CONCORD, N.C. — The World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series will head to the home of the series sanctioning body, World Racing Group, as well as three series’ teams when they travel to Concord, N.C. for the Circle K/NOS Energy Drink Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday, May 27. Following action at home, and a rare weekend off, the series will head back north to Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway for a Memorial Day showdown on Monday, May 30.
The Larson-Marks Racing’s No. 2 team is one of three teams based in the Charlotte, N.C. area, with the other two being the Kasey Kahne Racing with Mike Curb No. 9 and No. 49 cars. The close proximity for these teams allows them to take their trailers and cars back to their shops to make repairs and stock up on needed parts.
“For our situation, I crashed in qualifying at Lincoln Speedway, so we’re able to get back here and regroup a little bit and get that car out of the trailer and another one put upstairs,” Stewart said. “It’s going to be a little bit of work for the crew because of my mistake, so the timing of this race has been pretty good just from that part of it.
“Obviously we want to win it pretty bad since Justin [Marks] and Kyle [Larson] live here now. Anytime you come to Charlotte with the NASCAR guys around, you want to run good in front of them and it’s one of the few times that Kyle and Justin will be able to come to the race, so we want to run well for them.”
A native of Bixby, Okla, the driver of the No. 2 American Born Moonshine/Eneos Oil car admits there’s added pressure racing at the track over 1,000 miles away from his hometown.
“I think there’s a little bit of added pressure because of everyone associated with our team is going to be there,” Stewart said. “Eneos will have a lot of guys in town to watch Kyle race the following day at the big track, so we will have some sponsors there that don’t normall get to see us race.
“Also, like I said, Justin and Kyle will be there and they’ll bring their families out and we will get to spend some time with them, when we don’t normally get to do that. At the end of the day, it’s just another race and we got to concentrate on Friday, and then once Friday is over with we have got to look forward to Monday.”
If he considers the home of his team and team owners a second home, Stewart added:
“I don’t know if I would look at it as a second home for me…Kyle’s offerd to let us stay with him, and Justin is building a house right now. I bought a motorhome over the winter, so that’s become our home away from home.”
In the 2015 installment of the Circle K/NOS Energy Drink Outlaw Showdown, Stewart started the 30-lap feature in the ninth position and charged his way to a fourth-place finish.
Later in the season at the Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Stewart qualified in the second position in his qualifying flight on the first night, but experienced trouble on the first night of racing, finishing 25th after starting third. On the final night of World Finals, Stewart started fourth and finished second, behind winner Joey Saldana.
Not only are three Outlaw teams located close to The Dirt Track at Charlotte, but the sanctioning body, World Racing Group, is less than five miles away from the track as well, making Friday night a hometown race for a lot of officials.
Following Friday night in Concord, N.C., the series will have a rare Saturday and Sunday off before heading back north into the Hoosier State for a Memorial Day race at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on Monday, May 30.
“Obviously Memorial Day is a special holiday for everyone in America, so racing is a way we can salute the people serving our country and remember them,” Stewart said. “Memorial Day is a special day for all of us.”
In 2015, Paul McMahan won the rain postponed event on Oct. 16 after he passed Stewart on lap 20 and led the remaining 15 laps to capture his third checkered flag of the season.
Stewart, who started second, finished in the runner-up position after leading the opening 19 laps.
“I love Lawrenceburg Speedway, I think it’s a great racetrack,” Stewart said. “Last year was pretty good, we definitely had the car to beat, it just came down to a couple scenarios in the race where I didn’t see the rubber and [Paul] McMahan was able to catch that before I was and win the race.
“We need another win bad, this team is definitely due for another win, and deserves to be running a little better than what we are running. That would be nice if we could win on Friday and again on Monday, it would make a great weekend for us.”
For more race information and ticket purchasing options for the Circle K/NOS Energy Drink Outlaw Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte on Friday, May 27, visit www.WoOSprint.com/The-Dirt-Track-At-Charlotte; and for the Memorial Day race at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway on Monday, May 30, visit www.WoOSprint.com/Lawrenceburg-Speedway.
-World of Outlaws Press Release
-Photo Credit: Paul Arch