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TATNELL CLAIMS IRA LASALLE GO
LaSALLE, IL (Sept 22) - Brooke Tatnell overtook early leader Travis Whitney, then heldoff a late race charge by Wayne Johnson to claim victory in the O'Reilly Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprints sanctioned Illinois Valley Fall Sprint Classic at the LaSalle Speedway. Tatnell piloted the Guy Forbrook Maxim to victory. The win his sixth career with IRA , and his first in IRA competition this season. Earlier in the night, and on a much different surface, Tatnell set fast time over the thirty-three car field as one of only two cars in the ten second bracket, in a highly entertaining qualifying session as the field rim-rode the highbanked quarter-mile, with the top several qualifiers timing in within just hunderdths of each other. Tatnell barely managed to transfer through his heat, claiming the final transfer position on the final lap as the track changed significantly as the night went on. From a tacky surface with a heavy cushion, to extremely dry and slick for the A-main.
The thirty lap A-main got off to a rocky start, as a pair of multi-car first turn incidents occured on two seperate start attempts on the continuously changing surface eliminating second starting Ryan Irwin, Scott Young, and Dave Uttech. Numerous others were involved and resterted at the tail, some more damaged than others, including polesitter Mike Reinke, Joe Symoens, Kurt Davis, Tim Vandevere, and Bill Wirth.
Once a lap was finally recorded in the books, Whitney held the top spot over Tatnell, Bill Warren, Johnson, Brian Kristan. Whitney would continue to lead with Tatnell in tow for several laps as the field searched for traction.
Sixth running Scotty Neitzel tagged the third turn concrete bringing out a yellow and ending his night, tightening up the field. Whitney would continue to lead on the restart, though as the field entered lapped traffic, Tatnell was able to take advantage and take the top spot. Johnson too would slide past Whitney as the top three continued to be the class of the field. Billy Balog, and John Haeni were progressing through the field nicely, as the battle behind fourth running Ricky Logan intensified, as Kristan, Balog, Steve Meyer, and Haeni slid each other every corner much to the fans delight. A lap twenty-seven yellow would wave for Matt Wasmund creating a three lap dash to the flag.
Johnson, with no brakes, did a masterful job hugging the bottom of the steeply banked speedbowl and appeared to close on leading Tatnell the last few go-rounds, however as the checkered flew Tatnell would win by three car lengths. Whitney came home a solid third, over Logan while Balog completed the top five. Kristan just edged a charging Haeni for sixth, while Meyer, Scott Biertzer, and a rebounding Reinke rounded out the lead lap top ten.
The heat races provided plenty of drama as wins went to Warren, Whitney, Kristan, and Reinke. Neitzel came back from a heat race crash to take the B-main victory.
Whitney continues to lead the point chase going into the series final event in Plymouth WI this Saturday Sept. 29th (raindate Sunday 9/30). Billy Hafeman, the leading series rookie jumped the first turn cushion in qualifying, slamming the concrete ending his night prematurely. Donny Goeden, the IRA's winingest 07 driver, was eliminated in a heat race crash, then suffered a flat right rear tire while leading midway in the B. A desperate attempt the transfer the final few laps fell just short.
IRA is an ASA affiliated series.
IRA A-Main Results, LaSalle Speedway 9/22 1. Brooke Tatnell, Wayne Johnson,
Travis Whitney, Ricky Logan, Billy Balog, Brian Kristan, John Haeni, Steve Meyer, Scott Biertzer, Mike Reinke, Kurt Davis, Bill Warren, Scott Uttech, Darrell Dodd, Bill Wirth, Joe Symoens, Matt Wasmund, Scotty Neitzel, Tim Vandevere, Ryan Irwin, Scott Young, and Dave Uttech.
Current IRA Point Standings, 9/24
1. Travis Whitney 3905
2. Mike Reinke 3788
3. Scotty Neitzel 3738
4. Steve Meyer 3615
5. Donny Goeden 3474
6. John Haeni 3455
7. Scott Biertzer 3266
8. Scott Uttech 3016
9. Brian Kristan 2981
10. Bill Warren 2758
Final 2007 Race, 11th annual Frank Filskov Memorial Fall Classic, Saturday September 29th, raindate Sept 30th, Sheboygan County Fair Park in Plymouth, Wisconsin