Night 1: Lucas Oil 2017 Grand Annual Sprintcar Classic – Brooke Tatnell Victorious over Brad Sweet in a hard fought final

Words and Images (unless otherwise noted) by Paul Griffin

Brooke Tatnell discusses tactics

Brooke Tatnell discusses tactics

 

Brooke Tatnell drove the race of his life to take victory in the  30 lap Night 1 2017 Lucas Oil GAS Classic A-Main  tonight (Jan 20th) – for his trouble earned a cool $10,000 winner’s cheque.

 

The money was good for Tatnell and the KMS Team, but the all-important points tally for winning the N1 Preliminary A-Main is probably even more important to help build a decent advantage for Sunday’s deciding night.

Big Win: Brooke Tatnell - Photo courtesy of Corey Gibson Photography (corey@gibsonphotography.com.au)

Big Win: Brooke Tatnell was ecstatic with taking Night 1 prelim honours – Photo courtesy of Corey Gibson Photography (corey@gibsonphotography.com.au)

Tatnell started off pole and quickly shot to the lead with a very determined Brad Sweet right behind him. Going along for the ride and staying in touch with the two leaders was American Kyle Hirst and current Australian Champion Kerry Madsen.

With five laps down it seemed like it was going to be a race between these four cars as the group had opened up a 10 car lead on the rest of the field.

By lap 20 Tatnell had encountered traffic. Sweet capitalised on the fact that Tatnell was being held up slightly and closed on his tail tank.

The duo had a close battle for several laps, and as that was going on, just a short distance back, Kyle Hirst and Kerry Madsen were waging their own war with just a couple of car lengths in it.

With 13 laps down Sweet pulled a brilliant move on Tatnell down the main straight and shot to the lead. Madsen was able to get the better of Kyle Hirst and so the order at that point was U99, A2, A1 and U10.

Racing continued at a frantic pace with only two or three car lengths between each of the first four cars.

Madsen’s car was showing a good turn of speed and looked like it was coming on at mid race distance – he was slowly closing on Tatnell.

Kyle Hirst slipped back slightly and gave the ascendancy to Grant Anderson who had slipped under the radar after staring out of P9. It seemed that Ando had come from nowhere.

With four to go Brad Sweet tagged an infield tractor tyre which slowed him momentarily. This was enough for Tatnell to claw back the lead.

As they crossed the finish line to the eruption of fireworks it was Tatnell, Sweet, a fast finishing Kerry Madsen, Anderson and American Carson Macedo.

Quick Timer went to Brad Sweet with an 12.419 seconds.

Racing continues tomorrow night with Night 2 being the other half of the 110 entries.

Brooke Tatnell rose to the occasion and won the A-Main in a hard fought battle with Brad Sweet

Brooke Tatnell rose to the occasion and won the A-Main in a hard fought battle with Brad Sweet

The all Gold Brooke Tatnell helmet

The all Gold Brooke Tatnell helmet

Fireworks erupt as Tatnell crosses the line first

Fireworks erupt as Tatnell crosses the line first

Brad Sweet guns it down the main straight in a heat

Brad Sweet guns it down the main straight in a heat

Brad Sweet in his superb Ruhs Bros Motorsport #99

Brad Sweet in his superb Ruhs Bros Motorsport #99

Brad Sweet was tough not to take out the A-Main

Brad Sweet was tough not to take out the A-Main

Lots of rubber in the 10 car heats

Lots of rubber in the 10 car heats

Another "Sea of Wings"

A “Sea of Wings”

A heat line up

A heat line up

Grant Anderson drove a great race to come from P9 and finish 4th

Grant Anderson drove a great race to come from P9 and finish 4th

Kerry Madsen meditates before his second heat

Kerry Madsen meditates before his second heat

Brad Sweet and Steven Lines were the Night 1 flag bearers

Brad Sweet and Steven Lines were the Night 1 flag bearers

Steven Lines looks to the heavens early on and prays the rain wont come

Steven Lines looks to the heavens early on and prays the rain won’t come

Greg Hodnett and Brad Sweet feeling confident

Greg Hodnett and Brad Sweet feeling confident

Kerry Madsen returns to his pit after watching a key heat

Kerry Madsen returns to his pit after watching a key heat

Visiting American Greg Hodnett

Visiting American Greg Hodnett checks the cricket scores on his iPhone

Kyle Hirst was strong early on in the A-Main but faded in the last 10 laps

Kyle Hirst was strong early on in the A-Main but faded in the last 10 laps

General Jack Lee hangs it wide during his 2nd qualifying lap

General Jack Lee hangs it wide during his 2nd qualifying lap

"Sea of Wings"

Another “Sea of Wings”

Brooke Tatnell is a keen observer during qualifying

Brooke Tatnell is a keen observer during qualifying – look for the white race suit !

Qualifying nearly finished

Qualifying nearly finished

Mains list - Starting posistions

Mains list – Starting posistions

Group 1 Time Trials

Group 1 Time Trials

Group 2 Time Trials

Group 2 Time Trials

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