Manzanita: Shane Stewart preview

Shane Stewart Ready for West Coast WoO Swing after Strong Florida Start OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (February 17, 2004) -- After a strong Florida Speedweeks that included the team's first feature triumph of the year, Shane Stewart and the ...

Shane Stewart Ready for West Coast WoO Swing after Strong Florida Start

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (February 17, 2004) -- After a strong Florida Speedweeks that included the team's first feature triumph of the year, Shane Stewart and the Oklahoma City-based No. 4m Sprint Car team is ready for the World of Outlaws season opener this weekend at Manzanita Speedway in Phoenix, AZ.

Shane will take to Manzanita's fast half-mile clay oval riding a wave of momentum in Scott Chilcutt's Wesmar-powered Penske Shocks/mIn Motorsports Management mount after establishing himself as one of this year's top contenders by posting six top-four runs and ten top-ten finishes in eleven Florida features.

On the heels of a successful Australian tour that included one feature victory and four podium finishes, Shane's 2004 stateside debut got off to a rocky start with a heat race tangle in the East Bay Raceway Park "King of the 360's" opener on January 28. Shane gave the fans in Tampa their money's worth though, advancing first through the "C" Feature in winning fashion, then advancing to the evening's main event through the "B" Feature. Shane capped the night by charging from deep in the field to capture ninth.

The next night, Shane earned a front row outside starting position in the main event and proceeded to drive the Hoosier-shod Sander Engineering/Brodix No. 4m Maxim to victory lane. After a torrid battle for the lead over the first 18 rounds, Shane checked out on his rivals in the final seven laps to post the team's first triumph of 2004.

With Shane solidly entrenched as a top contender for "King of the 360's" honors, Mother Nature intervened, washing out the final two nights of action with no makeup date available.

Six nights of racing action atop Volusia Speedway Park's half-mile dirt oval in Barberville was next on the docket for Shane and company.

Shane settled for eleventh, his only finish outside the top ten, after suffering a cut right rear tire while battling among the top five in the latter stages of the Tuesday night, February 3, 360-ci feature.

Shane bounced back in strong form the next night by setting quick time aboard the Banshee Graphics/B&B Oval Products entry. Shane quickly advanced from his eighth starting slot in the feature, battling among the lead pack before taking the checkered flag in a strong third position.

With four nights of 360-ci action in the books, Rob Hart and Cathy Barrows swapped engines, putting the 410-ci Wesmar powerplant in place for the four-night Volusia Speedway Park Winter Nationals.

Shane led the way in the Schoenfeld Headers/HRP Wings machine for the opening ten rounds in Thursday night's opener before traffic came into play. Poised to mount a bid to regain the lead in the final laps, an untimely caution appeared, giving the race leader a reprieve with a clear racetrack, forcing Shane to accept a solid second place finish.

After another top-ten run on Friday night (ninth), Shane recorded his fourth podium finish of Florida Speedweeks in Saturday's feature by racing to third place. Ranked second in points over three nights of qualifying, Shane started Sunday night's $10,000-to-win main event from the third row inside. Shane battled among the top five throughout the Volusia finale, ultimately taking the checkered flag in an impressive fourth position.

After two days off, Shane and crew returned to East Bay Raceway Pak for the 410-ci East Bay Raceway Park Winter Nationals. Continuing his trend of top finishes, Shane crossed the stripe eighth in the Wednesday, February 11, opener, then finished second in Thursday's main event after a spirited battle for the lead. Shane then claimed ninth in Friday's feature, amassing enough points over the three qualifying nights to rank fifth among the sturdy field of entries. Slated to start the Saturday, February 14, $10,000-to-win East Bay Winter Nationals finale from the front row outside, weather once again came into play, washing out the finale with no available rain date.

With a successful Florida Speedweeks in the books, Shane, along with crew team Rob Hart and Cathy Barrows, now makes the cross-country trek to compete in the World of Outlaws season opener at Arizona's Manzanita Speedway on February 20-21.

Shane and the No. 4m team will compete in the early portion of the World of Outlaws schedule before taking to Devil's Bowl Speedway near Dallas, TX, for the Sprint Bandits much-anticipated series debut on March 19-20. Shane and the No. 4m team will compete in approximately 100 racing events in 2004.

More information regarding Shane Stewart and the No. 4m Sprint car team, including the early season schedule and subsequent results, is available at www.min-motorsports.com.

-mm-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Shane Stewart