Grays Harbor Preliminary race report

ELMA, WA (August 17) - Mark Kinser steered clear of many obstacles while winning "A" Features at Grays Harbor Raceway Park the last two years. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader was unable to dodge a spinning Toni Lutar Friday when...

ELMA, WA (August 17) - Mark Kinser steered clear of many obstacles while winning "A" Features at Grays Harbor Raceway Park the last two years. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader was unable to dodge a spinning Toni Lutar Friday when the series opened a double-feature event at the semi-banked, 3/10-mile oval, however.

Kinser's misfortune gave Stevie Smith the lead and, eventually, his second Preliminary Feature of the season. Smith led the final 17 laps and beat Dale Blaney under the checkered flag to claim the $5,000 first prize and the pole position in Saturday's Channellock Dash.

Despite finishing in 16th place, Kinser managed to increase his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead to 38 points as Danny Lasoski finished 18th.

Smith and Kinser qualified 14th and 12th, respectively, and both won O'Reilly Heat Races. Smith earned the right to start the 25-lap Preliminary Feature on the pole by winning his fourth Channellock Dash of the season, while Mark passed Paul McMahan and cousin Steve Kinser to claim the other front-row starting position.

Kinser drove the #5M Mopar Maxim around Smith in the fourth corner as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Smith was challenging Mark for the lead the next time around when Joey Saldana and Andy Hillenburg collided and Jim Carter jumped the berm deep in turn two. Tim Shaffer surrendered fourth place when he pitted during the caution period.

Steve Kinser, who won a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main event at Grays Harbor on August 22, 1998, was challenging First O'Reilly Heat Race winner Paul McMahan for third place when Mark led Smith into lapped traffic six laps into the race.

Smith was 1.3 seconds behind when Lutar spun into Mark in the second corner two laps later. Chad Hillier also collided with Kinser and Lutar and flipped. Kinser's crew made the necessary repairs to the #5M, enabling Mark to restart at the back of the pack minus a nose wing and part of his hood.

Donny Schatz, who won the Wild, Wild Northwest Tour opener at MetraPark Raceway Tuesday, was on the move when the green flag replaced the red. "The Minot Missile" raced past six cars in the first six laps, then steered the #15 Parker Stores J&J to the lowest point between turns one and two to pass Jeff Shepard for fifth place.

Blaney, who started outside the fourth row, took the high line around McMahan and Steve Kinser between the third and fourth corners to claim the runner-up spot several seconds later.

Smith was .4 seconds ahead of Blaney when he caught the back-markers during the 13th lap. Blaney caught him within a lap, however, and almost drove the #10 U.S. Print/ MBNA/Mopar Maxim into the lead high in turn four.

Lutar and Jeff Hodgson crashed in the first corner early in the 15th lap, taking the leaders out of lapped traffic.

Smith raced away from Blaney as the race resumed, and was 1.1 seconds ahead when he entered lapped traffic four laps later. He maintained a comfortable advantage throughout the final six laps.

McMahan held off "The King of the Outlaws" for third place. Schatz finished fifth, ahead of Shepard, fast-qualifier Craig Dollansky, Randy Hanngan, Sammy Swindell and Shaffer.

Dollansky was the fastest qualifier for the eighth time this season, pacing the 47-car qualifying session with a 12.421-second lap.

Hannagan was in fourth place in the Second O'Reilly Heat Race when he hit the berm deep in turn one, breaking the suspension on the #1X K&C Drywall Eagle. The 1995 Rookie of the Year won the "B" Feature, then raced into eighth place from inside the sixth row in the Preliminary Feature.

Danny Wood steered the #21W Pepsi Avenger deep in the fourth corner to pass Jason Meyers for 11th place as they headed for the checkered flag in the main event.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Toni Lutar