Shane Stewart Seeks Reversal of Fortune at Knoxville from Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (April 27, 2005) -- Over the course of a 100-race season, the occasional rough weekend is an inevitability....
Shane Stewart Seeks Reversal of Fortune at Knoxville
from Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (April 27, 2005) -- Over the course of a 100-race season, the occasional rough weekend is an inevitability. This past weekend was one of those trying ones for Shane Stewart and the Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports No. 26 Sprint Car team.
The upside is that a busy schedule leaves little time to dwell on the past, as the team readies the Wesmar-powered Maxim Sprint Car for this Friday and Saturday night's World of Outlaws doubleheader at Iowa's famed Knoxville Raceway at the Marion County Fairgrounds.
Shane entered the weekend's action at Outlaw Motor Speedway in Wainwright, OK, on Friday and Wichita's 81 Speedway on Saturday ranked seventh in points and atop the series Rookie points chase after top-ten finishes in ten of the series initial 14 feature events of 2005.
Shane was fast both nights in the HRP Wings/Schoenfeld Headers mount and in position to bid for victory honors after earning second row starting berths on successive nights. But opening lap contact with the wall ended Friday night's run, and magneto problems forced the XYZ Machining/Car & Fleet Auto entry pitside before the green flag ever flew on Saturday night.
"Our weekend was awful, just awful," Shane commented. "It really hurts us points-wise, those are gonna be some difficult points to make up. But, we've just got to keep in mind it's a long year and everyone's gonna have some problems somewhere along the way."
"The first night was my fault. The second wasn't anybody's fault at all, it was just one of those weird things that happens. At Outlaw Motor Speedway, the top four cars all went into turn one in the middle of the track. The wind caught every one of us and just pushed us up the track and into the wall. I didn't think we hit the wall hard enough to tear up as much as we did, but obviously we did."
"Then at Wichita, we had a broken pin in the magneto and we were done. It might have had something to do with the night before, but I don't think so. One of these other guys told me they've had them break before, but only on the dyno. So, it's just one of those weird deals."
While the weekend cost the Rudeen Development team two positions in the points race, Shane still enters this weekend's double at Knoxville Raceway ranked ninth in points and holds a slim lead in the Rookie of the Year chase.
"We'll use this weekend as a test and tune for the Nationals," Shane explains about the upcoming weekend. "This Knoxville weekend is probably more important for us than in the past just because we're not going to be able to go there as much as we have the last couple of years."
Shane has enjoyed his fair share of success atop the famed half-mile clay oval in recent years, earning a pair of seventh place finishes in each of the last two editions of the Knoxville Nationals and collecting Southern Iowa Speedweek Mr. Sprint Car honors in the process.
"I think we're faster now than we've been at this point of the season the past couple of years just because we've been racing with these Outlaw guys day in and day out. So hopefully we'll go better at Knoxville than we have in the early race the last couple of years."
Following this weekend's Knoxville Raceway double, Shane's next outing aboard the Brodix/Banshee Graphics machine will be at Lake Ozark Speedway on Friday night, May 6. The following night, the team moves on to Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, IL. Then on Monday night, May 9, the team makes its final Oklahoma appearance of 2005 at Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, just west of Fort Smith, AR.
Additional information regarding Shane Stewart and the Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports No. 26 sprint car team, including schedule and up-to-date results, is available at www.rudeenracing.com.