2008 World of Outlaws Season Review: Jason Sides Concord, NC-- November 19, 2008--Hardwork, determination and sprint car racing are what Jason Sides knows best. He combined those three elements again this past season as he took to the road...
2008 World of Outlaws Season Review: Jason Sides
Concord, NC-- November 19, 2008--Hardwork, determination and sprint car racing are what Jason Sides knows best. He combined those three elements again this past season as he took to the road with the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series.
When the dust settled, the 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year had racked up 17 Top-10 finishes, with three of those being Top-Five performances and he was 13th in the series championship standings. He raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash 16 times in 2008 to earn Top-10 starting spots in A-Feature events. He did this all mainly with one crew member, doing much of the work on his race car himself, as well as driving the truck and trailer from race to race.
"I guess it is a lot of determination and we just enjoy racing," Sides said earlier this season when asked about what it takes to be successful and stay motivated on the road with the World of Outlaws, with the countless miles spent driving from track to track and the endless hours of work on the race car.
After opening the season in Australia with two Top-10 finishes against a number of fellow World of Outlaws competitors at Parramatta City Raceway, Sides arrived early in Florida to gear up for the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. He finished seventh in the finale of the annual event and ran strong in all three A-Feature events contested by the World of Outlaws, leaving the Sunshine State in the Top-10 in the series standings.
After rain interrupted a number of the events in the early spring, Sides picked up his best finish of the season with the World of Outlaws at the famed Eldora Speedway in Ohio, where he is a past winner of the Kings Royal, coming home third on April 11. It was the second consecutive season that he had finished on the podium at the half-mile in the early spring event at the track.
"It seems like we have hit on something here," said Sides after that race. "Last year we had a good run here the first time around. Usually when it is cooler like it was, it stays a little wet and is a little bit better for me around the bottom. We got around the top some, but we were on the bottom most of the time. We'll take them anyway we can get them."
Sides hit his stride in late July, rattling off five consecutive Top-10 finishes, including a fourth-place effort in the series debut at 34 Raceway in Iowa, after a strong sixth-place showing in the previous race at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky, where he was in the Top-Three for much of the race. He carried that momentum on to Wilmot Speedway and Charter Raceway Park, both in Wisconsin, where he had solid runs. During this stretch of races, Sides had an extra crew member helping the team, which paid big dividends, especially with it being in the heat of the summer, during a stretch of six races in a nine-day period at six tracks in five different states.
"It seems like when we have an extra guy helping that it puts less pressure on us to get things done, and we can watch the race track and do other things," said Sides, after the fourth-place run at 34 Raceway."That really seems to help out. We qualified decent and had a good heat race and made it to the dash. We went forward some in the feature, so it was a good night."
The Knoxville Nationals followed and the veteran driver finished a very strong sixth on the first preliminary night. This helped him secure a spot in the A-Feature for sprint car racing's biggest event, where he finished a very respectable 17th with a field of over 100 cars in attendance. He had made the A-Feature event in the Knoxville Nationals in three of the last four seasons.
Sides continued his summer surge with a strong run at Red River Valley Speedway in North Dakota, coming home ninth in an event which was postponed by weather earlier in the season. He also picked up Top-10 finishes at Billings Motorsports Park in Montana and Castrol Raceway in Edmonton during the annual Gold Rush Tour. He continued his strong western swing with another Top-10 run at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Washington.
The native of Bartlett, Tennessee wrapped up the Gold Rush Tour with a strong showing on the opening night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in California, coming all the way from the 24th starting spot to finish eighth to earn the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award, an honor he received twice during the 2008 season.
As the 2008 campaign wound down, Sides continued to have consistent runs, with Top-10 finishes at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York, Hollywood Hills Speedway in New Mexico and Heartland Park in Topeka in Kansas, helping him secure the 13th spot in the championship standings.
Sides wrapped the 2008 season up on a very high note finishing fifth in the finale of the VAULT World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway live on SPEED.
The 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series seasons kicks off February 6-8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.