Middletown race report 2006-05-29

Brooke Tatnell Fights Off Donny Schatz For World of Outlaws Win At Orange County Fair Speedway Middletown, NY -- May 29, 2006 -- Brooke Tatnell excels on tough, tight racetracks, but he proved Monday night at 5/8-mile Orange County Fair Speedway...

Brooke Tatnell Fights Off Donny Schatz For World of Outlaws Win At Orange County Fair Speedway

Middletown, NY -- May 29, 2006 -- Brooke Tatnell excels on tough, tight racetracks, but he proved Monday night at 5/8-mile Orange County Fair Speedway that he certainly knows how to put the hammer down on wide open fast ovals, too.

In a thrilling, edge-of-your-seat battle, Brooke Tatnell fought off Donny Schatz to win his second World of Outlaws Sprint Series feature this season.

Tatnell, the pole-sitter who hails from Australia, and Schatz, who broke the track record during time trials, raced each other clean and hard in nearly every corner, with Schatz sliding into the lead in Turn 2 on the final lap only to see Tatnell power back to the front down the backstretch before a caution on the final circuit around the 5/8-mile oval extended the 25-lap feature for a green-white-checkered finish.

Tatnell, in the Race Oufitters/Castrol Eagle, controlled the restart and used his Don Ott horsepower to open a lead. Schatz raced back in the ParkerStore J&J and looked to the bottom but with clear track in front of him, Tatnell was nearly impossible to catch as he drove into the RacinSoles Victory Lane after an A-feature event for the fifth time in his career. He also won a preliminary feature last season in Princeton, Minn.

"Once we got going, it was fun," said Tatnell, who had his hospitalized father, George, on his mind. "That was some good, hard racing with Donny. We had to get through all the traffic. I won the first one, he won the second, and I won the third. I hit the cushion with a lap to go, but we were able to duck back underneath him. We raced hard down the back straight-a-way. If the yellow would not have come out, we still would have beat him into turn three and four. That's one for all the one's that we've lost."

For Tatnell, it was his seventh top-five finish of the year. He also picked up three bonus points for being the evening's third quickest qualifier, and now is in the top-five in the series standings.

Tatnell deserves plenty of credit for the hard fought win and grueling battle he had with Schatz, but the fan favorite would rather put the spotlight on his Rush Racing crew, led by Troy Renfro.

"These guys on this race team are what won the race tonight," said Tatnell, a native of San Souci, NSW, Australia who is residing in Minnesota. "The driver just had a racecar that would drive itself."

Jac Haudenschild maintained his track position throughout the event to finish third in the Wright One Construction Eagle with Daryn Pittman keeping the pressure on points leader Schatz by finishing fourth in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim. Dean Jacobs, subbing for injured Terry McCarl, wound up fifth in the Big Game Treestands Eagle. Stevie Smith, who took the checkered flag in the fifth position, didn't meet the minimum weight requirement following the feature and was credited with 24th, or last place.

Craig Dollansky in the Karavan Trailers Maxim, Joey Saldana in the Dodge/Curb Records JEI, Chad Kemenah in the Underground Utilities Inc. Eagle, Justin Henderson in the Jolt Energy Gum/Race Girl Schnee and Dion Hindi in the RealTruck.com/Sniper Tuning J&J rounded out the top 10.

For Schatz, he not only recorded another top-five finish, but he also destroyed the track record during time trials when he turned the first sub-17 second lap in track history. He stopped the clocks at 16.895 seconds at an average speed of 133.177 miles per hour.

Schatz showed why he is the series points leader again on Monday night. He had plenty of speed in the car and showed it off on every lap as he inched closer to Tatnell, looking high and low for any opening. At the same time, he made sure not make any careless moves that might jeopardize a solid finish.

"I would have liked not to have seen that last yellow, but we got it," said Schatz of the caution that set up a green-white-checkered finish. "That's the way racing goes. Glad to be second. Brooke set a good pace, and we got to him once in lapped traffic. He was driving forward better than I was."

Schatz helped himself even more in the point standings, by recording the fastest lap in time trials, to secure five bonus points. The record he shattered had been in place since 1997. The feat was even more astonishing due to the fact that Schatz had only a limited number of practice laps on the track.

"It didn't really feel all that fast," he said. "We hot lapped at a 17.8 (seconds), and to go a second quicker in qualifying was pretty good. I let my race team do everything in qualifying. They have an awesome qualifying package. I think there was a little bit left on the table there, but it was good to pick up the track record."

Jac Haudenshild continued his solid and steady season, coming home in third place to keep his team in the championship hunt. For the native of Wooster, Ohio, he now has 10 top-five finishes, which leads the Mean 15. In addition, he has two wins.

Daryn Pittman is close to picking up his first win of the season. He battled to a fourth-place finish in Monday's night feature after falling back a couple of spots early in the race. The native of Owasso, Okla., passed Dean Jacobs on the final lap to record his seventh top-five finish of the year, and a series-best 13th top-10.

"We were able to move forward a few spots at the end," Pittman said. "Fourth isn't really what we are looking for, we need to get a win. All in all, it was a good points night. We finished fourth and we didn't give up too much and we gained on some guys. The biggest thing is to continue to get good finishes and cut down on the DNFs, like we had the other night."

Looking to keep Terry McCarl in the top-five in owner points, veteran Dean Jacobs climbed into the seat of the No. 24 machine at Orange County and did not disappoint as he finished fifth with very little practice in the car. Jacobs kept a streak alive that Tim Shaffer started at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway last Wednesday. In three races since McCarl was forced out of action with a broken left leg, his replacement driver has finished in the top-10 each night.

"I just talked to Terry on the phone, and he's tickled and I'm tickled," said Jacobs, a long-time racer from Wooster, Ohio. "I'm just thankful for Terry and Lori giving me the chance. We just want to keep him up in the car owner points. It's an honor to drive his car. The thing is really fast. I was very happy to come away with a top-five. I think I may have had a better car than that, if I would have had a few more laps, but tomorrow's another night."

With the race being the first of six in the next seven days, Jacobs certainly has the team on the right track, and more importantly kept the car in one piece to minimize what Steve Fitzpatrick and the hard-working crew have to do in preparation for Tuesday night's race at Rolling Wheels.

"The guys that work on this car know what they are doing," Jacobs said. "Terry knows what he likes and obviously what he likes, works for me too. I pretty much told those guys to do their thing, and we didn't change much. I pretty much ran the car how Terry does and it was fast."

The cars and stars of the Mean 15 continue the first of two trips this season to New York by racing May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge. The series closes out May by rolling into Lernerville Speedway to make up the Commonwealth Clash, which was postponed by rain on May 19. On June 1, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series returns to Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, for the first time in over 20 years and then thunders into the legendary Eldora Speedway on June 3 in Rossburg, Ohio for the final tune-up on the intimidating half-mile oval before the Kings Royal weekend. The Mean 15 racers end their first East Coast swing on Sunday in the Midwest with a return visit on June 4 to the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is brought to the fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire and The Outdoor Channel. Promotional Partners include AMB i.t. and The University of Northwestern Ohio. Associate sponsors are ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, Maxim Racing, RacinSoles and Snap-on. Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions and Wrisco Industries.

ORANGE COUNTY FAIR SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK

* FAST QUALIFIER: Donny Schatz paced the 29-cars that took time with a record-shattering AMB i.t.-timed lap around the 5/8-mile oval 16.895 seconds at 133.175 mph for a new track record. For his qualifying effort, Schatz earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Daryn Pittman (4), Brooke Tatnell (3), Dean Jacobs (2), and Stevie Smith (1). Orange County Fair Speedway is a semi-banked 5/8- mile oval. The old track record was 17.038 seconds set by Mark Kinser on June 1, 1997.

* QUALIFYING RACE WINNERS: Joey Saldana, Craig Keel and Justin Barger won the three heat races. -- Brooke Tatnell powered his way to victory in the dash. -- Jason Martin captured the B-main.

* MAIN-EVENT WINNERS: Brooke Tatnell's win Monday night at Orange County Fair Speedway was his second World of Outlaws A-feature victory of the season. There have been 11 different winners in 19 race nights to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list also includes Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway and May 20 at Sharon Speedway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as well as a preliminary victory April 7 at Eldora), Donny Schatz (March 9 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway and May 16 at Grandview Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway and May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 21 at Williams Grove, as well as a preliminary victory May 26 at Williams Grove), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia) and Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Kevin Swindell (The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway).

* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: Fred Rahmer's win on May 26 was his first preliminary feature win of the World of Outlaws season, joining Sammy Swindell, who won the preliminary feature on April 7 at Eldora Speedway.

* 5/8-MILE WINNERS: Orange County Fair Speedway is a semi-banked 5/8-mile oval. This is the first time World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced on a 5/8-mile track this season, with Brooke Tatnell picking up the win.

* SUPER SUBS: Rob Chaney of Wooster, Ohio, was behind the wheel of the No. 1X Terry Hannagan Racing Maxim filling in for Randy Hannagan, who is tending to family matters. Chaney filled in earlier this season for Jason Martin and recorded his best World of Outlaws finish with a third at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. -- Also, Dean Jacobs took the wheel of the No. 24 Big Game Treestands Eagle filling in for Terry McCarl, who is recovering from a broken left leg.

* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on May 31 the Eckerd Outlaw Showdown from The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).

* ON THE WEB: The Official World of Outlaws Sprint Series Web site is at www.dirtmotorsports.com/sprint. Among the features are updated driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases. Also, links to the Media Guide and 2006 Official Rulebook can be found at the bottom of the home page.

* UP NEXT: The cars and stars of the Mean 15 continue their swing through the Empire State on May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park. The final day of the month, will see the World of Outlaws roll into Lernerville Speedway to make up the Commonwealth Clash which was postponed by rain on May 19. June opens with a return to Wayne County Speedway in Orville, Ohio on June 1, for the first time in over 20 years. The series then thunders into the legendary Eldora Speedway on June 3, before heading west to the Terre Haute Action Track on June 4.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Dean Jacobs , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Justin Barger , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah
Teams Williams