Shane Stewart Looks to Keep Momentum Going at Attica Raceway Park Attica, OH-- May 29, 2008--Shane Stewart has always enjoyed racing at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio and has had a good deal of success there over the years. He has won twice at...
Shane Stewart Looks to Keep Momentum Going at Attica Raceway Park
Attica, OH-- May 29, 2008--Shane Stewart has always enjoyed racing at Attica Raceway Park in Ohio and has had a good deal of success there over the years. He has won twice at the high-banked track and has had a number of strong finishes, but the races he remembers most are a couple of the ones that he was leading on the last lap that slipped away. He'll look to make up for these near misses, as he makes his first start at the track this season on Friday, May 30, with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
Stewart has 11 Top-10 finishes in his career at Attica Raceway Park, including two wins, which both came in 2001. He made five starts at the track last season and had three Top-10 finishes, with two of those being in the Top-Five.
"It's a good track," said Stewart. "They have a lot of dedicated fans in the state of Ohio. That part is good. It's generally a good race there, as long as they don't get the track too wet. I've lost a few heartbreakers there on the last lap, because it's gotten wide and slick and you are able to go wherever, top or bottom. I'm looking forward to going there and hopefully we can get a win."
The majority of events so far this season for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series have been on half-mile tracks and Stewart is geared up to tackle another bullring, especially one he knows very well like Attica Raceway Park. This will be the second event of the season on a 1/3-mile track for the series, joining I-55 Raceway in Missouri where the series competed last month. Stewart finished a very solid ninth in that event.
"Any little track with these guys, you have to have your elbows up," noted the 2005 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year of how to approach Attica. "Any little joint that you go to, you are always in lapped traffic and have cars around you. For sure, you have to have your elbows up there."
As is the case at most events for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, time trials will play a vital role in determining the ultimate outcome on Friday night. This bodes well for Stewart, who leads the series with three quick time honors this year, setting the pace in the finale of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida back in February, as well as being quickest at Manzanita Speedway in Arizona back in March and most recently at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway in North Carolina last weekend in an event that was broadcast live on SPEED.
He is currently second in the battle for the Qwik Liner Cup, which has awarded points to the Top-Five qualifiers in each of the first 12 events of the 2008 season. Attica is the last race remaining in the competition, and Stewart is just three points behind Craig Dollansky, with the winner set to receive $5,000.
"It's a combination of things," he said of the team's strength in time trials this season. "Our motors have been running good, and ever since we put this new car together we have been running good. The two of those make my job easier. We have to still work on the rest of our program. Once we get qualified, we have to get through out heat race and into the (Crane Cams) Dash and at least give ourselves a shot at starting up front."
With large cars counts the norm at Attica, the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers will more than likely receive one lap in time trials. By way of series rules, if more than 40 cars are present for an event, one-lap qualifying is utilized. After timing in 43rd last season at Attica, Stewart powered his way to a fifth-place finish in the third heat race to earn a spot in the A-Feature. Despite lining up on the last row for the main event, he earned a very respectable 14th-place finish passing 10 cars, with a stout field of cars starting the A-Feature. He looks to start closer to the front this year, as he will make his first start at Attica driving for the always potent Roth Motorsports team.
"Time trials are really important there, as well as where you draw to qualify," said the native of Bixby, Oklahoma. "The rim generally gets really close to the top of the race track, and sometimes it's hard to run that fine line. We'll probably only have one lap, so that will make it even more difficult. I'm looking forward to getting there and to have a good showing."
While rain interrupted a large portion of the World of Outlaws schedule this spring, Stewart was able to compete in a number of races in California, where the Roth Motorsports team is based, as he continued to get comfortable with his new team, led by crew chief Bonzai Bruns. He picked up four Top-10 finishes in the Golden State, including a win at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, California where the World of Outlaws will compete later this season.
"It definitely helped," he shared. "Anytime you can race, it doesn't matter where you race, as long as you are racing. That helps the crew mesh more. Everything is new to me here: the crew, the cars, the motors, and the car owner. Anytime you can keep yourself going and stay sharp, it definitely helps."
With two races remaining in the month of May, Stewart is excited to see the calendar turn as the World of Outlaws schedule really begins to pick up with a busy month of June on the horizon.
"This is the most fun time of the year for me," he said. "Whenever you can be out here and race every other day is good. It will help everyone financially as well to race and make up for all of those rain dates we had. June, July and August are my three favorite months on the road."
With two Top-Five finishes in the last three races, Stewart and his team look to carry this momentum into Attica, where he has always run strong and then on to Eldora Speedway. He enters this weekend just 44 points out of the Top-10 in the championship standings, on the strength of four Top-10 finishes, with three of those being in the Top-Five.
"You have to qualify well," Stewart said of what it will take to have a good night at Attica. "With the number of cars they have there, you can't expect to start in the back and do too good. I've been in the back of the A-main and not progressed and I have been in the back and progressed. It really depends on how they do the track. It's like anywhere else with these guys, you can't start at the back and do good. Giving yourself a shot by getting in the dash is the most important thing, then letting the cards fall where they may."
Reserved tickets for the event on Friday, May 30 at Attica Raceway Park are $30. Call (419) 680-5606 or visit www.atticaracewaypark.com for more information.