LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Shane Stewart capitalized on a rare mistake by his car owner, Kyle Larson, to win Monday night’s World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature at Lawrenceburg Speedway.
Larson used a line that others didn’t dare run to gain the lead from Stewart on lap 23, but got bogged down in traffic two circuits later, allowing Stewart to get back by and claim the 35-lap feature.
“Man, that was a blast,” said Larson. “I hope you [fans] enjoyed that, because that was awesome from my seat. That was one of the most intense sprint car races I’ve ran.”
Stewart started the day off on the wrong foot. During hot laps, the team found an oil leak, but wasn’t able to find the cause. The Larson Marks Racing team decided to change the powerplant on the No. 2 machine for precautionary reasons.
Three-time Lawrenceburg Speedway winner Donny Schatz started on the front and quickly rocketed out to the early lead, but he was quickly challenged by Stewart, who started the race fourth.
Schatz held the lead for the opening six laps, until the leaders got into slower lap traffic. Stewart, running second, was able to pounce on Schatz and overtake the No. 15 machine for the lead. The two would run side by side until the only yellow flag of the event was displayed on lap 13.
Stewart would hold the lead for the restart with Schatz in second. Larson, who started the event in the ninth spot had worked his way up to sixth.
A great restart by Larson propelled him from sixth to fourth, but he didn’t settle there, quickly working his way up to the runner-up position.
“I found a line just before the caution, running just above the cushion in turns one and two and doing a little bit of the same in turns three and four; I was able to get to the lead like that,” added Larson.
The Larson Marks Racing co-owner didn’t take it easy on his driver, as the No. 57 of Larson and the No. 2 of Stewart came together battling for the lead in turn two.
“I feel like I race [Shane] harder, it’s always fun racing Shane,” said Larson.
“I was just out there for a cool drive, until [Larson] came up,” added Stewart. “I was shocked when [Larson] went by me up [top]; but it’s Kyle Larson, what can you say?”
Larson would get by the No. 2 of Stewart for a couple laps as the two approached lapped traffic.
“I got to the lead there and made a mistake in traffic and [Shane] got back by,” said Larson. “I cut across [the cushion] a little too soon and got in the holes and starting bouncing; that was what allowed Shane to get back by me.”
“I knew I showed [Shane] my line and what I was doing so it was going to be tough to get back by him. We had a couple more opportunities at [Shane] but we just ran out of time, but that how’s racing goes. I can’t wait to race sprint cars some more.”
After getting back by his boss, Stewart was able to put a lap car between he and Larson on the white flag lap, giving Stewart the separation he needed to go on to repeat as winner at Lawrenceburg Speedway.
“It was fun racing against my car owner, definitely a fun race,” Stewart said. “I always enjoy coming here. The guys gave me a great car; they work endless hours to keep this car fast. I’m just the lucky man that gets to drive it.”
Schatz finished third, ahead of Brad Sweet and Paul McMahan.
Full race results can be viewed on the next page…