Duck River Raceway Park
Tanner English edges Dad for Duck River victory
By Robert HolmanDirtonDirt.com correspondent
WHEEL, Tenn. (May 27) – Tanner English of Benton, Ky., took advantage of a late-race caution Sunday and passed his father, Terry English, with two laps remaining to win the $3,000 Tribute to the Men and Women of the Armed Forces 40-lap special event at Duck River Speedway.
Terry English was second, with Cleveland, Tenn., driver Todd Morrow finishing third and Riley Hickman, of Ooltewah, Tenn., finishing fourth. Chad Winkles, of Falkville, Ala., rallied from his 13th starting spot to complete the top five.
After starting on the outside front row, the younger English, who turned 19 a day earlier, led the first 26 laps of the main event. He was committed to the outside grove at Duck River’s tiny quarter-mile oval, while his father ran steadfast on the bottom.
Polesitter Daniel Miller, of Lynchburg, Tenn., followed Tanner English around the rim, but as the top began to go away, both Tanner English and Miller began to lose ground.
By lap 14, Tanner English held a comfortable lead over his father, with Hickman in third, Miller fourth and Morrow, who started ninth, beginning to move forward in the fifth spot.
On each of the race’s four cautions, the leader had to protect the bottom grove, as exiting turn four on restarts provided drivers with the best opportunity to make passes. The top began to fade midway through the race and as Tanner and Terry English raced side by side on lap 24, Morrow crept into the picture and began to challenge for the lead.
Once Terry English cleared the car of his son, Tanner English tried the bottom line, but to no avail.
With eight laps remaining, Morrow dropped Tanner English to third and began to pressure Terry English for the lead. He pulled alongside the race leader twice at the flagstand, but was unable to hold the line as the pair raced into turn one.
Each time, Terry English beat him to the turn, took the low line away and maintained the lead off of turn two. A lap-37 caution for the slowed car of Scott Cook set up a final three-lap shootout, however.
Tanner English, who had beaten Morrow to the start-finish line a lap sooner, lined up second on the restart. He again drove to the top of the track and powered by his father into the lead as they headed to the white flag. Terry English tucked low to the bottom and protected second, while Tanner raced to a win by three lengths over his dad.
“The (top) was getting further up there,” said Terry English while his son was in victory lane. “I didn’t think there would be enough left up there for him to come back like that.”
Notes: Tanner English’s Bob Pierce Race Car is owned by Upton Motorsports and sponsored by Greg’s Sawmill and 45 Race Shop. It’s powered by a Clements Race Engine. … Sunday’s race at Duck River was run in conjunction with the $3,000-to-win Danny Sandrell Memorial at Thunderhill Raceway on Saturday night. The three drivers with the best combined finishes from the two events earned extra points fund money. With his win at Duck River and a runner-up finish at Thunderhill, Tanner English easily collected the $300 bonus. … Tanner and Terry English each had a 1-2 weekend. While Tanner finished second on Saturday and won on Sunday, Terry won on Saturday night at Clarksville (Tenn.) Speedway and finished second on Sunday. … Murfreesboro, Tenn., driver Tony Morris was slated to start fifth after qualifying second quick in his group, but he scratched from the event when mechanical trouble on the warmup lap forced him pit side.
Duck River Speedway: (1) Tanner English, (2) Terry English, (3) Todd Morrow, (4) Riley Hickman, (5) Chad Winkles, (6) Daniel Miller, (7) Josh Putnam (8) Kelly Hanvey, (9) Brett Miller, (10) Jay Brinkley, (11) Randy Todd, (12) David Brannon, (13) Jon Miller, (14) Jeff Walker, (15) Brad Skinner, (16) Scott Cook, (17) David Seibers, (18) Steven Ashby, (19) Carnell Parker III, (20) Kevin Lovvorn, (21) Mark Fields, (22) Ray McElhiney, (23) Jeff Watson, (24) Tony Morris. Fast qualifier (among 33 cars): Miller. Heat race winners: Hickman, Putnam, Morrow.