McKENZIE, TN – (Sept. 7) A pair of Sprint car racers scored a pair of victories last weekend behind the wheel of a J&J Auto Racing car. Defending All-Stars champion Tim Shaffer won consecutive All-Star feature events last week and Brooke Tatnell won a pair of events in the Upper Midwest. Dale Howard won his fifth straight at Riverside International Speedway, while Wade Nygaard scored his first win in a J&J. Mark Dobmeier continued his incredible season by picking up win number 16 on Sunday night.
Last Friday night’s All-Star Circuit of Champions 30-lap feature event was a battle of J&J drivers. David Gravel, driver of JRC Transportation/DDR Motorsports No. 89g J&J, led the first 26 laps, but it was the western Pennsylvania native Tim Shaffer that led the final four laps in the Aaron Call/Janet Holbrook owned CH Motorsports No. 83 Kistler-powered J&J. Shaffer’s win was his 8th All-Star triumph in 2011 and 43rd overall to tie him with Bobby Allen.
“To tie Bobby Allen in wins is really cool. He was one of my heroes when I first started racing,” said Shaffer. “David was faster than us…I don’t think I had anything for him. But, anything can and usually does happen in dirt track racing…that’s what makes it so exciting. When we had that restart I figured that was the only opportunity I was going to get and I threw it in there and it stuck. Brian (Kemenah, crew chief) and the guys once again gave me a perfect car to drive. We have the best TEAM in sprint car racing.”
Gravel’s impressive run all night followed the theme of J&J cars dominating the program at the half-mile dirt oval. Ed Lynch, Jr. (No. 2L J&J) was the fastest qualifier and four of the top-five qualifiers were J&J’s. Gravel was third, Danny Holtgraver (No. D4 J&J) was fourth and Shaffer was fifth.
The podium finish for Gravel was his second in recent races and reason for optimism.
“I left the door open on that restart with four laps to go,” admitted Gravel. “Tim finally got a good restart – I had him on all the others, but on that last one I went high and he dove under me and slid me. But, since Tyler (Swank, crew chief) and I hooked up after Knoxville, we’ve been really fast. I’m excited about the rest of the year.”
ATTICA RACEWAY PARK
Tim Shaffer made it three straight All-Star wins last Saturday night with his dominating performance at Attica Raceway Park. He led all 40 laps in the CH Motorsports No. 83 Kistler-powered J&J and with his ninth All-Star win he was able to stretch his lead in both the Ohio-region and National All-Star points chases.
“It’s amazing…it really is,” said Shaffer, following the win. “It’s a lot of fun. When you have a great team and great people behind you…Paul Kistler with the engines and J&J Chassis…every body. It all goes back to a great team from the owners to the people working on it…just everything,”
Shaffer started the No. 83 J&J on the front row with Phil Gressman (No. 53 J&J). Fast qualifier Danny Holtgraver (No. D4 J&J) quickly worked his way into second and fended off several challengers until late in the race when David Gravel (No. 89g J&J) took second with eight laps to go. Gravel couldn’t track down Shaffer and finished second for the second consecutive night and third straight time.
Holtgraver finished third to give J&J a podium sweep.
RIVER CITIES SPEEDWAY
Wade Nygaard has won plenty of races at River Cities Speedway during his career, but the win last Friday night was pretty special. It was his first in his new No. 9 J&J that he’s been using for just over a month.
“I’m ecstatic,” Nygaard said. “This is awesome. We’ve got a new car and we’re getting the hang of things. And I’ve got the help of my old crew chief, Doug Slocum. That helps a lot because, obviously, I don’t know what I’ve been doing.”
Nygaard was in command throughout and was able to secure the win ahead of reigning track champion Mark Dobmeier (No. 13L J&J). The duo finished first and second.
RIVERSIDE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
Dale Howard made it five straight wins last Saturday night at Riverside International Speedway. Howard once again raced the No. 47 J&J to victory.
UPPER MIDWEST SPRINTCAR SERIES
SATURDAY – KOUBA MEMORIAL
Brooke Tatnell won Saturday night’s Earl & Ethel Kouba Memorial and claimed the UMSS victory at North Central Speedway. He drove the Nelson Motorsports No. 14 J&J from the front row and lead all 25 laps to score the win. The lineup for the 19th annual Kouba Memorial was determined by a double round of qualifying races. Lee Grosz (No. 4 J&J) earned the most points and pulled a zero for the invert. Grosz and Tatnell led the field to the green flag and would remain in front throughout. Several cautions slowed the race, but in the end it was Tatnell followed by Grosz.
SUNDAY – MIGHTY AXE NATIONALS
Brooke Tatnell used a late restart to grab the lead in Sunday’s Mighty Axe Nationals at North Central Speedway in Brainerd, Minn., and scored his second straight UMSS victory. Tatnell again drove the Nelson Motorsports No. 14 J&J to victory lane, sweeping the UMSS weekend.
Tatnell passed his brother-in-law, Jerry Richert, Jr., to score the victory.
“It was going to happen on that lap anyway,” admitted Tatnell. “I had been following Jerry for most of the race waiting for the opportunity. That caution helped, but I had made up my mind that I was going for the lead on the next lap around. The caution just gave me a chance to think things over before the green flag flew again. It’s a lot of fun to race against family. I now have an axe trophy for each of my kids. Although it was a long two days, we had a real good weekend racing with the UMSS in Brainerd.”
Mark Dobmeier continued his winning ways at Huset’s Speedway on Sunday night racing the Lunstra/Dobmeier Motorsports No. 13L J&J to victory. He started 10th and worked his way forward to earn his sixth victory of the season at the high-banked, dirt oval and 16th victory of the season overall.
GET WELL SOON
dJ&J Auto Racing would like to wish Aaron Ott a speedy recovery. Ott was racing the No. 77 J&J at Williams Grove Speedway last Friday night and involved in a racing accident.