By Richard Day URBANDALE, IA (May 14) -- The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' silly season is picking up speed. Three days after Joey Saldana made his debut in Dennis Roth's ...
By Richard Day
URBANDALE, IA (May 14) -- The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' silly season is picking up speed.
Three days after Joey Saldana made his debut in Dennis Roth's #83 Beef Packers Eagle, Lonny Parsons replaced Australian Brooke Tatnell with Johnny Herrera in the #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim.
"We made a lot of changes to improve our program and we just weren't picking up the pace," Parsons said Monday. "We have to take care of our sponsors, so we just felt like we had to a make a change to improve the program. Don Lamberte (owner of Casey's General Stores) has never been one to put false blame on anybody.
"Johnny has a lot of experience, so we're looking forward to having him drive for us.
Herrera, who drove for Casey's General Stores in the late 1990s when Gil Sonner owned the team, is pleased to return to the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series.
"This is a great opportunity," the 1986 Rookie of the Year said. "I'm looking forward to joining the Casey's team again. I've worked with (crew chief) Mike Thurman before. We ran pretty well back then, but circumstances didn't let us stay together.
"It was a tough decision to leave Junior Holbrook (with the World of Outlaws Gumout Series). He gave me the opportunity to race his car, and it seems like we were starting to gel. We're out of the points race this year but, hopefully, we can build something for next year."
Tatnell, who drove the #6 into 18th place in the point standings despite missing 25 races due to a back injury a year ago, was deeply saddened by the decision.
"I got a phone call last night and was informed the team was making changes and I was the change," Brooke said. "They just feel the best thing for their team and their sponsor is to replace me. I'm hurt by the decision, but I know this is the business world. I thought we made inroads from where we were last year.
"I don't know where this is going to lead me. That's one of the parts of this game. I've given up everything to race. This is the greatest occupation this is, but there's a down side to it, too. I appreciate the opportunity Lonny and Mr. Lamberte gave me. I'm not going to say it's anyone's fault. A decision needed to be made and, unfortunately, I'm the slice of meat that was cut off."
Tatnell received the 1999 World of Outlaws Perseverance Award when he finished 12th in the point standings as driver/owner of his own #7 Kele & Associates Maxim.