Sprint Car driver Shane Stewart's incredible run in 2012 continued last week when he captured the win in the first ever 410ci race at Willamette Speedway in Lebanon, Oregon, defeating World of Outlaws veteran Tim Kaeding. Stewart finished 4th in the dash, took the lead on lap 12 and lead the remaining 18 laps on his way to victory lane, helping him to makeup for a rough weekend until that point.
I'd also say that when we came from fifteenth (starting spot) to win at Freemont in April was pretty cool.
"We had a bizarre week, and it's just nice to finally win one," Stewart said. "It was awesome to finally get a win in the 57."
Stewart is running five different cars in 2012, and so far, he has found victory lane in all three he has driven, the 57, 21 and 3G. The aggressive schedule has also led to a pair of season-defining moments for Stewart, who has been fast everywhere he has raced this season.
"We won the first two nights of the Ronald Laney Memorial, 'The King of the 360s' in Florida to start the season. That was pretty special because I had literally just got back from Australia the day before, and I jumped in the 3G and had an awesome car.
Over the last few years we have been close to winning the Knoxville Nationals, and it's the biggest race of the year.
"I'd also say that when we came from fifteenth (starting spot) to win at Freemont in April was pretty cool," Stewart added. "Anytime you can come from that far back and win is awesome."
Ironically, a week that produced the best memories of 2012 also produced the most disappointing one for Stewart. "The finale of the Ronald Laney Memorial was tough. We had a great car all week long, and after winning the two prelim races, had a commanding lead on Saturday night, but blew a tire in the feature as the track started taking rubber. I know the Laney family and it would have been special to cap off that event with a win."
While Stewart is excited about his early season success and has some impressive finishes and memories, his eyes are already looking forward to the end of summer and the world famous Knoxville Nationals in Knoxville, Iowa. Stewart finished in the runner-up position at last years "Granddaddy of Them All."
"It's still a little over a month away, but I'm already looking forward to the Nationals," Stewart said. "Over the last few years we have been close to winning it, and it's the biggest race of the year. I've had that race on my mind since we crossed the finish line second last season."
Stewart should be considered an early favorite to win the biggest dirt race in the world, given his fast start and strong record at Knoxville in the past. And if he finds victory lane at this years Knoxville Nationals, it will be with K&N Filters on board.
"We use K&N Air and Oil Filters to help maintain our engine and other mechanical components. Races can be won and lost simply with your maintenance program, and K&N gives us the best advantage possible."
Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.