MOORESVILLE, N.C. (NOVEMBER 6, 2017) - The Larson Marks Racing team and Shane Stewart wrapped up the 2017 season this past weekend at the Dirt Track at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stewart earned a pair of 14th place finishes and ultimately finished fifth in the World of Outlaws Championship point standings.
The prestigious World Finals kicked off Thursday at the Dirt Track with two qualifying sessions for Friday and Saturday night's events. Stewart was the 22nd car to make his qualifying lap in Flight A of time trials and earned the eighth-fastest lap time for Friday night's show. He followed that up with the seventh-fastest qualifying lap in Flight A for Saturday night's event after being the second car on track.
The Bixby, Okla., native started and finished third in the second heat race of the night on Friday, earning the final transfer spot into the main event. Stewart then started 15th on the grid for the 30-lap feature. He slipped back as far as 19th just before the halfway point of the race, but was able to regain five spots in the second half of the race to finish in 14th-place.
Going into Saturday night's event, Stewart had closed the points gap between himself and Daryn Pittman, which now stood at only two digits. He started third in the opening heat race of the night, but finished fourth, sending him to the Last Chance Showdown, where he started on the pole. Stewart settled into second until the caution was displayed on lap 4. He was able to steal the lead on the restart and hold on to win the Last Chance Showdown, transferring him into the final main event of the season.
Stewart started 19th for Saturday night's finale, but unfortunately got caught up with a spinning car on the front stretch on lap 4. The ENEOS/ParkerStore No. 2 was taken to the work area and repairs were made. Stewart restarted 27th with 26 laps remaining, but one lap later he was involved in another accident after several cars got upside down and Stewart had nowhere to go. Once the accident site was cleaned up and repairs were again made to the LMR No. 2, he returned to the track. In the final 25 laps, Stewart was able to climb 13 positions and finish 14th.
"Unfortunately, it wasn't the best weekend we've ever had," said Stewart. "But the team rallied and made repairs to our car multiple times when they could have just thrown in the towel. Despite several changes throughout the season, we were able to finish in the top-five in the championship and definitely have good things to build on for next year. I've got to thank Justin [Marks] and Kyle [Larson] for giving me this opportunity and all of our sponsors and fans for the support throughout the season and I am really looking forward to 2018."
The Larson Marks Racing team hopes everyone has a great off season and we will see everyone at Volusia in February.
TRACK: The Dirt Track at Charlotte DATE: November 3, 2017
QUALIFYING FLIGHT A: 8th HEAT RACE: 3rd
DASH STARTING POSITION: N/A DASH FINISH: N/A
FEATURE STARTING POSITION: 15th FEATURE FINISH: 14th
TRACK: The Dirt Track at Charlotte DATE: November 4, 2017
QUALIFYING FLIGHT A: 7th HEAT RACE: 4th
LCS STARTING POSITION: 1st DASH FINISH: 1st
FEATURE STARTING POSITION: 19th FEATURE FINISH: 14th