McKENZINE, TN (March 20) – Winning big Sprint car races has become a regular occurrence for teams using J&J Auto Racing Sprint cars. On Saturday night in Australia, another big race triumph was scored by a driver behind the wheel of a J&J.
Shane Stewart captured the prestigious Scott Darley Challenge race at Sydney Speedway and by doing so earned J&J their 10th victory in the event. Stewart, who recently won the opposite side of Australia in the Monte Motorsport No. W17 J&J, jumped in the seat of the Monster Energy sponsored No. 7 J&J also owned by Monte Motorsport and put on a spectacular performance.
“It’s so good to get a win at this event,” admitted Stewart. “Everyone tells me that Scott (Darley) was such a loved and well-respected person. It’s an honor to win this race for the Darley Family, and to have another American win after Donny Schatz has dominated it. You know when you win a race like this that honors someone who has passed; the money is really a bonus. You know that out of all the people in the stands there are some people who are deeply involved in the emotion of it. I’m proud to win this.”
Stewart opened the weekend on Friday night by charging from 23rd to finish sixth in the preliminary program. In Saturday’s finale, he started in the second row and spent half of the race battling three cars for the top spot. He took advantage of a restart with 16 laps remaining and made his winning move to assume the lead.
“It was a fun race for while there,” continued Stewart. “Ian (Loudoun) and I had a real good race going there and with Robbie (Farr) and Max (Dumesny) joining in it got pretty busy before the cautions came on. I’m glad we got the pass done, don’t get me wrong, but I kinda wish it’d gone green the whole race through. I think we could have had an awesome race between the four of us.”
The win continued a winning tradition of J&J’s in the Darley event. Donny Schatz won the race nine times using a J&J. Those numbers rival the chassis manufacturer’s success in the sport’s biggest race, the Knoxville Nationals, which has been won six straight times by a J&J racer. The victory also was special for Monte Motorsport crew chief Kim Buswell, who won the Classic last year and now adds the Darley Challenge triumph to his list of accomplishments.
“Shane drove a great race,” said Buswell. “The new J&J worked like a treat and he put 40 laps together faultlessly. He hit his marks lap after lap after lap. He did a great job. This is a great win for Monster Energy , our valued sponsors and Monte Motorsport. This is a satisfying result for us on many levels.”
Other Solid J&J finishes: Chad Layton scored a spot on the podium in Saturday night’s feature event at Port Royal Speedway. He raced the Middlesworth No. 7 J&J to a third-place finish….At I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., Terry Gray (No. 10 J&J) finished third in the track’s season-opening feature event ahead of Derek Hagar (No. 9JR J&J), who finished fourth, and Marshall Skinner (No. 26 J&J), who completed the top-five.