From Inside Line Promotions
SANTA MARIA, Calif. (May 8) – You can’t win every weekend.
Although don’t tell that to Tommy Tarlton, who was the runner-up on Saturday at Santa Maria Speedway in Santa Maria, Calif., with the ASCS Southern California Region.
“I wish it was a more exciting weekend,” said Tarlton, who also finished 19th on Friday at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif. “Winning is fun. Not winning is not fun.”
The Easton, Calif., sprint car driver was victorious in the first two ASCS Southern California races the past two weekends and still leads the region’s point standings.
On Saturday, Tarlton was one of only four sprint car pilots to compete, which threw a wrench into the format. The region decided to have a qualifying showdown, meaning each of the four drivers would qualify in elimination rounds. The top three would advance to the next round and so on until a champion was crowned. Tarlton was the quickest of each segment and earned the fast qualifier title.
He was then relegated to start last in the 20-lap feature. Tarlton quickly moved up to second, but was unable to complete a pass on Cory Eliason, who snapped Tarlton’s winning streak.
“On a restart I went to the bottom going into turn one,” Tarlton said of the battle for the lead on lap 11. “We were even off the backstretch, but there was a little bit of wet stuff up near the wall he was able to get a hold of. I pulled even off turn four, but since I had the lower line, I didn’t have enough momentum to get up next to him going into turn one and that was my best opportunity.”
That was the highlight of the weekend for Tarlton, who failed to finish his Ocean Sprints’ event Friday night after sustaining too much damage on a crash during the third lap.
Tarlton, who entered the race as the point’s leader of the series, was challenging for a top-five position after starting ninth. However, contact with another driver prompted his car to pop a wheelie down the backstretch. When he got the car back under control, a driver had spun out in turn three and Tarlton was caught up in the accident.
The impact ended his night early and dropped him to second in the Ocean Sprints’ standings – only seven points behind leader Ronnie Day.
Tarlton will get his opportunity for redemption on Friday at Ocean Speedway, site of the next Ocean Sprints’ race. He will also compete in the Pombo/Sargent Classic on Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., with the King of the West Sprint Car Series.
QUICK RESULTS –
May 6 – Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif. – Qualifying: 9; Heat race: 3 (2); Feature: 19 (9).
May 7 – Santa Maria Speedway in Santa Maria, Calif. – Qualifying: 1; Feature: 2 (4).
SEASON STATS –
10 races, 10 features, 2 wins, 7 top fives, 7 top 10s, 7 top 15s, 9 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Friday at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., with the Ocean Sprints and Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., with the King of the West Sprint Car Series
FAVORITE NUMBER –
5: Top-two finishes for Tarlton in his last six races.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –
Tarlton has black t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats, and white women’s shirts available for purchase at every race he attends. For information on where you can get them, visit http://www.tarltonandson.com/tarlton-racing-schedule.