Aaron Reutzel Races to Victory at Knoxville!

Aaron Reutzel won the 410 feature Saturday at Knoxville

Aaron Reutzel won the 410 feature Saturday at Knoxville

Sam Hafertepe Jr. Strikes in 360’s; Eric Bridger Wins in Pro Sprints

by Bill Wright

KNOXVILLE, Iowa (May 21, 2022) – Aaron Reutzel followed up 360 wins at Knoxville (a week ago) and Jackson, Minnesota (Friday night) with his third career 410 feature win at Knoxville Raceway on Jersey Freeze/Dennison Racing Tees Night Saturday. The $5,000 prize was a nice consolation for the Clute, Texas driver who would have reaped a $3,000 bonus in Midwest Power Series 360 action had he won that feature aboard the Ridge and Sons Racing #8. Sam Hafertepe Jr. won for the second time in his career in the 360 class, giving Texas another victor. In the Pro Sprints presented by Pace Performance class, Eric Bridger won for the first time this year, and the twelfth time in his career.

Reutzel paced the 20-lap 410 feature early over Brian Brown, Gio Scelzi, Justin Henderson and Lynton Jeffrey. Scelzi performed a 360 spin, bringing caution just three laps in. He blended in to seventh and restarted there. On the restart, Austin McCarl rode the cushion from sixth to fourth.

Jeffrey surrendered his good run when his left rear went flat and he spun in turn three on lap four. The restart saw Reutzel, Brown, Henderson, Austin McCarl and Scelzi going back to green. Carson McCarl came to a stop with issues on the front end of his car. The caution negated an Austin McCarl pass of Henderson for the third spot.

When green again, Brown was all over the leader in a good battle, until Reutzel hit lapped traffic on lap 11. Austin McCarl worked his way by Henderson with six to go, and in traffic, he, Brown and Henderson went three-wide in exciting fashion for the second spot.

With three to go, Austin McCarl got by Brown for good, but was caught behind a lapper in his pursuit of Reutzel. Reutzel’s win came ahead of Austin McCarl, Brown, Henderson and Ayrton Gennetten. Sawyer Phillips, JJ Hickle, Davey Heskin, Don Droud Jr. and hard-charger Sam Hafertepe Jr. rounded out the top ten. Scelzi set quick time, while Heskin, Brown and Chris Martin were heat winners. Josh Higday claimed the B. Joe Simbro got upside down after contact with another car in the B. He was uninjured.

“I thought I was having a lot of problems (in traffic),” said Reutzel in Victory Lane. “I definitely didn’t get through them clean. There were a couple who raced me back. Our car was really good, until I slowed down, and then it got a little tight. I wanted to go green to checker. The car was really good. It’s great to win the 410 one, that’s the one you always want to win, but we really wanted that 360 bonus. It just didn’t work out for us tonight. We’ve been running really well lately, it’s nice to be able to get a win.”

Sam Hafertepe Jr. shot out from his starting spot outside row one to lead early in the 18-lap 360 main event ahead of Justin Henderson, Clint Garner, Terry McCarl and Wayne Johnson. By lap two, Aaron Reutzel was into the top five.

Hafertepe shot into lapped traffic on lap five in the Hills Racing #15H, with Henderson in pursuit. Henderson was within a car length on lap nine, when the leader mastered a split of two lapped cars heading into turn one, putting some distance between himself and his pursuers, eking out a larger margin.

A 360 spin by Jamie Ball negated Hafertepe’s lead, with Henderson, Garner, McCarl and Reutzel in pursuit. Reutzel and McCarl traded fourth, before Reutzel grabbed it on lap 15. Up front, Hafertepe was back in traffic.

The second running Henderson tangled with the lapped car of Tyler Lee, and got upside down on the front stretch, ending his stellar run. He was uninjured. Hafertepe cruised to the checkers to cash in $3,000, ahead of Garner, McCarl, who regained third, Reutzel and Wayne Johnson. Garet Williamson, Kaleb Johnson, Brooke Tatnell, Ball and hard-charger Joe Beaver completed the top ten. McCarl set quick time, while Hafertepe, Tatnell and Riley Goodno won heats. Beaver won the B main.

“We just had to hit traffic right,” said Hafertepe of his run. “It was kind of plugged up, so I started moving around. I moved around for two laps and (Henderson) didn’t show a nose. I knew we were pretty good, and I kind of found the middle through one and two. I probably could have run that too, but the car was really good. It’s probably the only time we’ll get to run the 360 (before the August 360 Nationals). I feel like we have a really good shot come August.”

Winterset, Iowa’s Eric Bridger won the 15-lap Pro Sprints feature, leading wire to wire. Tyler Groenendyk started sixth and worked his way into the second spot by lap five. Brandon Worthington followed him on the low side to gain third by lap eight.

Bridger would have to wait an extra lap, when Ryan Navritil tipped over on the white flag lap. He was uninjured, and restarted at the tail. At the time, Groenendyk was closing trying to make a move on the leader.

Bridger coasted after the restart and the Winterset, Iowa driver took the checkers ahead of Groenendyk, Worthington, Mike Mayberry and hard-charger Matt Allen. Jeff Wilke, Kade Higday, Matthew Stelzer, Scotty Johnson and Chase Young rounded out the top ten. Mayberry set quick time, and Allen and Young won heats.

“I saw (Groenendyk) coming at me pretty fast,” said Bridger in Victory Lane. “I lapped traffic, I didn’t know if I was going to beat him. I caught my breath (during the red flag) and kept my cool. I concentrated on making two perfect laps. I watched the video board in three and four and saw he was close.”

Join us next Saturday, May 28, for Vermeer Night at Knoxville! All three sprint car divisions will be back in action! For more information, visit or check Knoxville Raceway’s Facebook and Twitter.

410 Results

Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 18, Gio Scelzi, Fresno, CA (23), 15.152; 2. 7, Justin Henderson, Tea, SD (6), 15.265; 3. 8, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (11), 15.293; 4. 25, JJ Hickle, Quilcene, WA (14), 15.317; 5. 21, Brian Brown, Grain Valley, MO (17), 15.330; 6. 1M, Don Droud Jr., Lincoln, NE (2), 15.366; 7. 3, Ayrton Gennetten, Gravois Mills, MO (7), 15.371; 8. 27, Carson McCarl, Altoona, IA (1), 15.377; 9. 88, Austin McCarl, Altoona, IA (25), 15.434; 10. 2, Lynton Jeffrey, Sydney, NSW, Aust. (24), 15.437; 11. 20, AJ Moeller, Rockwell City, IA (8), 15.456; 12. 09, Matt Juhl, Tea, SD (9), 15.478; 13. 2M, Davey Heskin, St. Michael, MN (13), 15.494; 14. 55T, McKenna Haase, Des Moines, IA (12), 15.536; 15. 3P, Sawyer Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (15), 15.542; 16. 2KS, Ryan Giles, Grimes, IA (21), 15.585; 17. 7TAZ, Tasker Phillips, Pleasantville, IA (27), 15.637; 18. 44, Chris Martin, Ankeny, IA (4), 15.665; 19. 14T, Tim Estenson, Fargo, ND (10), 15.681; 20. 14, Josh Higday, Des Moines, IA (31), 15.682; 21. 12, Tyler Drueke, Eagle, NE (3), 15.693; 22. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (18), 15.755; 23. 22, Riley Goodno, Knoxville, IA (20), 15.862; 24. 15, Bobby Mincer, Burlington, IA (19), 15.909; 25. 5T, Presley Truedson, Kennedy, MN (22), 15.917; 26. 35, Zach Hampton, Plainfield, IN (26), 15.974; 27. 11M, Brendan Mullen, Grand Forks, ND (5), 16.058; 28. 7W, Dustin Selvage, Indianola, IA (28), 16.095; 29. 76, Nathan Mills, Bondurant, IA (30), 16.245; 30. 7B, Ben Brown, Marshall, MO (29), 16.484; 31. 56, Joe Simbro, Pleasantville, IA (16), 16.800

Heat one (started), 8 Laps, 2:07.9: 1. Davey Heskin (2); 2. Lynton Jeffrey (3); 3. Gio Scelzi (6); 4. Ryan Giles (1); 5. Ayrton Gennetten (4); 6. JJ Hickle (5); 7. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (8); 8. Dustin Selvage (10); 9. Tim Estenson (7); 10. Joe Simbro (11); 11. Presley Truedson (9)

Heat two (started), 8 Laps, 2:08.2: 1. Brian Brown (5); 2. Tasker Phillips (1); 3. Justin Henderson (6); 4. McKenna Haase (2); 5. Carson McCarl (4); 6. AJ Moeller (3); 7. Riley Goodno (8); 8. Zach Hampton (9); 9. Nathan Mills (10); 10. Josh Higday (7)

Heat three (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Chris Martin (1); 2. Sawyer Phillips (2); 3. Aaron Reutzel (6); 4. Austin McCarl (4); 5. Matt Juhl (3); 6. Don Droud Jr. (5); 7. Tyler Drueke (7); 8. Bobby Mincer (8); 9. Brendan Mullen (9); 10. Ben Brown (10)

B main (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Josh Higday (2); 2. Dustin Selvage (8); 3. Riley Goodno (3); 4. Zach Hampton (6) / 5. Bobby Mincer (4); 6. Tim Estenson (1); 7. Presley Truedson (5); 8. Nathan Mills (9); 9. Brendan Mullen (7); 10. Ben Brown (10); 11. Joe Simbro (11)

A main (started), 20 Laps, NT: 1. Aaron Reutzel (1); 2. Austin McCarl (10); 3. Brian Brown (2); 4. Justin Henderson (3); 5. Ayrton Gennetten (7); 6. Sawyer Phillips (12); 7. JJ Hickle (5); 8. Davey Heskin (8); 9. Don Droud Jr. (9); 10. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (24); 11. Chris Martin (13); 12. Dustin Selvage (20); 13. Matt Juhl (15); 14. Riley Goodno (23); 15. Tyler Drueke (19); 16. Zach Hampton (22); 17. Carson McCarl (11); 18. AJ Moeller (17); 19. McKenna Haase (16); 20. Ryan Giles (18); 21. Gio Scelzi (4); 22. Tasker Phillips (14); 23. Josh Higday (21); 24. Lynton Jeffrey (6). Lap Leader: Reutzel 1-20. Hard-charger: Hafertepe.

360 Results

Time Trials (Qualifying Order), 2 laps: 1. 24, Terry McCarl, Altoona, IA (17), 16.274; 2. 83H, Justin Henderson, Tea, SD (7), 16.274; 3. 40, Clint Garner, Sioux Falls, SD (12), 16.313; 4. 8, Aaron Reutzel, Clute, TX (24), 16.316; 5. 24W, Garet Williamson, Kingdom City, MO (5), 16.369; 6. 70, Calvin Landis, Knoxville, IA (13), 16.385; 7. 15H, Sam Hafertepe Jr., Sunnyvale, TX (23), 16.386; 8. 2C, Wayne Johnson, Tuttle, OK (25), 16.413; 9. 24N, Nathan Mills, Bondurant, IA (1), 16.422; 10. 22, Ryan Leavitt, Knoxville, IA (20), 16.433; 11. 4W, Jamie Ball, Knoxville, IA (26), 16.436; 12. 22K, Kaleb Johnson, Sioux Falls, SD (21), 16.547; 13. 5A, Alex Vande Voort, Knoxville, IA (6), 16.559; 14. 11M, Brendan Mullen, Grand Forks, ND (16), 16.560; 15. 22X, Riley Goodno, Knoxville, IA (8), 16.561; 16. 4, Cam Martin, Ankeny, IA (22), 16.563; 17. 14, Brooke Tatnell, Sans Souci, NSW, Aust. (14), 16.572; 18. 5M, Collin Moyle, Knoxville, IA (11), 16.577; 19. 9, Chase Randall, Waco, TX (9), 16.593; 20. 53, Joe Beaver, Knoxville, IA (28), 16.620; 21. 7C, Devin Kline, Knoxville, IA (15), 16.714; 22. 99, Tony Rost, Omaha, NE (4), 16.746; 23. 21, Gunner Ramey, Sedalia, MO (19), 16.877; 24. 83, Austin Miller, Lacona, IA (27), 16.899; 25. 7, Tyler Lee, Cedar Rapids, IA (10), 17.053; 26. 5, Javen Osterman, Courtland, MN (2), 17.252; 27. 33, Alan Zoutte, Knoxville, IA (18), 17.338; 28. 1A, John Anderson, Des Moines, IA (3), 17.712

Heat one (started), 7 Laps, 1:55.5: 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (4); 2. Terry McCarl (6); 3. Cam Martin (1); 4. Alex Vande Voort (2); 5. Aaron Reutzel (5); 6. Tony Rost (8); 7. Chase Randall (7); 8. Ryan Leavitt (3); 9. Tyler Lee (9); 10. John Anderson (10)

Heat two (started), 7 Laps, 1:56.8: 1. Brooke Tatnell (1); 2. Wayne Johnson (4); 3. Jamie Ball (3); 4. Justin Henderson (6); 5. Brendan Mullen (2); 6. Garet Williamson (5); 7. Gunner Ramey (8); 8. Joe Beaver (7); 9. Javen Osterman (9)

Heat three (started), 7 Laps, 1:57.5: 1. Riley Goodno (2); 2. Kaleb Johnson (3); 3. Nathan Mills (4); 4. Clint Garner (6); 5. Collin Moyle (1); 6. Devin Kline (7); 7. Calvin Landis (5); 8. Alan Zoutte (9); 9. Austin Miller (8)

B main (started), 8 Laps, NT: 1. Joe Beaver (1); 2. Tony Rost (2); 3. Gunner Ramey (3); 4. Tyler Lee (5) / 5. Austin Miller (4); 6. Javen Osterman (6); 7. John Anderson (8); 8. Alan Zoutte (7)

A main (started), 18 Laps, NT: 1. Sam Hafertepe Jr. (2); 2. Clint Garner (1); 3. Terry McCarl (4); 4. Aaron Reutzel (6); 5. Wayne Johnson (5); 6. Garet Williamson (8); 7. Kaleb Johnson (9); 8. Brooke Tatnell (13); 9. Jamie Ball (10); 10. Joe Beaver (21); 11. Chase Randall (20); 12. Devin Kline (19); 13. Calvin Landis (12); 14. Ryan Leavitt (17); 15. Riley Goodno (11); 16. Brendan Mullen (16); 17. Cam Martin (15); 18. Tony Rost (22); 19. Gunner Ramey (23); 20. Nathan Mills (7); 21. Alex Vande Voort (14); 22. Collin Moyle (18); 23. Justin Henderson (3); 24. Tyler Lee (24). Lap Leader: Hafertepe 1-18. Hard-charger: Beaver.

Pro Series Results

Time Trials (Group Qualifying): 1. 0, Mike Mayberry, Fremont, IA (1), 17.215; 2. 44, Scotty Johnson, Dallas, IA (11), 17.233; 3. 41, Jeff Wilke, Knoxville, IA (12), 17.418; 4. 12P, Ryan Navratil, Des Moines, IA (5), 17.419; 5. 17X, Tyler Groenendyk, Oskaloosa, IA (9), 17.438; 6. 81E, Eric Bridger, Winterset, IA (13), 17.446; 7. 71, Brandon Worthington, Indianola, IA (4), 17.469; 8. 99, Matthew Stelzer, Papillion, NE (8), 17.555; 9. 24, Kade Higday, Pleasant Hill, IA (7), 17.606; 10. 26, Chase Young, Des Moines, IA (10), 17.62; 11. 17, Matt Allen, Adel, IA (6), 17.772; 12. 14J, Mike Johnston, Des Moines, IA (3), 18.022; 13. 02S, Josh Jones, Knoxville, IA (2), 18.194

Heat one (started), 6 Laps, 1:45.8: 1. Matt Allen (1); 2. Kade Higday (2); 3. Brandon Worthington (3); 4. Tyler Groenendyk (4); 5. Mike Mayberry (6); 6. Jeff Wilke (5); 7. Josh Jones (7)

Heat two (started), 6 Laps, 1:46.8: 1. Chase Young (2); 2. Matthew Stelzer (3); 3. Mike Johnston (1); 4. Eric Bridger (4); 5. Scotty Johnson (6); 6. Ryan Navratil (5)

A main (started), 16 Laps, NT: 1. Eric Bridger (1); 2. Tyler Groenendyk (6); 3. Brandon Worthington (4); 4. Mike Mayberry (8); 5. Matt Allen (10); 6. Jeff Wilke (2); 7. Kade Higday (9); 8. Matthew Stelzer (5); 9. Scotty Johnson (7); 10. Chase Young (3); 11. Mike Johnston (12); 12. Josh Jones (13); 13. Ryan Navratil (11). Lap Leader: Bridger 1-15. Hard-charger: Allen.

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