KRAIG KINSER DOMINATES AND WINS TALLADEGA ARCA RE/MAX RACE
TALLADEGA, Ala. (Oct. 1, 2005) -- Kraig Kinser stole the show Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway by winning the ARCA RE/MAX race in dominating fashion.
Driving the U.S. Army/CENTRIX Financial/Rally's Chevrolet as a member of MB2 Motorsports driver development program, Kinser started from the pole and led 83 of 113 laps.
"This is sweet," said the 20-year-old son of many-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Steve Kinser. "MB2 gave me a great car and the Hendrick engine was awesome."
Kinser, who took the checkered flag 0.168 seconds ahead of Kyle Krisiloff, didn't have much time to enjoy the Food World 300 victory. Following the customary Victory Lane photos and media interviews, he boarded a private airplane for Williams Grove, Pa. to compete in Saturday night's World of Outlaws main feature.
The only glitch for Kinser at Talladega's 2.66-mile oval was when he violated the blend line rule as he was exiting pit road near the mid-point of the race. The penalty relegated him from first to 17th place.
"I made a mistake but it turned out to be a good thing because it gave me more experience working the draft," said Kinser, who led 49 of the first 51 laps.
Kinser, who was competing in only his second career ARCA race, sliced and diced his way back to the front with the precision of a savvy veteran. He regained the lead on Lap 80 and held the front-running position for the remainder of the race.
"Kraig did a fantastic job -- he was incredibly poised for his first superspeedway race," said Doug Randolph, who handled the crew chief duties. "He made that one mistake, but he didn't get flustered. He only got better as the race went on. He's been a pleasure to work with."
Along with guidance from Randolph and team spotter Roman Pemberton, Kinser also received advice from 75-year-old Hall of Fame driver, Red Farmer, who called Kinser in Victory Lane to congratulate him.
"Red is a great teacher and I really appreciate the time he spent with me during our test session at Talladega," said Kinser.
Kinser's father, who won an IROC race at Talladega in 1994, was back in Pennsylvania preparing for Saturday night's sprint car race. He was given a play-by-play of the closing laps via cell phone from his boyhood friend and team pilot Chuck Myers.
"Steve didn't say much, but I've known him for many years and knew he was very happy and very proud of his son," said Myers.
Kinser, who won the prestigious Knoxville Nationals sprint car race in central Iowa in August, was asked about his future in post-race interviews.
"I'd like to become a stock car driver," he said. "I am very happy with my affiliation with MB2 and hope to progress with its driver development program."
In Kinser's first ARCA race in August at Michigan International Speedway, he qualified second and finished eighth.
"No question, Kraig has the racing DNA," said Jay Frye, MB2's CEO and general manager. "We're proud of not only the way he has competed for us, but also the professional and humble way he conducts himself both on and off the track."