for something to happen,” Reutzel continued.

After earning a front row starting position for the first two Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown races last weekend only to have mechanical issues derail him, Reutzel took advantage of a similar opportunity on Saturday when he lined up on the inside of NASCAR star Kasey Kahne to start the 30-lap, $12,000-to-win feature.

Reutzel powered to the bottom groove entering turn one to take the lead during the third different race of the Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown.

Meanwhile, Craig Dollansky drove around Kasey Kahne exiting turn four on the second lap and he started to stalk Reutzel. Dollansky closed to the bumper of Reutzel entering turn one on Lap 9 before taking the lead with a power move on the outside of Reutzel in turn four.

Reutzel returned the favor on the ensuing lap by regaining the lead before his nose wing broke, which affected the handling for the final two thirds of the race.

“Craig drove around me through the middle,” he said. “I got the wing back a little farther and figured I was going to try to go back around him the same way. Luckily I got right back by him. Then the nose wing fell done so luckily I got by him that lap because we definitely wouldn’t have passed him with that nose wing down.”

Traffic entered the picture around the midpoint of the race, but it didn’t slow Reutzel as he hit his marks along the bottom groove of the track each lap. Dollansky stayed within striking distance, but it was David Gravel who maneuvered from fourth to second place on the final lap with a daring move.

All in all, these five nights of 410 winged sprint car racing, The Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown, has been an overwhelming success for both the drivers and teams, as well as the entire community of Yuma/Somerton, AZ!  The sponsors, the Cocopah Indian Tribe, as well as the staff at Cocopah Speedway did an extraordinarily outstanding job in preparing and promoting Winter Heat!

I salute those involved in this monumental racing event!

It was also announced by Greg Burgess, the race promoter, that this will be a reoccurring event again next January 2016!

I cannot wait til then!

The overall winner for the $4,000 awarded to the driver who scored the most points for the five day event went to The Dude, Danny Lasoski!

JAN. 10 RESULTS –

Heat Race 1 (8 laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel (2); 2. 33-Danny Lasoski (1); 3. 1s-Logan Schuchart (4); 4. 11c-Roger Crockett (6); 5. 3c-Willie Croft (3); 6. 77x-Wayne Johnson (5); 7. 74x-Josh Hodges (8); 8. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson (7).

Heat Race 2 (8 laps): 1. 7-Craig Dollansky (1); 2. 33v-Henry Van Dam (2); 3. 31b-Christopher Bell (3); 4. 82-Dusty Zomer (5); 5. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (4); 6. 9-Kasey Kahne (8); 7. 88n-D.J. Netto (7); 8. 99-Skylar Gee (6).

Heat Race 3 (8 laps): 1. 57-Dale Blaney (1); 2. 26-Joey Saldana (4); 3. 83-David Gravel (2); 4. 21-Brian Brown (3); 5. 94-Ryan Smith (6); 6. 11-Steve Kinser (7); 7. 88-Brandon Rahmer (5); 8. 51-Paul McMahan (8).

Heat Race 4 (8 laps): 1. 2l-Logan Forler (1); 2. 1a-Jacob Allen (2); 3. 51s-Stevie Smith (5); 4. 11k-Kraig Kinser (6); 5. 22-Mason Moore (4); 6. 24-Rico Abreu (7); 7. 9r-Reece Goetz (8); 8. 98-Matt Jensen (3).

Qualifier 1 (10 laps): 1. 11-Steve Kinser (1); 2. 94-Ryan Smith (2); 3. 51s-Stevie Smith (3); 4. 87-Aaron Reutzel (6); 5. 1s-Logan Schuchart (4); 6. 51-Paul McMahan (8); 7. 2l-Logan Forler (5); 8. 74x-Josh Hodges (7).

Qualifier 2 (10 laps): 1. 9-Kasey Kahne (2); 2. 24-Rico Abreu (1); 3. 83-David Gravel (3); 4. 11c-Roger Crockett (4); 5. 33v-Henry Van Dam (5); 6. 26-Joey Saldana (6); 7. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson (8); 8. 9r-Reece Goetz (7).

Qualifier 3 (10 laps): 1. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2); 2. 3c-Willie Croft (1); 3. 11k-Kraig Kinser (4); 4. 82-Dusty Zomer (3); 5. 7-Craig Dollansky (6); 6. 1a-Jacob Allen (5); 7. 99-Skylar Gee (8); 8. 88n-D.J. Netto (7).

Qualifier 4 (10 laps): 1. 22-Mason Moore (2); 2. 77x-Wayne Johnson (1); 3. 31b-Christopher Bell (4); 4. 21-Brian Brown (3); 5. 33-Danny Lasoski (5); 6. 57-Dale Blaney (6); 7. 88-Brandon Rahmer (7); 8. 98-Matt Jensen (8).

B Main (15 laps/8 transfer): 1. 1s-Logan Schuchart (1); 2. 82-Dusty Zomer (3); 3. 24-Rico Abreu (2); 4. 77x-Wayne Johnson (7); 5. 3c-Willie Croft (4); 6. 1a-Jacob Allen (5); 7. 2l-Logan Forler (6); 8. 21-Brian Brown (8); 9. 51-Paul McMahan (9); 10. 9r-Reece Goetz (13); 11. 88-Brandon Rahmer (10); 12. 99-Skylar Gee (14); 13. 88n-D.J. Netto (15); 14. 74x-Josh Hodges (11); 15. 98-Matt Jensen (16); 16. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson (12).

A Main (30 laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel (1); 2. 83-David Gravel (9); 3. 7-Craig Dollansky (4); 4. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. (6); 5. 9-Kasey Kahne (2); 6. 33-Danny Lasoski (16); 7. 31b-Christopher Bell (5); 8. 51s-Stevie Smith (8); 9. 11k-Kraig Kinser (3); 10. 33v-Henry Van Dam (14); 11. 82-Dusty Zomer (18); 12. 11c-Roger Crockett (12); 13. 11-Steve Kinser (10); 14. 57-Dale Blaney (15); 15. 22-Mason Moore (7); 16. 24-Rico Abreu (19); 17. 26-Joey Saldana (13); 18. 77x-Wayne Johnson (20); 19. 21-Brian Brown (24); 20. 3c-Willie Croft (21); 21. 94-Ryan Smith (11); 22. 2l-Logan Forler (23); 23. 1a-Jacob Allen (22); 24. 1s-Logan Schuchart (17).

(Top 24 in passing and finishing points in the heat races were inverted in the qualifiers. The top 16 in passing and finishing points following the qualifiers locked into the A Main.)

POINTS FINISH –

T1. 33-Danny Lasoski 880; T1. 51s-Stevie Smith 880; 3. 26-Joey Saldana 876; 4. 51-Paul McMahan 873; 5. 11c-Roger Crockett 836; 6. 31b-Christopher Bell 835; T7. 83-David Gravel 815; T7. 11k-Kraig Kinser 815; T9. 33v-Henry Van Dam 805; T9. 9-Kasey Kahne 805; 11. 21-Brian Brown 795; 12. 11-Steve Kinser 793; 13. 7-Craig Dollansky 792; 14. 57-Dale Blaney 768; 15. 1s-Logan Schuchart 767; 16. 82-Dusty Zomer 763; 17. 87-Aaron Reutzel 757; 18. 3c-Willie Croft 755; 19. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 726; 20. 22-Mason Moore 724; 21. 2l-Logan Forler 711; 22. 94-Ryan Smith 708; 23. 9r-Reece Goetz 694; 24. 1a-Jacob Allen 648; 25. 99n-D.J. Netto 630; 26. 5h-Dakota Hendrickson 626; 27. 99-Skylar Gee 594; 28. 77x-Wayne Johnson 586; 29. 42-Kyle Larson 523; 30. 51r-Freddie Rahmer 450; 31. 98-Matt Jensen 441; 32. 74x-Josh Hodges 337; 33. 24-Rico Abreu 297; 34. 23-Seth Bergman 279; 35. 88-Brandon Rahmer 238; 26. 55-Bud Walberg 107.

TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!

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