SPENCER, Iowa — Jason Sides could be considered a throwback racer in many ways.
Similar to drivers of the past, he does most of the work on his race car himself, as well as driving the truck and trailer to get the car to the track.
Racing at county fairs is also “a thing of the past” and Sides will have the chance this week to compete during the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa, with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and National Sprint League.
The Arnold Motor Supply Shootout Presented by Bob’s Bike Shop, Vanderhaag’s Inc., H&N Chevrolet and Gillund Enterprises at Clay County Fair Speedway is set for Friday and marks the 10th overall race for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series at the three-eighths-mile.
“It’s a great atmosphere at the track, having the fair going on at the same time,” said Sides. “We always try to get to the track a little early so we can walk around and see the fair a little bit. The food is always good and there is definitely a lot to choose from. That’s one of the highlights of the year and we always enjoy going there.”
In his career at Clay County Fair Speedway with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series, Sides has five top-10 finishes in nine starts. He finished a career-best second in June of 2012. He has been among the top-five in three of his last four starts at the track. Last year’s event fell to inclement weather, so 2014 was the last time that Sides and his fellow competitors turned laps at Clay County Fair Speedway.
“At any race, anymore, it’s all about qualifying,” noted Sides of what it takes to be success at Clay County Fair Speedway. “You have to put yourself in a position to be up front. The track leans towards being out front. There is usually a top and a bottom there and you can race pretty well. You carry a lot of speed around that place as well. We’ve had some success there and have been close to winning, so we have a good baseline set-up to start with and adjust on as the night goes one.”
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series is in the stretch run as they head to Clay County Fair Speedway for the Arnold Motor Supply Shootout, as around 15 race nights remain on the calendar. Sides and the rest of the series recently completed their second and final West Coast Swing of the season.
“There is definitely the buildup to Knoxville (the Knoxville Nationals) and once that’s over and you head out west and then back to the Midwest, its downhill and you kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Sides explained. “Every race is important, but after Knoxville, you get a little time to regroup and when we are out west we always get to relax a little bit.”
Sides has one win thus far this year, coming back in April at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Arkansas. The win was a popular one for the fan favorite, as I-30 Speedway is a little over two hours from his hometown of Bartlett, Tennessee. Sides cut his teeth racing at the quarter-mile bullring early in his career and tries to get back there as often as he can to compete in the famed Short Track Nationals in the fall.
“The win at Little Rock was great,” said Sides. “We had a lot of family and friends there and people we hadn’t seen in a long time that were at that race. It made for a really good night and it’s always great to get back there, especially when we can win.”
Entering the Arnold Motor Supply Shootout this week, Sides is ninth in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series standings. The veteran driver has 23 top-10 finishes on the season, with four of those being top-five showings. Sides also has been fastest in time trials on two occasions.
“Picking up another win or two would definitely make it a good end to the season,” said Sides. “We want to run more consistent and be in the top-five more. That’s what we shoot for every night and that is what makes all of the hard work worth it. We just keep at it every day and take it one race at a time.”
CREDIT: SLS Promotions