Australian Sprintcar news 2006-02-04
Back-to-Back In The Land Down Under: Tatnell Captures Second Australian Sprintcar Championship Norman, OK -- Feb. 4, 2006 -- For the second consecutive season, World of Outlaws Mean 15 racer Brooke Tatnell has captured the prestigious Australian ...
Back-to-Back In The Land Down Under: Tatnell Captures Second Australian Sprintcar Championship
Norman, OK -- Feb. 4, 2006 -- For the second consecutive season, World of Outlaws Mean 15 racer Brooke Tatnell has captured the prestigious Australian Sprintcar Championship, backing up his reputation as one of the elite Sprint Car racers in the world.
And this time around, Tatnell was able to accomplish the impressive feat at Brisbane International Speedway with a little less drama than last year. As soon as the 2005 World of Outlaws season concluded, Tatnell returned to his native Australia and promptly captured his fifth World Series Sprintcars crown. On Saturday night, he again raced his way to checkered flag to win the celebrated Australian Sprintcar Championship.
Tatnell's attempt to return to the United States last year and pilot the No. 8 Rush Racing Don Ott-powered Eagle is well documented. Upon arrival, immigration officials turned Tatnell back to Australia because his visa, while still current, did not meet new security requirements.
However, Tatnell's a pure racer. He used his one phone call to ring his father, George, also legendary Australian racer, and tell him to prepare a car because he was heading home. While it took a couple of weeks to correct the paperwork and re-enter the United States, it gave Tatnell the chance to capture his first Australian Sprintcar Championship.
"I called my dad with the one call I could make prior to having to leave America and I asked him if we could make it to the race for the Championship," Tatnell said. "My dad said, 'Not only can we make it, I think it's our time to win it.'"
That's precisely what he did before returning in time to post a top-five at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix only hours after flying back to the United States with updated papers. Then he and the crew of the first-year Rush Racing team went on to break into the Mean 15, post two main-event victories and a preliminary win, and become a fan favorite in the pits by staying late after every race, handing out posters and signing autographs for anybody who asked.
The momentum Tatnell built during the 2005 World of Outlaws season definitely carried over to his winter racing program, even if he took off a couple of weeks to let his right hand, broken in a heat race at Calistoga Speedway, finally heal properly.
Driving this past winter for Krikke Racing, Tatnell quickly raced his way to the top of the standings, where he stayed throughout the season. But while Tatnell is noted for rarely taking a break from racing, he was finally able to break away from the track for a couple of weeks after winning the World Series Sprintcars title. Tatnell used the time to prepare for the run at the Australian Sprintcars Championship and to get ready for another grueling season with the World of Outlaws.
"It felt great to get to spend some time with my family," Tatnell said. "I have been on the road so much for the last couple years and it was great to see my sisters, my nephews, and of course my mom and dad. My girlfriend, Amy, has been with me the whole time we have been back here in Australia and being able to get a little bit of time out of the race car to spend time with her and my family has been really great.
"I was able to get fully prepared for the championship race, and with all the hard work from the guys on the Krikke team, I had a great car to go after it with. It paid off big time. I couldn't be more proud of the whole team and of this championship."
Tatnell won't get rusty, though. He already is on his way back to the United States for another run at the World of Outlaws championship.
"I am very proud of what we have accomplished here at home this year, but I am even more excited to get back to my Rush Racing team and get after the championship in America," Tatnell said.
After completing an extremely long commute to Volusia Speedway Park near Daytona Beach, Fla., where the World of Outlaws launch the 2006 season on Thursday with a 3 p.m. media conference and 4:30 p.m. autograph session, Tatnell will join his Rush Racing teammates that have spent the winter preparing for his return.
"I guess we have people in all parts of the country right now," Tatnell said. "Not only am I 17,000 miles away, but my team is all over the place as well. My car owner, Tim Hanson, and my crew chief, Troy Renfro, are both in Florida right now spending a few days with their wives and kids and checking out the other races. Ray Brooks and our new team member, Kiel Woodburn, are finishing up in our new shop in Iowa and packing up to hit the road tonight. My other team owner Bob Campbell is back in Washington state with Sara and Michelle in the corporate offices finishing up the sponsorship packages and paying the bills Troy and I have built up over the off-season.
"I understand Bob and I get to Florida about the same time so we will all be there to start this thing off the right way this year."
With the excitement of back-to-back championships, the outstanding achievements of last season, and a healthy and refreshed mind and body, fans can expect to see the No. 8 Castrol/Steel Dreams/Garlic Jim's Gourmet Pizza Eagle powered by Don Ott engines driven by one of the best racers in the world in the winner's circle quite a bit this year. In fact, when Campbell spoke to Tatnell's father following the championship victory in Brisbane, Campbell asked, "Can you get him out of Sydney and back here for the Outlaws championship chase?" George answered, "Not only can I get him back there for the Championship chase, I think it's our year to win it."
For more information on Tatnell and the Rush Racing team, go to www.rushracingsprintcars.com.