Russ Tuttle Hawkeye Downs race notes

Tuttle finishes 13th at Hawkeye Downs Speedway. CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (September 9, 2002) - In his fourth full season in the American Speed Association (ASA), Russ Tuttle is pretty familiar with the half-mile Hawkeye Downs Speedway located in Cedar...

Tuttle finishes 13th at Hawkeye Downs Speedway.

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (September 9, 2002) - In his fourth full season in the American Speed Association (ASA), Russ Tuttle is pretty familiar with the half-mile Hawkeye Downs Speedway located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A favorite of ASA's schedulers, the series has visited the facility twice each year since Tuttle began competing in the short track series. The Iowa track is a favorite for Tuttle due to the fact it is where he captured his first win. In 2001, Tuttle won the qualifying race held prior to the main event. While Sunday's race didn?t bring another victory, Tuttle was able to bring home a top-15 finish for Team Conseco, crossing the finish line in the 13th position.

In the earlier event this year at the half-mile Iowa track, Russ Tuttle didn't have his usual team leader calling the shots. Glen Allen Jr., crew chief of the No. 16 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, spent the race behind the wheel of his own racecar, leaving the team a little out of sorts.

"When we were here earlier this year, I didn't have Glen on the other end of the radio and that was tough. You get used to hearing the person on the other end and he knows my driving style. It was nice to come return to the track with Glen back in the crew chief's seat."

The No. 16 Conseco Chevy looked as if it was going to have a strong qualifying run following Saturday's practice sessions. In the third and final practice session of the day, Tuttle and his team cut the 13th-fastest lap giving him plenty of confidence heading into qualifying. Unfortunately, the No. 16 Conseco Chevy didn't perform as the team had hoped and once qualifying was completed Tuttle was listed in the 22nd starting position.

Once the green flag dropped, Tuttle began to press towards the front, breaking into the top 15 by lap 50. With the car not handling the way he wanted, Tuttle and crew chief Glen Allen Jr. made the call to pit for tires. The team would change tires three times during the event in hopes the fresh rubber would provide Tuttle with the grip and the speed he would need to get to the front.

Unfortunately, none of their attempts to improve the handling of the No. 16 Conseco Chevy provided Tuttle with enough power to put him in the top-10. While 13th is often viewed as unlucky number, Tuttle seemed satisfied with the finishing position.

"After coming to Cedar Rapids as often as we have, I was hoping for a little better finish," explained Tuttle. "But we just couldn't get this car running up to the speeds we needed. We'll just turn our attention to Illiana in a few weeks. It will be great to finish out the season in Indiana. "

The ASA season is winding down and Tuttle and Team Conseco have just three events remaining on the 2002 schedule - all to be held in the Hoosier state. As an Indiana native, Tuttle is hoping for a home state advantage.

The next event will take place in the home state of team owner and driver Russ Tuttle. Illiana Motor Speedway, located in the northwest corner of Indiana, will host the ASA Series on Sunday, September 22. The event will be broadcast live on The National Network (TNN) beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern.

-rtm-

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