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– EDNA, Texas (May 15) – It had been awhile since he celebrated, so Channin Tankersley wanted to make sure he covered all the bases.
“I did some donuts, climbed the fence and did the wing dance,” he said with a smile. “I pretty much knocked all three of them out in once.”
And who could blame the 20-year-old from Highlands, Texas, after he recorded his first victory of the season last Friday at Golden Triangle Raceway Park in Beaumont, Texas, with the ASCS Gulf South Region.
Entering last weekend, Tankersley had failed to finish five of his eight events this season because of either a mechanical failure or being caught up in someone else’s wreck. Three of those five came while he was in the top five.
“It’s been a really, really bad and rough start,” Tankersley said. “This is probably one of the worst starts I’ve had.
“The win was a confidence boost for me. For what I’ve gone through this season, there aren’t words to describe that win.”
Tankersley won his heat race to earn a place in the redraw, which he pulled a seven to line up on the inside of the fourth row for the feature.
He climbed up to third on the first lap before a caution came out, reverting the field to its original start. Tankersley again rocketed to a solid start as he drove to fourth. He then rode around in that position before a caution around lap eight.
Tankersley picked up a position on the restart and maintained third place until the final caution with approximately a dozen laps remaining.
“Everybody dove to the bottom going into turn one on that restart,” Tankersley said. “I went to the top and got a good run, which moved me past Gary Taylor for second place.”
Tankersley then chased down Travis Rilat and made a similar move past the veteran amid lapped traffic with three laps to go. As Rilat slowed behind a lapped car on the bottom of turn one, Tankersley hammered the gas and went to the cushion.
The duo came off turn two even, but Tankersley had more momentum and the preferred line off the backstretch. He took the lead and drove away for his sixth career sprint car win.
The momentum continued on Saturday at Texana Raceway Park in Edna, Texas, where Tankersley finished fourth in the ASCS Gulf South event.
Like the night before, Tankersley won his heat race and started seventh in the feature.
“I got up to fourth again right off the start,” he said. “The track was really dry. There was just a little bit of moisture on the bottom to get a left rear tire on, but you had to be right on the bottom.”
After a red flag on the second lap, Tankersley pulled a slide job for third place on the restart. But that was negated when another red flag was waved during that lap. Tankersley tried the same move on the restart, but he caught a pocket of water as he dove to the bottom in turn one and the car washed up the track.
He lost a spot and a straightaway to the leaders. Tankersley regained fourth place on the ensuing lap and chased down the leaders on the final lap, but ultimately settled for his third top-five finish of the season.
“The leaders were close at the end,” he said. “I was right on third place’s bumper and he was about two car lengths between first and second, who were running side by side.”
Tankersley climbed from 10th to sixth in the ASCS Gulf South points and he is only 15 points out of the top five.
He will take this weekend off before returning to action with a three-day ASCS Gulf South event throughout Texas on Memorial Day Weekend. The racing begins May 27 at Golden Triangle Raceway Park in Beaumont, followed by Gator Motorplex in Willis on May 28 and Speedarama Raceway in Lufkin on May 29.
QUICK RESULTS –
May 13 – Golden Triangle Raceway Park in Beaumont, Texas – Heat race: 1 (2); Feature: 1 (7).
May 14 – Texana Raceway Park in Edna, Texas – Heat race: 1 (1); Feature: 4 (7).
SEASON STATS –
10 races, 8 features, 1 win, 3 top fives, 3 top 10s, 4 top 15s, 7 top 20s
UP NEXT –
May 27 at Golden Triangle Raceway Park in Beaumont, Texas; May 28 at Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas; and May 29 at Speedarama Raceway in Lufkin, Texas – all ASCS Gulf South Region events
FAVORITE NUMBER –
6: Career sprint car victories, including five with the ASCS.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Griffith Truck & Equipment
Located in Channelview, Texas, Griffith Truck & Equipment buys and sells specialty trucks and heavy equipment, including utility trucks, yardmules, truck tractors and trailers to name a few. For more information, visit www.griffithtruck.com.
“Bruce Griffith pretty much started my sprint car racing career and he put me on the ASCS National Tour in 2010,” Tankersley said. “Griffith Truck & Equipment has been a huge support for me the past few years and I recommend for anyone interested in trucks and heavy equipment, check out Griffith Truck & Equipment.”
Tankersley would like to thank his sponsors, including Custom Vinyl Designs and Miller’s Machine & Welding for their continued support.