LARSON MARKS RACING FINISHES FOURTH IN 55TH RUNNING OF THE KNOXVILLE NATIONALS
Shane Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team charged from a 12th-place starting position in the 55th Annual FVP Knoxville Nationals to a fourth-place finish.
"I'm so proud of Scotty (Martin), Andrew (Seamans), Heath (Moyle) and everyone else on the Larson Marks team," Stewart said. "We've had a great past month of racing. Of course we'd love to be standing at the top of podium (at Knoxville), butwe just started too far back. We've had a fast race car and hopefully we can keep that rolling."
Stewart qualified 18th Wednesday after drawing a late qualifying number and finished third in his heat race. Together, the results earned the LMR throwback Kick-It for Children's Cancer No. 16 the pole position for the night's feature.
At the drop of the green flag, Stewart jumped out to a commanding lead. He maneuvered through traffic without any pressure. When the caution flag waved, however, with 10 laps to go, the then eight-time Knoxville Nationals champion Donny Schatz was on his bumper. Stewart held off the hard-charging Schatz throughout the remaining 10 laps to earn his ninth win of the 2015 season.
"I knew I had a fast car, and in the final 10 laps, I just had to make sure I hit my marks to get the win," Stewart said in victory lane. "To share this moment with Jeff (Gordon) and everyone with Kick-It here and all of our partners from ENEOS here as well, means a lot to me. It's just a really good night."
When the both qualifying nights had concluded, Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team had earned the 12th most points and thus the 12th starting position for the Knoxville Nationals A-Main.
Stewart dropped to 15th in the opening laps of the race but began to work his way back through the field. At the Lap 26 fuel stop, he had driven the No. 16 into the ninth position.
When the race resumed, the adjustments the team had made during the stop greatly improved the car's handling. Stewart immediately moved into eighth place and then into seventh when the red flag waved for an accident with 15 laps remaining.
In the final laps, Stewart charged into the top-five and then into fourth with seven laps to go. He reeled in third-place running Brad Sweet, but settled for the fourth-place finish right at the line. The finish was the team's fifth top-five finish in the last five races.
The Larson Marks Racing team will next compete at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb., on Tuesday, August 18. (Photo by Paul Arch)
BACK-TO-BACK WINS IN IRONMAN 55 AND CAPITANI CLASSIC
Shane Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team are rolling into the biggest week in sprint car racing with two consecutive wins and a runner-up finish.
"This is just an incredible feeling," Stewart said. "These guys work so hard to give me great race cars. Their effort is tireless and it shows. These wins, this momentum we have right now, this is for them and our partners."
After charging to the runner-up finish at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo., on Friday night, Stewart returned to the track on Saturday for the Ironman 55.
The Larson Marks Racing team qualified eighth and won the fourth heat race to transfer into the World of Outlaws dash. Stewart finished third in the dash to secure the third-place starting position for the night's 55-lap feature event.
Stewart remained inside the top five throughout the first half of the series' longest race. With 21 laps remaining, he charged into the runner-up position and set his sights on leader Donny Schatz. A Lap 44 caution resulted in a fuel stop where the Larson Marks Racing crew made adjustments to tighten the car's handling.
On the restart, Stewart darted to the bottom and gave Schatz a slidejob to take the lead. Just three laps later, the caution flag waved again resulting in another side-by-side restart between Stewart and Schatz. Stewart chose the highline and pulled away to earn the team's seventh World of Outlaws victory of the season.
Following the Ironman 55, the Larson Marks Racing team drove through the night to Knoxville, Iowa to get one last race in before the Knoxville Nationals begins. Eighty cars entered the race resulting in two sets of qualifying.
Stewart qualified fifth in the first session and finished third in his heat to transfer to the night's "knock out" pole dash. Stewart finished second in the two-lap sprint which resulted in a sixth-place starting position for the night's feature event.
The Larson Marks Racing No. 2 immediately moved inside the top three and kept the leaders in sight throughout the race. With a pair of slide jobs, first around second-running Kerry Madsen and then around the leader Danny Lasoski, Stewart took the lead on Lap 22 and went on to win the Capitani Classic at Knoxville Raceway, named after the track's famed former GM.
"I can't thank my guys enough," Stewart said in victory lane. "They gave me a really good hot rod. We've been absolutely terrible here this year so to get a win here going into our Wednesday qualifying night definitely gives this team a boost, and hopefully good things will come for Wednesday and on into Saturday."
The Larson Marks Racing team will qualify for the prestigious Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway on Wednesday, August 12.
LARSON MARKS RACING KEEPS TOP-FIVE STREAK GOING
Driver Shane Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team escaped Pennsylvania Posse country with two hard-earned top-10s.
The two-night Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Penn., kicked-off on Friday night. Stewart qualified ninth and finished seventh in his heat race, forcing the team to qualify through the second last-chance showdown. After winning the LCS, Stewart started 18th in the feature. Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team made a great charge through the field to advance 10 positions and finish eighth.
On Saturday night, Stewart qualified 10th in qualifying Flight B. He finished fourth in his heat race which secured the 20th-starting position in the 30-lap feature event. Stewart gained four positions throughout the race to finish 16th.
The World of Outlaws series headed north on Sunday to Lebanon Valley Speedway where Stewart qualified sixth. He finished third in his heat race and lined-up ninth for the 25-lap feature event. He gained one position to finish eighth and score his second top-10 finish of the weekend.
The team remains second in the series point standings and second in victories.
The Larson Marks Racing team will next compete at Ohsweken Speedway in Ohsweken, Ont., Canada, on Tuesday, July 28.
LARSON MARKS RACING WINS KINGS ROYAL XXXII
SWEEPS SPRINT CAR RACING'S SECOND-BIGGEST WEEKEND
Call him King Shane the 32nd. Shane Stewart, driver of the No. 2 Larson Marks Racing sprint car, swept the weekend at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, to earn the biggest win of his career in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
"I don't know what to say," an overwhelmed Stewart said in victory lane. "I just can't thank my guys enough. They gave me a great, great racecar all weekend long and I actually thought I had a legitimate shot at Donny (Schatz) there.
"This is definitely the biggest win of my career. I actually told myself coming into the weekend that this is the best shot I've ever had at winning a big race. I can't thank these race fans enough for sticking around. By God, this is a late night and I'm going to celebrate."
Stewart was the second-fastest qualifier of the night. As heat races began to line up, a monstrous storm hit Eldora Speedway, followed by another wave of rain shortly after. The delay was nearly four hours long, but track officials worked hard to get the track perfect by the time heat races began at roughly 1am, ET.
Stewart lined up fifth in his heat and finished third. Due to the Kings Royal's unique format, Stewart's heat race finish moved him to 14th for the start of the 40-lap race.
From the moment the green flag waved, Stewart wasted no time showing the speed of his race car. He moved into the top-10 in the opening 10 laps and into third by the halfway point of the race. A caution with six laps remaining saw Stewart restart on the front row next to the race's leader, Schatz. As the field came back to the flagstand, Schatz ran out of fuel with Stewart on his bumper. Stewart claimed the lead with just three laps to go.
As Schatz slowed, another competitor ran into his car, bringing out the caution. Stewart maintained the lead for the subsequent green-white-checkered finish and earned the $50,000 paycheck.
The Knight Before the Kings Royal also saw Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team in victory lane. Stewart won the dash to earn the pole position for the event. He led every lap, holding off a hard-charging Schatz in the closing lap, to claim the win and sweep one of racing's most prestigious weekends.
The Larson Marks Racing team will next compete at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Penn., on Tuesday, July 21.
KICK-IT PARTNERS WITH LARSON MARKS RACING FOR 2015 KNOXVILLE NATIONALS
Kick-It, a program and partner of the Jeff Gordon Children's Foundation, which raises money for pediatric cancer research, will again join Larson Marks Racing, a World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series team, for the 2015 Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway.
The Larson Marks Racing No. 2, driven by Shane Stewart, will honor four-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, who is competing in his final year of full-time racing. The No. 2 Larson Marks Racing sprint car will change to No. 16 for sprint car racing's biggest race and will be painted to match Gordon's first-ever sprint car that he raced in the mid 1980s.
"The Larson Marks Racing paint scheme is way, way cool," said Gordon. "These are my colors, when I first drove a sprint car, and the No. 16 which was my first number. This is about as cool as it gets. To see Shane drive this car at Knoxville this year will just blow me away. I love it."
Stewart, who first partnered with Kick-It in 2012, won his preliminary night race at last year's Knoxville Nationals, but finished 21st in the finale due to a broken u-joint.
LARSON MARKS RACING KEEPS TOP-FIVE STREAK GOING
Driver Shane Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team extended their top-five streak to six with fifth- and fourth-place finishes in World of Outlaws competition last week.
At Wednesday's make-up race at I-96 Speedway in Lake Odessa, Mich., Stewart qualified 15th and finished fifth in his heat race to transfer to the night's feature event. After starting 15th, Stewart advanced 10 positions to finish fifth.
After Saturday's race at 34 Raceway in Burlington, Iowa was canceled due to rain, the Larson Marks Racing team traveled to Beaver Dam (Wisc.) Raceway. Stewart qualified second and finished second in his heat race to transfer into the night's dash. After starting fifth, he gained three positions to secure the second-place starting position for the night's feature. Stewart led 11 laps before slipping to a fourth-place finish.
The team remains second in the series point standings, 196 points behind defending champion Schatz.
The Larson Marks Racing team will next compete at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas on Wednesday, July 1.
LARSON MARKS RACING EARNS TWO MORE RUNNER-UP FINISHES IN THREE-RACE WEEK
Consistency is key in racing and driver Shane Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team are proving they've found it. In three races last week, the team earned two more runner-up finishes at Granite City Speedway in Minnesota and Dakota State Fair Speedway, as well as a third-place finish at River Cities Speedway in North Dakota.
Last Wednesday, the World of Outlaws made its first ever appearance at Granite City Speedway in Sauk Rapids, Minn. Stewart qualified fourth and finished third in his heat to transfer into the night's dash event. After finishing third in the dash, the Larson Marks Racing No. 2 started third in the 30-lap feature event. Stewart raced in the second position throughout must of the race and took the lead on lap 27. The following lap, however, Donny Schatz made the pass and left Stewart with his ninth runner-up finish of the season. Read More
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