KNOXVILLE, Iowa (STLRacing) – Aaron Reutzel wired the field top capture the 32nd Annual 360 Knoxville Nationals Presented by Great Southern Bank Saturday night at Knoxville. With a $15,000 prize, and an equal amount of lap money, the Clute, Texas native now living in Knoxville took home $30,000 for his drive aboard the Ridge & Sons Racing #8. Reutzel bested fellow Texas native, Sam Hafertepe Jr., who closed late.
Reutzel started outside row one and stormed away early to lead Lynton Jeffrey, Clint Garner, Brian Brown and Terry McCarl in the 30-lapper. Hafertepe had moved from his seventh starting spot into the top five by the fifth lap.
Reutzel built his lead over Jeffrey as the laps ticked on. Meanwhile, Hafertepe was also finding his stride. A slide job by Brown gained fourth on lap 13, and a similar move in the same spot on the next circuit saw contact between Hafertepe and Garner. Both veteran drivers managed to soldier on, with Hafertepe gaining third.
Reutzel was into lapped traffic at the halfway point, and Hafertepe worked by Jeffrey to move into second. The last ten laps saw furious racing between Jeffrey and Garner for the last podium spot. They traded the position five times in the last ten laps.