Photo by: DB3 Imaging
ELK GROVE, CALIF. (September 10, 2018) – The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series completed a two-race weekend Saturday night at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. Friday night the Kyle Larson Racing team and Shane Stewart earned a top-10 finish, followed up by a top-five effort in Saturday’s Gold Cup Race of Champions finale.
Friday night, the defending Gold Cup Champion qualified sixth in Flight A of time trials and finished third in his heat race. Stewart started the 30-lap feature event from 11th and slipped back as far as 14th on the initial start. He slowly started to gain those positions back and was back up to 11th by lap 10. Stewart was up to ninth when a late race caution was displayed and he ended up finishing 10th after a green-white-checkered restart.
The following night, Stewart was the first qualifier to hit the high-banked quarter-mile circuit and was able to maintain the third fastest lap time in Flight A of qualifying. He started on the outside of the front row of his heat race and ran in the runner-up position until contact on a restart with the leader. Stewart went on to win the opening heat race and drew the five wrench to start fifth in the Sears Craftsman Dash.
After finishing sixth in the dash, Stewart lined up on the outside of row three for the 40-lap Gold Cup Race of Champions finale. Stewart slipped back as far as eighth on the initial start of the race, but was able to climb his way towards the front as leaders raced in heavy lapped traffic. Just before the first caution of the race was displayed, Stewart was up to fourth sitting behind a great battle between the leaders. When the caution came out on lap 27 for one of the front running cars, Stewart was able to restart from the third position. After a flurry of cautions, in the closing laps, the Bixby, Okla., native slipped back as far as fifth and back into the top three before finishing fourth.
“That was a great race,” said Stewart. “I love getting back to the west coast and racing on these tracks I have a lot of history at. I wish we could have stayed green, because I think we could have had a shot at getting back-to-back wins. But we’re leaving Chico with some solid runs and I can’t thank Heath [Moyle] and Jakob [Weaver] for all of their hard work. This west coast swing is a busy stretch with a lot of races and long hours and it feels good to get some good runs for this team.”
The Kyle Larson Racing team will be back in action Wednesday, September 12 for the 49er Gold Rush Classic presented by Riebes NAPA at Placerville (Calif.) Speedway. The team will also be a part of the hauler parade through historic Placerville on Tuesday, September 11 at 5:30pm PT ahead of the pre-race party at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds.