JOPLIN, MO (September 27, 2002) - Brooke Tatnell of New South Wales, Australia moved one step closer to winning the 2002 NCRA 410 Outlaw Sprint Championship with a convincing victory in the 20-lap O'Reilly NCRA/All Star Sprint car feature at...
JOPLIN, MO (September 27, 2002) - Brooke Tatnell of New South Wales, Australia moved one step closer to winning the 2002 NCRA 410 Outlaw Sprint Championship with a convincing victory in the 20-lap O'Reilly NCRA/All Star Sprint car feature at Joplin 66 Speedway Friday night driving Court Grandstaff's Trop Artic sponsored Gaerte powered Eagle.
It was coincidental that the top two drivers in both series point standings Tatnell, Wright, Kemenah and Kenny Jacobs started on the first two rows by virtue of the six-car invert. Tatnell started outside pole and took the point at the drop of the green with nine-time NCRA champion Gary Wright in tow. Wright dived under Tatnell off turn three on lap two to move to the front but Tatnell returned the favor with a backstretch pass on lap four.
While Tatnell started to pull away Wright, running second, and Chad Kemenah, running third, put on the best show of the night exchanging second place several times throughout the race with Kemenah taking over for good with five laps to go. He made a last ditch effort for the lead when Tatnell slipped on the final lap as the duo headed off turn two. Kemenah stuck his nose under Tatnell but he couldn't muster the pass and settled in second four car lengths behind at the checker. Wrights motor faulted on the white flag lap allowing Kelly Kinser of Bloomington, Indiana to take over fourth and Dean Jacobs was fifth.
"Chad could get into the corners better but I could get off better until the end when the motor started missing." Tatnell said, "The track was pretty racy, Chad almost took it out of my hands running around the bottom. I can't say enough about Court & Sarah they have given me a great car and we have been very lucky and had some great goings. "When you can run on the top and the bottom can be as fast you know it is a good race track."
Unfortunately cut tires was the name of the game as several drivers cut tires from debris and rocks in the tracks surface. The race contained four yellows and one red flag when Dan Oswalt flipped between turns three and four on lap seven. Oswalt was not injured. At the same time both Travis Rilat and Greg Wilson cut down tires. Rilat changed his on the red and restarted in the rear while Wilson retired for the night. Danny Smith was running sixth on lap fifteen when he stopped in turn two with a broken driveline ending his night and Kenny Jacobs left the race on lap nineteen when the rear end gears let go.
Jan Howard of Byhalia, MS who cut a tire down in his heat race led flag to flag to win the twelve-lap B feature over Barry Ruble, Jeff Shepard, Bruce Robenalt and Jon Agan. Shepard lost a motor in hot laps, timed poorly with a new one, scratched from his heat but came back to a seventh place finish in the A feature.
Derek Beckman, Jerrod Wilson and Dean Jacobs won qualifying heats.