Tatnell Passes 11 Cars in Hardee's Southbound Showdown WOODSTOCK, GA (March 31) -- Brooke Tatnell was the World of Outlaws' hardest-charging driver in Saturday's Hardee's Southbound Showdown at Dixie Speedway, driving Woodward Racing's ...
Tatnell Passes 11 Cars in Hardee's Southbound Showdown
WOODSTOCK, GA (March 31) -- Brooke Tatnell was the World of Outlaws' hardest-charging driver in Saturday's Hardee's Southbound Showdown at Dixie Speedway, driving Woodward Racing's #2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Schnee past 11 cars.
The 14th-place finish, only the second time Woodward Racing has finished out of the top 12 in 11 races this season, has the Volcano Joe's team seventh in the World of Outlaws point standings. Tatnell is 11 points behind 2001 series champion Danny Lasoski and 29 points ahead of 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser.
Tatnell was the 22nd-fastest qualifier in the 33-car field, .788 seconds off Donny Schatz's pace-setting, 101.695-MPH lap around Dixie's high-banked, 3/8-mile oval.
"I think it was just driver error in qualifying," Tatnell said. "I tried to run too perfect a lap and played it too safe and didn't get aggressive enough. All I could do is sit there and listen to the cars in qualifying. When I listened to their motors, they all sounded like they were backpedaling. We out-qualified the guys whose motors I was listening to, those who went out before us. But, as qualifying went on, guys got more aggressive. Shaffer led the way by moving around, and other guys did the same as the track started taking a little bit of rubber toward the end. We had a good enough car; I just didn't get aggressive enough."
A sixth-place finish in the Second Heat Race forced Tatnell to try to qualify for the main event through the "B" Feature.
"We were pretty decent in the heat race," Tatnell said. "In the first corner, we just went in there and the 15H car (Sam Hafertepe, Jr.) got a little loose and I had to check up. We lost some ground and positions there. We chased back up through there, but we didn't transfer."
Zach Chappell collided with Paul McMahan, Jeremy Scott and Tatnell early in the "B" Feature, causing the #2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Schnee to turn on its side. Woodward Racing's crew quickly replaced the car's front axle to enable Tatnell to restart the race, but his seventh-place finish kept the team from qualifying for the "A" Feature.
"Zach Chappell is a much better driver than what he's shown," Tatnell said. "I think he's driving in desperation. He hit the grease and McMahan came down on him. The grease had been there since 3:00 in the afternoon, and it wasn't magically going to disappear. Yeah, he hit the grease, but you have to use common sense. We had a good racecar, but it fell on its side in the collision. It knocked the front axle out and moved some pieces around. Troy (Renfro, Woodward Racing's crew chief) did a good job of getting us back out. I'm thankful that Paul McMahan's crew guys jumped in there and helped us, too. It just shows the camaraderie we have out there. We may be fierce competitors, but people jump in and help each other out."
Tatnell used the team's second provisional of the season and started 25th in the 30-lap main event. The three-time defending Australian Sprintcar champion raced past six cars during the first half of the race. After barely missing Tim Kaeding, who stopped on the back straightaway late in the 17th lap, Tatnell moved forward five more positions.
"I think ours was one of the only cars that went forward in the feature," Tatnell said. "I know we're a way better team that what we're showing though. It's just going to take us some more time to get things together. We should be doing a better job with the equipment we have."