After heavy rainfall continued throughout last week, Friday night’s previously scheduled event at Ocean Speedway in Watsonville, Calif., was claimed by Mother Nature. With hard work from the Bakersfield (Calif.) Speedway staff and the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series however, Saturday night’s event was completed as scheduled and during it Shane Stewart earned a runner-up finish.
The Bixby, Okla., native qualified 12th on Saturday night on the high-banked, 1/3-mile circuit. He followed that up with a second-place finish in the final heat race to earn a spot in the coveted Craftsman Club Dash, where he finished seventh.
“It’s good to be back behind the wheel of a race car,” said Stewart during the Craftsman Club Dash draw. “It feels like this week has been such a long one with this weather and we’re all away from home. I’m happy to have the DC Solar car back in the dash draw.”
Stewart started the 35-lap main event in the seventh position but slipped back to 10th at the drop of the green flag. He was able to quickly recover and got back up to eighth when the caution was displayed on lap 2. Once the field went back to green flag racing, Stewart remained in the eighth spot until the caution came out on lap 17.
The pilot of the DC Solar No. 2 got a great jump on the ensuing restart advancing from sixth to second. He slipped back to third before the caution was once again displayed on lap 19. Stewart lost another spot on the restart and was running in fourth when another caution came out on lap 29. On the following double file restart, Stewart was able to make a great move and advance from fourth to second. He maintained the position for the remainder of the race to finish to finish in the runner-up spot, capping off a great night of competition in Bakersfield.
“The restarts really helped us tonight,” said Stewart. “One of the crazy but cool features about the World of Outlaws is the double-file restarts. I’ve been on the receiving end and have lost some spots, but tonight we were able to gain a lot of positions. My guys continue to help make this DC Solar car feel more and more comfortable to me and although we’ve still got some work to do, I feel like we’re making gains.”
TRACK: Bakersfield Speedway
STARTING POSITION: 7th
DATE: March 24, 2018
FEATURE FINISH: 2nd
TOP FIVES: 3
TOP 10s: 6
The World of Outlaws will be off next weekend to allow the drivers, crew and teams a weekend to observe the Easter Holiday. The Kyle Larson Racing team will be back on track Saturday, April 7 at Arizona Speedway in Queen Creek, Ariz., for the Arizona Desert Shootout. Tickets can be purchased here.