From Inside Line Promotions
TAMPA, Fla. (February 28, 2017) – Jason Sides recorded a top-10 result during the Ronald Laney Memorial King of the 360s finale for the sixth straight season last weekend at East Bay Raceway Park.
Sides kicked off the 16th edition of the ASCS Southern Outlaw Sprints tripleheader, which featured more than 60 competitors, on Thursday by rebounding from an early crash in a heat race to charge from seventh to third place. That earned enough points to lock into the feature redraw, where Sides pulled the No. 5 to start the 25-lap main event on the inside of the third row.
“We were caught up in a mess at the start of the heat, but came back strong from that to get into the feature redraw,” he said. “That’s what you are aiming for to start the night so you have a shot in the main event. I thought we had a little better car for the feature, but the others in front of me were just a little faster. A top five was still good though and we came out of the night good in points.”
Sides posted a fourth-place finish, which marked his first top five of the season.
He ventured to the bullring on Friday for the second preliminary night, which began with Sides advancing from seventh to fifth place in a heat race. That relegated him to a B Main, in which he powered from fifth to second place to score the final transfer into the main event.
“The track began taking rubber in the B Mains,” he said. “In the main event it rubbered up and there wasn’t much passing. If we’d have gained a couple more positions we’d have been close to locking in (to Saturday’s feature redraw).”
Sides placed 18th in Friday’s main event, which ranked him 12 th in overall points to miss locking into Saturday’s feature redraw by six positions. That forced him to run a heat race on Saturday to open the action. Sides claimed the heat race win to lock into the 12 th starting position for the 40-lap main event.
“We fell back early,” he said. “We got a couple of spots and coming off turn two Terry McCarl came off the cushion and about hit the wall. It stacked up a few cars during that melee and it took me a little to get back going again. Then the track cleaned off about halfway through and our car came on late.”
Sides overcame the early issue to rebound with an eighth-place result, giving him a top 10 during the event finale each year dating back to 2012.
“It’s always a fun time down there with Al and all the people at East Bay and Kimball and his team at Wetherington Tractor Service, Inc.,” he said. “He helps us out a lot and doesn’t get to come out to see us race a whole lot. This is three races in their backyard so it’s important to go there and run well.
“I also want to thank Brad Roller for loaning us a 360ci engine to use and for his support of our race team.”
Sides will return to World of Outlaws action this Friday at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, Texas, for the East Texas Lone Star Shootout and Saturday at Gator Motorplex in Willis, Texas, for the Gator Bash.