Ponoco II: Billy Tanner race report

JPocono Raceway Offers Career Best For Billy Tanner And Stott Classic Racing POCONO, Pennsylvania (Wednesday, August 8, 2007) - - It was an exciting day for Billy Tanner and his Stott Classic Racing team but when the checkered flag flew, the...

JPocono Raceway Offers Career Best For Billy Tanner And Stott Classic Racing

POCONO, Pennsylvania (Wednesday, August 8, 2007) - - It was an exciting day for Billy Tanner and his Stott Classic Racing team but when the checkered flag flew, the duo had collected their career best finish in the ARCA RE/MAX Series in only their sixth race together.

The team returned to Pocono Raceway this past weekend looking to better their spring performance when Tanner was knocked from contention when another car had a mechanical malfunction.

The weekend didn't start off on the right foot when the team was plagued during practice with radio issues. The team was unable to get a clear practice run with Tanner but did post a lap of 62.764 seconds at 143.394 MPH lining him up 36th on the rundown.

The team stressed they had more on the table.

"The practice does not show what we really have," said Tanner. "We have a good car; we just had some problems during practice with the radio which kept us in the garage for most of the session. We didn't even have an opportunity to make a qualifying run as we ran out of time. The good news is the radio problem is fixed and I think we'll be okay."

Known for his strong qualifying runs, Tanner drew the second-to-last position for ARCA SIM Factory pole qualifying. During his lap, Tanner maneuvered a lap of 58.232 seconds transferring to a speed of 154.554 MPH. The run locked Tanner into the 26th position on the starting grid.

"We picked up nearly four seconds from practice, that's a statement that we had a lot left," sounded Tanner. "The guys on the Stott Classic Racing team made some good adjustments and we just gave it our all. The race is shaping up to be very competitive, we just want to finish. We've had some bad luck the past few races, so we need to put ourselves back on track."

When the green flag flew for the 14th ARCA race of the season, Tanner held his own just bidding his time and waiting for the right opportunity to mix himself into the top-20.

When the caution flag on lap five, Tanner had slipped to 27th, but radioed to crew chief and car owner Corrie Stott, he was playing the conservative mode and was studying his competitors, learning where and how to pass them.

Throughout the day, Tanner began patiently working through the pack, breaking into the top-20 on lap 15. By lap 25, Tanner continued to hold steady.

Using some pit strategy, Stott kept Tanner, a native of Pennsylvania out on the track when the caution flag waived near lap 46. The gamble would pay off with Tanner occupying the third position on the restart.

Despite a jiggered restart, Tanner held his position and remained in a fierce battle with the rest of the top-10. While racing in the lead pack, two cars ahead of Tanner made contact which sent the No. 07 also into a spin. Tanner did an incredible job by not piling into the wreck and spun the car to avoid making heavy contact with the rest of the carnage.

Tanner radioed to his team "I'm okay and the car is good, we just need to pit for some tires."

Tanner brought his machine to the attention of Stott and Co. to review the car and slap some new rubber on.

Recovering nicely from the spin, the rookie driver attempted to reach back into the top-10 but several cars ahead of him were experiencing transmission troubles which kept Tanner at bay.

Despite unable to work his way around the battered racecars, Tanner hit his marks on the 2.5-mile speedway and crossed the line 14th, on the lead lap.

The finish resulted in Tanner's career best ARCA RE/MAX Series finish in his seventh start.

"All in all, it wasn't a bad day," remarked Tanner after the race. "This track is no piece of cake. You have to be good every single lap and if you aren't your chances of losing spots increase greatly. We were lucky and used some pit strategy to soar our machine into the top-five, but had to pit to make sure we good to go for the end."

Tanner continued, "I'm really happy for our sponsor CheapCaribbean.com and everyone associated with Stott Classic Racing. We came away with a clean finish and we can take this momentum and hope for a good run at Nashville next week."

Car owner Corrie Stott offered, "I'm real pleased with our performance today. We gained a lot of experience and Billy gave us a great effort. We're heading to Nashville next week and we're aiming for our first top-10 run. With a little luck, I think we'll make it possible."

-credit: csr

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Series ARCA
Drivers Billy Tanner