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Keeping Pace

Tanner Returning To Site Of Historic Late Model Victory

Joey Tanner prior to the start of the 2009 Yakima Speedway Apple Cup. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Nelson/Tanner Racing)
Joey Tanner prior to the start of the 2009 Yakima Speedway Apple Cup. (Photo courtesy of Jerry Nelson/Tanner Racing)

Joey Tanner has achieved many victories in his dirt late model over the years but until last October had not tasted success in pavement stock car racing. That changed with a win in the Yakima Speedway Fall Classic, an event that draws some of the Northwest's top late model drivers. Tanner returns to Yakima this weekend aiming for a win in the 44th Annual Apple Cup, a race won in the past by the likes of Derrike Cope, Jason Jefferson, Hershel McGriff and Don Dowdy.

For Immediate Release: Joey Tanner Racing Media Relations

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 6, 2010)-The 44th Annual Yakima Speedway Apple Cup
comes at just the right time and certainly the right race track for 2009
ASA Northwest Late Model Tour Rookie of the Year, Joey Tanner.

Returning to Yakima Speedway and the site of Tanner’s biggest super late
model victory may be the cure to the ills his Engage Energy Drinks Racing
Team have faced in two 2010 starts. A top qualifying effort at Toyota
Speedway in Irwindale was stymied by a late race incident that brought an
early end to a strong run.

The 2009 Yakima Fall Classic winner unloaded his Jody’s Nothing But Fun
Chevrolet at Evergreen Speedway for the NWLMT season opener on March 27
with high hopes. By the middle portions of the 125-lap main event Tanner
was pit side the victim of an ill-handling car. Now with crew chief BJ
Tidrick preparing the TQT Impala for its first start of the season at
Yakima Speedway, Tanner is hopeful of a complete race and another chance
at victory on Tidrick’s home track.

“BJ found some problems with the balance of the car (after Irwindale) and
was able to adjust here and there to make it competitive enough to win the
(ASA) race but unfortunately luck wasn’t on our side. The Goodyear tires
threw everyone for a loop and for us especially it was a difficult weekend
in Monroe.

“We think we found a good starting point for our car heading into the
Apple Cup weekend that will be good but we’ll have to wait and see if it
all works out like we’ve planned.”

Winning the Fall Classic behind the wheel of a Ford Fusion owned by the
Tidrick’s gives way to the new and unproven Joey Tanner Racing Chevrolet.
The Portland native is not concerned with transitioning from one car to
another at Yakima, he noted.

“A lot can transfer over from the Ford to our new Chevrolet. I know we
will be running the same shocks and springs package as we did last fall.
BJ has become very knowledgeable on set-up at Yakima over the years so I
think we will be able to be strong in the new car.”

Everything Tanner is doing comes with the addition of a full class
schedule at Mt. Hood Community College. Balancing racing and studies is a
challenge at times, he noted.

“With school, racing and searching for bigger things in the racing world
it’s been tough to keep a balance in life,” Tanner explained. “When you
wake up in the morning and think, breath, walk and talk racing it’s hard
to just go to college and give it 100 percent focus but I’m happy to say
that I have maintained myself pretty well (in school) because I know an
education is very important to what I’m trying to do.”

Tanner will be busy trying to keep that balance of school and racing with
a busy month of April ahead, he added.

“I’m actually looking forward to a little break from asphalt racing after
the Apple Cup but I will be making one or two appearances in my #111 dirt
late model during our break from pavement racing and I’m really looking
forward to that.”

Race day opportunities are still available for the remainder of the 2010
season, which includes races on the ASA Northwest Late Model Tour, the
Yakima Speedway Apple Cup and Fall Classic, the Montana 200 and Idaho 200
and a run in the Toyota International Tundra 125.

To learn more about Joey Tanner or to become involved as a business
supporter jump onto the driver’s website at

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.