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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Donny Reuvers extended his track championship winning streak to eight at Elko (Minn.) Speedway in 2012. Reuvers competes in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Late Model division at the .375-mile paved banked oval.
The Midwest veteran has a total of nine Elko Late Model titles, and four more at Raceway Park in Shakopee, Minn. He’s a three-time NASCAR state champion (2007-08, 2010), and won a NASCAR Whelen All-American division championship under a previous series format in 2005.
Reuvers’ 2012 racing record in 18 starts included two wins, 15 top fives and 17 top 10s. He won the track title by 26 points over Matthew Goede. Adam Royle placed third in track points but won the NASCAR state championship. At Elko, track points are awarded for qualifying and preliminary events, and Reuvers was top qualifier nine times.
“We were top qualifiers opening night, but then the car wouldn’t start for the heat race and we had to start last in the feature. It was nerve racking to start the season like that,” Reuvers said. He finished sixth in the feature after starting 21st.
“I was able to catch up in track points by qualifying well,” Reuvers said. “It’s actually a good formula – getting track points for qualifying, heats and the feature – because it makes everyone race hard all the time, and that’s good for the fans.”
Reuvers said his success comes from a team effort.
“We have a good program and we’re surrounded by good people,” Reuvers said. “We don’t have breakdowns and I’m patient on the track so I don’t put myself into a position where I could get in trouble.”
In recent years Reuvers had two Late Models in his shop, a 2005 and a 2007 Lefthander chassis powered by Murgic built engines.
“I won more with the older car and the newer car was faster,” Reuvers said. “I tried to build them exactly the same but they had different feels. Race cars seem to have their own personalities.”
Reuvers plans for 2013 are not firm. He’ll likely be a regular at Elko, but he’s feeling a pull to get back out to do some touring races as well.
Reuvers’ dad Gary is his crew chief. Team members include Carl Randolph, Joe Minor, Charlie Smith, Dylan Moore, Debbie Larsen and Tom Johnson. Sponsors include Apple Auto Group, Minnesota Rebath, and Murgic Racing Engines.
Reuvers operates Short Track Racing Experience, a ride along or driving experience based at Elko Speedway. He is also a technician at Apple Chevrolet-Buick in Northfield, Minn.
Reuvers was honored in December for his track championship during the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards event at the Charlotte Convention Center’s Crown Ballroom at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 16 counted toward their states and national point totals, and the champions are decided on overall point total. Once a driver reached 18 starts, their total would increase incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.
Under the point structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.