Fremont, OH (May 28,2008) - Having just completed the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws first Eastern Tour of the 2008 season, Jason Sides just wants to focus on the upcoming races. With his Eastern Tour being shadowed by misfortune, Sides wants to take what he can from each race and apply it in the future. One thing that he is focused on is qualifying, especially single-lap qualifying nights. Qualifying is a major influence on how a night turns out, as Jason was reminded throughout his Eastern Swing.
Single-lap qualifying hurt Sides at both Lernerville and Williams Grove Speedway. At Lernerville, Jason qualified 29th out of the 44 cars there. Heavy track conditions stopped Sides from transferring through his heat and the B-Main. Sides declined his option to use a provisional to start the A-Feature. Track conditions weren’t going to allow for much passing and there was fear equipment was going to be torn up. Starting points that Sides would have received were not substantial enough to make a difference. Single-lap qualifying struck Jason again at the Grove. He qualified 19th. He was able to make the race, but finished 20th.
“The one lap qualifying killed me,” Sides said. “At this level of competition, when the series eliminates one lap of our qualifying it hurts all of us. There’s not a driver out here that doesn’t think we deserve both qualifying laps.”
After missing the show in Lernerville and finishing 20th at Williams Grove, Jason was determined to make something positive happen that Friday at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Jason was running strong during the A-Feature, but smoke became visible from underneath the hood slightly past half-way. Running fourth, Sides both hoped and thought the motor would hold up until a red flew with three laps left. On the restart, Jason couldn’t get up to speed and fell to rear of the field. He was able to finish the race and was credited with 14th.
“We had a good run going at Lowe’s,” said Sides. “We qualified where we needed to get on the front row of the heat race. Then the motor broke in the Feature. I think I would have been fine if the red hadn’t come out, but that’s how it goes sometimes.”
Sides was frustrated, but he didn’t have time to focus on it. The Outlaws had scheduled the next race for the following evening in Jamaica, VA.
Jason had over 300 miles to drive to get to Virginia Motor Speedway. Not only did he need to wash and maintenance, but also replace the motor.
Jason put a fresh motor in, but he still struggled in qualifications when he ended up 16th quick. Sides continued to struggle throughout the night and just missed the set-up for the A-Main, collecting a 16th-place finish.
“I always like to visit new places,” said Jason. “They have a really nice facility at VMS. I wish they wouldn’t have put so much water on the track though. That would have helped me a lot, but the first time racing on a track is always a challenge. You just have to learn from it and remember it for next time.”
Monday night at Rolling Wheels was no exception to the results Sides had been having. Sides was racing hard in 11th during the A-Main even when he began to feel a vibration through the corners. The vibration got worse.
Jason thought it was the motor. With only one race on it, he couldn’t chance hurting it more. Back in the pits, Sides was relieved to find the vibration had come from a broken U-joint.
“I had a good race going there with (Tim) Shaffer and (Chad) Kemenah,”
said Jason. “These things happen, but they’re never fun when they end your night early.”
Blown-motors and broken parts are always things that happen in racing.
Jason knows he can’t eliminate those things from happening so he tries to accept and take them in stride. As he heads back from Rolling Wheels his primary thoughts are going to be on things he can change and control, like the way he needs to approach single-lap qualifying.
“The Outlaws handicap you with one lap of qualifying because it is your whole entire night,” states Sides. “It puts so much pressure on the driver not to mess up that then you go out there and mess up. I don’t agree with having single-lap qualifying, but they aren’t going to stop it anytime soon and I need to do what I need to in order to live with it.”
Single-lap qualifying is implemented on nights when the Outlaws have a car count of 40 or more. The Outlaws race Friday night at Attica Raceway Park in Attica, OH and Saturday at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH, both tracks that have the possibility of high car counts. Sides will have to prepare himself for the chance of single-lap qualifying on either or both nights.
Check for Jason’s results for the upcoming week-end by visiting www.sidesmotorsports.com, your best source for the latest Sides Motorsports news and results.
Sides Motorsports would also like to thank the following sponsors for their support:
Wetherington Tractor Services, Inc.
Don Ott Racing Engines
Arctic Cat Motorsports
Dancer Logistics, Inc.
Four Seasons Radiators
Maxim Racing Chassis
Mercury Printing Co.
WRT Web Designs