Through thick and thin, maybe a couple different cars and motors, Tanner Portenier survived the season to capture his first Championship at the Salina Speedway in the Coors Light IMCA Stock Car division for 2016.

“[The season] had its ups and downs, but picked up the Track Championship so I can’t complain,” Tanner replied when asked how he’d summarize the season.

It was definitely true as Portenier endured a grueling season, having to switch cars to remain steadfast against the mechanical issues that plagued him. He ran 17 feature events, of which he finished in the top 10 16 times. He found O’Reilly Auto Parts Victory Lane for the first time late in the summer, resulting in one of his 10 top 5 finishes. By the end of the season, Portenier had enough of a lead on second place that he clinched the title just by showing up on the final race night.

Portenier also spends time in an IMCA Northern SportMod, and captured a victory at Elmwood Park Speedway in Norton during the season.

Help was crucial to his title run. “My dad keeps things running. Mike, Sandy, and Randy let me drive there SportMod and help with anything they can.”

Offering their help in the form of sponsorship were Ultimate Machine, Stull Pumping LLC, Randy Conrad, Waldo Wave, Paradise Valley KLawn, Paradise Smoke and BBQ, and RTK Land Clearing amongst others.

Away from the track Tanner runs a spray rig for Midway Co-op in his hometown of Luray, as well as serving as a volunteer firefighter. He also enjoys Scuba diving and shooting guns and bows.

In 2016 he finally scored his first feature win in the Stock Car after having some SportMod wins in the past. On his future goals he replied: “Win as much as possible.” In 5 years he hopes to still be still behind the wheel of a race car.

by Dusty Wiegert