The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series traveled to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif., for two nights of competition at the 64th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions. After earning a solid runner-up effort on Friday, Shane Stewart and the Larson Marks team picked up the big victory on Saturday, joining co-owner Kyle Larson as Gold Cup Champions.

Friday night Stewart claimed the fastest lap time in qualifying and finished second in the opening heat race. After starting fifth in the Craftsman Club Dash, the pilot of the No. 2 advanced to the second spot, earning a front row starting position for the 30-lap main event.
Stewart took the green flag from the outside of the front row and settled into the runner-up position for the first six laps. Stewart took the lead on lap 7 as he and the leader, Kyle Hirst, reached lapped traffic. On lap 12, the Bixby, Okla., native bobble on the top of Turns 3 and 4, surrendering the lead back to Hirst. In the closing laps, Stewart and Hirst exchanged slide jobs for the lead multiple times with Stewart eventually finishing in the runner-up spot.

“It’s a lot of fun when you can race somebody like that,” said Stewart about his battle with Hirst.  “I felt like we raced each other pretty clean there at the end and put on a great show for everybody. We obviously would like to win, but coming home second on this type of track is nothing to shake your head at. We continue to have fast racecars and run well. It’s a testament to my guys, and hopefully we can keep this ball rolling and get the win tomorrow.”

The following night, Stewart qualified sixth in Flight A of time trials, followed up by getting the win in his heat race after starting third. He then earned the third starting position for the 40-lap main event by finishing third in the Craftsman Club Dash.
Stewart quickly advanced to second on the opening lap of Saturday’s finale. While racing in heavy lapped traffic, Stewart seized the lead on lap 11. The remaining 29 laps were not without difficulty as two lapped cars in two different incidences spun directly in front of the leader. Stewart ultimately survived two restarts in the closing laps to finally become a Gold Cup Champion.

“I just can’t thank Kyle and Justin enough,” said Stewart in victory lane. “They always give us the ability to come out here and do our jobs. When you retire, you are only remembered for the big races you win and this was one that I’ve always wanted to win. We’ve been close the last few years and to finally get it means so much to me.”

TRACK: Silver Dollar Speedway
TRACK: Silver Dollar Speedway   

DATE: September 8, 2017
DATE: September 8, 2017

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TOP 10s: 50
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The Larson Marks Racing team will be back in action Friday, September 15 at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway for the Wine Country Outlaw Showdown.
View 2017 schedule

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