Tanner Holmes Reflects On Recent Sprint Car Success
JACKSONVILLE, Ore. – It’s one thing to win your first sprint car race on dirt, but it’s quite another to win your first two sprint car races in back-to-back weeks.
However, that’s exactly what 15-year-old Tanner Holmes has done this fall, marking a rapid recent rise into contention with the bigger cars and giving him a lot of confidence heading into the closing stages of the season.
Holmes, who also finished second in Oregon Sprint Speedweek points earlier in the summer, kicked off his winning run in impressive fashion with a wire-to-wire victory on Sept. 8 at Southern Oregon Speedway, starting on the front row and never looking back en route to the breakthrough score.
It marked a near-perfect night for Holmes, who started on the pole of his heat race and won that before ending up second in the pole scramble prior to the A main.
“I knew, right from the start, that we had a chance to put it all together that night,” said Holmes. “My car was really fast and the track was wide open and hooked up. By the time we got to the scramble, the track was starting to get slick and it took a lot of throttle control to get through the groove and really make speed.
“For the feature, I knew I needed to get a good jump … and thankfully I was able to do that and get out in clean air,” Holmes added. “There were a few restarts that I had to deal with, but when you have a car like ours was that night … no one really had anything for us, which let me breathe a little easier! I had to keep moving higher, though, because the bottom groove kept getting slicker; that was a little bit of a challenge as the track kept changing, but it felt really good to hang on for the win.”
That first victory was also a home win for Holmes, who lives in nearby Jacksonville, Ore., just 15 miles from the three-eighths-mile Southern Oregon speed plant.
“I think that’s what made it probably the most special,” noted Holmes. “It felt really, really good to get it done finally in front of the hometown fans.”
Not even a different track could keep Holmes from continuing his success the next weekend, either. Holmes and his team then made the two-hour haul north on Interstate 5 to Cottage Grove Speedway, where he picked up a $500 payday for jetting to another dominant victory last Saturday.
Holmes again started on the pole for his heat race and won it, but this time, got the luck of a zero inversion pill to land out front for the night’s 25-lap feature. He then promptly took off from his pole starting position and never looked back en route to his second-straight win.
“That race was a little crazy, too,” admitted Holmes. “The track went rubber down by the fourth lap, and then we had to work in and out of traffic for about the last 19 laps. That was a green flag run, too … but we were able to lap all the way up to sixth in a great field. I’m really proud of that.”
Holmes, nicknamed the Youtube Kid for his popular series of racing-related vlogs, has chronicled his successes of late in video form and has begun to soak in the magnitude of the last 10 days’ time.
He describes the two wins he’s earned as moments he’ll never forget.
“I’m barely a year into running a sprint car; you hope for success like this … but to actually go out and put it all together feels amazing,” said Holmes. “I couldn’t do it without all my supporters and hopefully this is just the beginning for us as a team.
“We’re super proud of these last two weeks, but it doesn’t make us any less motivated to go out and get another one soon.”