With a deep dive into Turn 3 and his right foot down coming out of Turn 4, Jake Swanson completed a big slide job pass for the lead – one that would later earn him a big $6,000 paycheck as victor of the St. Louis Firecracker Faceoff finale.
“We really needed this,” Swanson said in Victory Lane. “We really needed a win; it’s been a really rough year.”
The AZ Motorsports pilot from Anaheim, CA, chased polesitter 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 Low-E Insulation Feature, hungry for his first victory in the tour’s inaugural season.
Running second after starting third, Swanson slowly closed the gap to Clouser, blasting the high line right in his trails. He originally tried the slide job one lap earlier on Lap 23 but did not have the momentum to slide up and make the pass. Three corners later, Swanson went in with the speed he needed, slid up in front of Clouser and won the drag race to Turn 1 to seal it.
Now with the lead and only 10 laps remaining, Swanson flipped on the afterburners, opening up a two-second advantage in five laps. However, he still had traffic in front, and at one point was nearly a part of a bigger accident after jumping the left-rear tire of Jack Wagner getting into Turn 1.
“It was a little sketchy there in lapped traffic,” Swanson said. “I don’t know if they didn’t see the blue flag or what.”
“We about went ass-over-teakettle into Turn 1 up there.”
Swanson recovered nicely, however, and cruised his No. 21AZ around the third-mile to the checkers, holding over a three-second lead.
Clouser held on for second, redeeming himself after getting into the wall while leading on Friday, while Whitz Racing Products Fast Qualifier Wesley Smith completed the podium.
The Xtreme Outlaw Sprint Car Series pres. by Low-E Insulation tags in its sister series on Sunday, June 26 – the Xtreme Outlaw Midget Series pres. by Toyota takes on the quarter-mile bullring of Jacksonville Speedway in Jacksonville, IL. If you can’t be at the track, watch it live on DIRTVision.
ABBREVIATED RESULTS (view full results)
Feature (35 Laps): 1. 21AZ-Jake Swanson; 2. 6-Mario Clouser; 3. 44-Wesley Smith; 4. 33M-Matt Westfall; 5. 66-Shane Cockrum; 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-Sterling Cling; 17. 16-Anthony Nicholson; 18. 2B-Chad Boespflug; 19. 17GP-Kyle Shipley; 20. 28M-Brandon Mattox; 21. 73-Samuel Wagner; 22. 24-Landon Simon