Tatnell Leads Next Batch Of Grand Annual Entries

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Brooke Tatnell (55) is once again on the entry list for the Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic in Australia. (Mark Funderburk Photo)

WARRNAMBOOL, Australia – The South West Conveyancing Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic nomination list continues to grow with three-time champion Brooke Tatnell among the latest list of drivers planning to compete on Jan. 19-21 at Premier Speedway.

Tatnell, who now resides in Forest Lake, Minn., is arguably one of Australia’s greatest sprint car drivers, with his three Classic triumphs coming in 1995, 1999 and again in 2009.

Add to that five Australian Sprintcars Championships and an amazing nine World Series Sprintcar Titles and it’s easy to see why Tatnell is so highly regarded.

In 2017 Tatnell was a regular competitor at Iowa’s Knoxville Raceway, recording victories in both 360 and 410 winged sprint car competition while finishing fourth in the 2017 Knoxville Raceway Track Championship behind Ian Madsen, Brian Brown and Austin McCarl.

During the Knoxville Nationals Tatnell rode a roller coaster all week long. He qualified a very respectable 10th fastest on his Thursday Qualifying night before transferring directly into the A-Main with a fourth place run in his heat.

The A-Main would see Tatnell start third with a direct transfer into the Nationals finale on the cards before a flat tire intervened while he was running third, relegating him to Friday night’s School of Hard Knocks program where he would move from 15th in the A to finish eighth.

On the Saturday night, Tatnell started 13th in the B-Main and raced his way into a transfer spot to make the Knoxville Nationals main event. He would continue this barnstorming run moving from 23rd to 14th in the 50-lap feature event.

For the Grand Annual Tatnell will team up with Ray and Ashley Scott in the No. V55 Cool Chassis, which will be powered by a KRE engine, with the team including Ray Scott Transport, Shell Lubricants, Sign Depot and Ray Scott Pastoral hoping Brooke can repeat his 2017 Classic run, where he won his qualifying night before finishing third behind James McFadden and Darren Mollenoyux – perhaps even setting their sights on a fourth Classic win!

South Australian Hard Charger Luke Dillon finished sixth in the Classic finale last year and despite having been somewhat conspicuous by his absence in the early part of the 2017-18 season, is another force to be reckoned with.

For his run at the Classic, the 2002-2003 Australian Sprintcar Poll Rookie of the Year will again enjoy support from the likes of Action Line Marking, South West Conveyancing, National Karate Academies, Maxwill Race Engines and Scotcher Race Oils and Fuels.

Leading into the 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic, Sydney based racer Sammy Walsh was seemingly at the top of his game, regular featuring on the podium at his home venue Sydney Speedway.

Come the Classic, as can quite often happen, lady luck failed to get the memo and his weekend became something he would rather forget, officially being credited with a 16th place finish in the first C-Main.

Walsh is keen to atone for last year and again Graeme Cowin and the team at Rocket Industries along with Fleck Earthmoving and Aeroflow Performance Products will give him everything he needs to ensure the No. N92 is competitive.

Warrnambool’s Jye O’Keeffe will be in the midst of his maiden World Series Sprintcars campaign when the Classic hits town and one would expect that the talented former Formula 500 stand-out will be in super sharp form.

Having claimed the 2016 Victorian Sprintcar Title at Premier Speedway, Aidan Hall is another competitor who will be looking to improve on his 2017 Classic result. The driver of the No. S15 Eagle always appears fast and is a terrific qualifier, which can go a long way towards setting up a solid run on the Classic weekend.

Another of the Victorian’s to have produced some strong performances of recent times is Morwell’s Dennis Jones. Jones, who will be at the wheel of the No. V17 KRE powered Maxim was another of the C-Main qualifiers in 2017 with an 11th-place run.

Having missed the 2017 Classic with a spinal injury, Luke Walker is another of the competitors to engage the popular KRE engine between the down tubes of his Cool Chassis.

Joining the list of entrants that now exceeds 50, with many more to come, are Damien Thorne, Stephen Spark and Shannon Barry.