RAPID CITY, S.D. — official series release — Mr. E. Photography/ASCS photo —
Despite a rain delay Friday night at Black Hills Speedway, Johnny Herrera won his third Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series feature of the season.
Career win No. 13 came in Herrera’s 200th series start. Starting from the pole Herrera led early, but Aaron Reutzel quickly made his way forward to challenge the New Mexico veteran.
Having to abandon the high line to clear slower cars, Reutzel put his B.C. Funds No. 87 on the chip, pulling past the No. 45x to lead the 11th round. Opening his advantage to nearly five seconds at one point, everything looked like another victory for Reutzel, but a caution on lap 20 put Herrera to the back bumper of the No. 87.
With slower cars out of the picture among the top five, gremlins began to emerge for Aaron as the engine began to stumble. Having already fought engine woes in his Heat Race, Aaron was hammer down, hoping to make the run, but as the laps counted down, so did the cylinders on Reutzel’s Shark power plant as Herrera retook the lead on lap 23.
“I think Aaron may have been fighting an engine issue there on the last restart. I know he was fighting with it during his Heat Race,” said Herrera. “Definitely, we weren’t the best racecar tonight, but we hung in there and sometimes, it works out that way. We were a little off on our set up, but we’ll take these wins anyway we can get them.”
Having stalked Herrera for the latter part of the A-Feature, Wayne Johnson finished second with his engine also mis-firing during the final laps.
“That thing pegged the temperature gauge in the heat and in the feature it did it before that caution came out,” said Johnson. “I’m not sure what’s wrong with it and Scotty [Cook] just asked me if I could hear Reutzel’s engine blowing up, and I said no, because all I could hear was mine missing, popping, and banging but our race car was really good. I got to Johnny in traffic and was probably a little too nice to him, but that’s the way I want these guys to race me.”
Taking off from fourth, Missouri’s Kyle Bellm picked up one spot to complete the night’s podium, “We drew bad in the Heat, but got to fourth so that put us in the redraw and stated fourth. I really think in clean air, we were just as good as those guys, but lapped traffic I swear they were going 20-30mph slower, and I zigged when I should have zagged a few times.”
Despite the engine going south, Aaron Reutzel held on to finish fourth with Blake Hahn moving up two spots to complete the top five.
CREDIT: ASCS Racing