(August 4, 2008) - It has been a trying year for Jason Sides as he continues to tour with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Series this 2008 season. Sides has struggled to maintain consistency and has been fighting to gather any solid momentum well into this summer. Sides didn’t think he was going to get a break this season, but after clinching his fourth consecutive top ten in the last four WoO races, Sides has gained confidence and feels as if his car is competitive with the rest of the field. The timing couldn’t have been more fortunate for Jason, with the Knoxville Nationals, the Sprint Car Nation’s most prestigious race, taking place this week.
With Nationals approaching, the pressure has increased on the Outlaws drivers and teams. Adding even more stress is the busy schedule the Outlaws have maintained. With Knoxville in the back of their minds, the Outlaws have only had time to focus on the present. They raced six times in five different states within the past two weeks. Three weeks ago, the Outlaws traveled to Oshweken, ONT, CAN, for a two-day event that was cancelled because of rain. Weather was the last thing Jason wanted to see in Oshweken. He had won the race at Oshweken Speedway in 2007 and was hoping a good finish there would be a turning point in his current season. Leaving Canada, Sides made his way towards I-96 Raceway in Lake Odessa, MI for a Friday night show before a long overnight haul to race Saturday at KC Raceway in Chillicothe, OH. After finishing 14th both nights, Sides was beginning to wonder if he would be able to salvage his season.
Jason didn’t let his doubt get the better of him and he began to dig himself out his slump last Monday night at Paducah Raceway Park in Paducah, KY, where he scored a solid 6th place finish. He came back strong two nights later, with a charge up to 4th at 34 Raceway in West Burlington, IA. The Outlaws concluded the week-end in Wisconsin, with a race Friday at Wilmot Speedway and Saturday at Charter Raceway Park. Sides finished 9th in both. Jason has logged plenty of miles during the past week, but he is finding it much easier to keep up with the pace of the Outlaw schedule now that he is running better.
‘We have been running good and have picked up momentum that should carry over into the next few races,” said Sides. “It just so happens that it’s Nationals, but I’m trying to look beyond that. I just hope that we run good at Knoxville and it continues to roll over through the end of the year.”
Jason is focused on staying in his groove and doesn’t want the stress of Nationals to interrupt his progress. He is trying to keep himself from feeling the pressure of Nationals by focusing beyond the upcoming week.
“It is the biggest race of the year, but it is also just another race,” states Jason. “That’s how I’m looking at it to keep myself from over thinking it.”
Sides is determined to stay relaxed throughout the upcoming week. He will be a spectator on Wednesday night and will qualify on Thursday night. With a Knoxville Nationals Championship on the line, there’s no doubt Jason will put forth every effort to get his #7s WTS, Don Ott, Maxim in the hunt for the Nationals finale on Saturday, which will be broadcast live on the SPEED channel.
Tune in on Saturday to find out how Jason’s laid-back approach fares him through the week, and remember to visit www.sidesmotorsports.com for all the latest Sides Motorsports news and results throughout the 2008 season.