SHENANDOAH, Va. (May 3) — Small steps is all two-time world champion Gary St. Amant needs to take at this Thursday’s Farmer’s Foods 250 at Shenandoah Speedway. Just 15 points in arrears of Northern Division leader Clay Rogers, third-ranked racer St. Amant knows another strong showing could vault him the two positions he needs to top the USAR (United Speed Alliance Racing) Hooters Pro Cup Series standings.

Behind the wheel of his No. 7 Chevrolet Monte Carlo, St. Amant recorded a strong fifth-place finish April 10 at South Boston Speedway in the season-opening race for Northern Division competitors. Now he hopes the momentum of that race carries over to the track “Where the Mountains Roar.”

“We actually had a hurt motor at the end of the race in South Boston so we feel very fortunate to have finished as high as fifth there,” St. Amant said from his race shop in Columbus, Ohio. “Fortunately, we have a brand-new Gaerte powerplant to slip under the hood this weekend and we’re confident it’s a better piece than the one we had.”

St. Amant and crew were hoping to place the motor in their newly-arrived Laughlin chassis for this race but the car just wasn’t quite ready in time.

“It’s here at the shop and just about completely assembled but it still needs to go to the paint shop and we really want to test before we enter a race with it,” St. Amant said. “We only run 14 races on this circuit so they’re all very important. I’m not necessarily a guy that watches the points all year but we do care a great deal about where we finish each weekend. If you have enough strong finishes the points take care of themselves.

“The main thing is we know the car we’ll be running Thursday like the back of our hand so we’re very comfortable with it and how it reacts to the changes that need to be made as the race progresses. We’ll have the new car up to speed by our next race in Madison (Wisconsin, on May 26th), and we’ll go from there. This car is capable of winning this race and that’s exactly what we’re gonna try and do.”

The Farmer’s Foods 250 is slated to begin at 7 p.m. Gates open at 3 p.m.

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