Houston Raceway Park race report

BAYTOWN, TX (October 14) -- Steve Kinser dominated the Lone Star Classic at Houston Raceway Park Sunday, then added insult to injury with an announcement that many of his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series rivals found surprising. "I'm not...

BAYTOWN, TX (October 14) -- Steve Kinser dominated the Lone Star Classic at Houston Raceway Park Sunday, then added insult to injury with an announcement that many of his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series rivals found surprising. "I'm not ready to quit racing yet," the series' 16-time champion said. "I plan on being around for a few more years." Kinser, who led all 30 laps to win the Lone Star Classic for the second straight year, also won the OdoBan Outlaws Championship at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway the previous weekend. "We've been playing with the motors a little bit lately," said Kinser, who has won six main events this season. "I wish we would have started a little earlier in the year. Maxim has built us a new car, and it feels great, so we'll just try to get a few more before the end of the year." Kinser, the 10th-fastest qualifier in the 28-car field, won the First O'Reilly Heat Race. Winning his 11th Channellock Dash victory of the season from inside the second row gave him the pole position in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 59th "A" Feature of the year. "The King of the Outlaws" drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. Andy Hillenburg passed fast-qualifier Paul McMahan and Third O'Reilly Heat Race winner Craig Dollansky during the opening lap, then took fourth place from Kinser's son, Kraig, with an inside move in turn four the next time around. Kinser's second cousin, Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Mark Kinser, started outside the seventh row. He steered the #5M Mopar Maxim around Johnny Herrera in the high groove between the first and second corners early in lap three, then used a similar move to pass Danny Wood for ninth place one lap later. McMahan raced past Kraig Kinser and Dollansky late in the fourth and sixth laps to take over fifth place. Mark Kinser took the high line around young Kraig in turn two for the eighth spot early in lap seven. "The King of the Outlaws" was .4 seconds ahead of outside pole-sitter Danny Lasoski when they entered lapped traffic two laps later. Kinser, racing past the back-markers with ease, more than doubled his advantage within a lap. P.J. Chesson and Donny Schatz collided while trying to avoid Jeff Shepard, who spun the #5 Wirtgen Maxim in the first corner, midway through the race. The caution flag fell, taking the leaders out of lapped traffic and tightening the 24-car field. World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion Daryn Pittman and Sammy Swindell raced past Wood for ninth and 10th place, respectively, within a lap after the race resumed. Steve Kinser caught the back-markers with a 1.2-second advantage during lap 20. "The Dude" narrowed the gap to .3 seconds five laps later, however, when Kinser slid out of the low groove between the third and fourth corners while lapping Chesson. "I decided to try to put the 76 car (Chesson) between us," Kinser explained. "I was just trying to keep a gap because I could run up to anybody, but it was pretty tough to pass. I went into three and came across and almost missed the bottom and gave the thing away. Hitting the right spot wasn't much of a problem tonight; it was just a matter of making sure you didn't run over any lapped cars." Although Lasoski battled him throughout the final five laps, "The King of the Outlaws" took the checkered flag with a half-second to spare. The $10,000 victory was Kinser's third in the four events the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has run at Houston Raceway Park's semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval. Lasoski's runner-up run pushed him to within 53 points of Mark Kinser in their battle for the 2001 series championship. Joey Saldana finished in third place, ahead of Hillenburg, McMahan, Dollansky, Mark Kinser, Johnny Herrera, Pittman and Swindell. Saldana's 15th top-five finish of the season pushed him past Stevie Smith and Shepard into eighth place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings. Hillenburg also passed Smith, who finished in 14th place. Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Brad Furr flipped his #2F Sanmina Eagle during hot laps and brought out a backup car for the remainder of the event. Although he recorded the fourth-fastest lap, he was scored 17th because he missed his turn in the qualifying session. Furr won the "B" Feature and raced into 17th place from the back of the pack in the main event. Ronald Laney, who finished fourth in the Gumout Series point standings, hit the infield berm and flipped early in the First O'Reilly Heat Race. His crew was unable to repair his #52 Maxim in time for him to start the "B" Feature. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run a $112,145 event at the Talladega Short Track Friday and Saturday.

-WoO-

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , P.J. Chesson , Johnny Herrera