U.S. Army Takes Kraig Kinser Home to Indiana; Well at Least to O'Reilly Raceway Park Indianapolis, IN (August 1, 2006) - With the colors of the U.S Army on the No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Silverado, Kraig Kinser will make his first visit...
U.S. Army Takes Kraig Kinser Home to Indiana; Well at Least to O'Reilly Raceway Park
Indianapolis, IN (August 1, 2006) - With the colors of the U.S Army on the No. 46 Morgan-Dollar Motorsports Silverado, Kraig Kinser will make his first visit to his home state of Indiana as a full-time NASCAR competitor. The Power Stroke Diesel 200 at O'Reilly (formerly Indianapolis) Raceway Park (ORP) for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) will mark the first-ever pavement race in the Hoosier state for the Raybestos Rookie.
Kinser was born and raised in Bloomington, IN and has raced virtually every dirt track in the state behind the wheel of a winged sprint car. In his first full-time season in the NCTS, Kinser's U.S. Army sponsored Silverado is a joint effort between MDM and MB2 Motorsports. Kinser joined the MB2 driver development program last season.
"I am focusing on this as just another race," said Kinser. "I have raced my sprint car a lot in Indiana, but this is the first time for the truck. I just want to do the things I need to do...learn the track, be patient and bring home a strong finish."
In addition, Friday's one-day event at ORP will be the first for Kinser with Eric Phillips as his crew chief. In an effort to maximize the talented personnel at Morgan-Dollar Motorsports, team owner David Dollar decided to make some changes prior to the ORP event. He swapped crew chiefs and their respective crews on Kraig Kinser's No. 46 U.S. Army Silverado and teammate Dennis Setzer's No. 85 E85 FlexFuel Silverado The change put Phillips now leading Raybestos Rookie Kinser and Randy Goss on top of the pit box for Setzer.
"I think the biggest thing with Kraig is finishing all 200 laps at ORP," said Phillips. "Getting in some track time because Kraig has not been there before is the key. "The last two years that I have went there, we had really fast trucks, once with Dennis, and the other with Travis (Kvapil). I think set-up wise, we will be very close when we unload, so it should help Kraig get up to speed faster, and just getting him a lot of laps so then we don't have to work on the truck. That place is so easy to overdrive, but yet is easy to underdrive. You have to take your time and get in the corner right, and I think that the most important thing is just getting the track time. "
Kinser knows, just as every week, every race track has been for him thus far this season; there is a learning curve for him again at ORP. The 21-year old is taking it all in stride.
"Everyone at Morgan Dollar Motorsports get along really well," Kinser said. "I think that having a different perspective won't be a bad thing, I definitely don't see it hurting us. I am sure that Eric (Phillips) and I will work together differently than Randy (Goss) and I did; things may just work out better with these changes. Because we are all under the same roof and have been all season, it does make it a pretty easy transition for all of us because we don't have to get to know anyone new. They will be the same people, just different uniforms.
"I have been there to watch races, but I have never taken a lap around ORP. Like every other weekend, I am focusing on learning the track as quickly as I can. I am looking forward to all the input I can get from Eric and the crew."
Phillips summed up his thoughts on Kinser and ORP as well as the remainder of the season: "For me and the crew, I think that the biggest thing is just controlling our expectations. Going to ORP or any other track with Dennis or Travis, our goal was to dominate and win the race. Our goals are different with Kraig. The biggest thing is finishing all 200 laps at ORP and go from there. When I talked to our guys about it, we set basically three goals: finish all 200 laps, finish on the lead lap this weekend. Then we go to the next few tracks and try to finish in the top 10-15. I think those are realistic goals for Kraig, and it will help him build some confidence, and will help the team build some confidence also."
The first practice session for the one-day Power Stroke Diesel 200 event is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. EDT on Friday, August 4th followed by the one-hour final practice at approximately 12:00 p.m. EDT. Qualifying will be held at 5:30 p.m. EDT and the trucks will be impounded until the scheduled race start at 8:45 p.m. EDT. Live television coverage of the 200-lap/137.2-mile race will be provided by SPEED Channel with MRN and XM Satellite bringing the race live on the airwaves.