TANNER CAPITALIZES ON DARLING’S MISFORTUNE TO WIN INAUGURAL MASS EVENT AT DELAWARE INTERNATIONAL
By ERIKA PALMAI WAGNER
Tim Tanner Jr. of Doylestown, PA lucked into his first feature win of the season on Saturday at Delaware International Speedway after race leader Kevin Darling came to a sudden stop with just a lap remaining of the twenty-five lap A-Main event. Tanner, who started second alongside Tommy Carberry, led early in the race, surviving two red flags before succumbing the top spot to Darling on lap five.
“The track was really rough tonight, and I had a hard time getting comfortable in the car,” Tanner admitted. “I was trying to run around the bumps, but what I found out after working through lapped traffic was that the fastest way around the track was actually going through the holes. Once I found my groove to where I was comfortable, I was actually able to gain on Kevin, but I don’t think we had anything for him”.
With Carberry and Tanner starting on the front row, a full field of twenty-four cars took the green flag with the leaders racing side by side for the lead going into turn one. Carberry would resume the lead with Tanner and third place starting Kevin Darling closely following behind until the first caution was displayed for Ryan Stillwaggon who spun off of the embankment in turn one.
Moments after the race was restarted, a red flag was displayed when chaos erupted at the rear of the field for two cars that tangled and flipped viciously in turns three and four. Bobby Scherff (56) and Bronzie Lawson IV (4B) were involved in the wreck, but thankfully they walked away uninjured. Unfortunately, their cars could not say the same as they suffered minor but race ending damage.
With Tanner grabbing the lead from Carberry once the race resumed, the 9D of Darling would work the outside groove, eventually exchanging spots with Carberry for second. On lap five, a second red flag was brought out for Bobby Sandt, who slid to a stop in turn three after a fire erupted in his cockpit, because of a broken fuel line. Safety crews quickly extinguished the fire, but Sandt and his father, who ran out on the track to aid his son, were both transported to the local hospital after suffering minor burns in the incident.
Tanner and Darling would battle for the lead after the green flag waved once again, with Darling taking over first by utilizing the high side just as he did to gain second. Darling appeared to be untouchable by mastering multiple restarts and lapped traffic while maintaining a sizable lead over Tanner who was also holding his own over the third-place car of Carberry.
“As the race progressed and after we were able to get some laps in after all of those cautions, lapped traffic wasn’t really that big of an issue because they were holding their own,” said Darling. “We planned on running the bottom, so we added gear. But the bottom ended up getting used up by the races before us so I moved to the middle and found some bite. I like running the top at DIS, but with the new track layout, it’s just too far around to make any time. I checked the bottom occasionally to make sure it wasn’t taking rubber. If it did, then that’s where I would have stayed”.
With the white flags waving on lap twenty four, race leader Kevin Darling came to a rolling stop in turns one and two after engine issues forced him to retire prematurely. Tanner and Carberry would now line up nose to tail preparing for the last lap showdown. Carberry attempted to pass Tanner around the outside, but he was unable to complete the pass. Crossing the finish line first was Tanner, followed by Carberry, Brendon Poff, Jeff Geiges, and Joe Kay completed the top five.
“The last time I ran at DIS was twenty years ago in a Big-Block Modified, and we ran well then,” Tanner said. “I was excited to come back here this weekend with MASS and run at this track that was home to URC for so many years in the past. It’s a great track and even though it’s a long haul, I would love to come back here in the future”.
Tanner, who currently sits second in the championship points just one point behind Tommy Carberry, attributes his win to his dedicated crew, family and sponsors that support him each week. Sponsoring the number 18 Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series Sprinter are PWD Lubricants, Martelli’s Metal Fab, Richboro Beer & Soda, Champion Tire, Marianne’s Diner, D&I Construction, Steve’s Collision, Scarlet Oaks Wholesale Nursery, National Water Management, Tanner Brother’s Dairy and Mike’s Mobile Truck Repair.
Next up on the Engler Machine & Tool Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series schedule is
‘Pack the House Night’ at Bridgeport Speedway on Saturday, June 17th. For more info on what’s going on with the Mid-Atlantic Sprint Series, please visit our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/midatlanticsprintseries/ or visit our website at www.masprintseries.com.
FEATURE (25 LAPS): TIM TANNER, Tommy Carberry, Brendon Poff, Jeff Geiges, Joe Kay, Rick Stief, Eddie Wagner, Scott Frack, Bryant Davis, Ryan Stillwaggon, Stef Carberry, Dave Graber, Zack Burd, Bobby Butler, Harris Kohen DNF: Kevin Darling, Jamie Kostic, Craig Pellegrini, Daren Bolac, Bobby Sandt, John Webster, Bobby Scherff, Bronzie Lawson IV, Matt Smith
COMPETITION SUSPENSION INC HEAT #1 ($50 Cash & $50 CSI Gift Certificate): Rick Stief
FREIBERGER EXCAVATING HEAT #2 ($50 Cash): Brendon Poff
PROFESSIONAL DESIGN SERVICES HEAT #3 ($50 Cash): Kevin Darling
PROFESSIONAL DESIGN SERVICES NATIVE BONUSES ($50 Cash each):
Top New Jersey Native: Tommy Carberry
Top Pennsylvania Native: Tim Tanner
Top Delaware/Virginia Native: Kevin Darling
Top North/South Carolina Native: Daren Bolac
DMI Ticket Recipients: Tim Tanner, Tommy Carberry, Brendon Poff, Jeff Geiges, Joe Kay, Eddie Wagner, Zack Burd, Jamie Kostic, Bobby Sandt, Scott Frack
$25 DMI Gift Certificate (3): Tim Tanner, Kevin Darling, Scott Frack
BITNER AUTOMOTIVE LIGHTENING FAST TIME AWARD ($25 CASH): Kevin Darling
BRUCE’S AUTO BODY HARD CHARGER AWARD ($25 CASH): Dave Graber
THAYER PERFORMANCE BURNING RUBBER HARD CHARGER BONUS: Dave Graber
KELLY FUELS 5 GALLONS FREE FUEL: Tim Tanner
VALDERSERE HARD LUCK AWARD ($100 Cash): Bronzie Lawson IV
Todd’s Performance $25 Gift Certificate: Stef Carberry & Dave Graber
Worst Pill Draw $25 Cash: Craig Pellegrini
Bruce’s Auto Body 15th Sign in: Rick Stief
*Photo courtesy of Jenn Geiswite of Geiswite Creations