Tatnell Runs 14th in Hoosier Sprint Nationals KOKOMO, IN (June 5) -- Brooke Tatnell recorded his 14th top-15 finish of the season Tuesday, driving the ...
Tatnell Runs 14th in Hoosier Sprint Nationals
KOKOMO, IN (June 5) -- Brooke Tatnell recorded his 14th top-15 finish of the season Tuesday, driving the #2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Schnee into 14th place in the World of Outlaws' Hoosier Sprint Nationals at Kokomo Speedway.
The five-time World Series Sprintcar champion recorded his fourth-best qualifying effort of the season and passed pole-sitter Randy Hannagan during the opening lap of the First Heat Race. He had problems lapping Jamie Frederickson with two laps remaining, however, and had to settle for fifth place in the race -- and the 12th starting position in the "A" Feature -- after Daryn Pittman, Joey Saldana, Hannagan and fast-qualifier Jeremy Campbell passed him. Finishing first or second in the heat race would have qualified Tatnell for the Crane Cams Dash, where he could have significantly improved his starting position in the 40-lap main event.
"The qualifying system hurt us a bit, but it's the same for everybody," Tatnell said. "We qualified decent and found an issue we've been chasing in our motors. I think we rectified that, so we're happy with that aspect of the equation.
"We were racing around and just came up on a slower racecar that was a fair amount off the pace (in the heat race). We got up behind him and had to go to the bottom where it was slicker. I'd have liked to gone to the top where the car was more maneuverable, but that wasn't possible. I checked up and we got tagged from behind. I don't think it was a deliberate move, but it pushed us into the fence and slowed us down. When you go from first to fifth, it doesn't help your starting position in the 'A.'
"It seems to typify our year a little bit. It's been up and down and inconsistent. We're still trying to get all the pieces to puzzle put together. We're playing a bit of catch-up, but we'll get there. It's good to have Larry (Woodward, the team's owner) out on the road with us for a month so he can see how hard everyone's working at this. It's not like everyone's not putting out 120% effort. Unfortunately, if you're not at the racetrack, you don't understand the circumstances of why things are happening."
There may not be a better place to turn Woodward Racing's fortunes around than Eagle Raceway. Tatnell was the World of Outlaws' most consistent driver at the high-banked, 1/3-mile oval last season, finishing second in two "A" Features and fifth in the other. He led 38 of 40 laps and was the runner-up behind Donny Schatz in the 1/3-Mile Short-Track Nationals last September 15th, and set fast-time and followed Pittman under the checkered flag in the Eagle Nationals last June 10th.
"We're looking forward to going there," Tatnell said. "We're finding little bits and pieces and fixing little problems here and there. We're just trying to rectify everything, and that's what it's going to take. Eagle is a little short-track bullring. We've been good there in the past, and we definitely need a good run right now. Our confidence has been knocked about and we've been a little frustrated, so we're looking for a confidence-booster. We believe our dedication will get us through all the hardships."