Tatnell Dominates Skagit: Picks up $25,000 in Car Owner's Backyard Alger, Wash.--August 26, 2006--Brooke Tatnell is a man of his word. On Friday night after finishing second in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series Preliminary Feature at Skagit ...
Tatnell Dominates Skagit: Picks up $25,000 in Car Owner's Backyard
Alger, Wash.--August 26, 2006--Brooke Tatnell is a man of his word. On Friday night after finishing second in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series Preliminary Feature at Skagit Speedway, he said he would be in RacinSoles Victory Lane on Saturday night.
He had plenty of motivation entering the event, with it being right in the backyard of his car owners Tim Hanson and Bob Campbell. He also wanted to pull out a win for his crew chief Troy Renfro who had been battling the effects of pneumonia all week, including a stint in the hospital. Also, a check for $25,000 was waiting for the winner at the end of the night.
To add even more to the puzzle, the native of San Souci, NSW, Australia suffered a broken left front brake line early in the 40-lap feature on the tight and racy 3/10-mile high-banked track. An open red flag on lap 16 gave Tatnell and his crew a chance to assess the problem on the car. While the team worked on the car, Tatnell sprinted on foot, all the way back across the track to the pit area, to get some parts from the team's trailer to help aid the crew.
At the initial drop of the green flag, Tatnell used his outside front row starting spot to his advantage in the Race Outfitters Eagle to take lead from Donny Schatz in the Parker Store J&J, in the first turn. Schatz shadowed Tatnell early in the race before beginning a spirited battle with Craig Dollansky for the runner-up spot.
Tatnell used patience and caution in traffic as he sliced his way through the slower cars, separating himself from Dollansky and Schatz. A couple of very timely cautions bunched the field up and more importantly gave Tatnell clean race track in front of him, and he was a master of restarts all night long.
"This was a total team effort," a smiling Tatnell said. "Rush Racing got it done tonight. We had a good car even before we went out there today. We got this one, it's ours. There's not a more fitting place to win, than right here in our car owners backyard. I'm just proud of this team. Troy (Renfro) is definitely sick and shouldn't be here. I appreciate his dedication to this team."
Schatz ended up coming home second after a last lap pass of Craig Dollansky. It was his 12th runner-up finish of the season, ironically matching the number of A-Feature wins he also has. The solid run helped the native of Fargo, N.D. extend his point lead over Joey Saldana, as he chases his first ever World of Outlaws Sprint Series title.
"We needed a few more laps, but we also needed to run more than four or five laps at a time without having a yellow," said Schatz. "That does not suit how we set up our race car. It helped those guys (Tatnell). They had a tire on that it helped to have those yellows. We had one on for the distance. We just never got to run enough at one time. Our cars get better as the race goes on. With all the starting and stopping it was tough to get where we needed to be especially with the tire we ran."
Dollansky and his crew also had planned on long green flags runs during the event and set their car up accordingly. He ran in the top-three all night and looked to have the second spot wrapped up when Schatz made a sweeping pass on the final turn of the final lap.
"We definitely did not want to see that many yellows," said Dollansky. "It worked a little against us with the tire we chose. It was just one of those deals. We were definitely looking to win. We ended up third and just came a little short."
Daryn Pittman had a very solid night, running in the top-five all night and coming home in the fourth spot in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim, after securing a spot in the dash by finishing fourth on Friday night as well in the preliminary feature.
"We were right there with them the whole time," said Pittman. "I don't think we were out to lunch. It was tough to pass and I just needed longer runs. I felt like we were better on the longer runs, especially early. It's another top five. It could have been a lot worse. We'll take it and move on, and we enjoyed coming up here to Skagit for a two-day show."
Tatnell who is one of the most calm and collected drivers on and off the track, knew he had a problem when he saw his brake line dragging on the track under an early caution, but did not let that throw his rhythm off once the green flag flew again.
"I was very concerned about what would happen when we got to lapped traffic," Tatnell said. "If someone screwed up in front of us, I would not be able to slow down enough. That was the only concern I had. When we got to them, I had to slide the car a little bit. Apart from that, I was not too concerned. We got fortunate and we got lucky, sometimes luck goes your way. We had a car tonight that no one was going to touch and we had a bit of luck. It was a special night, and we knew we had to win. This was just one of those nights."
When he reached RacinSoles Victory Lane, Tatnell was greeted by thunderous applause from the crowd. Tim Hanson, one of the co-owners of Rush Racing treated many of his employees to a night at the races on Saturday night at Skagit Speedway. Tatnell made sure the fans went home with a smile on their faces.
"We had the largest cheering section here tonight," Tatnell said. "We had fun shooting t-shirts into the crowd. We tried to give something back to the crowd. It's just been a perfect weekend."
For Hanson the win very special, since it came right in his backyard. He was greeted with a steady stream of well wishers as they made their way to pit area to meet and greet their favorite drivers. He also received many compliments for the paint and graphic scheme that he came up with for the weekend on the car.
"This was our Knoxville Nationals tonight," Hanson said. "It could not get any better than this."
Bob Campbell, also a co-owner of Rush Racing was ecstatic with the win, knowing how close the team has been on countless occasions this season to picking up wins. He echoed the sentiments of Hanson, with it being a home race for the pair, and thanked all the fans for coming out and supporting the track as well as the drivers and teams.
"The competition out here is so tough night in and night out," Bob Campbell said. "You get a little frustrated running second, but you look around and see who you are running with, and it is a tough crowd. This is a heck of a win for this team."
The Rush Racing team was not the only one's celebrating in the winner's circle. Skagit Speedway owner and promoter Steve Beitler was smiling from ear to ear knowing that the hard work and endless hours put in by his staff paid off, with a great two days of racing for the fans.
"I'm very pleased with how this whole weekend went," said Beitler. "We had a long time getting the World of Outlaws back at Skagit Speedway. Our first weekend back, it could not have been better. We had a good crowd both night, and having local car owners in Tim Hanson and Bob Campbell with their Australian driver come up here and win. Donny Schatz, who was voted last month the number one sprint car driver in American won last night. It was a fantastic night. We had a good race track and everyone did a good job."
Tatnell's win was his fourth of the season and seventh of his World of Outlaws career. With 22 top-five finishes under his belt, and one of the hardest working crews in the pit area, Tatnell is confident for the rest of the Gold Rush Tour and the last quarter of the World of Outlaws season for that matter.
"I think we have a good shot at many of the places we still go to this year," said Tatnell. "Once a team gets on a roll they are tough to stop, just look at (Donny) Schatz. We had four straight second place finishes, now we need four straight first place finishes."
Though he finished one spot short of picking up the $25,000, Schatz found some positives in the night, and is excited to head to Southern Oregon Speedway on Wednesday night, as he looks to pick up his 13th A-Feature win of the season.
"We tried to make the car a little better (under the red flag)," said Schatz. "We knew we had to change it up a little bit to get better. We made some stride, but the red really helped those guys. They had a brake problem. You can't run that long and not hit lap traffic, and expect to pass in wide open race track. Everyone is so fast. We've had a lot of races that have gone our way with that type of deal, and this one just didn't. We're not disappointed. We know the mistake we made and we can correct it for next time."
Chad Kemenah who continues to lead the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt, came home fifth. It was his third straight fifth place finish, including Friday night's preliminary feature.
The rest of the top-10 was Joey Saldana in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI in sixth. Jac Haudenschild in the Wright One Construction Maxim came home seventh after starting in the 13th spot. Randy Hannagan in the Penthouse Magazine Maxim was eight, with Justin Henderson abroad the Jolt Energy Gum Schnee in ninth. Jeremy Campbell in the Americas Best Value Inn Maxim round out the top-10.
The Gold Rush Tour continues for the series on Wednesday night at Southern Oregon Speedway in Medford, Oregon. From there, it's off to the wine country of Northern California for the Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway Sept. 2-3.
SKAGIT SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK NIGHT #2
* FAST QUALIFIER: Joey Saldana paced the 36 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 3/8-mile high-banked oval at 11.418 seconds. Because the event is a multi-day show with varying championship point totals on each night, no qualifying bonus points are awarded. By virtue of their top-four finishes in the preliminary feature on Friday, Donny Schatz, Brooke Tatnell, Craig Dollansky, and Daryn Pittman did not have to go through time trials or heat races.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Jac Haudenschild, Jeremy Campbell, Travis Jacobson, and Travis Rutz. ... Kelly Barnett won the C-Main. ... Tony Bruce Jr. won the B-Main. ... Donny Schatz picked up the win in the dash.
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday August 30, the event from Eldora Speedway that ran on August 4. Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).