By Justin Zoch
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
May 22, 2010
It wasn’t easy and it took a little luck but Brooke Tatnell roared to his second IRA win of the young season on Saturday night at Rice Lake Speedway in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. Tatnell started fourth in the 22-car field and it was polesitter Travis Whitney who was the show for the first 2/3rds of the event. Whitney, making his first start of the 2010 season, jumped off the pole position and opened up a large lead while Mike Reinke, John Haeni and Tatnell swapped spots behind him.
On lap 15, Haeni did a 360 spin just off turn four and, despite continuing, brought out a mandatory yellow flag. Haeni would charge back to tenth. Seven laps later, the battle for the lead was on between Whitney, Tatnell and Reinke when Andy Hunt looped his number 9A in turn three in front of the leaders. Whitney went high, Tatnell went low and Reinke tagged the concrete and flipped while trying to avoid. The IRA point leader was finished for the evening.
Following a few restarts, Travis Whitney led the field back into action with just eight circuits remaining but soon dropped out with a flat left rear tire. Whitney was unable to get safely off the racetrack and brought out another yellow flag. On the restart, Tatnell got a great jump and cruised to the win. Scott Neitzel, who had two wins and two fifths in IRA action at Rice Lake prior to this stop, held off 16th-starting Bill Balog for third. Balog, from nearby Eau Claire, Wisconsin, drew large cheers from the partisans in the stands. Although the box score shows fourth place runner Steve Meyer advancing from sixth to fourth, he was involved in a turn one tangle with John Vandenberg on lap two and restarted at the tail. Meyer ripped through the field and nabbed Jerry Richert Jr. at the stripe for fourth.
The IRA brought 24 cars to Rice Lake Speedway for their first visit of the 2010 season. Superior, Wisconsin’s Duane Olson scratched prior to hot laps and Scott Beirtzer was finished with engine woes after qualifying. Heat races winners included Meyer, Vandenberg and Kris Spitz.
For more information on the IRA Sprint Cars, log on to www.irasprints.com.
Osborne and Sons Trucking Qualifications
Quick Time: Brooke Tatnell 12.565
Weld Racing Heat Race #1: 85M Steve Meyer (2), 2. 59 Brooke Tatnell (6), 3. 3K Scott Uttech (1), 4. 68 Dave Uttech (4), 5. 9 Travis Whitney (5), 6. 53W Bill Wirth (3), 7. 10V Matt Vandevere (7)
Lane Automotive Heat Race #2: 1. K9 John Vandenberg (2), 2. 2W Scott Nietzel (4), 3. 23 Russel Borland (1), 4. 02 Mike Reinke (6), 5. 2B1 Jimmy Sivia (7), 6. 1M Phillip Mock (3), 7. 17B Bill Balog DNF (5)
DMI/King Racing Heat Race #3: 1. 4k Kris Spitz (4), 2. 8A Nick Alden (2), 3. 14AJ Wayne Modjeski (1), 4. 63 Jerry Richert Jr. (3), 5. 21J John Haeni (6) 6. 2B Billy Hafemann (5), 7. 94 Brandon Thone (7) 8. 9A Andy Hunt (8)
1. Brooke Tatnell (4), 2. Scott Neitzel (3), 3. Bill Balog (16), 4. Steve Meyer (6), 5. Jerry Richert Jr. (7), 6. Nick Alden (11), 7. Kris Spitz (8), 8. Billy Hafemann (17), 9. Phillip Mock (19), 10. John Haeni (2), 11. Scott Uttech (12), 12. Bill Wirth (18), 13. Russel Borland (13), 14. Wayne Modjeski (14), 15. John Vandenberg (5), 16. Matt Vandervere (22), 17. Andy Hunt (20), 18. Brandon Thone (21), 19. Jimmy Sivia (15), 20. Travis Whitney DNF (1), 21. Mike Reinke DNF (3), 22. Dave Uttech (10)