Swanson raises money for firecracker face-off
Jake Swanson won Saturday’s Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Car Series race at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55. (photo Jacy Norgaard)
PEVELY, Mo. — With a deep dive into turn three and his right foot out of turn four, Jake Swanson completed a big sliding work pass for the lead — one that would later net him a big paycheck $6,000 as the winner of the St Louis Firecracker Faceoff Final at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
“We really needed it,” Swanson said. “We really needed a win; it’s been a really tough year.
The AZ Racing driver from Anaheim, Calif., chased pole sitter Mario Clouser around the high banks of Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 through the middle stages of Saturday night’s Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Car Series. presented by the Low-E Insulation function, eager for its first victory in the inaugural season of the circuit.
Running second after starting third, Swanson slowly closed the gap to Clouser, blasting the high line right into his paths. He first tried slip work a lap early on lap 23, but lacked the momentum to slip and make the pass.
Three corners later, Swanson came in with the speed he needed, slipped past Clouser and won the drag race to turn one to seal it.
Now in the lead and just 10 laps from the end, Swanson activated the afterburners, opening up a two-second advantage in five laps. However, he still had traffic in front of him and at one point nearly became part of a bigger accident after he blew Jack Wagner’s left rear tire in the first corner.
“It was a bit sketchy out there in the swirling traffic,” Swanson said. “I don’t know if they didn’t see the blue flag or what.”
“We went ass on the kettle on turn one up there.”
Swanson recovered well, however, and rode her No. 21az around the third mile to the ladies, maintaining a three-second lead.
Clouser held onto second place, redeeming himself after going into the wall while leading on Friday, while fast qualifier Wesley Smith rounded out the podium.
Feature (LP): 1. 21AZ-Jake Swanson; 2. 6-Mario Clouser; 3. 44-Wesley Smith; 4. 33M-Matt Westfall; 5. Cockrum 66-Shane; 6. 20-Alex Bright; 7. 17-Nick Bilbee; 8. 52-Isaac Chapple; 9. 29-Mitch Wissmiller; 10. 99X-Dalton Stevens; 11. 1JR-Steven Russell; 12. 28-Kory Schudy; 13. 99-Korey Weyant; 14. 77-Jack Wagner; 15. 0-Steve Irwin; 16. 34 pounds;