Story By: SHAWN MILLER / SIDES MOTORSPORTS – CONCORD, NC – Jason Sides elected to play it safe last weekend during the World of Outlaws Last Call at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
Sides advanced into the main event both nights during the final event of the season for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series. However, visibility was lacking on the dusty track.
“Track conditions were absolutely horrible,” he said. “They put new dirt on it. It didn’t have the clay content on there they thought they had. The second night they even tried to not touch it to let it rubber up, but it wouldn’t even rubber up.
“My whole thing was to stay on the bottom. The infield tires were close enough and bright enough you could see them. The few times I got out in the middle you couldn’t see the wall until you got to it.”
Sides also ran into misfortune during Friday’s opening round. He qualified 18th quickest in his group and placed 10th in a heat race before missing the Last Chance Showdown. Sides used a provisional to start the A Main, but a broken part in the steering during the warm-up lap ended his night early.
“After the heat race we changed motors and took a provisional,” he said. “We pushed off and I lined up coming down the back straightaway. When I went into turn three the car headed toward the wall. I got on the brakes and pulled it out of gear. Something in the steering broke.”
The results improved on Saturday as Sides timed in 12th quickest in his group. He advanced from sixth to fifth place in a heat race, which locked him into the main event.
“I felt better than I did the previous night,” he said. “The track had grip anywhere you ran early in the night. You felt good whether you were in the middle, top or bottom, but it was hard to slow down to hit the bottom. Then in the feature I ran the bottom just so I could see.”
Sides, who was credited with a 23rd-place finish, ended the season ranked 11th in the championship standings. However, Sides Motorsports finished 10th in the owner standings.