Duel in the Dakotas opener report

'King' Takes Duel in the Dakotas Opener By Richard Day WEST FARGO, ND (July 5) -- While Steve Kinser has been unhappy with his performances in triple-program events this season, Danny Wood has shined in such races. "The King of the Outlaws"...

'King' Takes Duel in the Dakotas Opener
By Richard Day

WEST FARGO, ND (July 5) -- While Steve Kinser has been unhappy with his performances in triple-program events this season, Danny Wood has shined in such races.

"The King of the Outlaws" won a fierce battle with the 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Thursday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Fourth Annual Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway. Kinser, who set quick-time and won the First O'Reilly Heat Race, exchanged the lead with Wood three times before winning his third Preliminary Feature of the season.

"We haven't done that well in three-day shows, especially during qualifying," Kinser said. "It's nice to get a clean sweep here; we haven't done that in a long time. The points on this three-day deal are so important; you really have to step up every time you get on the track."

Kinser paced the 38-car qualifying session with a 117.524-m.p.h. lap around the high-banked, 1/2-mile oval. His fifth-place finish in the CHANNELLOCK Dash put him inside the third row in the Preliminary Feature lineup.

CHANNELLOCK Dash winner Sammy Swindell burst into the lead from the pole as the green flag fell in the 25-lap feature. Wood chased Swindell into turn one and steered Sher-Don Motorsports' #21W Pepsi Avenger to the lowest point in the second corner to take the lead.

Kinser took over second place late in the opening lap, driving his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Swindell and Craig Dollansky in the low groove between turns three and four. He used a similar move to pass Wood for the lead one lap later.

"The King of the Outlaws" and Wood passed each other two more times in the next three laps. Wood took the inside line through the first and second corners to take the lead early in lap three, only to have Kinser pass him deep in the third corner two laps later.

The leaders were approaching lapped traffic when a mechanical problem in the #2F Sanmina Eagle forced provisional starter Brad Furr to stop in turn four late in the fifth lap. Furr returned to the race, but dropped out after spinning in the first corner on the restart.

Dollansky and Swindell exchanged third place twice within a lap after the green flag replaced the yellow. Paul McMahan rode the rim around Swindell in turn two to take over fourth place one lap later.

Kinser was 3.1 seconds ahead of Wood when he entered lapped traffic midway through the race. Dollansky steered Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim into the low groove between the third and fourth corners to pass Wood for the runner-up spot late in the 14th lap. The defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion narrowed the gap to .7 seconds in dense lapped traffic within two laps.

Mark Kinser and 23rd-starting Andy Hillenburg were battling for eighth place late in lap 18 when a broken rear end in the #5M Mopar Maxim caused Kinser to collide with Hillenburg. Extensive damage to their cars kept the former Rookies of the Year from continuing.

Steve Kinser, who entered the event with eight "A" Feature victories at Red River Valley Speedway, opened a 2.4-second advantage within five laps after the race resumed. "The King of the Outlaws" caught the back-markers during the final lap and was 1.5 seconds ahead of Dollansky when he took the checkered flag.

"Having an open track there at the end probably helped us," Kinser said. "We got to watching some guys racing pretty hard, and I figured someone would be coming (from behind)."

Wood held off McMahan for third place. Swindell finished fifth, ahead of Danny Lasoski, "B" Feature winner Jeff Shepard, Stevie Smith, Donny Schatz of Minot, ND, and 19th-starting Jac Haudenschild.

Lasoski's sixth-place finish pushed him into a tie with Mark Kinser for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead.

Shepard and Hillenburg persevered through seemingly insurmountable obstacles during time trials, the O'Reilly Heat Races and the "B" Feature to qualify for the Preliminary Feature. A broken wing mount on the #5 Wirtgen Maxim kept Shepard from starting outside the front row in the First O'Reilly Heat Race. After changing engines in his #2 Luxaire J&J, Hillenburg took only one lap at the end of the qualifying session. Hillenburg crashed early in the "B" Feature, but raced back through the field and passed Ronald Laney for the last transfer position on the final lap.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Paul McMahan , Jac Haudenschild