SEDALIA, Mo. — official series release — John Lee/ASCS photo —
Lapped traffic was the deciding factor on Sunday night as Aaron Reutzel worked top shelf around Brian Brown in the closing laps of the $13,000-to-win Casey’s General Store High Roller Classic for his sixth victory of the season with the Lucas Oil ASCS presented by the MAVTV Motorsports Network in the series return to the Missouri State Fair Speedway.
“I knew we had a good race car. I was saving my tires the first part of the race and when that caution came out, I realized that he [Brian Brown] was getting away from me pretty good,” Reutzel said. “I just told myself I need to step it up and do what I got to do, and it all just played out. Saving my tires almost got me in trouble because I got passed at one point, but I was able to get back to second.”
Gridding the B.C. Fundz No. 87 outside the front row, Reutzel gave chase as the Casey’s General Store No. 21 of Brian Brown jumped to the early advantage. Losing ground to Brown in the opening laps, Reutzel got another shot as the caution flag waved on lap six for Austin Alumbaugh.
Keeping pace with Brown on the restart, Reutzel worked the surface looking for room to run, while Brian committed to the low groove. Working to, and falling back several times, the pair hit traffic just past the race’s midpoint point.
Continuing to pound the cushion, Aaron pulled nearly even on several occasions. A full head of steam from entry to the center of the turn, the advantage was Brown’s off the exit; especially turn four that saw the No. 21 launch down the straightaway.
Clearing groups of slower cars, Brown found the inside line blocked on the 18th rotation, giving Aaron the chance he’d been looking for. Working lap 19, the race went game on down the backstretch. Trying to hold the No. 21 to the bottom line, Reutzel pushed the gap off the exit of four. Using a slower car as a pick, Brown was forced to the center to maneuver, putting the race three wide as Aaron narrowly clear Brown and the wall for the lead.
Reutzel was not be challenged again as Brown had to contend with Brad Loyet in the closing laps. Challenged briefly, Brown was able to fend off the No. 05.
“Sometimes it’s better to be running second than leading. Congrats to Aaron. He did a good job and was able to move around,” Brown said. “We just got beat. Really no excuses. I’m proud of this team to come here and run second in front of this basically hometown crowd. I could think of worse things we could be doing tonight. My car was just so good around the bottom, and those guys would miss it just enough to where I could get my nose in there, and they’d kind of catch it there but it got pretty hairy when Aaron got by.”
Brad Loyet settled for the show position in the Vacuworx Global No. 05.
“We had a good car. Those guys starting up front there kind of got the jump on us,” said Loyet. “It seemed like it took my car a little bit to come in but we just caught lapped traffic at the wrong time it seemed like. Rolling the bottom of three and four was going to make the race for us. It just seemed like we were better than they were down there, but we just kept catching them at the wrong end of the race track, but that’s racing. Aaron’s been fast all year long, and Brown’s always good on the half-miles. We’ve had a really tough go lately. We haven’t had a whole lot of confidence so to come out and run as good as we did it feel really well.”
During intermission, drivers went through the stands collecting money for Kevin Swindell and Patrick Stasa with fans donating $6,331.32. The total will be split with half going to each driver.
Co-sanctioned with the Speedway Motors ASCS Warrior Region, Jonathan Cornell netted high points with his eighth place performance.
RESULTS: Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour; Casey’s General Store High Roller Classic; Missouri State Fair Speedway; August 23, 2015
A Feature (25 Laps): 1. 87-Aaron Reutzel; 2. 21-Brian Brown; 3. 05-Brad Loyet; 4. 45X-Johnny Herrera; 5. 23-Seth Bergman; 6. 77X-Wayne Johnson; 7. 15H-Sam Hafertepe Jr; 8. 81W-Danny Wood; 9. 28-Jonathan Cornell; 10. 4-Evan Martin; 11. 14-Randy Martin; 12. 1-Justin Henderson; 13. 01-Sammy Swindell; 14. 72X-Josh Fisher; 15. 86-Tyler Thomas; 16. 95-Matt Covington; 17. 94-Jeff Swindell; 18. 52-Blake Hahn; 19. 92-Jordan Weaver; 20. 34-Corey Nelson; 21. 48-Dean Hathman; 22. (DNF) 27-Danny Thoman; 23. (DNF) 33-Austin Alumbaugh
Lap Leader(s): Brian Brown 1-18; Aaron Reutzel 19-25
KSE Hard Charger: Jonathan Cornell +13
CREDIT: ASCS Racing