Knoxville Friday race report 2005-06-24

Kraig Kinser Earns First Knoxville Victory of His Career Knoxville, IA -- June 24, 2005 -- Some of the greatest drivers in the history of motor sports have won at Knoxville Raceway. Kraig Kinser added his name to the list Friday night after ...

Kraig Kinser Earns First Knoxville Victory of His Career

Knoxville, IA -- June 24, 2005 -- Some of the greatest drivers in the history of motor sports have won at Knoxville Raceway. Kraig Kinser added his name to the list Friday night after leading all 20 laps in the preliminary feature of the Mediacom World of Outlaws Shoot-Out.

Kinser was racy all night on a track that allowed the drivers in the lead pack to slide back and forth all the way to the checkered flag. He had the advantage in the feature after rolling through the Stacker 2® Dash and capturing the pole for the A-main. From there he opened a two-second lead as the battle was on to earn one of the top four positions and be locked into the Dash that will set the top six spots in Saturday night's main event.

As the laps wound down, Kinser and Paul McMahan continued to set the pace, leaving Terry McCarl, Sammy Swindell and Steve Kinser to sort out the other two spots in the race within a race.

Coming out of a red flag when Brian Brown's car rolled onto its side with 14 laps to go, Steve Kinser charged to third with McCarl right behind. Swindell wasted little time in racing into the mix when McCarl went back around Kinser for third. Swindell saw a chance to grab fourth as he and Kinser raced side-by-side down the frontstretch, with Swindell taking the position going into Turn 1 in the bottom groove. At the same time just ahead, McCarl put a slide job on McMahan, but McMahan shot right back around.

All of the diving back and forth allowed Kraig Kinser to stretch his lead and allowed Swindell to close on McMahan and McCarl. Swindell slipped past McCarl to grab third with one to go as the top four raced to the checkered flag and earned themselves a break from time trials and heat races Saturday night.

Steve Kinser, who was one of several racers shaking down new cars in one of the final tune-ups at Knoxville before the prestigious Nationals in August, wound up fifth, followed by Danny Lasoski, Brian Paulus, Jason Meyers, Justin Henderson and Brooke Tatnell, who was the night's fastest qualifier.

Kraig Kinser, 20, who won a preliminary feature for the second time this season to go with three A-feature victories, has demonstrated an ability to post strong results on several types of speedways this season. His two preliminary feature wins came on half-miles, while he also has victories on 3/8-mile, 1/3-mile and 1/4-mile tracks.

"This is the same car we've been running all year," said Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind. "It must have something special in it because it's all knicked up and it still goes pretty good."

Winning at Knoxville, home to the National Sprint Hall of Fame that recently enshrined his father, Steve, is a key event in any racers' career. Growing up in the most famous family of sprint car racers in the world, the importance of the victory wasn't lost on Kraig.

"It probably hasn't sunk in yet, but Knoxville is always one of the tracks you want to win at, no matter if it's a sprint car race or a foot race outside," he said. "To get that first win, it's unbelievable. Hopefully I'll be hungry tomorrow and get another one Saturday."

For McMahan, who was coming off a runner-up finish Wednesday in Sedalia, Mo., this was just the latest in a series of strong runs.

"We've been fast all year long, we just haven't put it all together," said McMahan, a Mean 15 racer from Nashville. "Lately we've been able to put it together and run up front all night. We're qualifying a lot better. That's the biggest thing, you've got to qualify and get in the Dash. The inverts have been going our way, putting us up front in the Dashes and making us start up front in the feature.

"We fought a vibration all night long. We had a vibration in the rear end so we changed rear ends, we changed everything and we still had the vibration. Good thing we've got tomorrow when we don't have to [qualify] so we can check the car over real well and see if we can the vibration out of it."

Swindell was able to race to third by positioning himself in the right place at the right time. After charging from 10th to sixth at the start, he carefully picked his spots to keep moving forward, watching as the cars in front of him raced each other and left openings for him to take advantage.

"We kind of messed the car up most of the night," said Swindell, a two-time A-feature winner this season. "We had some different things on there that we were doing, trying to make up for some of the problems that we've had at some of these races where we've led and didn't win. We probably went too far the other way. The car I don't think was that great, but I was in the right place a bunch of times when guys made mistakes. I think only a couple of times I lost ground. Most of the time we were gaining on guys. Most of it was because they racing each other and it slowed them down some and let me stay there."

Just as the last time, when the Outlaws raced in April at Knoxville, six-time track champion Terry McCarl was able to lock himself into the Dash leading up to the A-feature. McCarl's experience at the track was certainly a factor in his ability to post the second fastest lap in time trials and hand onto fourth in the A-main.

"The car was good every time we hit the track tonight," said McCarl, who finished fourth in April at Knoxville. "Whenever you get to pass Steve Kinser a couple of times -- we got him in the Dash and got him in the feature -- you know you've got a good car. It's good to be home. We're certainly very comfortable here. We know what to do here.

"With these guys it's a chess match. You make one bad move and you lose two spots. They really had a great track tonight. There was a top and a bottom. Steve got to messing around with me and lost a spot to Sammy, and I got to messing around with Paul and lost a spot to Sammy. So Sammy did a good job of getting through there and not making any mistakes, but when you're battling with somebody you're not thinking about the guy behind you."

With all the racing back and forth, and with tempers certainly short at this point in the season, McCarl noted how much fun it appeared most of the racers had on a track set up for exciting side-by-side action and slide jobs in all four corners.

"It's the first time you've seen after the race everybody is giving everybody a thumbs up," McCarl said. "Usually they're wanting to knock each others' wheels off because they're mad. Everybody raced clean, Steve and I did, Paul and I did. Tonight was a real high-speed, great race for the fans. If you didn't like that one, you don't like sprint car racing."

KNOXVILLE NOTEBOOK

* In the Stacker 2® Dash, Kraig Kinser blazed out to the lead and never looked back as Brian Paulus, Jason Sides, Brooke Tatnell, Jason Meyers and Jason Solwold rounded out the field and earned the top six spots on the inside rows of the A-main.

* Paul McMahan held off Justin Henderson in the second Dash, with Terry McCarl, Steve Kinser, Sammy Swindell and Johnny Herrera grabbing the top six spots on the outside rows of the A-main.

* In the B-main, Shane Stewart powered to a quick lead on the bottom in Turn 1 when a scary crash collected the cars of Kerry Madsen and Billy Alley between Turns 3 and 4 bringing out the red flag. Alley was repositioned in second when the green flag waved but he couldn't hold off Danny Lasoski, who raced his way to second. Alley and Ricky Logan also finished in the top four to transfer to the feature.

* In the C-main, Jon Agan charged into the lead in Turn 1 and held on with Eric Vanderploeg finishing second. Both transferred to the B-main.

* In the first heat, Danny Wood shot out to the lead going into Turn 1 and held on through three cautions as Kraig Kinser and fast-qualifier Brooke Tatnell were the two cars on the move. Wayne Johnson maintained second, Kinser raced to a third-place finish, followed by Johnny Herrera and Tatnell, picking up the final transfer spot.

* At the drop of the green flag in the second heat, Tim Shaffer, Donny Schatz and Paul McMahan shot high and low going into Turn 1. With Shaffer low and McMahan following right behind, Schatz blasted his way around the cushion and slipped into second. The field stretched out with Shaffer in front and Schatz, McMahan, Terry McCarl and Jason Meyers earning the transfer spots.

* In the third heat, Calvin Landis led from flag-to-flag as Danny Lasoski raced his way to second before his motor let go in a fireball on the frontstretch. Travis Rilat regained second when Lasoski went out with Brian Paulus, Justin Henderson and Jason Solwold picking up the final transfer positions.

* In the fourth heat, Skip Jackson quickly jumped out to the lead but had to hold off hard-charging Sammy Swindell to win. Also transferring were Brian Brown, Jason Sides and Steve Kinser.

* Brooke Tatnell paced the 48-car field with a lap around the historic semi-banked half-mile in 15.372 seconds. Joey Saldana broke the record when the Outlaws raced in April at Knoxville when he circled the track in 14.908 seconds at 120.741 mph.

* The Outlaws return to Knoxville Raceway for the A-feature Saturday night. The series closes out the month on June 28 at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., before spending the Independence Day Weekend racing July 1-2 in the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., July 4 at Cedar Lake Speedway in Somerset, Wis., July 6 at The Raceway at Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis., and July 8 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., where the series will be racing in conjunction with the NASCAR event at Chicagoland Speedway.

* The Outdoor Channel will air on June 29 the race June 9 from I-96 Speedway. All of the action from the Eagle Nationals will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 6 on The Outdoor Channel. The Mediacom World of Outlaws Shoot-Out will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 13 on The Outdoor Channel.

* 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. Companies interested in advertising on the new DIRT Radio Network should contact Mark Noble, DIRT MotorSports VP Sales and Marketing, at 719-884-2141. 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 , Brian Brown , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Wayne Johnson , Johnny Herrera