The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Sports

April 19, 2013

Motorsports: Engineering a sprint car dream

(Continued)

"We ran two events at Clinton County with the 305," he said. "We put the car up for sale and within 24 hours it was sold and 24 hours later, we had a 358. By the end of June, we were racing at Selinsgrove.

"It was quite hectic in my first race in a sprint car," Steward noted. "Clinton County in its own, is a very small, tight race track. To put the kind of power in my hands in that confined space was a little nerve-wracking."

Steward was involved in an accident in his first night in the 305.

"We had a car flip in front of us and we had no place to go and we bent the axel," he said.

Steward ran five races in 2012 at Selinsgrove. He was thankful for the track's open practice sessions.

"One of the main things in going from a go-kart to a sprint car is that you have to be more aggressive to be a sprint car driver," he said. "I was a little bit relaxed in those five races last year. This year, I decided to come out of the gate and be aggressive."

Steward's season ended with a broken rear end and without any spare parts, the team decided to get ready for this year.

Steward has had help from other teams including the Maustellers and Kellers along with Matt Highland.

"Matt's got us going with a great shock program and is helping us to be organized which is essential in racing," he said.

Steward's rookie season got off to a rough start on March 30 when he flipped in the season-opening 358 sprint car feature.

Steward noted the team seemed to be 'snake bitten' from the start that night.

"The engine was giving us trouble in the heat race, we should have loaded up and went home," he said. "We got in the show and as we were coming out of four on the start, a car broke and the closing speed on a stopped car is quite quick. He was moving down the track and so was I was trying to avoid him, but I clipped his wheel and ended up flipping three times. It's not the way we wanted to start the season."

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