Shane Stewart recently headed for Knoxville, Iowa, with anticipations of racing in the Knoxville Nationals. Arriving at the destination, Stewart prepared to race at a venue of which throughout the years he had grown to appreciate, as he had raced there many times before.
Shane Stewart recently took second place at the 51st Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals
Upon showing up at Knoxville, Iowa to race in the Knoxvile Nationals, Shane Stewart was prepared to race at a venue a where he had raced many times before.
"We felt that we had a good chance of doing well," recalled the driver.
"We always seem to run good at Knoxville. We had won the 360 Nationals there the year prior, and had finished on the podium in the Knoxville Nationals last year. The Rockstar/Makita car always runs good there. Our Westmar Engines were running strong, and our A.R.T. cars were working good all week."
Referring to the competition, he continued, "You have to have everything go well and work together to be successful at that event. The competition is the toughest it will be all year at this event. Every team brings their best equipment, because they want to be a Knoxville champion."
Lining up 17th in the 410 class of the 51st Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals, the driver had fifty laps to make up a lot of ground prior to crossing the finish line. As soon as the race was underway, Stewart began working his way to the front of the pack. In fact, he had already passed five cars when the race was stopped for the second time in the 14th circuit.
Immediately upon the restart, Shane Stewart didn't waste any time overtaking his competitors. Passing fellow drivers, Brian Brown and Sam Hafertepe Jr. in short order, he had already worked his way into the tenth position by the fifteenth lap. During the next two laps, Stewart muscled his way around Tim Shaffer and Mark Dobmier's cars and continued his quest to overtake all drivers that might stand between him and the podium.
After the teams refueled and embarked upon the final half of the race, Shane Stewart began the remainder of his stellar run from sixth place.
Quickly working his way around Dale Blaney, the driver then found himself in a battle with Jason Meyers, and took over the forth spot when his competitor experienced a mechanical failure in lap 35.
Six laps later, Stewart took possession of third place and eventually slid into the second spot with only two laps to go. Although he was obviously on a roll and had made up an astonishing amount of ground during the first 48 laps of the race, there weren't enough laps remaining to catch Donny Schatz, who ultimately took the checkered flag.
Of course, Shane Stewart would have preferred earning the win, but the driver was also aware that he had made quite an accomplishment. "We started in the 17th spot and right away we started to pass some cars," explained Stewart. "On the mandatory fuel stop we were running in the sixth spot. Lap forty-seven is when we passed Sammy Swindell for second and at the end of the race were within a couple of cars to Donny. This was a very hard race to make, let alone do what we did as a team coming from the back. We were all real happy about our performance."
When asked if proper maintenance can be credited for a portion of his team's success, Stewart said, "We have used K&N products for four years now, and we could not be more happy with the quality they provide. Our engine builder says that our motors look great every time they take them apart.
When we won the 360 Nationals this year, the engine we won with had 21 nights on it. You cannot do that without having a good air system on your engine."
In closing, Shane Stewart said, "We would like to thank Rockstar, Makita, Lucas Oil, ART chassis, and Wesmar Engines. We could not do what we love to do without these guys."
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