Shane Stewart and his crew recently came to Little Rock Arkansas, with anticipation of racing in the Lucas Oil ASCS 24th Annual Short Track Nationals. One-hundred of the best drivers in the country were scheduled to compete on the quarter-mile dirt oval track.
Shane Stewart is leading in the 2011 points race with just a few races left on the schedule.
Shane Stewart's #57 Paul Sylvia's Wesmar-Powered Rockstar Energy Drink-Makita A.R.T.
On the first evening of the three night event, Stewart finished first in his heat race. As the night progressed, the driver crossed the finish line ahead of the #99 car of Brady Bacon, in the ten-lap qualifying race, earning his second victory of the night. Although the rain eventually began to fall, Stewart managed to run in the "A" feature before the event was delayed until the following day. Once again, Shane found himself in a heated battle with Bacon, and although he crossed the finish line in second place, Shane Stewart and his #57 Paul Sylvia's Wesmar-Powered Rockstar Energy Drink-Makita A.R.T. had earned a guaranteed spot in the finale where $15,000.00 awaited the driver who earned the checkered flag.
Although plagued with rain on the first night of the event, the precipitation was short lived and the following two evenings were optimal for racing. After cinching a spot in the championship race on the first night, Stewart watched on as the remaining drivers fought for one of the twenty positions in the finale. Once the spots had been filled it was finally time to get out there and run against the drivers who had proved to be the best at this particular event.
After finishing second in the dash, Stewart lined up beside Danny Lasoski in the championship race. At the waving of the green flag, Shane took the lead position early, but was eventually challenged by Sammy Swindell, as they experienced four cautions in the first eight laps.
After the fourth lap Stewart and Swindell continued to battle for the lead. Shane held tight to the inside in each turn as Swindell remained just above him. The battle was fierce and Shane managed to hold on to the lead until lap 13 when Swindell finally managed to muscle his way around him and eventually took a commanding lead.
As the race continued, Shane Stewart once again found himself in a battle with Brady Bacon, the driver he had battled for the first place positions in his qualifying and "A" feature races just two nights before. Both drivers had managed to out-do the other on the first night of the event, but this was a different night, and no one knew what the outcome might be. When both drivers had crossed the finish line and the dust had settled, they had each earned a spot on the podium, as Brady finished second and Shane Stewart took third.
"The car just seemed to change a little bit and got loose on me," explained Stewart. Referring to Swindell, Stewart said, "He was definitely a dominant car. Once he got around me, he was going to be hard to catch. The track was good. I wish the top had been a little better. The bottom part of the race track was the better part. It just wasn't my race to win, I guess."
As the 2011 season winds down, Shane Stewart is leading in points with just a few races left on the schedule. When asked the key to success throughout the remainder of the season, the driver said, "Just run up front. That's what we have to keep doing. That's the main thing in our sport, just trying to win races for our sponsors. If you can do that, the points kind of take care of themselves."
Throughout the season, Shane Stewart and his #57 car have been a force to reckon with. That said, Stewart and his team are acutely aware that their success depends a great deal on keeping their engine properly maintained. Stewart has been using K&N products for the past twelve years. The driver depends on K&N air and oil filters as well as air filter cleaner and oil. When asked his take on K&N products, the driver said, "K&N products are superior to anything else out there on the market."
Shane Stewart is also aware of the importance of his sponsors and fans. In closing he said, I'd like to thank Rockstar, Makita, K&N and all of the guys who help us," Referring to the fans, he continued, "We'd like to thank everybody for coming out tonight. It was a great crowd."
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