LARSON MARKS RACING WINS KNOXVILLE PRELIMINARY FEATURE EVENT - BROKEN U-JOINT ENDS KNOXVILLE NATIONALS TITLE BID
Mooresville, N.C. (August 12, 2014) -- Shane Stewart and Larson Marks Racing continued to make their mark in the sprint car world at the 54th running of the Knoxville Nationals. With a win, a front row starting position and a shot at the title, the team continues to build its resume as it looks toward a 2015 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship run.
Following Wednesday's persistent rain showers, the evening's qualifying event was moved to Friday night. Stewart started strong, earning the fourth-fastest qualifying time of the 53-car field. Starting eighth in his heat race, Stewart made a hard charge to the front on the first lap, moving into third place. He picked up one more spot prior to the checkered to finish second.
The GoPro/Kick-It for Children's Cancer No. 2 started sixth in the feature event and Stewart immediately moved into the top five. As the race continued, he and driver Donny Schatz battled for third place with Stewart coming out on top. With a late race caution and subsequent restart, Stewart challenged the leader, Kraig Kinser, and took the lead on the final lap to claim the win.
Stewart's strong showing throughout the night earned the team 491 points and placed the car on the front row for Saturday's prestigious Knoxville Nationals.
When the green flag waved Saturday night for sprint car racing's greatest race, Stewart immediately fell into second place behind leader Schatz. Stewart held the position for 11 laps before succumbing to Brian Brown on Lap 12.
Shortly after the red flag for fuel, Stewart slowed on the track and pulled directly into the team's pit area where they discovered a broken U-Joint that was creating a severe vibration in the car and making it impossible to drive. The team's night ended with a 21st-place finish.
In addition to the team's on-track efforts, Larson Marks Racing and Stewart supported its partner, Kick-It for Children's Cancer, in several off-track events, including a go-kart race, bartending event and annual kickball game. Throughout the week, the team's efforts, with the support of friends, partners and race fans, raised nearly $112,000 for children's cancer research.
The Larson Marks Racing team will next compete at Skagit Speedway with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series on August 29 and 30th.
STEWART POSTS TWO TOP-FIVE AND THREE TOP-10 FINISHES IN FIVE-RACE WORLD OF OUTLAWS STP SERIES RUN
Shane Stewart and Larson Marks Racing completed their second World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series tour through Pennsylvania with two top-five and three top-10 finishes in five races.
At Lernerville Speedway for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, Stewart qualified for both of the feature events, starting 13th in the first. Shortly into the race, however, Stewart was spun by another competitor and suffered front end damage to the Larson Marks Racing sprint car. Stewart went to the work area where the team made repairs and sent him back onto the track at the rear of the field. He rallied to a 12th-place finish. In feature two, Stewart started sixth and finished fourth, his eighth top-five finish of the season.
Two days later, Stewart and the Larson Marks Racing team returned to Lincoln Speedway. For Stewart, it was just his second time ever seeing the central PA track. In the team's first appearance there in May, the night ended early with a bent wheel after contact with the wall. This time around, the team started 18th and finished 18th.
In night one of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway, Stewart qualified eighth and finished third in his heat race. After starting 10th in the 25-lap feature event, Stewart patiently worked his way through the field and finished fourth, scoring another top-five finish for the rookie team.
On the following night, Stewart earned the final transfer position when he qualified 16th. He won his heat race and started eighth in the dash. In just six short laps, Stewart charged to a fourth-place finish and secured the fourth-place starting position in the $20,000 to win Summer Nationals finale. Just before the start of the Last Chance Showdown, however, the rain fell. After a three-hour rain delay, the World of Outlaws STP Series sprint cars got back on the track. Stewart maintained a top-five running position throughout the majority of the race. Past halfway, however, the handling of the Larson Marks Racing No. 2 got tighter, making it difficult to turn through the corners. Stewart ultimately finished eighth.
The Larson Marks Racing team will take this weekend off before traveling to Pevely, Mo., to compete in the IronMan 55 at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo.