If this past weekend is any indication, 2011 will be an exciting and successful year for Tanner Dana Racing.
On Sunday, Jan. 2, TDR teammates Jessica Dana and Tyler Tanner finished 1-2 in the TaG Senior class during Round 3 of the Stars of PGP Kart Fall and Winter Series at PGP Motorsports Park. The event was the first time the duo had competed together, as well as being Dana’s first TaG race and Tanner’s second kart race.
"I am excited to be a part of the TDR growth. It became quite evident this weekend that there is phenomenal synergy between the Tanner and Dana families and that our styles are a perfect complement to each other,” said Kelly Tanner, father of Tyler Tanner and crew chief for the new team. “I do not make predictions and keep my expectations real, but I see Jessica Dana and Tyler Tanner becoming great representatives of Northwest racing."
After earning the pole in qualifying and winning the heat race while setting a new track lap record, Dana completed the sweep by leading flag-to-flag en route to winning the finale. Cold tires and shade on the track made the going slippery in the combined TaG/Rotax finale, but Dana and Rotax Senior winner Russ Francis set the pace and drove away from the field.
"Jessica's ability to adapt to a brand-new machine was amazing. Every session throughout the weekend she improved her overall speed,” said Mike Rolison of the Rolison Performance Group (RPG). Rolison, who won multiple karting championships himself and helped many others win titles as a driving instructor, was on hand to help Dana debut a new Kosmic Kart and make her first outing in the TaG category. “In the final she had her best run, getting every extra tenth of a second out of the Kosmic Racing Kart. I've worked with a number of drivers over the years and Jessica's desire to learn and succeed ranks up there with some of my strongest students."
Things didn’t go as easily for Tanner, however. It took all of the 19-year-old’s racing skill to gain the runner-up finish after sustaining a bent axle during contact with another driver who spun out during the first of four attempts at starting the race. Despite beginning in the rear of the field and having to fight an ill-handling kart around PGP’s .82-mile track, Tanner was able to push forward into third place and then the runner-up position with just a few laps to go.
"This past weekend was a great opportunity to meet other racers and improve my skills in karts with the help of Jessica, Troy Dana and our team,” said Tanner. “Matt Kindrick was a big help and excellent mechanic and is fun to race with. Kart racing is fun and very demanding as well.”
Under the TDR banner, Tanner and Dana, 16, will race in the Super Stock division during the upcoming season at South Sound Speedway in Tenino, Wash., as well as in select kart events. A sophomore studying mechanical engineering at Arizona State University, Tanner earned two poles and finished second overall in points at South Sound in 2010.
Although he has extensive experience racing sprints, midgets and late models, Sunday’s event at PGP marked just the second time Tanner raced a kart and it was his first ride in Dana’s Arrow Kart. Supported by Kindrick, Troy Dana and his father Kelly Tanner, Tyler Tanner quickly found his pace in the Arrow Kart during the TaG Senior practice session, going second quickest. He qualified fourth and finished fifth in the heat race after a tight race-long battle.
"Tyler's communication with myself and the other mechanics under the tent was fantastic,” said Rolison. “For having such little time in a kart he was carrying himself as a seasoned veteran at PGP. Talking with Tyler before the final on Sunday we decided to make a front end change which enabled hiim to come through the pack and record a strong finish."
Interested in finding out how you can become part of the Tanner Dana Racing team? Contact Troy Dana at (360) 402-5500 or Troy.Dana@D3Rec.com .
On the Web
A Tanner Dana Racing website is planned for the near future, but in the meantime please visit www.JessicaDanaRacing.com or “like” Jessica Dana Racing and Tyler Tanner Motorsports on Facebook.
About Tanner Dana Racing
Tanner Dana Racing was formed in late 2010 to support two up-and-coming drivers, Tyler Tanner and Jessica Dana, and to help them achieve their shared goal of racing at the highest levels of motorsports.
Jessica Dana began riding ATVs when she was 4, and racing them at 8. Two months after sitting in a kart for the first time she was recording a top-5 finish at the 2009 U.S. Indoor Kart Championships. Over a two-month period in the spring of 2010, the high school sophomore raced and defeated both four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and extreme motorsports star Travis Pastrana in charity kart events.
Tyler Tanner began his racing career at 5 in quarter midgets, earning four national championships, numerous track records and more than 100 wins over 10 years. Tyler also raced in mini-sprints and full midgets before moving into late models in 2008. Racing at South Sound Speedway in Tenino, Wash., in 2010 he earned two pole positions and finished No. 2 overall in points in the late model division. Tyler earned early admittance to the Ira A. Fulton Mechanical Engineering Program at Arizona State University, where he is a sophomore.