By Victoria Beaver
Shane Stewart earned eight feature wins to place 44th in the Flo 50.
None of these were easy wins as all came in the highly competitive World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series—and his first coming in the prestigious Morgan Cup at Williams Grove Speedway in Mehcanicsburg, PA on May 20.
His Morgan Cup was a reversal of fortune for the Midwestern driver since it allowed him to stand tall in an unaccustomed place.
“You don’t even know what it means to me to finally get here in Victory Lane,” Stewart said from Victory Lane that evening. “I know the East Coast isn’t always kind to me, but I am very happy and going to cherish this win.”
It took a while for Stewart to find momentum during 2017, but he stayed consistent at the start finishing in the top-10 15 times between Florida Speedweeks and his first win.
Stewart amassed 19 podium finishes during the 2017 season, 30 top fives, and 56 top-10’s.
Stewart really hit his stride when the Outlaws headed West. Half of his wins came in short succession from South Dakota to California. He won at Black Hills Speedway in Rapid Valley, SD, on August 25 and then during the first night at Skagit Speedway in Alger, WA, Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA, and then finally in the Gold Cup final at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, CA—all in the first nine days of September.
Stewart won the second night of the Gold Cup after narrowly losing the battle to California local Kyle Hirst the night before. He won the first night of the two-day show in 2016 and was trying to repeat his performance before ultimately coming a position short. The Oklahoma driver was not disappointed when he wheeled it for the win the following night for his first Gold Cup win.
Stewart ended the West Coast swing with another pair of top-10s at Calistoga (CA) Speedway and then slipped a little in the closing races. In the final 13 events of the season, he finished outside the top 10 more than half the time with an average of 10.4.
Stewart finished fifth in the World of Outlaws points championship as he piloted the No. 2 sprint of Larson Marks Racing. Next year Kyle Larson will transition to the role of sole proprietor of the team.
Stewart should thrive under Larson’s leadership and the addition of Paul Silva as team manager, sop even greater achievements are expected next in 2018.
|Rank||Driver||% Points||Wins||Top 5s||Top 10s|
|47||Freddie Rahmer, Jr.||75.11||2||8||13|
|50||Lucas Wolfe||74.20|| ||11||22|
*Percentage points utilize the baseline belief that a win is a win in the major series covered. One hundred points is awarded to first and the points decrement below that as a percentage of the field. For example, in a 25-car field, each position behind the winner is worth four fewer points. In races with incredibly large fields, the points decrement to a less extreme degree. A 50-car field decrements two points per position, and drivers earn points even if they fail to make the A-main.