Thunder Valley: Race report

Shane Stewart Wins First World of Outlaws Main Event UNION HILL, LA (March 26) -- Shane Stewart dodged spinning lapped cars twice during the final five laps on his way to winning his first World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Feature Friday...

Shane Stewart Wins First World of Outlaws Main Event

UNION HILL, LA (March 26) -- Shane Stewart dodged spinning lapped cars twice during the final five laps on his way to winning his first World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Feature Friday when the series ran its inaugural event at Thunder Valley Speedway.

Stewart, who won successive World of Outlaws Sprint Series Preliminary Features at the Talladega Short Track and Devil's Bowl Speedway in October of 2001, led all 35 laps to claim the $10,000 first prize.

"I couldn't be happier," said Stewart, who visited with elementary school children in Bixby, OK, Wednesday. "(Crew Chief) Rob (Hart)'s mom passed away earlier this year, and I'm sure she's smiling down on us now. This is just awesome! This team is incredible; we've been fast all year long. We picked up Ol' Glory as a sponsor, and I wish Carson and those guys could be here to celebrate with us tonight. This MIN Motorsports car with Hoosier tires and a Wesmar engine was great tonight.

"I started getting nervous the last couple of laps because the bottom was going away, and I kept waiting for someone to get around me on the top. I would have never believed that this race would have been won on the bottom. The Good Lord was definitely with us tonight. We had a lapped car spin right in front of us, and then he spun again in front of us a couple of laps later. You fans are awesome, and I'm glad you were here tonight. I don't know what else to say -- this is just awesome!"

Stewart, who won the First Dash Race for the privilege of starting the main event on the pole, narrowly missed colliding with Sam Haertepe, Jr., during the 25th and 27th laps. Terry McCarl finished second, just inches ahead of fast qualifier Steve Kinser who was racing for his 500th World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Feature victory.

Stewart drove MIN Motorsports' #4M Ol' Glory Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event, only to have Second Heat Race winner Brian Paulus spin in the second corner early in the opening lap. Stewart won a front-straightaway drag race with Second Dash Race winner Kraig Kinser to take the lead when the race resumed.

Brooke Tatnell, the only Australian driver to win a World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event, passed Jason Sides and McCarl during the second and fourth laps to take over fourth place.

Stewart was 12 car-lengths ahead of Kraig Kinser when he entered lapped traffic five laps into the race. Steve Kinser passed Sides for fifth place early in lap eight, only to have First Heat Race winner Danny Lasoski take the position with an inside move in turn four 3½ laps later.

Erin Crocker's fourth-corner spin tightened the field and took the leaders out of lapped traffic late in lap 14. Tatnell passed Kraig Kinser for second place, while Steve Kinser took the fifth position from Lasoski as the green flag replaced the yellow.

Third Heat Race winner Brian Brown suffered a broken front axle when he collided with "B" Feature winner Brandon Wimmer in the first corner one lap later. Brown's crew was unable to repair the #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim in time for him to restart the race.

"The Dude" passed Steve Kinser as the race resumed, then took fourth place from McCarl four laps later, only to spin in turn two early in the 20th lap.

Tim Shaffer and "The King of the Outlaws" took the inside line through the second corner to pass Kraig Kinser as the green flag replaced the yellow. Steve Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Shaffer for fourth place with an inside move entering the third corner two laps later.

McCarl and Kinser raced past Tatnell to claim second and third place during laps 29 and 30. "The King of the Outlaws" raced wheel-to-wheel with the five-time and defending Knoxville Raceway champion through turns three and four late in the final lap, but was unable to surge ahead.

Tatnell finished in fourth place, ahead of Shaffer, Daryn Pittman, Craig Dollansky, 18th-starting Jason Meyers, Donny Schatz and Paulus. Pittman's sixth-place run from inside the seventh row allowed him to pass four drivers in the point standings and take over seventh place.

"The King of the Outlaws" set Thunder Valley Speedway's single-lap record with a 117.904-M.P.H. lap around the semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval.

Tyler Walker flipped during the third warm-up session, and the #5 Wirtgen/MPD Hand Controls Maxim was unable take a qualifying lap. The 2002 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion was running sixth with 4½ laps remaining in the "B" Feature when his engine lost power.

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Erin Crocker , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Brian Brown , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Kraig Kinser , Shane Stewart