Swindell Wins Winter Nationals, Retains Position By Richard Day MESQUITE, TX (October 28) -- The odds were against Mark Kinser passing Sammy Swindell for second place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws ...
Swindell Wins Winter Nationals, Retains Position
By Richard Day
MESQUITE, TX (October 28) -- The odds were against Mark Kinser passing Sammy Swindell for second place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings last weekend. Swindell, the winningest driver at Devil's Bowl Speedway, added to his legacy at the series' birth place Saturday, winning the 12th "A" Feature of his career at Lanny and Beverly Edwards' facility. "The CHANNELLOCK car was up to the task," Sammy said after winning the 27th Annual O'Reilly Winter Nationals. "The guys did a great job. I'd just like to see more racing on the race track." Swindell's #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth spent much of the evening idling around the semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval. Four cautions and two lengthy red periods slowed the 30-lap race. Swindell, the outside pole-sitter, led every lap, however. His 10th main event victory extended his advantage to 12 points over Mark as the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the season finale scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday. Kinser has won three of the series' nine "A" Features in Las Vegas. Swindell, whose nose wing hit Preliminary Feature winner Daryn Pittman's #3 Chili Bowl J&J and caused a caution midway through the CHANNELLOCK Dash, finished second in the six-lap race for the right to start the series' 60th main event of the year outside the front row. Kinser, who started two positions ahead of Swindell in the dash, crashed with Joey Saldana as the green flag fell in the race but eventually finished in fourth place. Swindell raced around CHANNELLOCK Dash winner James Chesson as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature, only to have Jac Haudenschild run over another car's tire and flip into the first corner. Chesson's brother, P.J., collided with the flipping #22 fetchOmatic Maxim. Swindell won a front-straightaway drag race with Chesson when the green flag replaced the red. The series' three-time champion was racing away from the field late in the third lap when Dean Jacobs flipped and collected provisional starter Donny Schatz in turn four. Swindell quickly opened a comfortable advantage when the race resumed, and was 2.7 seconds ahead of Saldana when he entered lapped traffic during lap seven. Brad Furr stopped in the fourth corner the next time around, however, opening the track ahead of the leader. Swindell started rebuilding his advantage when the green flag replaced the yellow, and was 2.5 seconds ahead of Saldana when he caught the back-markers again during the 13th lap. Swindell was 3.9 seconds ahead early in lap 20 when Jacobs took the #8H Energy Release Eagle for a spin in the second corner. First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Johnny Herrera passed Saldana deep turn two for second place as the race resumed. Kinser, who won the Winter Nationals in 1996 and 1997, started his run toward the front with nine laps remaining. With the #5M Mopar Maxim gaining power and momentum, the defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion beat Saldana down the back straightaway during the 22nd lap. He duplicated the move to pass Herrera for second place two laps later. While Pittman's second-corner spin early in lap 27 tightened the field, three cars separated Sammy and Mark on the restart. Swindell was fast on the restart, but Kinser quickly passed the lapped cars. Swindell was a half-straightaway ahead of Kinser with 1 3/4 laps remaining, only to have Stevie Smith's second-corner spin set up a two-lap dash to the checkered flag. Kinser was unable to keep pace with Swindell on the restart and was 2.226 seconds behind when Sammy took the checkered flag. Danny Lasoski, who started inside the sixth row, passed Saldana for third place with 5 1/2 laps remaining. Andy Hillenburg raced past 13 cars to finish fifth. Herrera finished in sixth place, ahead of Jason Johnson, Paul McMahan, Randy Hannagan and James Chesson. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Kinser received his third Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the year for pacing the qualifying session with a 129.441-m.p.h. lap. Power steering problems in the #11H Vivarin Eagle kept Tim Shaffer from racing in the program. WoO