BARBERVILLE, FL – Jason Sides is looking forward to a relaxing weekend at the Ronald Laney Memorial King of the 360s, which is hosted by East Bay Raceway Park this Thursday through Saturday.
“One of our biggest sponsors, Kimball Wetherington of Wetherington Tractor Service, Inc., is based down there and supports the track and event so we always look forward to spending time with him,” he said. “It’s a laid back weekend where we go to have fun. Of course we want to win, too.”
Sides, who was the event champion in 2002, won a preliminary night at the bullring near Tampa, Fla., in 2015 and 2016. He placed fourth and 18th in preliminary competition last year before ending eight during the finale.
The event will be one of the rare 360ci winged sprint car races of the season for Sides, whose 2018 campaign with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series began last weekend at Volusia Speedway Park during the DIRTcar Nationals.
Sides entered the week with at least one top-10 finish during the event for the last 11 years.
“We didn’t qualify well and that put us behind to start each night,” he said. “We raced our way into the show each night, but didn’t put ourselves in a good enough position to capture a top 10. The track was heavy and fast the first two nights so it was tough to move forward.”
Sides qualified 20th quickest and placed sixth in a heat race on Friday during the World of Outlaws season opener. That missed a lock-in position by only one spot and relegated Sides to the Last Chance Showdown. He placed third in the race to transfer into the 23rd starting position for the A Main.
“When you qualify back there you have to make up a lot of ground in the heat race,” he said. “Otherwise you’re buried in the Last Chance Showdown and then the main event if you make it in. We did what we could on a heavy, fast track.”
Sides advanced a handful of positions to place 18th.
Similar circumstances played out on Saturday as Sides timed in 30th quickest in qualifying, advanced from eighth to sixth in a heat race to again narrowly miss a lock-in position to the A Main. He charged from 10th to third place in the Last Chance Showdown and maneuvered from 23rd to 20th in the main event.
The weekend wrapped up on Sunday with Sides qualifying 11th quickest. A sixth-place heat race finish locked him into the A Main since there were only three heats.
“All three nights was the same thing,” he said. “When you’re starting at the back like that it doesn’t give you many options because you’re constantly surrounded by a lot of cars. Dirty air makes it tough to maneuver and just when you get rolling someone can chop you on the bottom lane or slide up in front of you on the top. Once you lose a little momentum it really slows you for a couple of laps.”
QUICK RESULTS –
Feb. 9 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 20; Heat race: 6 (5); B Main: 3 (3); Feature: 18 (23).
Feb. 10 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 30; Heat race: 6 (8); B Main: 3 (10); Feature: 20 (23).
Feb. 11 – Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. – Qualifying: 11; Heat race: 6 (4); Feature: 19 (17).
SEASON STATS –
3 races, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s, 0 top 15s, 3 top 20s
UP NEXT –
Thursday through Saturday at East Bay Raceway Park in Tampa, Fla., for the Ronald Laney Memorial King of the 360s
MEDIA LINKS –
SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT – Dancer Logistics, Inc.
Dancer Logistics, Inc., is a full-service transportation logistics provider specializing in dedicated fleet, brokerage and warehousing. For more information, visit http://www.DancerLogistics.com.
“Shawn Dancer of Dancer Logistics has been with us for many years and he’s helped us a ton,” Sides said. “It’s grown to be more of a friendship than a partnership.”
Sides would also like to thank Wetherington Tractor Service, Inc., East Coast Logistics, VRP Shocks, King Racing Products, BR Motorsports, R.E. Enterprises, Jim Schuhknecht, FSR Radiators, Mid-States Equipment, Pat Hanley Auction Co., Brad Roller, Driven Racing Oil, Ingles Racing Engines, Wings Unlimited and All Pro Aluminum Cylinder Heads for their continued support.
INSIDE LINE PROMOTIONS –
Inside Line Promotions specializes in affordable public relations and media management for motor sports drivers, teams, sponsors, tracks, series, events, organizations and manufacturers. ILP Founder Shawn Miller leverages professional journalism with new media technologies and social networking to improve your exposure and the return on investment for your sponsors.
To meet the media relations needs of your program by joining Team ILP, contact Shawn at 541-510-3663 or Shawn@InsideLinePromotions.com. For more information on Inside Line Promotions, visit http://www.InsideLinePromotions.com.