Russ Tuttle IRP race notes

Tuttle escapes serious injury at IRP. CLERMONT, Ind. (October 1, 2002) - Russ Tuttle was hoping he would be the hometown favorite for this past Saturday evening's American Speed Association (ASA) event held at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP).

Tuttle escapes serious injury at IRP.

CLERMONT, Ind. (October 1, 2002) - Russ Tuttle was hoping he would be the hometown favorite for this past Saturday evening's American Speed Association (ASA) event held at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP). Unfortunately, despite the Indiana native's popularity with the fans, the track didn't show as much enthusiasm for the Deputy Sheriff. On lap 146 of the 200-lap event, Tuttle cut a tire and went flying into the turn two wall.

The damage to the car was extensive enough that the No. 16 team will be forced to borrow a car for this weekend's event. Minor League baseball player Rich Gardner will loan his racecar to Tuttle for the last event of 2002 season. While Tuttle is pleased to have a car to drive, he knows that the new machine will take a little time to get used to. In the past, Tuttle has driven a Lefthander chassis car, while Gardner's car is built around a Port City chassis.

"It really is a shame that I couldn't finish out the year in my Chevy," remarked Tuttle. "That car [the Chevy] has been with me for every event this year except the race at Odessa and I really have a good idea of how it responds to different set-ups." This past weekend's accident marks the second time in 2002 Tuttle's favorite car has been annihilated. Earlier this year at Elko (Minn.) Speedway, Tuttle was involved in an accident that sent the No. 16 Chevy onto its hood and spinning down the frontstretch of the track.

In addition to the damage his car suffered, Tuttle himself didn't leave the accident unharmed. Following the incident, medical personnel quickly rushed to the scene to check Tuttle for injuries. After a quick examination, Tuttle was escorted off the half-mile track in an ambulance. Luckily, Tuttle's injuries were limited to several bruises.

Despite his black and blue status, as well as the loss of his car, Tuttle will be present on the starting grid for this weekend's Winchester 400 at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway. Tuttle is excited to return to the track. In 2001, the No. 16 Conseco car crossed the finish line in sixth.

The National Network will air the Winchester 400 live this Sunday, October 6 beginning at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. While Tuttle will be on the track, it may take fans a few laps to find him. Instead of the familiar green shade, the No. 16 will be cutting laps sporting a gray paint scheme.

-eh-

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