By admin | February 12, 2012
By Richard Allen
Tony Stewart showed on Saturday night at the Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Georgia that the NASCAR Sprint Cup champion can also drive sprint cars. The driver known as â€˜Smokeâ€™ powered his way to the lead with steam literally boiling off his right rear tire with less than five laps to go and went on to capture the $5,000 to win winged sprint car event.
The All Star Circuit of Champions sanctioned race was the second for that series, having also raced on the 3/8 mile clay oval on Friday night. The sprint car race was held in conjunction with the $20,000 to win World of Outlaws Late Models season opener, which had earlier been won by Darrell Lanigan.
Stewart had raced on Friday night as well. After winning a heat race, he faded quickly in the feature and eventually pulled off track near the halfway mark. Then, the owner of Tony Stewart Racing had his crew to load up their car and take it back to a local hotel parking lot where they worked feverishly to make the racer better.
The improved car was able to post a qualifying lap good enough to make the top-6, and thus, earn Stewart a spot in the six lap dash race that would determine the starting lineup for the feature. Stewart finished 2nd in that race to Jason Sides, which placed him on the front row for the 30 lap main event.
At the start of the feature, Sides looked as if he might dominate. However, a string of early race cautions for minor incidents kept the field bunched. As a matter of fact, there were so many caution laps that at the halfway point the cars were stopped on the back stretch so crews could add more fuel.
It was just after the fuel stop that Stewartâ€™s car really seemed to come to life. He had fallen back to 4th just before halfway but quickly went to work as the laps dwindled away. Using the outside groove, the driver of car #14 was able to get around his competitors who had committed to the low line, which had been the preferred way around for most of the event.
Finally, with less than five laps to go, Stewart worked around Sides and then held on for the win. Kasey Kahne Racing driver Cody Darrah finished 3rd.
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