Shane Stewart, Kyle Larson Racing Kick Of 2018 With Three Top 10’s

Story By: ANDREA LARSON / KYLE LARSON RACING – MOORESVILLE, NC – The Kyle Larson Racing team wrapped up five nights of racing at the annual DIRTcar Nationals Sunday night at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

Shane Stewart competed in each night of racing – Wednesday and Thursday with the All Star Circuit of Champions (ASCoC) and Friday through Sunday with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series – and team owner, Kyle Larson, raced in three of the five nights of competition.

On the opening night of DIRTcar Nationals with ASCoC, Stewart was the fastest qualifier in Group B and Larson was fourth fastest in the same group. Larson started on the pole and won Heat 2, while Stewart started and finished fourth in the same event. Stewart then lined up third in the first of two dashes and finished fourth, as Larson started first and finished runner up in the second dash. In the 30-lap main event, Larson slipped from fourth to finish ninth and Stewart ran 13th.

The following night, Larson was the fastest qualifier in Group A and advanced from fourth to second in the opening heat race, transferring him into the dash redraw. Stewart qualified sixth in Group C and finished seventh in Heat 3. Larson then started and finished fourth in the first of two dashes, earning him the seventh starting position for the main event. Stewart lined up seventh in the B-Main and pulled into the infield with a couple laps remaining to finish 10th. Larson was able to gain two positions aboard the BRANDT No. 1k during the 30-lap feature event to earn a top-five result.

During the opening night of Outlaw competition on Friday, Stewart qualified seventh out of 35 competitors and won his heat race from the outside of the front row. After finishing fifth in the Craftsman Club Dash, the Bixby, Okla., native carved his way forward in the main event to earn a spot on the podium with a solid third-place finish.

On Saturday, Stewart turned a blistering lap in qualifying to earn fast time and was the only driver to dip down into the 12 second bracket. He won the opening heat race and finished eighth in the Craftsman Club Dash. Stewart raced as high as sixth during the 30-lap main event, but struggled on restarts resulting in a 10th-place finish.

During the final night of DIRTcar Nationals, the pilot of the DC Solar No. 2 qualified fourth and won his heat race from the outside of the front row. As a result of being one of the later cars to make a lap time, Larson qualified 16th, but was able to climb two spots in Heat 1, finishing fourth and advancing to the main event. Stewart drew a six wrench during the Craftsman Club Dash draw, but was able to gain a position in the dash to start fifth for the 30-lap finale. Stewart slipped as far back as eighth, but was able to climb forward to finish sixth and Larson finished the race 18th-place.

“I thought our DC Solar car had good speed all week, which makes me very excited for the season,” said Stewart. “Our team was able to make progress every night. Thanks to Kyle, DC Solar, BRANDT, ENEOS, Rider Engines and all of our partners, it was a pretty solid week for us down here and definitely our best results at Volusia as a team.”

The KLR team will be back in action at Cotton Bowl Speedway in Kilgore, Texas on Friday, February 23.