Stewart Sets Sail for West Coast WoO Action from Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (February 22, 2005) -- After a rare weekend away from the sound of roaring engines, flying mud and fluttering ...
Stewart Sets Sail for West Coast WoO Action
from Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports, OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (February 22, 2005) -- After a rare weekend away from the sound of roaring engines, flying mud and fluttering tear-offs, leading World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year contender Shane Stewart of Bixby, OK, is ready to fire back into action in this weekend's California double aboard the Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports No. 26 Maxim.
"With the trip to Australia, this past weekend was really our first weekend off since Christmas, so that was kind of nice," Shane explained. "But I'm ready to get back at it, I think it'll really feel like the World of Outlaws season is kicking off when we get to California."
Shane recently returned from his 23-event Australian tour and had barely set foot upon American soil before buckling into the Wesmar-powered Rudeen Development sprinter for Winter Nationals action at Volusia Speedway Park near Daytona Beach, FL.
After tuning up for World of Outlaws competition with a pair of top-ten All Star runs on February 9 and 10, Shane kicked off his World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year pursuit on Friday night, February 11, aboard the HRP Wings/Schoenfeld Headers mount.
With a total of 58 cars competing in the Florida WoO double, Shane drove the Brodix/Banshee Graphics machine to a ninth place finish in the Friday night opener, then made an impressive charge from 18th to claim eleventh in Sunday night's non-stop 30-lap finale. The pair of strong outings puts Shane eighth in the early season WoO point standings, with a healthy advantage over Rookie of the Year rivals Tim Kaeding and Brandon Wimmer.
"The field in Florida was so tough, every car that was there is a car you're gonna see at the Knoxville Nationals," Shane commented. "And the track was so fast, we were averaging 130 miles per hour, which is as fast as we go at Eldora. When it's that fast, it obviously helps to start toward the front."
"Take Sunday night's qualifying, there were just two-tenths of a second separating first from twentieth. We were twentieth, and we were only seven-hundredths off of eighth-quick time, it's just so close you're really splitting hairs. There were at least four or five top Outlaw cars in the "B" Feature each night, Joey (Saldana) and Danny (Lasoski) both had to use provisionals both nights, so it was definitely tough."
"We made the show each night and we were going forward every night we raced, including the All Star races, so it was a good start for us, I can't complain at all," Shane concluded.
Next on the agenda for Stewart and the Rudeen Racing powered by mIn Motorsports No. 26 team is this weekend's World of Outlaws action at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA, on Friday night, with competition at Bakersfield Speedway to follow on Saturday night.
While Shane has turned some competitive laps in California, the Tulare and Bakersfield clay ovals will both be new ground for the Oklahoma hotshoe in the XYZ Machining/Car & Fleet Auto racing machine.
"I've been to Hanford and I've been to Perris, but this will be my first time at both Tulare and Bakersfield. They're both supposed to be pretty racy places, and with as much rain as they've had out there recently it looks like it'll be time to 'Cowboy-Up'. I'm looking forward to it."
Fans planning on attending Saturday night's event at Bakersfield Speedway will have an extra opportunity to meet Shane and purchase merchandise, as the pit area will be open to all fans from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
After this weekend's California double, Shane, Team Manager Scott Chilcutt and co-crew chiefs Eric Manfrass and Bob Curtis will journey to Phoenix, AZ, for the March 4-5 Cactus Classic at Manzanita Speedway, before moving on to Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 10-11.
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