Tanner English comments on the Gateway Dirt Nationals layout and national dirt late model touring series competition
The Gateway Dirt Nationals was very different compared to last year. Regarding layout and track prep, it was night and day different. Last year, the track had a lot of grip and it was also narrow. This year, the track was 10 feet wider on each side, about the same length and slick as ice.
I liked both. It’s still the best race of the year, either layout. But, that doesn’t keep me from asking myself which one I liked better.
Tanner English is one of the dirt late model drivers that ran both the 2016 track and the 2017 layout.
Gateway Dirt Nationals
Which layout do you like better. This track or last years track?
“This year, it’s been a little bit smoother,” Tanner English told RacingNews.co ahead of the feature on Saturday. “It has got some character to it, in the corners.”
“Last year, we had some jumps on the straight-away. This year, there’s one [jump] getting into turn 1. It kinda messes you up.”
“This year’s definitely better.”
Well, to be honest… I was thinking it’s not, so far. I think the bottom line is too dominant.
“Oh definitely, I agree on that,” English said on Saturday afternoon.
“With roughness, it’s better for sure. But, I think they’ve got it a little too banked on the bottom and flat on top.”
“If they cut that center down, they’d probably be alright. It would probably race a lot better.”
That’s certainly one way of fixing the same thing. To me, I think my issue with it is that the bottom doesn’t have to slow down as much, to make the corner. With the extra 10 feet on each exit and entry, you guys can kinda make a big circle out of it. That makes it harder on the guys riding the top.
“You can diamond the corner better. And you can see it in the racing groove. Like after the night was over on Friday. You can see it [the circle].”
After the Saturday night feature…
“It seemed to do exactly that on Saturday night [cut the middle down] and it made for great racing in the feature,” Tanner English comments after the race.
The Gateway Dirt team made several tweaks to the track throughout the weekend.
This place reminds me of the old Bristol. They’re going to sellout 60,000+ here one day.
“I believe so too. Just wish I could’ve went ahead and got my name on that event Saturday night!,” English concludes.
I’m a little confused by the fact that Tanner English isn’t one of the young guns on the national tour. He ran 3 Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series races in 2017. The #96 is a solid top-10 competitor, every time. His best LOLMDS finish came at Ruck River Raceway Park, where he finished 3rd.
The Gateway Dirt Nationals is on a national stage for the dirt late model scene. It’s a race that draws a bulk of the top dirt late model drivers from coast-to-coast. On Saturday, Tanner English was one circumstance away from the $30,000 check.
How come you don’t run either of the national touring series?
“Just financial,” Tanner English explained, ahead of Saturdays main event at Gateway.
That’s all it is?
“Yeah, if we can just get a little bit of backing, we could maybe make a run at it.”
“Then, I got a full time job. It’s just hard to do,” Tanner English concludes.
English has two full-time jobs, a full-time racing career is the first one. Aside from the race track, Tanner English works in the HVAC industry.