CHICO, Calif. — Shane Stewart passed local driver Justin Sanders to win his eighth World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature of the season Saturday night, but his first Gold Cup Race of Champions triumph at Silver Dollar Speedway.
Sanders finished a career-best second, with Friday’s winner Kyle Hirst completing the podium.
Stewart, who is no stranger to victory lane at the quarter-mile track, finally crossed the Gold Cup Race of Champions off of his bucket list.
“When you retire, you are only remembered for the big races you win and this was one that I’ve always wanted to win. We’ve been close the last few years and to finally get it means so much to me,” Stewart said.
Sanders, in search of his first career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series victory, was strong all weekend. Sanders led the first 11 laps before Stewart got grip on the bottom of turn four to take the lead. Stewart never looked back.
As lapped traffic became heavier, Sanders closed back in on Stewart looking to make a move, but a caution on lap 28 gave Stewart a clear track and sealed the victory for the Larson Marks Racing No. 2 team.
“Before this weekend, if you would have told me that I was going to run second and fifth with the Outlaws, I would have been ecstatic,” Sanders said. “I made one mistake in traffic, it’s heartbreaking. We are happy no doubt, but we’re bummed at the same time.”
Hirst was all smiles after finishing on the podium and thanked the California faithful multiple times for packing the stands all weekend at the Gold Cup Race of Champions.
Australian Jamie Veal finished fourth, with 11th-starting Willie Croft completing the top five.
Donny Schatz was forced to use a provisional for the second-straight night, but rallied through the field to claim KSE Hard Charger honors, coming from 25th to finish 11th.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…