With more than a decade of racing full of accolades already, Clute sprint car racer Aaron Reutzel was selected for one of his biggest career opportunities last week.
Reutzel will team up with Sydney-based Saller Motorsport to compete in the Ultimate Sydney Speed Week in December and January in Sydney, Australia.
The two-time rookie of the year winner and series champion, Reutzel didn't have to qualify for the event. His recent successes were reason enough and he was invited via a social media message.
"They just contacted me on Facebook and asked me if I would be interested in it," Reutzel said. "
In 2018, Reutzel captured the All Star Circuit of Champions series title and the series’ rookie of the year award after leaving the Lucas Oil ASCS National tour for the All Star circuit.
The year included 11 wins, 27 top-five finishes and 40 top-10s. Nine of those victories came in the All Star Circuit of Champions series.
Reutzel broke through in sprint car racing in 2015 when he won his first series title. Four years after his first rookie of the year award in 2011, he won the Lucas Oil ASCS national championship with 12 victories during the season. He was also the Knoxville Nationals Rookie of the Year.
He followed that up with eight wins in 2016 and seven in 2017, when he finished second in tour points. He finished in the Top 10 in points four years in a row.
Because he changed tours, he became a rookie again on the All-Star Circuit and blazed through the season.
His 2019 season has been dominated by rain-outs. He said he has missed more than 20 races because of the weather, but has still managed to win a few.
"I have been trying to race," Reutzel said. "With all the rain this year this year, it has been pretty difficult on racing. I think we are already at 20-something rain-outs, but we are just trying to race. We have won a few races this year, but no awards or anything."
So far this season, Reutzel has run in 30 races with four wins, nine Top-10s and 17 Top-20s.
Reutzel impressed enough to be included in the Sydney speed week.
The event will be contested over a two-week period at the Valvoline Raceway Parramatta. Rounds will be held Dec. 26, 28 and 30 and January 1, 4 and 11, 2020.
“We can’t wait for this,” fifth-year Sydney USC NSW gasser Mick Saller said in a news release, “Aaron runs a Triple X chassis like we do and Dad and I think we can learn a lot from the way he races and the way he goes about things. This can’t come soon enough. He doesn’t leave anything on the table and we can’t wait to see him rip the lip at Parramatta.”
It will be Reutzel's first trip to Australia.
"I have never been over there," Reutzel said. "I have always wanted to. I just never had the right opportunity. They did it the right way. They contacted me real early and ahead of time so we could get it all scheduled and everything. I am pretty excited to go over there."
It will also be Reutzel's first time to race outside the United States.