From Gary Thomas, image courtesy of John’s Racing Photos
Watsonville, CA – September 27, 2010…With the season slowly coming to an end Easton, California’s Tommy Tarlton gave his chances at a second consecutive Ocean Sprints title a big shot in the arm, topping a strong field of entrants for victory this past Friday night at the Ocean Speedway.
By winning the main event Tarlton also became the first driver to reach four wins on the season with the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo and now possesses a 30-point lead over young Kyle Larson with just two races remaining.
“We’ve been really consistent at Ocean recently, but hadn’t won a main event here in a while so it’s awesome to get back in victory lane and I can’t thank my guys enough for giving me a great car,” said Tarlton. “We’re just trying to go out there every week and race as hard as we can and hopefully we can finish off another championship after these final couple races.”
The event on Friday marked the second of two Ocean Sprints vs. California Sprint Car Civil War Series events this season and featured a solid 37-car field on hand with both groups coming together at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds quarter-mile.
Tarlton opened the night by coming out third in the qualifying order and cut the third fastest lap of the session behind only Larson and Tim Kaeding. The veteran driver then finished sixth in his heat race putting him into the b-main, where he brought home a second place finish to transfer the Corporate America Lending, Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Sharp Insurance No. 21 into the main event.
Starting from row three in the feature Tarlton moved up to fourth on lap seven when front runners Kaeding and Larson came together in turn three, after Kaeding had spun sideways entering the corner. A number of slowdowns early in the race caused things to come to a near standstill, but when the action got going it was well worth the wait as multi-groove racing was seen all over the speedway.
Looking to fight his way to the front Tarlton sliced past Evan Suggs to grab third on lap 11 and then made the move by Andy Gregg for second with 15-circuits complete. Closing in quickly on leader Mike Henry he hounded the rear bumper of the No. 18 sprint car and tried desperately to find a way around for a number of laps. As the race neared its end Tarlton got the chance he needed and charged by Henry to take the lead on lap 23, while at the same time Kaeding had followed along coming all the way back to second.
Just after taking the lead the caution flag would wave, which took the leaders out of traffic and on a final pair of restarts Tarlton hit his marks perfectly and proceeded to drive away for the big victory after 30-laps of racing. The win also marked his fourth podium finish in a row with the Ocean Sprints behind the wheel of the Paul Baines wrenched Tarlton & Son Inc., BG Lubricants No. 21 Maxim.
“I have to say what a great job by Tim Kaeding to come all the way back to second after that early race deal, but it’s good to come out on top because it seems like we’ve finished second to him a million times this year,” Tarlton joked. “We love running at Ocean Speedway and have to thank John Prentice and everyone again for giving us such a great track to race at.”
Tarlton will return to competition with the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo on Friday October 8 for the penultimate round of the year at Ocean Speedway, before getting ready for the season finale on Friday October 15. One night after finishing off the Ocean Sprints year he will then head for the annual Cotton Classic at the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway in Hanford on October 16.
For more on Tommy Tarlton and Tarlton & Son Inc. log onto http://www.tarltonandson.com/