Tanner; Stott Classic Racing Fumbled In Chicagoland JOLIET, Illinois (September 11, 2007) - - Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200 showed that the elements were really coming together for Billy Tanner and his Stott Classic Racing (SCR) team as the...
Tanner; Stott Classic Racing Fumbled In Chicagoland
JOLIET, Illinois (September 11, 2007) - - Saturday's Chicagoland ARCA 200 showed that the elements were really coming together for Billy Tanner and his Stott Classic Racing (SCR) team as the duo appeared to be heading towards the first top-10 finish of the season before an incident inside thirty laps remaining erased their chances.
Hoping to pick off from a solid showing at Gateway International Raceway a week prior, Tanner was looking forward to his ARCA debut at Chicagoland Speedway and cap off what's been a solid but frustrating season with an impressive performance.
With rain threatening to mess up the ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule on Friday, the teams applauded when a ray of sunshine embraced the track an hour before the first and only practice session of the weekend.
During the two-hour session, Tanner didn't post a impressive lap, but the Pennsylvania native wasn't worried as he knew that his Stott Classic Racing team had a lot in store for qualifying and the race.
Maneuvering a time 32.442 seconds equaling a speed of 166.451 MPH Tanner found himself 33rd on the charts.
"Tight. I've talked to a bunch of other drivers and they feel the same way. The Stott Classic Racing team has given me a very good racecar once again this weekend. We didn't push the issue in practice; we'll push it in qualifying and then the race. We had a good run at Gateway and I want to head into the race knowing that we have the capabilities of improving that run in a big way."Heading into qualifying, the former dirt racer knew he had to post a competitive lap to guarantee him a starting spot for the final intermediate track of the season.
During his time trials effort, Tanner posted a lap of 31.427 seconds at 171.827 MPH awarding the SCR team with a solid 21st place qualifying effort.
"The car is really good, we aint't tight no more. Corrie does a great job with this team. He knows how to put a good setup underneath me. I'm speechless really. We beat some really good cars, I'm just happy. I like this place, it's a fast place, but it should be a great race on Saturday."
At the start of the Chicagoland ARCA 200, Tanner hovered safely in the top-25. Knowing he didn't have to make any aggressive charges, Tanner was hoping to stay out of the attrition and be around for the final fifty circuits.
When the first yellow flag waived on lap 11, Tanner locked the 23rd position.
Back to green flag racing, Tanner would continue to stay safely in the lead pack when the next caution flag waived on lap 27 for a three car accident.
On lap 28, Tanner made his first pit stop of the day bringing the No. 07 CheapCaribbean.com down pit road along with the rest of the competition.
The SCR team made a chassis adjustment while also adding four tires and fuel before sending their development driver back into the mix.
Tanner restarted 26th and utilized the next forty laps to move into the 22nd position.
Despite not making a huge march, Tanner brought his machine down pit road when the caution flag waived on lap 70. During that stop, the SCR bunch stepped up to the plate and put Tanner comfortably in the top-15.
On the restart, Tanner would begin his march towards the front. Moving into 11th by lap 95, Tanner would scroll into the top-10 by lap 98 with thoughts of moving up through the running order.
On lap 101, Tanner while running in the top-10 led a huge group of racecars in turn four when another competitor made contact with the rear of the No. 07 Chevrolet sending Tanner for a loop collecting Andy Lally and Bryan Silas.
With heavy damage to the rear of the machine, Tanner brought his mangled machine to the attention of the crew where they tried to make repairs and send their driver back into competition.
Showing a lot of rear-end damage, Tanner would ride around for the remaining laps, collecting a 19th place finish, three laps off the pace.
"I don't know what to say," said Tanner following the race. "I mean we had a good piece, the best piece of the season and it's amazing to see patience go out the window with thirty laps remaining in the race. A lot of people could have got collected in that wreck. It was right at the front of the pack. I don't know what to say, really. I'm just frustrated. We've been in a position several times this year to nail a top-10 finish and something always happens. Another week, same story."
"I'm am however extremely pleased and proud of the guys on the Stott Classic Racing team. They did their jobs in spectacular fashion this weekend and we were in contention. It was a good feeling for everyone, just not the result we were looking for."
Crew Chief and car owner Corrie Stott offered, "I hate it for Billy. He had a career day going and then we end up in the wall. It's a shame. He drove a great race, but we can't seem to catch a break. It's another race where we showed some strength, just weren't able to capitalize it due to circumstances out of our control. All we can do is look at the positive points from the weekend and move to Talladega."
Speaking of Talladega, the Stott Classic Racing team will take off the next ARCA RE/MAX Series event at Salem Speedway and regroup for a showing at Talladega Superspeedway on October 5.