English details the East Bay Raceway Park finale from Saturday’s Lucas Oil show; Explains why he’s holding back on the national late model tour
A week long show at East Bay Raceway Park was concluded on Saturday night. The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series rolled into the 1/3-mile dirt oval in Tampa, Florida for a marathon week of dirt racing.
On the final night of the show, Tanner English set quick time in group A qualifying. That put him on the front row for the first heat race of the night.
English battled with Jimmy Owens. The #119 machine led early. A slide job from Jimmy Owens put him at the front in turn three. English drove to his inside in turn one and slide him back in the same corner on the lap that followed. He drove off to take the win and placed himself on the front row for the $12,000 to win main event.
The green dropped and English led into turn one. He drove away from the field several times over on the bottom lane.
Toward the end of the race, English began spinning the tires off turn two. At the same time, Davenport found speed on the cushion.
The pair ran side by side for 5+ laps. They split lapped traffic and remained door to door. A caution came out with 3 to go, Davenport was declared the leader at the time.
As they went green, English lost ground. He fell to 4th, barely missing a podium.
The results don’t show it. But, English dominated that race. To date, he’s yet to win a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event. But, he’s been at the front with the opportunity to do so, multiple times over.
Tanner English on the race at East Bay Raceway Park
English is in a new ride for 2019. He’s signed on with Randy Weaver Racing. Now, he almost claimed his first LOLMDS win.
Off turn two, you’d lose drive a lot of the time. But, I’m not sure why?
“Th mud ring that I was running in there and was fast in at the very beginning, it went away. Everybody was running right there in it,” Tanner English told RacingNews.co .
“It went away right there at the end. There just wasn’t enough left for me to get off the corner.”
You’re saying it slicked off right there?
“Yeah. I mean they were knocking them tires in and stuff. But, really more than anything it was making it dirty across the race track.”
“Even when you hit that black stuff and you’re thinking maybe you’d shoot up a little bit cause your left rear’s in the mud. You hit that black and that dust is on top of it. It just kills all your drive off the corner.”
Tanner English on the national dirt late model tour
I heard a story that you guys had considered running a tour this year. But, you guys couldn’t get the car ready for Golden Isles. Is that so?
“No, we thought about going to Golden Isles. But, we thought better of it. That place, it seems like it always eats up motors.”
“We just stopped, decided to stay at home and go to Boyd’s Speedway. That ended up just as bad. I mean, it rubbered up in qualifying. So, we left there early and came here to practice.”
“We were never trying to do Lucas. That’s pretty ambitious for our first year together.”
Is it a longer term goal with this team? I know, that you of all people deserve to be on a tour. I also know that I’ve already told you that at least 3 times.
“Definitely, at some point in the future. I don’t wanna rush nothing by no means.”
“I know I still got plenty of years. As long as I can stay with Chip Stone and Randy Weaver then I think we’ll do it eventually. Just when it makes sense.”
“And it takes a lot of money to run those deals.”
I know that you have a full-time job. So, I guess doing a tour would take you quitting that?
“Oh yeah. I mean, I’d have to fully commit. I’d also have to move to Crossville, Tennessee or at least closer to be right there by the race shop.”
So, if this year goes well then maybe that’s a leap you’ll take?
“Maybe, yeah. Probably not next year but the year after. Like I said, I don’t want to rush it. I’ve seen too many people try that and go out there and struggle.”