Tatnell becomes first Aussie to win Outlaws main event. JETMORE, KS (August 18) -- When Brooke Tatnell pulled off a daring, last-lap pass of Sammy Swindell to win the Inaugural Track of Dreams Nationals Monday at the Jetmore Motorplex, he became...
Tatnell becomes first Aussie to win Outlaws main event.
JETMORE, KS (August 18) -- When Brooke Tatnell pulled off a daring, last-lap pass of Sammy Swindell to win the Inaugural Track of Dreams Nationals Monday at the Jetmore Motorplex, he became the first Australian to win an O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature.
Tatnell, who started outside the front row, chased Swindell throughout the first 29 2/3 laps before catching the three-time series champion in the third corner. The 31-year-old racer from Sans Souci, New South Wales, steered the #66 Phillips 66 Trop Artic Eagle around his hero high in turn four and beat him under the checkered by the width of his front tires.
Tatnell, the 16th driver to win an O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series main event during its 25th Anniversary Season, is also the fourth driver to win the first race of his career this year.
"This couldn't have happened at a nicer place," said Tatnell, whose team is based in Bartlesville, OK. "This is probably the closest thing we have to a home track. We've been here several times before, and probably have more laps here than anyone.
"I tried to get by Sammy earlier, but it didn't work. I'm not a complacent person, and it was tough to bide my time and wait for an opportunity. I didn't think Sammy would screw up, but if I were to pass anyone on the last lap for my first win, I'm glad it was Sammy because without him I wouldn't be out here. Back in 1999, he took me under his wing and was a mentor to me when I was out here on the road, and I owe a lot of what I have today to him.
"This Phillips 66 team is not a large operation, but Court (Grandstaff) and the boys give me everything they can, and tonight it was good enough. I'm just glad my dad was here to see this. He hasn't been to America in four years, and I'm happy was able to get my first win with him watching."
Father George Tatnell and Grandstaff, his car owner, couldn't have been happier with Brooke's performance.
"I'm very proud of Brooke tonight," the elder Tatnell said. "He's been trying hard in America for a long time, and it really paid off tonight. I just hope there are a few more of these to come before he has to come home to race in Australia."
"This is very exciting for me," Grandstaff said. "This is probably the best place in the world to race. The people here at the track treat everyone really nice. It's a great facility, and I like everything about it. I'm proud of Brooke and the job he did tonight."
Tatnell, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 30-car field, earned the privilege of starting the main event on the front row by winning the Second Dash Race.
Swindell, who won the First Dash Race, drove Dennis Roth's #1 Ore-Cal/Beef Packers J&J into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Fast qualifier Jason Sides and Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals champion Danny Lasoski passed Brian Paulus for sixth and seventh place three laps later.
Swindell was four car-lengths ahead of Tatnell when he entered lapped traffic eight laps into the race. Jeremy Campbell was challenging Tim Shaffer for 15th place two laps later when he slid over the bank in turn four, bringing out the caution flag. Johnny Herrera stopped in the fourth corner with a flat right rear tire as the race resumed. Herrera, the last driver to qualify for the "A" Feature, drove his family's #45X sprinter back through the field to finish 16th.
Paulus passed Jason Meyers for ninth place with an inside move in turn four late in the 13th lap. Paulus and Meyers collided two laps later, however, sending P and P Motorsports' #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim spinning into Shane Stewart in the first corner.
Sides, who is racing for the 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award, lost sixth place during the 17th lap when he turned the #7S Aramark Maxim completely around in turn two and stopped in the fourth corner.
O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser raced wheel-to-wheel with Donny Schatz through the third and fourth corners late in lap 21, but was unable to pass him for fourth place.
Tatnell, the defending National Champion Racing Association champion, tapped Swindell's rear bumper on the back straightaway three laps later, but Sammy maintained the lead as they entered turn three.
Mechanical problems in the #15 Parker Stores J&J forced Schatz to surrender fourth place during a 27th-lap caution period for debris on the track. Tatnell lined up behind Swindell as the green flag replaced the yellow, and battled him for almost three laps before pulling off the move of his life for the $10,000 victory.
Joey Saldana finished in third place, ahead of Kinser, Lasoski, Second Heat Race winner Paul McMahan, Meyers, Dennis Moore, Jr., Daryn Pittman and Shaffer, who started inside the ninth row.
Jason Johnson spun in turn three early in the opening lap of the Second Heat Race, but raced back through the field to qualify for the main event. "The Cajun Sensation" passed seven cars to finish 13th in the "A" Feature.