Reutzel Wins Jack Gunn Memorial at Williams Grove

For the first time in Series history, the Ollie’s Bargain Outlet All Star Circuit of Champions presented by Mobil 1 defeated the Pennsylvania Posse at Williams Grove Speedway, doing so in dramatic fashion during the first of two Jack Gunn Memorial, 20-lap main events on Friday night, August 23.

Aaron Reutzel, the defending All Star Circuit of Champions titleholder, as well as the current Series point leader and season win leader, led the charge from the pole position during the first 20-lapper at the world-famous half-mile, securing his place in Williams Grove Speedway history books by leading all 20 circuits, all while holding off the track’s all-time win leader and six-time champion, Lance Dewease. In addition, Reutzel’s $4,000 victory snapped a 35-race winless streak at The Grove for Tony Stewart’s All Stars, a stretch that dates back to 1970.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for an All Star win,” an ecstatic Aaron Reutzel said in victory lane, driver of the Baughman-Reutzel Motorsports/Folkens Brothers Trucking/Fischer Body Shop/No. 87 sprint car. “I think this goes to show how tough it is here and how hard it is to win here. I said it yesterday – we beat the Posse at Grandview, but I don’t think you actually ‘beat the Posse’ until you do it at Williams Grove. It’s pretty special to come in here and do that.”

Despite starting from the pole position, it was a hard-fought 20 laps for the Clute, Texas-native, forced to battle wheel-to-wheel and wing-to-wing with Lance Dewease during much of the second-half of the main event. Things only intensified as lap traffic increased, and by the time the leaders hit halfway, the lapped cars were stacked two and three wide.

Although Dewease and Paul McMahan, who battled in the runner-up spot until Dewease drove by the Nashville-native on lap 11, kept tabs on Reutzel in traffic, it was not until lap 14 when Reutzel received his first threatening challenge.

Attempting to utilize a slider between turns one and two, Dewease did his best to take control over Reutzel, only to be denied by the defending champion a half-lap later at the exit of turn four.

Despite being out-drove during the first Jack Gunn Memorial main event at Williams Grove Speedway, it did not take long for Fayetteville’s Lance Dewease to find his way back to All Star Circuit of Champions victory lane, ultimately winning the second of two $4,000 paydays and bumping his Williams Grove Speedway win count to 97. Impressive enough, Dewease now owns 39 All Star victories, eight of which accomplished at the Cumberland County paperclip.

“We just keep plugging away with this race car,” Lance Dewease expressed, driver of the Don Kreitz, Jr.-owned/Schannauer Plumbing and Heating/Hess Iron/No. 69K sprint car. “The guys have been working hard since Knoxville. We weren’t too happy with how things ended out there, but we were pretty good all night tonight. I think I may have been a little too timid during the first feature, but I was able to be a little more aggressive during the second.”

By virtue of a six-position inversion draw, Lance Dewease started fifth on the second Jack Gunn Memorial main event grid. Although it took six circuits for Dewease to advance his first position, it was smooth sailing from that point forward. Just one circuit later, Dewease was able to drive by Adam Wilt for third, next setting aim on Ryan Smith and race-long leader, Kyle Moody.

By lap 12, Dewease was all over Smith for second, eventually taking the spot before the pair got back to the flagstand. It would only take Dewease two more laps to solidify his place at the top of the running order, the result of a massive dive into corner number three to get by Moody on lap 14.

“That’s my favorite corner around this place,” Lance Dewease said about turn three and four. “We can do that stuff pretty good when we are right.”

Ryan Smith drove by Moody to steal second before the final checkers, followed by Moody, Adam Wilt and Chad Trout.

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