Shane Stewart Set to Storm into Weekend WoO Action from Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (March 29, 2005) -- After a rare weekend off to celebrate the Easter Holiday, Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart...
Shane Stewart Set to Storm into Weekend WoO Action
from Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (March 29, 2005) -- After a rare weekend off to celebrate the Easter Holiday, Bixby, Oklahoma's Shane Stewart hops back aboard the Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports No. 26 Sprint Car for this weekend's World of Outlaws action at Batesville (AR) Speedway on Friday and I-55 Raceway in Pevely, MO, on Saturday.
The World of Outlaws Sprint series' leading Rookie of the Year contender, Shane entered the break as one of the series' hottest drivers with five consecutive top-ten feature finishes and looks to carry that momentum through this weekend and on to the next break, which takes place after the season finale this October in Las Vegas.
"A break is always nice to have, especially with it being Easter, it was nice to get to spend some time with my family," Shane explained.
"If they're gonna have a break though, sometime in July might be nice," Shane added jokingly. "There's so many races that time of the year."
Prior to this past weekend's break, Shane turned in yet another impressive charge by steering the Wesmar-powered No. 26 Rudeen Development Maxim all the way from 17th to seventh at Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, MS, on Friday night, March 18.
The next night, Shane moved the HRP Wings/Schoenfeld Headers mount from eight to fourth at Houston Raceway Park, extending his streak of top-ten feature finishes to five. Shane has finished outside the top ten in just two of nine World of Outlaws feature events thus far in 2005.
"We qualified bad again at Pike County, and if you want to pinpoint one area where we've been hurting, our biggest dilemma is qualifying," Shane commented. "If we can get going as good early as we are late, I think we're gonna be really good."
"We were really going good late at Pike County, I mean we were picking off a car every lap. If we can just start qualifying more consistently, we'll be in good shape."
Despite the team's occasional struggles in qualifying, Shane has still taken the XYZ Machining/Car & Fleet Auto racer all the way up to seventh in World of Outlaws series points. Shane also extended his lead in the Rookie of the Year points chase to 133 markers over Tim Kaeding, with Brandon Wimmer 262 points off Shane's pace.
"Kevin (Rudeen) has been really happy with our performance at the track," Shane explained of the team's early success. "That's what we talked about at the beginning of the year, that we wanted to be consistent, and we've managed to do that so far."
The 3/8-mile Batesville Speedway could hold some good karma for the young Oklahoma hotshoe, as fellow Oklahoma racer Andy Hillenburg raced to victory lane in the series only previous Batesville stop in 1993.
And while it's been a dozen years since the World of Outlaws have raced at Batesville Speedway, Shane has turned some successful laps atop the high-speed oval over the past two years by notching three podium finishes in American Sprint Car Series competition, including a triumph on September 5, 2003.
That recent experience however, "Won't make much of a difference at all," according to Stewart. "These Outlaw guys are all so good it won't matter that they haven't been there in a long time, they'll still get 'em dialed in, it'll be the same group of guys up front that we have to beat."
Following Batesville, Shane will take to I-55 Raceway's high-banked 3/8-mile oval aboard the Brodix/Banshee Graphics machine. Shane has fared well at I-55 in recent outings as well, recording top ten finishes in World of Outlaws action each of the past two years.
Following this weekend's World of Outlaws Sprint series action in Arkansas and Missouri, Shane and the Rudeen Development No. 26 team will gear up for the high banks of Eldora Speedway on April 8-9. Shane, along with co-crew chiefs Eric Manfrass and Bob Curtis and Team Manager Scott Chilcutt, will round out the month of April with events in Indiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and Iowa.
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.