It would be silly to pick anyone other than Aaron Reutzel as the odds-on favorite to win the U.S. National Dirt Track Championship at Texas Motor Speedway this weekend.
Reutzel, a 25-year-old from Clute, an hour south of Houston, has been dominant all season, and should be considered the top choice in the sprint car division.
American Sprint Car Series Driver point standings Driver Pts. Back 1. Aaron Reutzel 3,269 — 2. Johnny Herrera 3,176 93 3. Wayne Johnson 3,122 147 4. Seth Bergman 2,887 382 5. Matt Covington 2,778 491
Reutzel has won a quarter of the races so far this season (six of 24), and has a 93-point cushion on his nearest competitor, Johnny Herrera, in the Lucas Oil American Sprint Car Series standings.
“We’ve just got all our ducks in a row right now, and I’m driving with a lot of confidence and everything is clicking,” Reutzel said. “Once you get that first win, you’re done trying to get the first one so you can relax.
“You never know if you’re going to get that first one or not, so it’s a mental deal. But when you get it, you know you can do it, and you quit worrying about it. They definitely don’t come easier after it, but it’s nice to get that first one out of the way.”
Now, Reutzel is focused on adding a win at TMS to his standout season. This race ranks as one of the more prestigious on the dirt track circuit.
Practice and qualifying begin today; the championships are Saturday.
“This is going to be my fourth or fifth race there, and every time I’ve been there I feel like I can win there,” Reutzel said. “I’ve had a couple top-five runs and had some failures, but I’m definitely looking to get the first win there this weekend.
“This is also the one time all my family can come out, so I’ll have a huge fan base. It would definitely be a special win if I can do it.”
Outside of the ASCS race, there is also a limited modified field and a newly introduced “factory stock division.”
The factory stock division features American-made passenger vehicles with an unaltered frame.
Reutzel provided a sales pitch for dirt-track racing, saying: “It’s definitely the most exciting racing you’ll ever see. It’s action-packed and you get your money’s worth.”
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760
U.S. National Dirt
Friday-Saturday, Texas Motor Speedway
Friday: Practice, Qualifying, 6 p.m.
Saturday: Championships, 7 p.m.