Tatnell Returns, Races Past 10 Cars at Lowe's CONCORD, NC (May 25) -- Brooke Tatnell was in mid-season form Friday when he returned to cockpit of Woodward Racing's ...
Tatnell Returns, Races Past 10 Cars at Lowe's
CONCORD, NC (May 25) -- Brooke Tatnell was in mid-season form Friday when he returned to cockpit of Woodward Racing's #2 Volcano Joe's Coffee Schnee.
The five-time World Series Sprintcar champion raced past 10 cars on his way to a sixth-place finish in the Eckerd Outlaw Showdown -- run before a record crowd at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway -- after missing eight races to visit his late father in Australia.
Although he wasn't at his best in the qualifying session -- his 114.068-MPH lap around the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval was the 16th-fastest in the 26-car field -- Tatnell recorded his ninth top-10 finish of the season.
"We raced really hard," Tatnell said. "We had a problem in qualifying; there was a vibration in one of the tires. You can't afford to make any mistakes in qualifying, so that put us off a little bit. But we put together a really good run in the feature. We were up to third, but we blew a right rear shock out with five (laps) to go. It was a rough racetrack -- it was really a handful. Then we slapped the fence with two to go. We'll take sixth place, but we know it wasn't a sixth place. It was a good team effort.
"Everybody else was on the bottom so, like the laws of life, you can't follow. You can't be successful in racing or business by following, so we took a chance. It was similar to the racetrack I grew up on; it was rough up high and slick on the bottom. We just got up on the cushion and went through the holes."
Tatnell passed nine cars during the first nine laps, and raced around Danny Lasoski for third place during a mid-race restart. Tony Bruce Jr. and Steve Kinser got by Brooke when the #2 bounced off the outside retaining wall with 1 ½ laps remaining.
"I didn't expect anything else from our team," Tatnell said proudly. "That's how it is in racing; you just have to step right back up. Everybody on the team is feeling better now, and we're regaining confidence in ourselves. We just have to put some wins on the board. Timmy (Kaeding, the team's substitute driver) ran some seconds and thirds, but he also had a couple in the 20s. We've done that ourselves this year. We just have to get to where we're running consistently and put ourselves in position to win races."
The Eckerd Outlaw Showdown was taped for a June 10th telecast on SPEED.
Woodward Racing will be back in action Monday -- Memorial Day -- at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, a slightly banked, 5/8-mile oval in Elbridge, NY.
Tatnell raced into seventh place at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on June 2, 2005.
When asked about Rolling Wheels, Tatnell said, "It's not one of my favorite tracks, but we've had some decent runs there. We hope to get out of there with a good finish."