Stewart Wins Fifth 360 Nationals

Shane Stewart, seen here en route to victory in the 2013 Knoxville 360 Nationals, finally knows where he'll be racing in 2014. (Frank Smith photo)
Shane Stewart rolled to his fourth consecutive and fifth overall Arnold Motor Supply 360 Knoxville Nationals victory Saturday at Knoxville Raceway. (Frank Smith photo)

KNOXVILLE, Iowa — The 23rd annual Arnold Motor Supply 360 Knoxville Nationals ended much like the previous year with Shane Stewart crossing under the checkered flag to earn his fourth straight victory and fifth overall Nationals win.

Looking like the $10,000 check was within his grasp, the caution flew with three laps to run for the No. 21v of Justin Henderson, ending Stewart’s 3.672 second lead over Brad Sweet.

On the restart, Kevin Swindell advanced to the runner-up spot only to see the red flag displayed for the No. 1b of Robby Wolfgang who flipped exiting turn four. Robby escaped unscathed.

To the green, Stewart’s night became one of a fight with fluid dynamics as the power steering failed on the No. 57. Muscling the car around for the green-white-checkered finish Stewart held on to cross 0.546 second ahead of Kevin Swindell who nearly tangled with Kyle Larson coming to the white flag.

“I tell you what, I’ve got a major arm pump,” chuckled Shane in victory lane. “These Sprint Cars, when they lose power steering, you can’t really turn them at all. I just got lucky honestly. I don’t think I could have held on much longer.”

An emotional win for Stewart, who earned Wesmar Racing Engines a fourth straight 360 Nationals victory, Kelly Westphal, was on hand to tune the engine as the pair paid tribute to the late Bob Westphal.

Swindell’s runner-up finish is his second in as many years. Nearly getting tied up with Larson coming to the white flag, Swindell commented on the battle as the pair looked close to blows on the cool down lap, “We were fine. I was just frustrated. I had a run and I knew he was going to block me. I just hoped I could get far enough in there and just ran out of room.”

Coming straight from the NASCAR Nationwide event at the Iowa Speedway to compete in the feature event of the Arnold Motor Supply 360 Knoxville Nationals, Kyle Larson came from eighth to complete the podium; his second top five of the day.

Brian Brown charged from 19 to fourth with Brad Sweet completing the top five after battling several laps with Swindell for the runner-up spot.

Danny Lasoski came from ninth to sixth after having to change an engine prior to the night feature. Jason Johnson crossed seventh followed by Wayne Johnson. Brad Loyet crossed ninth with Scott Winters charging from twenty-first to complete the top 10.

The three nights of racing saw a total of $101,890 paid out among 103 drivers. Danny Lasoski and Justin Henderson each took preliminary night wins worth $3,000.

Larry Ball Jr. won the 305 sprint car feature.