Mechanical woes each night slowed progress
Big Game Motorsports driver Sammy Swindell was in contention to win a pair of World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series races last weekend despite mechanical woes each night.
"Both nights we were right up there," he said. "We had a little problem with our car in the dash at I-80 Speedway and that was kind of our own fault. We made a change and forgot to top off the power steering fluid."
After qualifying fourth quickest and finishing fourth in his heat race last Friday during the NAPA Shootout at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., Swindell started the dash on the pole. He was in a heated battle for the lead when the power steering issue relegated him to a fifth-place result.
The problem continued to plague the Big Game Treestands team throughout the main event, which opened with Swindell losing a handful of positions.
"We gave up a few there at the start of the race and was able to get most of it back on a restart when I figured out how to drive the car with the problem," he said. "I wound up driving more with my right foot than being able to turn the wheel. It cost us a little bit better finish."
Swindell rallied to record a fifth-place result.
The weekend concluded on Saturday at Lakeside Speedway for the FVP Outlaws at Lakeside.
The Big Game Treestands car qualified third quickest and placed third in the heat race to advance to the dash, which Swindell won to start the main event on the pole. He led the first 14 laps and set the quickest lap overall before a mechanical gremlin started to wreak havoc.
"About Lap 10 we lost a valve or a spring (in the engine), a good 10 percent of the power," he said. "That doesn't sound like a lot, but we're up in the 900s. When you lose 90 horsepower that's a good jolt. Everything just slowed down. The car was still good. We just didn't have the power."
Swindell fell to second place near the midpoint of the race and he lost another position with approximately 10 laps remaining.
"We were fortunate enough that only two guys got by us," he said. "I was trying to get the most out of what I had. We had a wounded car again. The car was definitely better than the finish."
Swindell ended with a third-place finish, which marked his fourth podium of the season.
The Big Game Treestands team will compete this Friday at Jackson Speedway in Jackson, Minn., which is the closest World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series event to the Big Game Treestands headquarters. Additionally, the event - titled the Big Game Shootout brought to you by Eyecon Cameras and Big Game Treestands - is sponsored by Swindell's car owner.
"There will be a lot of people there," Swindell said. "It'll be busy, but we've done real well there in the past. It's one of those tracks I seem to run well at most of the time."
The weekend wraps up on Saturday at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, for the Mediacom Shootout.