Short Track

#WinterHeat: Shane Stewart Goes Back-To-Back

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It is the middle of winter all over the USA, most people are bundled up trying to stay warm, and yet Shane Stewart is hotter than the Georgia asphalt in July!

In night number four Shane Stewart became the first back-to-back feature winner in Winter Heat Sprint Car Showdown history at Cocopah Speedway.

Stewart passed defending event champion Danny Lasoski for the lead with five laps remaining to claim the $12,000 top prize as well as the lead in the championship standings heading into Saturday’s event finale.

“I told myself to be patient getting into (turn) three because that was where I was going to pass him,” said Stewart, who has earned three straight top-two finishes at the marquee event. “He was a little bit better than I was in (turns) one and two. I just needed him to get bottled up behind a lapped car, which is kind of what happened. We were able to get a good run going into (turn) three and get by him coming off of (turn) four.”

The 30-lap feature began with a caution flagon the opening lap for D.J. Netto, who broke a front end and spun into the infield. Lasoski, who garnered the pole position after earning the most combined points during heat race and qualifier competition, rocketed into the lead on the complete restart and he built a sizable advantage by the time he entered traffic on lap eight.

Stewart powered into fourth place on that lap and into third on lap 12. He drove into the runner-up position on lap 13 and began to chase Lasoski, who owned nearly a straightaway advantage. While Lasoski and most of the drivers favored the bottom lane, Stewart favored the top shelf, where he could drive it deep and gas it up in order to reel in Lasoski, who struggled for several circuits to lap Tasker Phillips.

Lasoski and Stewart were nose to tail by lap 19, but it took several laps for Stewart’s line, high wide and handsome, to propel him into the top spot. With five laps remaining Stewart made the race-winning pass in turns three and four by driving it extremely deep and powered past Lasoski coming off of turn four.

“We plain and simple got beat,” Lasoski said. “That No. 2 car has been rolling all week and they just caught me in lapped traffic. I couldn’t get by a lapped car and he did what he had to do. He drove by me.”

The final caution came with four laps remaining as Bud Kaeding, who was running 10th, stopped in turn three. Stewart got a clean restart and cruised to his second triumph in the past three nights.

“We have a great race car,” he said. “We’ve got a great team. It’s just a pleasure to drive this thing. You just can’t ever count us out. For us to pass the teams that we did and the drivers that we did and pick up another win is really special for me, special for my guys and makes all their hard work worth all the effort.”

Dale Blaney, who ranks second in the standing, finished third.

“You could move around a little bit,” he said. “I looked up and there set Shane and there set Danny right in front of me. We were pretty good. We weren’t balanced the best. To come out of here with a third is awesome.”

Brian Brown posted a fourth-place result with Greg Hodnett ending fifth.

UNOFFICIAL POINTS AFTER NIGHT 4 –

.1. 2-Shane Stewart 747; 2. 1b-Dale Blaney 729; 3. 9k-Daryn Pittman 695; 4. 83-Joey Saldana 688; 5. 121-Greg Hodnett 678; 6. 33-Danny Lasoski 667; 7. 24-Terry McCarl 643; 8. 88n-D.J. Netto 629; 9. 1g-Christopher Bell 615; 10. 3c-Craig Dollansky 611; 11. 7-Paul McMahan 594; 12. 9-Ryan Smith 588; 13. 21b-Brian Brown 584; 14. 11-Steve Kinser 573; 15. 24r-Rico Abreu 569; 16. 7t-Tasker Phillips 564; 17. 41-Jason Johnson 563; 18. 57-Kyle Larson 561; 19. 49-Tanner Thorson 545; 20. 18-Jason Solwold 540; 21. 2l-Logan Forler 534; 22. 17a-Austin McCarl 516; 23. 11c-Roger Crockett 501; 24. 21-Robbie Price 496; 25. 68-Chase Johnson 490; 26. 2c-Wayne Johnson 489; 27. 55-Aaron Reutzel 480; 28. 33v-Henry Van Dam 467; 29. 4s-Michael Kofoid 457; 30. 99-Skylar Gee 443; 31. 1a-Jacob Allen 435; 32. 5h-Willie Croft 422; 33. 23-Seth Bergman 420; 34. 17b-Bill Balog 411; 35. 15h-Sam Hafertepe Jr. 392; 36. 81w-Danny Wood 385; 37. 55t-Trey Starks 380; 38. 97-Parker Price-Miller 375; 39. 41s-Dominic Scelzi 370; 40. 45x-Johnny Herrera 346; 41. 6g-Bryan Gossel 345; 42. 26-Bud Kaeding 325; 43. 1s-Logan Schuchart 323; 44. 17w-Bryan Clauson 321; 45. 1m-Jim Moughan Jr. 247; 46. 1-Justin Henderson 202; 47. 4-Kasey Kahne 112; 48. 9r-Reece Goetz 2.

 

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About Leon Hammack

Leon Hammack is a retired airline pilot and avid race fan. Leon is a contributing writer and photographer for all three of NASCAR's touring series, as well as sprint car and midget racing. A native of Fresno, CA now wintering in Yuma, AZ., additionally, he spends the summer months near Coos Bay, OR. You may contact Leon on Twitter @captainblowdri

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