Kinser ranks second in sporting news balloting

ST. LOUIS, MO (December 5) -- Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser finished second in The Sporting News Driver of the Year voting by a 16-member panel of motorsports writers and broadcasters from across the United...

ST. LOUIS, MO (December 5) -- Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser finished second in The Sporting News Driver of the Year voting by a 16-member panel of motorsports writers and broadcasters from across the United States.

Kinser and NHRA Funny Car champion John Force -- the 1996 Driver of the Year -- actually tied for second place with three votes each. Bobby Labonte, who parlayed consistency and four victories into his first Winston Cup championship, was voted Driver of the Year. Labonte, whose older brother Terry is a two-time Winston Cup champion, received seven votes.

Juan Montoya, who won the Indianapolis 500 and three CART series races, received two votes, while CART champion Gil de Ferran had one vote cast for him.

Kinser, who passed Danny Lasoski for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead with a victory at Eldora Speedway April 22nd, was ultra-consistent. While qualifying for all 61 "A" Features, "The King of the Outlaws" drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the top 10 51 times, including 41 in the top five and 10 victories. It was Kinser's 16th championship in the series' 23-year history, his second in his six years as a car owner.

Labonte, who drives the #18 Interstate Pontiac for Joe Gibbs Racing, led the Winston Cup point standings for the last 21 races. He recorded 23 top-10 finishes -- 18 top-fives -- and clinched the title with two races remaining in the 34-race season.

Ironically, Labonte failed to receive any of the quarterly votes by the media panel. Those votes were cast for NASCAR's Mark Martin and Rusty Wallace, Labonte's teammate, Tony Stewart, and Montoya.

-WoO

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Tony Stewart , John Force , Gil de Ferran , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Mark Martin
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing