Tuttle takes home 17th place at Hawkeye Downs. CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (May 20, 2002) - Tightening his belt for the running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, Russ Tuttle hoped to better his fifth-place performance posted two weeks ago in the American...
Tuttle takes home 17th place at Hawkeye Downs.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (May 20, 2002) - Tightening his belt for the running of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300, Russ Tuttle hoped to better his fifth-place performance posted two weeks ago in the American Speed Association's appearance at Five Flags (Fla.) Speedway. Unfortunately, Mother Nature and his ASA competitors didn't cooperate with his plans.
Qualifying for the 300-lap event took place Saturday afternoon on the half-mile asphalt oval of Hawkeye Downs Speedway. Unfortunately, just as Russ Tuttle went out to qualify, a dark cloud blocked the sun cooling the track. The tires of the No. 16 Conseco Pontiac couldn't heat up in time for Tuttle to post his optimal speed. When qualifying cycled through, Tuttle was listed in the 21st starting position.
By lap 50, Tuttle had moved the No. 16 Conseco Pontiac into the 16th position, with hopes of using the last 250 laps of the race to better his position. Steadily holding his own in the top-20, Tuttle kept the No. 16 in the hunt for the front. The team not only faced a tough battle moving through the field in front of them, but they also had to compete on the track with their crew chief, Glenn Allen Jr. Allen was given the opportunity to drive in the race allowing usual teammates Allen and Tuttle to compete driver versus driver. Unfortunately, teamwork is key in racing and without Allen Jr. calling the shots, the team just didn't have that same chemistry.
Tuttle will be glad when Allen hangs up his helmet and goes back to his usual duties as crew chief of the No. 16 Pontiac. "Glen is an integral part of our team both on and off the track. It was really apparent this weekend how much he holds our organization together. I can't wait to have him back on my side when we head to Michigan."
The closing laps of the race were anything but uneventful for Tuttle and the green machine. Late in the race, the No. 33 of Greg Stewart, pinched Tuttle's car pushing him up into the wall of Hawkeye Downs. Trying to move around Stewart, Tuttle clipped the rear end of Stewart's car sending him turning. Tuttle escaped the incident without major damage to the Team Conseco entry. When the checkered flag finally flew at lap 300, Tuttle crossed the finish line in the 17th position.
Team Conseco will rest up one week before heading to Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan for the sixth event on the American Speed Association schedule. The race will take place on Saturday, June 1 at 9:00 p.m. with coverage tape-delayed on The National Network (TNN).