Eldora race report 2005-07-15

Kinser Dominates the Knight Before the Kings Royal Rossburg, OH -- July 15, 2005 -- Steve Kinser busted out of his month-long struggle in a big way Friday by dominating the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway for his 13th A-feature...

Kinser Dominates the Knight Before the Kings Royal

Rossburg, OH -- July 15, 2005 -- Steve Kinser busted out of his month-long struggle in a big way Friday by dominating the Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway for his 13th A-feature victory of the season.

Kinser, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series leader, started on the pole and led all 30 laps in the final tuneup before the $50,000-to-win Kings Royal Saturday night on the high-banked, high-speed half-mile oval.

Jason Meyers, who started alongside Kinser in the front row, kept pace and finished second while Tim Shaffer used the bottom groove to slice his way to third, the highest finishing position of any provisional starter in World of Outlaws history.

Jac Haudenschild raced to the checkered flag in fourth for the second event in a row, while Chad Kemenah was fifth, followed by Brooke Tatnell, Danny Lasoski, Craig Dollansky, Tim Kaeding and Donny Schatz.

Tatnell's finish puts him in control of the March to the Mean 15 with only the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup remaining to determine the newest team in the elite Mean 15. He needs only to start the Silver Cup A-main to guarantee his Rush Racing team picks up the spot vacated when Rick Wright's struggling No. 35 car pulled off the circuit earlier this month.

Kinser, who also won a feature in April at Eldora, will try to sweep the prestigious weekend at Eldora Speedway for the second time in his career after accomplishing the feat in 2003. The only other driver to win the Knight Before the Kings Royal and the Kings Royal in the same year was Haudenschild in 1998.

Kinser's victory, where he virtually raced where he wanted in the 30-lap feature and was never challenged for the lead despite four cautions and a red flag for fuel, was his first since he swept the Eagle Nationals June 17-18 at Eagle Raceway. For most teams, posting 13 victories and a preliminary feature win is more than a season's worth of success, but for Kinser going a month between victories and coming off a race Wednesday at Attica Raceway Park where he was lapped in the feature, it was too long.

"We've been having a little bit of trouble the last three or four races," said Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who has a 292-point lead in his quest for a 20th series championship. "I think we might have found some of it out. This is a newer motor, but we were still having problems with it. We've been off on some ignition and fuel. The car was a lot better. It was the same car, same everything. It felt really good in the feature. I think I could have passed a few cars even if I wasn't in the front, that's how good it felt."

"We needed to win a race. It was good for us. The car felt like it was supposed to feel tonight."

He raced side-by-side with Meyers into Turn 1 when the green flag waved then slid into the lead as they exited Turn 2. From there he built an advantage and was strong on each restart and through what little traffic he encountered because of the timing of cautions.

Meyers maintained second from start to finish, but he got an assist from an open red flag for fuel with 10 laps to go. His runner-up finish was his best in four races this season at Eldora.

"I'm real thankful for that 10-lap deal," said Meyers, a Mean 15 racer from Clovis, Calif., who has four wins this season. "Having that red flag on Lap 20, I had a tire packed with mud. I don't know how long I was going to be able to hold onto second so the guys came out and fixed that up for us. I can't say enough about everybody who's helping us right now. Primerica Financial, Lucas Oil, Charlie Garrett, VRP Shocks, Maxim Chassis, those guys are on the phone every week trying to make this car better. This is the best car I've had at Eldora all year and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."

Shaffer's third-place run was remarkable considering he had to come out of the C-main then use a provisional to start 26th in the 26-car field. He cut to the bottom and made his car stick while nearly every other driver was trying to run the cushion.

"When you got a team that stands behind you 100 percent no matter how awful you're struggling," said Shaffer, a Mean 15 racer from Aliquippa, Pa. "Nobody gives up. That's the main thing. For us to come all the way up to third, that's an awesome night. We've got to get our qualifying a little better and hopefully get one of these wins."

"You've got to get yourself mentally up for it. You can never give up. My team never gave up and that was the key. They gave me a great racecar for the feature. When it all works together it's awesome."

As one of two racers to sweep this weekend, Haudenschild believes he again is in the right situation to take a run at the money driving the Dennis Roth-owned No. 83jr car.

"We've been in a couple of different cars this year and Dennis Roth's Beef Packers car is always fast," said Haudenschild, who has two top-fives for Roth in the past four races. "He has good guys working on the cars, good motors. It's just a good racecar."

Of course, with only two drivers in history taking the checkered flag in the Knight Before the Kings Royal and the Kings Royal, it's clear that success from Friday does not translate to a victory on Saturday.

"The track is normally not this low down on the cushion, it usually goes up to the wall and that's where we run the best," Kinser said. "We usually don't run that good when it's like this. Where we qualified put us in the right spot, got us in the Dash in the right spot. We kept working on the car and got it running better. We got some of the work done so now we can come back and concentrate on the racetrack a little more."

As the beginning to the Month of Money, a series of races that can inflate a successful driver's wallet in a hurry, Meyers is trying to keep each event in perspective.

"It's just another race," he said. "We worked real hard all year to get ready for these kind of races and we're ready for it."

Shaffer knows whatever it was his team figured out between qualifying and the A-main Friday night won't necessarily work to get him back to the front again when the $50,000 is on the line Saturday night.

"Saturday's going to be a whole new game," said Shaffer, who has two A-feature wins this season. "You won't take too much from tonight to tomorrow. The cushion was low tonight. It'll be a different story tomorrow."

The Outlaws return to Eldora Speedway Saturday for the prestigious $50,000-to-win King's Royal. After Eldora, the series rolls Tuesday into Lernerville Speedway for the $30,000-to-win Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and July 21-23 to Williams Grove Speedway for the $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals.

THE MARCH TO THE MEAN 15 On the fourth night of the March to the Mean 15 featuring Brooke Tatnell, Shane Stewart, Terry McCarl and Jason Solwold, Tatnell continued to extend his advantage with a sixth-place finish in the A-main. Tatnell has been the top-finishing racer in each of the events in the March. McCarl maintained second place with a 14th-place run Friday night after pacing the field in time trials. Stewart finished 17th in the feature to hold onto third place while Solwold missed the A-main for the second race night in a row.

KNIGHTS BEFORE THE KINGS ROYAL NOTEBOOK - Steve Kinser earned his series-leading 13th A-feature victory Saturday night by winning the Knight Before the Kings Royal. Kinser also has a preliminary feature win this season in the Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway. When Stevie Smith took the checkered flag Wednesday night at Attica Raceway Park, he became the 14th different A-feature winner this season. Kraig Kinser won his fourth A-feature of the season in June at Knoxville Raceway. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. Jason Meyers earned his fourth win of the season July 2 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. Donny Schatz also has four A-feature victories, at Parramatta, Las Vegas and Houston and Joliet, Ill. Brian Paulus won June 28 at Huset's Speedway for his second victory of the season. Tim Shaffer picked up his second win of the season May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway. Sammy Swindell won his second A-feature of the season June 4 at Eldora Speedway. Swindell also has a preliminary feature win April 8 at Eldora. Craig Dollansky has won two features, most recently at Powercom Park, and he also has two preliminary feature wins. Single-event winners include Tim Kaeding June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park, Daryn Pittman April 23 at 81 Speedway in Wichita, Brooke Tatnell July 4 at Cedar Lake Speedway, Chad Kemenah July 9 at I-55 Raceway, and Jeff Shepard Feb. 11 at Volusia Speedway Park. In Preliminary Features, Danny Lasoski has won twice and Joey Saldana has won once.

The race last night at Eldora was on half-mile oval. Including preliminary features, the series has raced 19 times this year on half-mile circuits with Steve Kinser winning five times (Volusia, Eldora twice, Knoxville and Williams Grove), Sammy Swindell winning three times (twice at Eldora, once at Hagerstown), Craig Dollansky winning twice (Manzanita and Williams Grove), Kraig Kinser winning twice (Las Vegas, Knoxville), Jason Meyers winning twice (Granite City and Red River Valley), Donny Schatz winning twice (Las Vegas and Route 66 Raceway), and Brian Paulus (Red River Valley), Danny Lasoski (Knoxville) and Jeff Shepard (Volusia) each winning once.

In the Stacker 2 Dash to set the inside top six rows of the A-main, Steve Kinser shot to the front as Brooke Tatnell outlasted a scramble behind him. Tatnell held on to finish second with Joey Saldana in third, Kraig Kinser fourth, fast-qualifier Terry McCarl fifth and Danny Lasoski in sixth after going to the pits midway through the race.

In the second Dash that set the outside top six rows of the A-main, Jason Meyers raced under Randy Hannagan at the start and opened a big lead as he took the checkered flag in front of Hannagan, Chad Kemenah, Jac Haudenschild, Craig Dollansky and Tim Kaeding.

In the B-main, Jason Sides raced to the lead from the outside of the front row and held off Greg Wilson to take the checkered flag. Dale Blaney raced to the finish in third with Mark Smith picking up the final transfer position to the main event. Tim Shaffer and Jan Howard advanced from the C-main to the B-main. Kenny Jacobs, Jeremy Campbell, Nick Neigbor and Rob Chaney advanced from the D-main to the C-main.

In the first heat, Cody Gelhart shot out to the lead on the first lap in Turns 1 and 2, fought off Shane Stewart and led the field to the checkered flag. Stewart finished second with Randy Hannagan third, Ryan Coniam fourth and fast qualifier Terry McCarl sliding into fifth for the final transfer spot.

In the second heat, Craig Dollansky darted to the lead in Turn 1 with Danny Lasoski following him through to grab second and Steve Kinser cutting into third. Chad Kemenah the second-fastest qualifier raced from sixth to fourth as Stevie Smith picked up the final transfer spot on a restart with two to go.

In the third heat, Brandon Wimmer and Donny Schatz raced hard into Turn 1 as the green flag waved, with Schatz going to the lead on the high side down the backstretch. Once in front, Schatz powered his way to the checkered flag. Wimmer held on to finish second with Jason Meyers third. Brooke Tatnell and Kraig Kinser traded fourth before Tatnell finally claimed the position leaving Kinser in the final transfer spot.

In the fourth heat, Brian Paulus and Sammy Swindell raced side-by-side through Turns 1 and 2 before Swindell motored to the front going into Turn 3. Paulus kept pace to finish second, with Joey Saldana cruising to the checkered flag in third, Jac Haudenschild in fourth and Tim Kaeding holding on for the final transfer spot.

Terry McCarl paced the 51 cars that went through time trials with a lap around the 1/2-mile oval in 13.137 seconds at 137.018 mph. Craig Dollansky established the track record in a World of Outlaws Sprint Series race when he turned a lap around Eldora in 12.707 seconds on April 13, 2002.

"Any time you've got a big event like this with this many fast cars and you're able to go out late and set quick time, that's a testament to your engine and your crew," said McCarl, who set quick time at Eldora once before in 1993. "We've got it dialed in pretty well."

The Outlaws return Saturday to Eldora Speedway where they'll launch the Month of Money with the prestigious $50,000-to-win King's Royal. After Eldora, the series rolls Tuesday into Lernerville Speedway for the $30,000-to-win Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup and July 21-23 to Williams Grove Speedway for the $20,000-to-win Summer Nationals.

The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 20 the 17th annual Brad Doty Classic from Attica Raceway Park. The action from Eldora Speedway will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 27 and Aug. 3.

It might not have a wing on top, but one of the most talked about vehicles in the pits at all of the Outlaw races is the Segway Human Transporter. Tuesday night at Lernerville Speedway, a lucky World of Outlaws Sprint Series fan will win a Segway courtesy of Rush Racing and its entire race team during the main event of The Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup. A Segway HT is a two-wheel, self-balancing personal transporter designed to take people anywhere they want to go, even a local dirt track. Many of the top drivers and their team members have been seen running through the pits or attempting the famous slide jobs on each other. Now one lucky fan will get their chance to experience the thrill of a Segway. -- Fans can pick up a ticket for the drawing at the Rush Racing Apparel trailer just outside the entrance to the stands. Tickets will be available during the fan appreciation and autograph sessions scheduled to take place between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Rush Racing, and a link to Segway, can be found on the Internet at http://www.rushracingsprintcars.com.

If fans can't get to a track to see the series, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series live on Dirtvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network. To listen to the audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo. Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail webmaster@dirtvision.com.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Kenny Jacobs , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Randy Hannagan , Shane Stewart , Greg Wil , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Tim Kaeding
Teams Williams