Kinser wins opening night in Montana BILLINGS, Mont. -- There was no stopping Steve Kinser Friday night in Billings, Montana. Literally. Kinser's flag-to-flag victory in Friday's National Sprint Tour preliminary feature at Billings...
Kinser wins opening night in Montana
BILLINGS, Mont. -- There was no stopping Steve Kinser Friday night in Billings, Montana.
Kinser's flag-to-flag victory in Friday's National Sprint Tour preliminary feature at Billings Motorsports Park was his fourth win in five races there.
In addition, Kinser had no brakes.
Kinser still had enough to easily win his fifth race of the year. Behind him, Dean Jacobs took second from Jason Meyers at the line, with Danny Lasoski right behind in fourth. Rounding out the top-10 were Jason Sides, Paul McMahan, Kerry Madsen, Jason Solwold, Shane Stewart and Stevie Smith.
In the one race Kinser didn't win at Billings Motorsports Park, he finished second in last year's Saturday finale.
"We sort of tiptoed around the high line," Kinser said. "I had no brakes. I don't know what happened with them. I lost them about halfway through the race. As long as I could run on open track, it was not bad. I needed all the track."
Despite the brake problems, Kinser was pleased with the car.
"It worked out," he said. "The car was working really good. I was better up high. Once I lost my brakes, I had no choice but to run up there. We just sort of picked our way through them. We finished, and we'll fix the brakes for (Saturday)."
Throughout the evening, Kinser would pull away on restarts, including one for a tangle involving Kinser's teammate Tim Kaeding and Brandon Johnson. Kaeding came back to finish 11th.
"I felt like I was in good shape," Kinser said of not having pressure for the lead. "That helps a lot. I didn't want to go through more cars than I had to."
Jacobs, meanwhile, used the low line to move up from his 14th starting position. Following a red flag for a fuel stop on lap 23 of 30, Jacobs was fifth. Jacobs got by Lasoski for fourth, then both drivers got by Sides. Coming to the checkered flag, Jacobs grabbed second by inches over Meyers.
"Things are starting to click," said Jacobs, who scored a fourth place finish Monday in Nebraska, which was his first NST top-five. "I knew this team had good equipment. We're starting to have fun now after a change in personnel. The guys on the team are talking to me. It's a night and day difference. I wish we were going to Knoxville this week."
Jacobs, who continues to fill in for the injured Tim Shaffer in the Lonny Parsons-owned ride, figured he would keep trying the low line following the last restart.
"I knew I had a good car," Jacobs said. "I kept trying the bottom, and no one else did. It's not bad to finish second to Steve Kinser. Normally I like running high, but you've got to do what the race car tells you. I hoped to get by Danny and Jason Sides, but I never thought I would get second."
Would the result have been different up front if the race had gone 40 laps, as Saturday's will?
"Steve's the best," Jacobs said. "It's hard to beat Steve. He ran without brakes and still beat us. That says a lot."
Meyers was frustrated after almost finishing second.
"Almost sucks," he said. "We were second until the last six inches. We can't keep giving them away like that. After that red, the tire sealed up a little bit. Steve was just better than we were altogether."
Lasoski spent much of the race trying to get by Sides, and was surprised to see Jacobs scoot by on the bottom.
"It seems like I was tight all race long," the NST points leader said. "Jason was where I needed to be on the track. I had a run on Dean on the last lap to get back by him, but a lapped car was there. We'll take a fourth and come back (Saturday)."
Trophy dashes were won by Meyers and Kinser, with Kinser choosing to start on the inside pole for the 30-lap main event.
Heat races were won by Stewart, Jacobs, Jonathan Allard and Smith. Sides was the fastest of 32 qualifiers with a track record time of 13.063 seconds, his fourth fast time of the year. The B-main was won by Bill Boyce.
The Montana doubleheader concludes Saturday evening at Billings Motorsports Park. As usual with NST two-day shows, no spots are locked in from Friday. After Saturday, the series next races Aug. 25-26 at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash.