Shane Stewart and his crew recently arrived in Little Rock, Arkansas, all set to compete in the 25th annual ASCS Short Track Nationals at I-30 Speedway. The driver was no stranger to this particular venue, as he had battled Sammy Swindle for the championship during the same event one year prior.
Shane Steward is gearing up for his annual string of races in Australia
After heavy rains lent to the calling of the event on the opening night, Stewart and his competitors returned the following day. Starting in the ninth spot during his first qualifying run, he was the fifth driver to cross the finish line. Lining up in the fifth position in his second qualifying run of the night, the driver immediately began working his way to the front of the pack. By the final lap, he had the lead and took the checkered flag.
With the win under his belt, the driver went into the feature with anticipation of taking up where he had left off, but not so. When the mud had stopped flying, Shane Stewart had ended the race in seventh place.
Returning on the final night, Stewart lined up for the championship race, against a field of drivers, each and every one sharing the same incentives. Not only did they consider a victory advantageous to their overall points at the season's end, but $15,000.00 awaited the first driver to muscle his way 25 laps to the finish line and the much anticipated checkered flag. But this simply wasn't the driver's night to earn a victory.
"The track got real slow tonight, but actually started taking a little bit of rubber toward the end of the race," recalled Stewart. "It was really hard to pass. Of course, the guys who were good tonight were able to get up toward the front. We were just missing a little bit. I'm not sure why, but we just couldn't get it going."
Although Shane Stewart couldn't get his ducks in a row during the championship race, this was no indication of this season's success. In fact, it was just a slight bump in the road for a driver who year-in and year-out has managed to rouse the fans throughout the United States and in Australia.
"You know, we've had a pretty good season," recalled Stewart. We had a good Knoxville Nationals again. We won the 360 class race and ended up sixth in the 410. We always run real good there, and are aways excited to get back there. We've had a pretty good summer. I can't complain."
With the Short Track Nationals behind him, Stewart had no time to thrive on the past, as he had a busy schedule waiting in the days to come. The driver was geared up and ready to race at Charlotte the following weekend which would end his run in the states for the season.
Although Shane Stewart logs a multitude of miles traveling from venue to venue throughout our summer months, he is preparing for the longest journey of the year, as he will be headed to Australia in early December. This is not the drivers first stint down under and he is eager for what is apt to transpire in the months to come.
"I love it," he explained. I've got a lot of good friends down there, and I drive for a great team. It's warm there of course, and that helps," he said jokingly. "There's a lot of good racing in Australia, and I really enjoy it."
Regardless of which side of the globe Shane Stewart is racing on, one thing is for certain, success depends a great deal upon proper maintenance. That in mind, the driver is a strong advocate of proper filtration of the air feeding into his intake as well as the oil flowing through his block. In turn, he is a fan and user of K&N products.
"I've used K&N filters for the past ten years," he explained. "They're awesome. You can't beat their air filters. The filters also hold up well under our environments. Of course, K&N oil filters are also spectacular. We always put their cleaner on our air filters and it always gets the dirt out. Anytime you send an engine back to the builder, they always say it's clean inside, and at the end of the day, that's all you can ask for."
In spite of a bust schedule, Alongside NASCAR driver, Jeff Gordon, Shane Stewart finds time to support, Kick-It. A non-profit organization dedicated to funding the research to help fight childhood cancer
Although racing is of utmost importance and extremely time consuming, Shane Stewart still manages to find time to give back to his fellow man. "We've got a sponsorship with Jeff Gordon, the Children's "Kick-it" Foundation, the driver shared. "It's designed to raise money to fund research to help fight childhood cancer. It's a great opportunity and a great organization. It's great to have Jeff Gordon involved. Sprint cars are kind of where he cut his teeth, and he has a lot of sprint car fans who follow him in NASCAR. It's really a good opportunity to have the Kick-It organization and Jeff Gordon involved."
In closing Shane Stewart said, "Hopefully, I can run up front at Charlotte, and end the season on a strong note. I was a little disappointed in our performance tonight," he continued. "I try to race hard every time I'm at the track, and try to put on a good show for the fans. I can't do what I do without their support and the support from great sponsors like K&N, and I can't thank them enough."
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