Mark Kinser ends slump in Grays Harbor opener, ELMA, WA (August 16) -- Mark Kinser, struggling through his least productive season in 10 years, returned to victory lane Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened a $95,350 event at...
Mark Kinser ends slump in Grays Harbor opener,
ELMA, WA (August 16) -- Mark Kinser, struggling through his least productive season in 10 years, returned to victory lane Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened a $95,350 event at Grays Harbor Raceway Park.
The series' two-time champion passed cousin Steve Kinser following a third-lap restart and led the final 22 1/3 laps to claim his third Preliminary Feature victory of the year. The $5,000 victory was Mark's first since April 24th at Lakeside Speedway.
"We've been in a slump -- to say the least -- for I don't know how long," Kinser said. "Cale Kahne, from here in Washington, and Dennis (Kohler) and Justin (Adams), they've been working really hard. They've stuck by me through some tough times, and Mopar has, too.
"It seems like the surface here gets better and better each time we come here, and Fred Brownfield and his crew do a great job not only with the race track, but promoting the whole event. I think I have as many fans out here as I do in Indiana, and this is one of my favorite stops. If we can get back here (to victory lane) tomorrow night, it will really help to turn our season around."
Mark, who won "A" Features at Grays Harbor in 1999 and 2000, was the second-fastest qualifier in 41-car field. He earned the privilege of starting the 25-lap feature outside the second row by following Danny Lasoski across the finish line in the Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.
Steve Kinser, who won the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash, started on the pole and raced wheel-to-wheel with Lasoski down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Lasoski high in the second corner to take the lead. Mark Kinser took the high line through turns three and four to pass "The Dude" several seconds later.
Jac Haudenschild used an inside move between the third and fourth corners to pass Lasoski for third place the next time around.
The leaders were approaching lapped traffic early in the third lap when Roger Crockett spun in turn two. Crockett also spun into Daryn Pittman early in the Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.
Mark chased the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader for almost a full lap after the race resumed, then drove the #5M Mopar Maxim past him in the low groove between turns three and four.
The leaders were approaching lapped traffic again two laps later when Jason Solwold flipped in turn one. Mark raced away as the green flag replaced the red, but Steve Kinser almost passed him deep in the fourth corner late in lap nine. Mark was .7 seconds ahead of Steve when the leaders caught the back-markers the next time around.
Mark opened a comfortable advantage as Haudenschild challenged "The King of the Outlaws" for second place during the race's middle stages. "The Wild Child" raced wheel-to-wheel with Steve through turns three and four late in the 13th lap, but was unable to surge ahead. Brad Furr steered his #2 Sanmina/SCI Eagle around Craig Dollansky in the high groove between the third and fourth corners to take over fifth place a split-second later.
Stevie Smith, who won the "A" Feature at Grays Harbor last August 18th, lost three positions when the #11H Vivarin Maxim turned completely around in turn two with 2 2/3 laps remaining, and eventually finished 15th.
Mark Kinser was .9 seconds ahead of cousin Steve when he took the checkered flag.
Haudenschild finished in third place, ahead of Lasoski, Furr, Dollansky, 12th-starting Pittman, First Heat Race winner Joey Saldana, Randy Hannagan and Jason Meyers.
Donny Schatz made amends for a disappointing qualifying effort by winning the Fourth Heat Race and racing into 12th place from outside the 10th row in the Preliminary Feature.
Smith set quick time for the eighth time this season, circling the semi-banked, 3/10-mile oval in 12.426 seconds, an average speed of 86.915 M.P.H.