PEVELY, Mo. — Jacob Allen is on track for one of the best seasons of his career.
And it’s easy to tell. His smile is brighter. There’s confidence in his stance. And his head no longer hangs low.
That mentality has put the Shark Racing driver inside the top five and top 10 on a more consistent basis and in contention on multiple occasions to capture his first World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series victory.
He ended the 2019 season 12th in points with two top-five finishes, 17 top-10 efforts and 42 laps led. With still half of the season to go, Allen is ninth in points with four top fives, nine top 10s and 23 laps led. The highest he’s finished in points was 11th in 2018.
“I think I just took the off season, the time that we had down, and changed some things with myself away from the racetrack,” Allen said. “Just thinking about my attitude during races and how I approach things. I think that has helped. I’ve been working out and eating healthy. Just thinking about life, a lot better and I think that’s made me a lot happier and a better leader to my teammates. I think that’s just been a consistent thing to the entire 2020. It’s been good for the racing.”
This weekend, for the Ironman 55 doubleheader, he returns to the site of his first good run of the year at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
When the series competed at the third-mile track in May, Allen won his Drydene Heat Race, the DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and led early before fading to fifth the feature.
While the result was another missed chance at a win, Allen didn’t hang his head. He stayed positive and excited.
A week later he had a chance to win at Lake Ozark Speedway before flipping in one. A couple of weeks after that he battled with Carson Macedo and Brad Sweet for the lead at Tri-State Speedway before a lap car spun in front of him.
And recently, he had his best run of the year at Lincoln Speedway, leading the first 14 laps and ended up third – his first podium since April of 2019.
“There’s been good chances to win races for me, but there’s been what people call bad luck,” Allen said. “I don’t get upset about that. I just look at is as, I’m up front. I work hard at it. I race hard at it and I try to get better each and every night. And eventually it will turn around and it will be great.
“The wins are going to come. When I’m working as hard as I am and as focus as I’ve been, I don’t see where it can’t not happen. I look forward to that day.”