World of Outlaws–Shane Stewart Class of the Field in Gold Cup Win Friday Night

Shane Stewart Class of the Field in Gold Cup Win Friday Night
Outpowers Joey Saldana to score his ninth World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season
CHICO, Calif. – Sept. 11, 2015 – Shane Stewart was the class of the field during Friday night’s Gold Cup Race of Champions feature at Silver Dollar Speedway. He outpowered Joey Saldana to score his ninth World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series victory of the season.

The win was also Stewart’s first at Silver Dollar Speedway.

“I generally drive really, really bad here. I’ve had some really good cars here and screwed up and lost a couple of big races here,” Stewart said. “To finally get a win here, with these guys, with the amount of competition that’s in the pit area, it just says a lot about my (No. 2 GoPro/Eneos team).”

Stewart led the field to the green flag after winning the Dash with a big slider. After a mechanical problem, Andy Gregg, who started on Stewart’s outside, spun just after the start collecting Daryn Pittman off of turn two. Back to green, Saldana moved into second with Stewart leading. The two drivers battled side-by-side through turns 1 and 2, down the back straight, through turns 3 and 4 and across the line it was Stewart barely ahead. Saldana tried to fight back, but Stewart built a lead.


A caution flag and red flag waved through the first ten laps as Bobby McMahan powered forward into fourth and challenged Kerry Madsen, who was running third at the time, for position.

When the final restart of the night came out on lap eight, D.J. Netto took advantage. From sixth, he got around David Gravel and McMahan to take over fourth and then set his sights on Kerry Madsen in third.

Stewart, still in the lead, caught traffic by lap 11 and began working his way through. Saldana closed the gap several times but by halfway had not found a way around.

“In the middle of this race this track got really tricky,” Stewart said. “When you’re leading you always judge yourself off of lap cars and try to judge yourself off of their speed. I got caught up by (Jason Johnson) on a couple of them and I was like I can’t get overzealous here because if I do, I’m going to spin out or hit the curb wrong and the cushion just kept getting bigger and bigger.”

Netto meanwhile used the traffic to his advantage, closing the gap on Madsen. Netto took over third on lap 22 and quickly ran down Saldana in second. On lap 24, Netto threw a slider on Saldana’s No. 71m Motter Equipment car in turns one and two, but Saldana held.

“Netto had a good car and he was coming,” Saldana said. “He over drove four there, which is easy to do here. This track is slick to the curb.”

As the final five laps ticked by, both drivers tried to find a path to Stewart, but at the finishline, the Larson Marks Racing driver had a nearly two second lead.

“We got to (Jason Johnson) and he was actually running my pace I knew something was going to have to bottle him up to let me get by him,” Stewart said. “The good thing about these guys is that generally when you show them your nose they let you go by and that’s true sportsmanship. Track position was everything.”

For Saldana, the second place run was the 33rd top-five of the season for him. He also picked up his 16th quick time of the year earlier in the night. He said open track was what he really needed to run down Stewart.

“We got to some lap cars there and it was brutal,” Saldana said. “You don’t want to make a mistake and give up a spot so you actually slow your pace down. And when you slow your pace down it makes it really interesting… We had a good car and we just came up a little bit short. We’ll keep digging and hopefully we come out tomorrow and win this thing.”

With his third place run, Hanford, California-native Netto, who sits fourth in the King of the West Series championship points standings with his No. 88N Netto Ag/Penny Newman Grain car, scored his best ever World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series finish. He was the fastest driver in the first flight of qualifying tonight.

“This team didn’t quit. It just came together two weeks ago,” Netto said. “I can’t say anything more about them. They gave me a great car and we’ve just been learning together and clicking. We needed a yellow, we maybe would have had a shot but I can’t thank (my team) enough.”