Woodward Racing Paducah, I-55 preview

Woodward Racing Looks to Get into Rhythm PADUCAH, KY (April 2) -- Brooke Tatnell and Woodward Racing's Volcano Joe's Coffee team are looking forward to Easter weekend, not only to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection but to get into a...

Woodward Racing Looks to Get into Rhythm

PADUCAH, KY (April 2) -- Brooke Tatnell and Woodward Racing's Volcano Joe's Coffee team are looking forward to Easter weekend, not only to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection but to get into a rhythm that will carry them to the top of the World of Outlaws point standings.

"I know we're a way better team that what we're showing," Tatnell said Monday. "It's just going to take us some more time to get things together. We should be doing a better job with the equipment we have. For whatever reason though, we haven't gotten ourselves into a rhythm. Rhythm is everything. We're looking forward to getting back on the road to where we're racing two or three times a week, so we can get that rhythm. It's not one thing, it's not one person; it's a team effort out there. Most of the top teams have been together for a while. They may have had a personnel change here or there, but everything's still pretty much the same. We're pretty disappointed and down right now but, one thing about it, you don't have to wait long to get back out there. That's what we're planning to do this week. We're running Friday and Saturday, then we'll drive all night to be home for Easter. We're looking forward to it."

The World of Outlaws is scheduled to run single-program events at Paducah International Raceway Friday and I-55 Raceway Saturday. PIR, a high-banked, 3/8-mile oval located in Paducah, KY, hosted World of Outlaws events in 1998 and 2001. The facility is co-owned by NASCAR superstars Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Tony Stewart and Ken Schrader. Schrader also co-owns I-55 Raceway with Ray Marler. The high-banked, 1/3-mile oval in Pevely, MO, will host Saturday's Red Baron Pizza World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event presented by Surdyke Harley-Davidson.

"I-55 is a track we've always been good at; we won there last year," Tatnell said.

Tatnell started on the pole and led 33 of the 40 laps in the "A" Feature last July 8th at I-55. Defending World of Outlaws champion Donny Schatz and Daryn Pittman caught Tatnell in lapped traffic and exchanged the lead numerous times.

"I felt pretty comfortable," Tatnell said of his victory at I-55. "I always look around and see what (tires) everyone else puts on before we go out. I knew Pittman was close to us at the end and had the same tires as us. He usually runs a little harder tire than we do. Once we got around Donny the last time, I felt pretty comfortable. We freed the car up under yellow and it was really good.

"I enjoy racing with Donny. There's a mutual respect there. I think in all the years we've been racing, we have banged wheels maybe twice. I love racing with guys that you can race hard and not have to worry about crashing. It was a great race. I'm glad the fans got to enjoy it."

The three-time defending Australian Sprintcar champion would like nothing more than to make it two straight victories at I-55 Raceway.

"We've always said we're contenders; now we have to step up to the plate and prove it," Tatnell said. "Lately, we just haven't been what we should be. We just have to make it happen. Once things start to happen, things get easier and you get on a roll. Joey (Saldana) and Donny are on that roll right now, and (Tim) Shaffer is starting to get on one. Steve (Kinser) has been in a hit and miss situation, and we've had a hit-and-miss situation. Pittman, (Craig) Dollansky and (Terry) McCarl have been hit-and-miss, too. Their misses just haven't been quite as bad as our misses. We just have to step up the program.

"Larry (Woodward, the team's owner) has been absolutely super-supportive. He has said we haven't been the best prepared, and we'll get through this. We also know that, as a team, we can't shrug our shoulders and say 'we'll get them next weekend.' We know we have to put the pieces to the puzzle together so we can be better. We're just not talking about being a top-five team; it's time to start winning races."

-credit: wr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Tony Stewart , Ken Schrader , Donny Schatz , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman