Tatnell Tames Knoxville: Scores First World of Outlaws Win Since 2008 in Opener of Mediacom Shootout Knoxville, IA- June 3, 2010- All Brooke Tatnell could think about as the laps wound down on Thursday night was when he was leading the ...
Tatnell Tames Knoxville: Scores First World of Outlaws Win Since 2008 in Opener of Mediacom Shootout
Knoxville, IA- June 3, 2010- All Brooke Tatnell could think about as the laps wound down on Thursday night was when he was leading the Mediacom Shootout in 2008 with the World of Outlaws at Knoxville Raceway, only to lose an engine with a handful of laps remaining. His car ran flawless this time around as he wired the field and held off a very hard charging Jason Meyers and Sammy Swindell at the end of the 25-lapper to score his first World of Outlaws win since 2008 and make up for his near miss at Knoxville two years ago.
Tatnell started on the pole after winning the dash with Meyers alongside him. Tatnell got the jump at the start to lead the field into turn one, though the only caution of the night flew before that lap was in the books, leading to a complete restart. On the second start Tatnell again paced the field into turn one and quickly opened a lead at the famed half-mile. On the white flag lap Meyers dove under Tatnell in turn one, but could not quite get enough of a run to make the pass and tried again in turn two. Tatnell wound up winning by a mere 0.761 seconds.
"It was definitely a good run and I'm really really proud of all of these guys," said Tatnell in Victory Lane. "We are a little team and anytime that a team that doesn't run week in and week out with the Outlaws gets up for a victory is pretty special."
The $10,000 win for Tatnell was the 10th of his career with the World of Outlaws, making him the 23rd driver in the 30-plus year history of the series to score double digit wins. It was his fourth career win at Knoxville, where he is also the track record holder in time trials, setting that mark in 2006.
"Pretty much what we learned in the first heat race is what it boiled down to and was similar," he noted of the start and complete restart on the opening lap. "The inside row won every start all night long and I had to make sure I got a good start. Jason (Meyers) is a good guy to race with and we just happened to run in there hard and slide across in front of him at the start."
By virtue of his win, Tatnell will start near the back of the field in Friday night's Hall of Fame Classic Presented by Mediacom which will feature an inversion of the Top-20 finishers from Thursday night, with $10,000 again awaiting the winner.
"It's going to be a lot tougher, that's for sure," stated the winner when asked about Friday's race. "I'll have to see what those guys behind us were doing, because they were chopping and dicing and passing all over the place. I started my career at the back of the field, because in Australia they started the fastest cars at the back. I got good laps in passing cars. We'll have to have our car good, because there will be no easy roads tomorrow night."
Meyers, who scored his first career World of Outlaws, win at Knoxville back in 2001 ended up second on Thursday night in the GLR Investments KPC. It was the 12th Top-Five finish of the season for Meyers and helped him move back into the second spot in the series championship standings as he chases his first title.
"Too little too late," said Meyers. "I found a little something there on the bottom in (turns) one and two. I went in there on that last lap with a shot at Brooke (Tatnell) and just didn't have enough angle on the corner to get it done. It was a good run for us tonight and we learned a few things and learned a few things for tomorrow night. We'll be starting deep in the field and will have to pass some race cars."
Sammy Swindell, who won a couple of weeks ago at Knoxville Raceway, finished third in the Big Game Treestands Maxim. The three-time World of Outlaws champion used a strong initial start to come from fourth to second and challenge Tatnell before the only caution of the night flew prior to that circuit being completed. On the complete restart, Swindell again got to second, but was not close enough to Tatnell to get a run on him.
"We kind of had a chance to win, but it didn't work out that way. I was really gaining on Brooke (Tatnell) and had to fend off Jason (Meyers)," stated Swindell. "Had we had that first start, the whole race would have been different. I showed him how to start it and it kind of hurt me a little bit. We had a car that could, but that's racing. We'll work on it and try to make it a little better."
Following the opening lap caution, the rest of the race ran non-stop in just a tick over seven-and-a-half minutes from green to checker. It was the second consecutive race for the World of Outlaws that saw 25 straight green flag laps, which didn't really surprise Meyers, who did everything he could late in the going to catch and pass Tatnell.
"Here at Knoxville you get that quite often and you get good race car drivers and a nice wide track where you can stay out of trouble," explained the native of Clovis, California. "It wasn't too surprising, but these cars were tough up around the cushion tonight and we were able to see who stayed in the seat and who didn't."
The leaders found themselves in lapped traffic for most of the race, with Tatnell keeping a lapped car between him and the runner-up on numerous occasions as he was able to charge around the high side of the track to clear the slower machines. Early in the race Swindell was able to catch Tatnell in traffic, though he had an epic battle with Meyers and Joey Saldana later in the contest, which allowed Tatnell to pull away each time.
"It was just traffic tonight and if I could have had eight feet, I could have gotten by him clean and had a big run and I don't think those other guys would have had a chance to get up there and pass me," Swindell explained. "Most of the time in the race we had to play a little defense and I couldn't just run my offense, but that's the way it goes."
Jason Sides followed up his win last Sunday night in Pennsylvania with a fourth-place finish aboard the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim to score his ninth Top-Five finish of the season and move into the fourth spot in points in the process.
Joey Saldana, the current World of Outlaws point leader, finished fifth in the Budweiser Maxim to earn his series leading 16th Top-Five finish of the season.
Steve Kinser came home sixth in the Bass Prop Shops Maxim to score his series leading 21st Top-10 finish, with Danny Lasoski seventh aboard the Casey's General Store JEI. Lance Dewease was eighth in the Advanced Development Services J&J. Kerry Madsen was ninth piloting the Halls Haulage KPC. Craig Dollansky came all the way from 24th to 10th after switching to a backup car before the main event to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award in the Big Game Treestands Maxim.
The Hall of Fame Classic Presented by Mediacom is on-tap on Friday, June 4 which will consist of an inverted feature of the Top-20 finishers from Thursday night's race.
MEDIACOM SHOOTOUT NOTES
* FAST QUALIFIER: Danny Lasoski paced the 45 cars that took time with an AMB i.t. timed lap around the semi-banked half-mile oval at 14.924 seconds at 120.611 mph. For his qualifying effort, Lasoski earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including: Joey Saldana (4), Paul McMahan (3), Steve Kinser (2) and Kerry Madsen (1).
* KNOXVILLE RACEWAY QUALIFYING WINNERS: Jason Meyers, Brooke Tatnell, Ed Lynch Jr. and Lance Dewease won heat races. Brooke Tatnell won the dash. Brian Brown won the Last Chance Showdown.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 22 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series A-Feature events held in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, Tri-State (Okla.) Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Thunderbowl Raceway, Volunteer Speedway, I-55 Raceway and Eldora Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park and The Dirt Track at Charlotte), Jason Sides (Houston Raceway Park and Tri-City Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (Paducah International Raceway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway) and Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway).
* HALF-MILE WINNERS: Knoxville Raceway is a semi-banked half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws have raced 13 times at a track that size in 2010. The winners include: Jason Meyers (The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and I-96 Speedway), Steve Kinser (Volusia Speedway Park and Jackson Speedway), Craig Dollansky (Lone Star Speedway), Chad Layton (Williams Grove Speedway), Paul McMahan (Eldora Speedway), Joey Saldana (Eldora Speedway), Jason Sides (Tri-City Speedway), Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove Speedway), Donny Schatz (Volusia Speedway Park) and Brooke Tatnell (Knoxville Raceway).