From Tony Veneziano and Bill W
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).
Danny Lasoski (4th car out to time) set quick time with a lap of 14.924 seconds. It was advantageous to get out early tonight. Joey Saldana (6th car out) was second quick, followed by Paul McMahan (9th), Steve Kinser (12th), Kerry Madsen (1st), Brian Brown (5th), Jason Sides (8th), Sammy Swindell (11th), Jason Meyers (17th) and Dusty Zomer (2nd). Davey Heskin failed to get a time in. Daryn Pittman (33rd), Ed Lynch Jr. (32nd) and Lance Dewease (30th) were the only cars to come out semi-late and make the invert.
Heat one (started): 1. Meyers 14 (2) 2. Craig Dollansky 7 (5) 3. Madsen 3 (3) 4. Lasoski 6 (4) 5. Toni Lutar 4x (10) / 6. Mark Dobmeier 13L (11) 7. Robby Wolfgang 7K (6) 8. Bronson Maeschen 1J (9) 9. Ryan Bunton 6R (8) 10. Mike Deavers 72 (7) 11. Skip Jackson 2 (1) DNS – Sid Blandford Jr. 7x
Jackson led the 8-lapper throughout and was cruising to a win when he went up in smoke while taking the white flag, ending his night. Meyers assumed the lead and Dollansky used the double-file restart to get by Madsen for the second and final dash transfer. Lutar worked by Wolfgang on the restart for the final transfer.
Heat two (started): 1. Brooke Tatnell 59 (1) 2. Saldana 9 (4) 3. Zomer 91x (2) 4. Tyler Walker 17 (5) 5. Josh Schneiderman 49J (6) / 6. Ian Madsen 55 (11) 7. Johnny Herrera 2w (10) 8. Brown 21 (3) 9. Erin Crocker 98 (9) 10. Randy Hannagan 1x (8) 11. Rager Phillips 10 (7)
Tatnell led early, and one lap was in the books when Phillips got upside down in turn four. On the restart, Brown was riding the cushion in two, when he felt the right rear of Saldana and was sent hard into the wall and upside down. The accident collected Crocker, who was done for the night. Tatnell took the pole on the restart, with Zomer beside him. Saldana and Zomer traded second before Saldana prevailed. Schneiderman snatched the final transfer, while Tatnell drove away from everyone.
Heat three (started): 1. Ed Lynch Jr. 2L (1) 2. Sides 7s (3) 3. Daryn Pittman 13 (2) 4. Donny Schatz 15 (7) 5. McMahan 91 (4) / 6. Don Droud Jr. 47 (6) 7. Adam Wilt 15x (5) 8. Jac Haudenschild R19 (8) 9. Sam Hafertepe Jr. 15H (10) 10. Cale Conley 3c (9) 11. Ben Gregg 2B (11)
Gregg spun before a lap could get in. Lynch took off from the field to lead flag to flag. Sides came back from a motor change after hot laps to grab a dash transfer. Schatz had to scramble to get in a transfer spot. He slid in front of Droud at the midway point, and got by McMahan late.
Heat four (started): 1. Lance Dewease 30c (1) 2. Swindell 1 (3) 3. S. Kinser 11 (4) 4. Chad Kemenah 63 (2) 5. Lucas Wolfe 5w (7) / 6. Brian Ellenberger 22 (5) 7. Brad Sweet 49 (6) 8. Austin McCarl 17a (8) 9. Kraig Kinser 11K (10) 10. Mike Moore 69 (9) DNS – Lynton Jeffrey 12
Dewease led the distance. Swindell dueled with S. Kinser early and took the second spot. Wolfe had a good race with Ellenberger to grab the final transfer.
Dash (started): 1. Tatnell (2) 2. Meyers (3) 3. Lynch Jr. (1) 4. Swindell (4) 5. Lasoski (8) 6. Saldana (7) 7. Sides (5) 8. McMahan (6) 9. Dewease (9) 10. Dollansky (10)
Dollansky stopped on the front chute after a lap was completed. Lynch had led lap one and looked good out front. He opted for the outside start when the green flew again, and it proved a mistake. Tatnell got the jump from the pole and never looked back, and Meyers slid in front of Lynch for second.
B main (started): 1. Brown (1) 2. Haudenschild (10) 3. Wilt (2) 4. Sweet (6) / 5. Dobmeier (15) 6. Hannagan (9) 7. McCarl (11) 8. Ellenberger (3) 9. Droud Jr. (5) 10. K. Kinser (16) 11. Maeschen (12) 12. Wolfgang (4) 13. Herrera (14) 14. Heskin (19) 15. Moore (20) 16. Bunton (8) 17. Deavers (7) 18. Conley (13) 19. Gregg (17) 20. I. Madsen (18) DNS – Hafertepe Jr., Jeffrey, Jackson, Crocker, Phillips, Blandford Jr.
Deavers front end was damaged after contact and he spun in front of the field, collecting, Conley and I. Madsen in a pile. Gregg was also caught in the melee, and all were done. After that, Brown dominated the non-stop 12-lapper. Haudenschild was the show though. Using several big-time slidejobs he moved froward from 10th to second. Wilt battled with Sweet late and the two almost made contact coming out of four for the white flag. Dobmeier also had an impressive charge by capturing fifth on the last lap. He would use a track provisional for the feature.
A main (started): 1. Tatnell (1) 2. Meyers (2) 3. Swindell (4) 4. Sides (7) 5. Saldana (6) 6. S. Kinser (10) 7. Lasoski (5) 8. Dewease (9) 9. K. Madsen (11) 10. Dollansky (24) 11. McMahan (8) 12. Sweet (17) 13. Schatz (20) 14. Kemenah (13) 15. Wolfe (22) 16. Walker (16) 17. K. Kinser (23, pr.) 18. Dobmeier (26, pr.) 19. Brown (12) 20. Haudenschild (19) 21. Schneiderman (18) 22. Hafertepe Jr. (25, pr.) 23. Lynch Jr. (3) 24. Wilt (15) 25. Lutar (21) 26. Zomer (27) 27. Pittman (14)
Pittman got caught over the cushion in turn one, hit the wall hard, and helicoptered. He was done. Zomer elected for the rear and pulled off after the restart. Tatnell took off from the pole, while a torrid battle for second, third and fourth had everyone’s attention. Swindell grabbed second from Meyers early on, and those two would battle. Soon Saldana was in the mix, and you could throw a blanket over them. Swindell and Saldana battled for second, with Saldana eventually grabbing it with a wicked slider that had Swindell hard on the brakes. Both would take shots at Tatnell, but come up short. Meyers worked by Swindell, and Saldana jumped the cushion in the late stages after a slider from Meyers, to set up the top five. Dollansky was the hard-charger after starting 24th after changing a motor. Tatnell’s win was worth $10,000 and was his fourth career trip to Victory Lane at Knoxville. He didn’t have brakes the last half of the race.
Heat one (started): 1. Randy Smith 66 (1) 2. Marty Stephenson 36 (2) 3. Matt Stephenson 55 (3) 4. Bob Lamb 47 (4) 5. Matthew Stelzer 99 (5) 6. Bobby Mincer 14s (8) 7. Bob Hildreth 55KC (3) 8. J Kinder 88 (7)
Heat two (started): 1. Tasker Phillips 7TAZ (1) 2. Mark Johnson 45 (4) 3. Chris Mallicoat 22 (5) 4. Bill Smith 33 (3) 5. Alan Ambers 93A (6) 6. Ray Evernham 19 (2) DNS – Dusty Clark 16
Heat three (started): 1. Tim St. Arnold 36s (1) 2. Mitchell Alexander 6 (3) 3. Mark Widmar 7w (2) 4. Steve Breazeale 57 (6) 5. Chad Huston 7c (4) 6. Jamie Ball 5J (5) 7. Casie Shilling 16c (7)
A main (started): 1. R. Smith (1) 2. Phillips (2) 3. St. Arnold (3) 4. Breazeale (12) 5. Stelzer (13) 6. Matt Stephenson (7) 7. Kinder (19) 8. Widmar (9) 9. Huston (15) 10. Alexander (6) 11. Marty Stephenson (4) 12. Mincer (16) 13. Ball (18) 14. Mallicoat (8) 15. Hildreth (17) 16. Van Haaften (11) 17. Clark (21) 18. Ambers (14) 19. Shilling (20) 20. Lamb (10) 21. Johnson (5) DNS – Evernham
Phillips got out to a good lead, but the veteran R. Smith, who has six 410 track championships at Knoxville, waited for traffic and rode the rim by Phillips, who was caught behind a lap car at the halfway point, to his first career 305 win. He has 35 410 wins and a Masters Classic victory. Kinder was the hard-charger.