MOORESVILLE, N.C. (MAY 22, 2017) - The Larson Marks Racing team and Shane Stewart raced back-to-back nights at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Penn., and capped the big weekend by scoring their first win of the season.
On Friday night at the Grove, Stewart qualified fifth in the first flight of time trials and finished fifth in the opening heat race. He started the 25-lap feature event from the 17th position and quickly gained two spots before the first caution was displayed on Lap 3. After another caution with two laps remaining, Stewart restarted 15th and gained two more positions in the closing laps to finish 13th.
The following night, the Bixby, Okla., native was the eighth-fastest qualifier for the night and finished second in Heat 4 to transfer into the Craftsman Club Dash. As a result of the eight pill being drawn for the inversion, Stewart started on the pole of the six-lap dash and led every lap to earn his fifth Craftsman Club Dash victory for the season.
Stewart started the 30-lap Morgan Cup feature event from the pole positon, but wasn't able to get the jump on the start and maintained the second spot for the first third of the race. The pilot of the LMR No. 2 began to close in on the leader and captured the lead just as the caution was displayed on Lap 11. Stewart restarted from the outside of the front row and stole the lead on the ensuing restart. He survived two more restarts and possessed a two-second lead when he finally crossed the finish line. The win was the team's first victory of the season and Stewart's first career victory at the historic half-mile track.
"You don't even know what it means to me to finally get here in Victory Lane at Williams Grove," said Stewart. "I know the East Coast isn't always kind to me, but I am very happy and I'm going to cherish this win. I can't thank Justin [Marks] and Kyle [Larson] enough for giving me this opportunity and the guys for providing such a great car tonight."
Sunday's Empire State Challenge was rained out after two heat races and has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 15.
The Larson Marks Racing team will be back in action Tuesday, May 23 at New Egypt Speedway for the Jersey Outlaw Classic.
TRACK: Williams Grove Speedway DATE: May 19, 2017
QUALIFYING GROUP 1: 5th HEAT RACE: 5th
DASH STARTING POSITION: N/A DASH FINISH: N/A
FEATURE STARTING POSITION: 17th FEATURE FINISH: 13th
TRACK: Williams Grove Speedway DATE: May 20, 2017
QUALIFYING: 8th HEAT RACE: 2nd
DASH STARTING POSITION: 1st DASH FINISH: 1st
FEATURE STARTING POSITION: 1st FEATURE FINISH: 1st