PETERSEN MEDIA- Taking the final lock in spot for the 54th Annual Johnny Key Classic Presented by Al’s Roofing Supply by way of his dominating win at the Ocean Speedway one week ago, mechanical gremlins haunted Tarlton all night on Saturday and cut his bid for a third crown short by 25 laps.
“We had a really fast racecar each time we hit the track, but it was one of those nights where things just went wrong,” Tarlton said. “I have to thank Paul Baines and the guys for busting their butt’s, it definitely was not for lack of effort tonight.”
Being one of five lock in drivers for Saturday night’s event, Tarlton’s night began after qualifying as he hot lapped for the dash, after finding himself with the one pill that put him on the pole for the six-lap shootout.
Running in the second spot on the last lap of the dash, something went south under the hood of Tarlton’s Elite Landscape Construction/Tarlton and Son/Tachi Palace and Hotel entry, forcing him to drop out of competition, and putting him fifth on the starting grid.
Following a read flag on the second lap of the race, Tarlton would move into the fourth spot when the race came back to life as he chased after third running Matt Peterson.
Stalking Peterson’s every move, Tarlton would go after the third spot as the duo would trade the position for several laps, with Tarlton continuing to run in the fourth spot.
Dealing with a surging Rico Abreu as the first segment came to a close, Tarlton would sit in the fifth position when the scheduled stop came on the 25th lap, allowing crews to make any adjustments they deemed necessary.
When the race lined back up, Tarlton looked to make a bid for his third Johnny Key Classic title, but as the green dropped, something again went sour on his machine, and he coasted to a stop, and his night was ultimately over.
“It was a little disappointing for it to end that way, but it was cool to be a part of a great event,” he added. “Again, I just have to thank my family, my guys, and all of the great sponsors who support us.”
Tarlton Racing would like to thank Elite Landscape Construction, Tarlton and Son, Inc., Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino, Pabco Gypsum, WFO Apparel, Bandy and Associates, All Star Performance, Corporate America Investments, and BG Lubricants for their support through the 2014 season.
ON TAP: Tarlton will now look over scheduled before deciding on his next race.
2014 BY THE NUMBERS: Races-13, Wins-2, Top 5’s-7, Top 10’s-7
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