Skagit preview

Rush to Skagit: Brooke Tatnell Takes Aim at $25,000 in Car Owner's Backyard Burlington, Wash.--August 22, 2006--White wall tires are not seen very often on street cars anymore, let alone a sprint car. Looking to create a buzz and excite the...

Rush to Skagit: Brooke Tatnell Takes Aim at $25,000 in Car Owner's Backyard

Burlington, Wash.--August 22, 2006--White wall tires are not seen very often on street cars anymore, let alone a sprint car. Looking to create a buzz and excite the crowd, Rush Racing broke out the vintage looking rubber a couple weeks back at the Knoxville Nationals, after earlier this season debuting a "Retro" car at the storied track, just down the road from their immaculate shop in Altoona, Iowa.

Always on the cutting edge, Tim Hanson, one of the owners of Rush Racing, which fields cars for Brooke Tatnell with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series, is constantly thinking of new paint schemes and graphics to put on his race cars, as well designs for the uniforms of the crew, that will stand out in a crowd.

This weekend as the series heads to Skagit Speedway it will be a homecoming of sorts for the team, as it originated in Burlington, Wash., a stone's throw from the track. This is where Hanson is from and has business ventures, including Steel Dreams, the largest custom motorcycle dealer in the state of Washington.

Not one to give any secrets away, Tatnell encourages fans to make it out to the track on Friday and Saturday to see what the team has up their sleeve. This will be the first time the series has visited the high-banked bullring since 2002. Hanson has been counting the days and working diligently to make sure the fans notice and more importantly remember the No. 8 when it hits the track.

"I believe we will have something," said Tatnell, driver of the Race Outfitters Eagle. "Tim (Hanson) is working on something right now to put another car there. It will be something different, and I believe we have a matching chopper to go along with it, to help promote Steel Dreams. Anyone out there needs to go to the Steel Dreams Cafe (in Burlington, Wash.) and enjoy themselves."

Tatnell is very excited to make his first visit to the track in the scenic Pacific Northwest. The always affable driver, who hails from San Souci, NWS, Australia, will visit a new track for the third race in a row. He knows he will have plenty of people cheering him on, and plans to put on a great show for the fans. Expect Tatnell and his always popular t-shirt cannon to get some action during the night as well.

"It's going to be the first time that I have ever been to Skagit," said Tatnell. "I've heard some pretty good things about it over the years. I'm looking forward to it and getting there. It's one opportunity we have to put on a good show for our car owners Tim Hanson and Bob Campbell. Tim has bought about 300 tickets for his staff at his company, so they can go out and watch and have a good time."

Tatnell always enjoys when his car owner is able to make it out to the track, knowing how hard he works behind the scenes to make sure everything is running smooth with the team and his other endeavors. Hanson keeps up with how the team is doing on the road via the cell phone and the Internet to check out the results as much as he can. Not only will Hanson be able to attend both nights of the event, but also many of his employees will be on-hand to take in the festivities, including the second round of the Snap-on Pit Crew Challenge on Saturday afternoon.

"Tim gets out a little bit, but not as much as he would like to," Tatnell said. "He definitely does not get out as much as he did last year. He is busy with chasing down sponsors and that is what keeps us on the road. We are looking at different marketing avenues for the team. It's definitely exciting and great to have Tim involved there. It will be great to have his employee's wives and families out there at the race. That is what racing is about. Look at the teams that are successful, look at (Donny) Schatz's team. It's a family operation. It's always good to get to have that family atmosphere. How many jobs can you actually have where you can take your family to work. It's the one thing that makes sprint car racing different from the majority of other sports that there are."

Tatnell, who was married July 30, has been around racing his entire life, thanks in large part to his father George, a racing legend in his native Australia. Tatnell is thankful that his wife Amy is able to take to the road with him, and attend all of the races. He does not even want to think about what it would be like without her on the road.

"She's on the road with me full-time," Tatnell said smiling. "I am very fortunate. I'd hate to be doing this lifestyle without her with me. She is not only my wife, but my best friend. She's probably the one person that chews my butt more than my crew chief does."

On the track, Tatnell is currently fifth in series points, on the strength of three wins and 22 Top-Five finishes. He has been at the top of the speed charts all season long, setting fast time on five different occasions, as well as winning six dashes to earn just as many pole positions. The true competitor in the multi-time World Series Sprint Car Champion always is looking to gain an extra tenth or two of a second on the track and expects to end every night in RacinSoles Victory Lane.

"We've been fast. Qualifying has not been probably been our forte," said Tatnell. "The dashes we have won, we have not capitalized to turn them into feature victories. I'm still disappointed about the other night (a second place finish at Black Hills Speedway), but we still have plenty of time to gain some more wins this year."

With still over 20 races left on the season including Saturday night's A-Feature at Skagit Speedway that will pay $25,000 to the winner, Tatnell and the team have plenty of shots left to notch some more wins. Troy Renfro his crew chief and the rest of the team put in countless hours to give Tatnell the best car possible each night.

"We have a good team here, and I would be very disappointed if we don't win at least three more before the year is out," Tatnell said.

With the season in the homestretch, many drivers and teams are counting down the days until they get some time off and can regroup. This is not the case for Tatnell, who got an early start on the season racing in his native land down under. If it was up to him, he would race every single night of the week.

"I live a dream every day of my life, since I get to do this," Tatnell said. "It's fun for me every day. 'Is it less pressure (now that Knoxville is over)?' I don't know. I use to say in years past that when you weren't racing for points, that this is the easiest time to win a race. This is often when people let their guards down a little bit. The competition is tough, and I really don't see anyone letting their guard down right now."

For ticket information for the races this weekend, visit www.skagitspeedway.com, or call 360-724-3567. On Friday, adult tickets will be $30. Tickets for those ages 8-17, as well as those 65-over and active military personnel will be $25. Tickets for children 7-under will be $10.

On Saturday, adult tickets will be $30. Tickets for those ages 8-17, as well as those 65-over, and active military personnel will be $25. Tickets for children 7-under will be $10.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Brooke Tatnell