Shane Stewart turns up the heat in August. OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (August 20, 2003) - Shane Stewart has been on a tear over the first half of August in Scott Chilcutt's Oklahoma City-based No. 4m Sprint Car. Considering that a number of the...
Shane Stewart turns up the heat in August.
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (August 20, 2003) - Shane Stewart has been on a tear over the first half of August in Scott Chilcutt's Oklahoma City-based No. 4m Sprint Car. Considering that a number of the year's biggest events take place during the heat of August, Shane's timing couldn't be better.
With more than 90 entries on hand for Knoxville Raceway's Pella Corporation Classic, Shane kicked off the month in style with a podium finish, crossing the stripe in a closing third position aboard the Cox Communications/Brodix/Sander Engineering sprinter on Saturday night, August 2.
With a few days before the Southern Iowa Speedweek got under way, Rob Hart made a quick trip to Indianapolis to celebrate with Cathy Barrows the birth of the couple's daughter, Ella, on August 7.
Hart returned in time for the Saturday night, August 9, event at Knoxville Raceway, which kicked off the pursuit of the Auto Trader Mr. Sprint Car title. With Hart and Australian Dave Sharman fine-tuning the Wesmar-powered Hoosier-shod Maxim, Shane came out of the chute quickly, racing to his first career Knoxville Raceway feature victory. Shane outdueled fellow Oklahoma shoe Wayne Johnson, then took off in the final laps to notch the 410-ci Sprint Car triumph over a stout field of 49 cars.
The next night, in the 360-ci Brodix Tournament of Champions at Knoxville Raceway, Shane was spectacular in storming from 20th to second aboard the Banshee Graphics/Schoenfeld Headers machine. Shane pulled alongside eventual winner Terry McCarl and challenged for the lead on the final round, falling just a car length short at the checkered flag in the event that featured 63 entries from thirteen different sanctioning bodies across the country.
Next on the agenda was Oskaloosa's Front Row Challenge at Southern Iowa Speedway on Monday night, August 11. Shane toured the half-mile fairgrounds oval in 15.818-seconds in qualifying, fourth best among the 56 entries. Shane then needed little more than a lap to charge from eighth to first in the mIn Motorsports Management/Express Transit/Pro Lube Center sprinter en route to a dominant heat race victory, then finished a strong third in the main event.
As the 43rd Annual Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals kicked off on Wednesday night, August 13, Shane came from tenth in the preliminary main event to post a solid fourth place finish in the B&B Oval Products/HRP Wings mount. After all qualifying points were tallied upon the completion of Thursday night's preliminary event, Shane was tenth in points among the 114 entries, good enough to earn the pole position for Friday night's A Main Scramble.
Shane led the field to the green flag in Friday night's "A" Main Scramble, and after swapping slide jobs with fellow front row starter Kerry Madsen on the opening round, Shane simply checked out on the star-studded field en route to collecting $7,000 for the 12-lap triumph in the "Visit Australia Down and Dirty Down Under Tour" machine.
Shane's "A" Main Scramble triumph was enough to improve his starting position in Saturday's Knoxville Nationals finale from tenth to sixth. Shane battled in the top ten throughout the 30-lap finale, spending much of the race battling with sprint car legends Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell. Following a late caution, Shane made a charge off the final turn and nearly overtook Kinser. Shane fell just short of slipping past Kinser at the line and settled for a career-best seventh place finish in the Knoxville Nationals.
The seventh-place Knoxville Nationals finish was more than enough to secure the Auto Trader Mr. Sprint Car title by a healthy margin, as Shane had virtually locked up the $2,500 award before Saturday night's action got under way.
The sharply dressed mIn Motorsports Management crew was also awarded Best Appearing Crew honors among the 114 Knoxville Nationals entries, with the Wesmar-powered Maxim machine earning runner-up honors in the Best Appearing Car category.