Spending his off-season “Down-Under” sprint car driver, Shane Stewart recently rolled into the Sydney Speedway, at Parramatta, Australia, eager to compete in the Scott Darley Challenge with confidence on his side. The driver and his team were coming off of a couple of wins, and were the defending champions of the event ahead of them.
410 class Sprint Car racer Shane Stewart at Sydney Speedway in Parramatta, Australia
But this season, the Scott Darley Challenge would lend to a different set of circumstances for Stewart. In fact, by the event’s end, the word “challenge” would likely stand out in his mind.
Racing in the 410 class, Stewart started in the fourth position in his heat. at the waving of the green flag, the driver immediately began working his way to the front of the field. But going into the first corner, Stewart got a little close to another driver and ran over his right-rear tire. In turn, damage to his car demanded it be pitted, hampering his finish to ninth place and diminishing his overall points.
Although the miscalculation lent to a fairly significant wreck, Stewart’s car sustained little damage. In fact, the crew was able to work their magic and had the rig ready for the next race in less than one-half hour.
Lining up in the third spot in the C-Main, Shane Stewart went to work immediately when the race was deemed underway. Eager to improve his points standings he took the win and in turn, earned a 16th starting position in the B main.
Again, Stewart wasted no time moving forward in the field, and by the race’s end had managed to make it to third place, cinching a 23rd starting spot in the feature.
Still focused on salvaging his points standing, the driver proved he was one of the fastest at the track. Utilizing a few red flags here and there, he managed to continue forward as the race progressed, and eventually finished in the top five.
“We had to run the alphabet soup, he recalled. “We won the C-Main, ran second in the B-Main and ended up running third in the main event that night. It was a testament to my team. They worked hard to get the car fixed for me.”
Returning to the venue on the following night, Stewart and his crew had high expectations that bad luck was in their rear-view mirror. Taking a second place in his heat, Stewart was locked into the feature event.
Starting in the eighth spot, Shane Stewart’s hopes once again were sidetracked when he experienced contact with another car. Once again, the driver’s car sustained damage, as the drag link was bent into his left-side header. In turn his steering was bound and consequentially caused the car to spin and ended their night.
Although not happy with the outcome, as an experienced driver and a holder of many titles throughout his sprint car racing career, Shane Stewart was more than aware of how to handle an outing that proved less than hoped for.
“You have to not dwell on a bad night,” he explained. “All you can do is keep your head up, keep working hard and hope for the best. Sprint car racing is a tough sport and can beat you up.”
Experience has also taught Stewart that one’s overall success also depends a great deal upon keeping their car maintained. Not only does he and his team strive to ensure everything is in working order, but they are strong advocates of keeping the internal components of their engines contaminant free.
That in mind, they turn to K&N products for their filtering needs. “I have used K&N products for over 10 years,” he explained. “I could not be happier with how well their air filters and oil filters work. Keeping your engine clean is very vital in finishing all races that we run. Our engine builders always praise us when they tear down our motors on how clean they are inside
With the Scott Darley Challenge behind him, one can rest assured that Shane Stewart will be back on track, and will be awing race fans in the weeks to come. In fact, the driver is scheduled to be back in the states by April’s end and is looking forward to experiencing yet another successful season in 2013.
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