MOOREVILLE, N.C. (JUNE 26, 2017) - After welcoming new crew chief, "Lethal" Lee Stauffer, to the team last week, Larson Marks Racing and Shane Stewart broke out the brooms and swept the weekend at West Liberty (Iowa) Raceway and Beaver Dam (Wis.) Raceway.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series had their inaugural event at West Liberty Raceway on Friday night. Stewart qualified second and finished second in his heat race. The six pill was drawn for the dash inversion, putting Stewart on the outside of the front row. He was able to grab the lead and earn the pole for the 25-lap main event.
Stewart slipped back to third on the initial start, but luckily a caution came out for a complete restart. The pilot of the No. 2 got a better jump on the second try and captured the early lead. Stewart survived a couple of restarts but maintained the top spot, leading wire-to-wire to win his third World of Outlaws' feature event of the season. (Watch highlights here: https://youtu.be/AKqnor8a4cE.)
"That wasn't my race honestly," said Stewart. "I would have never passed those guys back if that first caution hadn't come out. I honestly don't know what the heck happened. I just spun my tires really bad. Luckily we were able to get a better restart and maintained the lead to earn the win."
On Saturday, the LMR team returned to Beaver Dam Raceway and debuted a new Corey Oil and ENEOS paint scheme for the night. Stewart was the fourth fastest qualifier in Flight B of time trials and started on the outside of the front row for his heat race. Unfortunately, just before cars were set to hit the track for heat races, the rain started to fall. After about a two-hour delay, racing resumed. Stewart was able to get the early lead and won his heat by 3.3 seconds to transfer into the Craftsman Club Dash. The dash inversion was completely inverted, lining Stewart up to start fifth. He was able to gain a spot to earn the fourth starting position for the 40-lap main event.
Stewart was up to the second spot position by Lap 5. Shortly after, he biked the No. 2 in turn two and while coming back down the track on the back stretch, got into Donny Schatz who was running third. The red flag was displayed for Schatz, but Stewart was able to keep going despite some damage to the top wing of the No. 2. Stewart was able to capture the lead at the halfway point of the race, but the caution came out reverting the lineup back to the previous lap. On the ensuing restart, the Bixby, Okla., native was able to steal the lead and then survived two more restart to earn the team's second win of the weekend. (Watch highlights here: https://youtu.be/nnuylgwH2nc.)
"That was a crazy long race," said Stewart in victory lane around 1:00 am. "I've got to thank Corey Oil and of course ENEOS for everything they do for us. They brought some employees here and it was great to get the win for them. I'm just grateful. I'm so glad we were able to bring Lee on board because he brings so much to our team. I've got to thank him and Heath and Dennis for giving me great cars the last two nights."
The Larson Marks Racing team will be back in action Tuesday, June 27 at The Dirt Oval at Route 66 for the FVP Outlaw Clay Classic.
TRACK: West Liberty Raceway DATE: June 23, 2017
QUALIFYING: 2nd HEAT RACE: 2nd
DASH STARTING POSITION: 2nd DASH FINISH: 1st
FEATURE STARTING POSITION: 1st FEATURE FINISH: 1st
TRACK: Beaver Dam Raceway DATE: June 24, 2017
QUALIFYING FLIGHT B: 4th HEAT RACE: 1st
DASH STARTING POSITION: 5th DASH FINISH: 4th
FEATURE STARTING POSITION: 4th FEATURE FINISH: 1st