Jason Sides Sweeps Top 10 In World Of Outlaws Sprint Car Series In Texas
Action in the Lone Star State got underway at Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas. That turned out to be the best of three nights with Sides setting the fourth-fastest time in qualification, finishing second in his heat, and winning the Dash. He started on pole and finished third in the Gator Bash.
"It's definitely picked up," Sides said at the conclusion of the weekend. "It's been getting better and I'm not sure what to change. A key part is having the confidence to keep doing what you're doing and not change anything when everything is right."
Sides carried a lot of momentum into the Gator Bash.
"We started out pretty decent and led a few laps in the feature," he said. "We got into traffic and I started moving around. I went a little wide and started running the top in turns three and four. (Paul) McMahan got by. Me and Kasey (Kahne) were back and forth for second. (David) Gravel got around the both of us at the same time."
Sides led 13 of 25 laps before finishing third. It was his first podium finish of the season, but his third consecutive top five.
Devil's Bowl and the Texas Outlaw Nationals proved to be a little more challenging.
With the leader in sight on night one, Sides began to think about what it was going to take to get to Victory Lane.
"I was hoping we'd get to traffic because Jason (Johnson) was really good in clean air," he said. "I was really wanting to get to traffic.
"About the time we did that we'd have a caution and then it'd get strung out again. (Brad) Sweet was really good on the bottom. We had gear in it to run the top. When we'd try to run the bottom we'd slide across the bottom and Sweet went underneath us once when that happened."
Johnson went on to win the race; Sweet finished second.
A mistake in that race cost Sides a fourth consecutive top five.
"Later in the race Logan (Schuchart) got underneath us off turn four and we were going to run fourth," Sides said. "I saw the flags and ran into turn one and let out of the gas thinking the race was over. I guess it was the white flag and not the checkered flag. I purely messed up. That was the one and only time it's happened, and it will never happen again."
In the Texas Outlaws finale, Sides ran eighth for the second straight night.
"We were still a little tight," Sides said. "We had a lot more gear to run the bottom. We raced with (Brent) Marks and Johnson late in the race and ended up finishing around where we started. It was one of those races where if you had track position you could be good up front."
That run of finishes gives Sides his eighth straight top 10, however, which is his best performance since September 2010. He has a chance to extend it this coming weekend with back to back shows at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, AR, on Friday, April 21, and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, MO.
Texas ResultsApril 13 -- Gator Motorplex, Willis, Texas: Qualifying, 4; Heat race, 2; Dash, 1; A-Main, 3.
April 14 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway, Mesquite, Texas: Qualifying, 2; Heat race, 1; Dash, 2; Feature, 8.
April 14 -- Devil's Bowl Speedway, Mesquite, Texas: Qualifying, 1; Heat race, 3; Feature, 8.