Knoxville Nationals: Event preview

'King of the Outlaws' races for 13th Nationals Title KNOXVILLE, IA (August 10) -- Tyler Walker performs his signature cartwheel back flip round-offs and P.J. Chesson celebrates victories by turning doughnuts and climbing the fence on the front...

'King of the Outlaws' races for 13th Nationals Title

KNOXVILLE, IA (August 10) -- Tyler Walker performs his signature cartwheel back flip round-offs and P.J. Chesson celebrates victories by turning doughnuts and climbing the fence on the front straightaway. Steve Kinser showed more emotion than he had in any of his 489 O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series victories last August 10th, standing on the top wing of his #11 Quaker State Maxim and waving the checkered flag after winning the 42nd Annual Knoxville Nationals.

"The King of the Outlaws" led all 30 laps from outside the front row at Knoxville Raceway to win his 12th Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals championship, his first since passing 13 cars on his way to winning the title in 1995.

"I can't climb the fence and I don't know if it would hold me anyway," Kinser said jokingly. "I did pretty well on the wing though."

Kinser, the defending and 17-time O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series champion, took the series points lead August 3rd. He has won 18 main event and five preliminary feature victories. "The King of the Outlaws" has driven his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the top 10 in 42 "A" Features, including 33 in the top five.

Kinser will be the driver to beat when the fire-breathing, mudslinging sprint cars return to Knoxville Raceway for the 43rd Annual Ford Dealers of Iowa Knoxville Nationals Wednesday through Saturday. There will be plenty of competition for the $125,000 first prize, as 15 drivers have combined to win the series' first 49 events.

Danny Lasoski, who led the point standings for 45 of the first 46 events, has driven NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle to victory in eight "A" Features. "The Dude" has finished in the top 10 in 43 main events, including 34 in the top five. He also leads the series with 22 fast times. Lasoski, a seven-time Knoxville Raceway champion, won the 2001 Nationals.

Joey Saldana has won "A" Features at The Raceway @ Powercom Park and Lebanon Valley Speedway. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year ranks third in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series standings.

Pittman, who received the World of Outlaws Hard Charger Award last season, has driven the #21 Hop & Sack J&J into the top 10 33 times this year, including 17 in the top five. He has won three "A" Features, including two straight in early August.

Craig Dollansky was having another consistent season until a May 17th crash at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in an Infiniti Pro Series race put him in the pits for the remainder of the year. Jason Meyers will drive Karavan Racing's #7 VMAC Maxim for the remainder of the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' 25th Anniversary season. Meyers, who has won two "A" Features, ranks 11th in the standings with 21 top-10 finishes -- 13 in the top five.

Donny Schatz, the 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, has won five "A" Features and put together a three-feature winning streak midway through the series' annual "Month of Money."

Jason Sides, who finished in the Gumout Series top three the last two years, is racing for Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year honors. Sides spun under the checkered flag just inches behind Pittman to finish second at The Raceway @ Powercom Park August 3rd.

Brian Paulus pulled off a last-lap pass to win the first "A" Feature of his O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series career at Hartford Speedway Park August 6th.

Mark Kinser, who claimed O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series championships in 1996 and 1999, won the May 19th race at Hagerstown Speedway. Kinser has driven father Karl Kinser's #5M Sabko Maxim into the top 10 22 times, including 12 in the top five.

Paul McMahan replaced Jeff Shepard in the #11H Vivarin Maxim in late April. He has won "A" Features at Lawrenceburg Speedway and Tri-City Speedway.

Randy Hannagan, the 1995 Rookie of the Year, has shown no ill effects from the severe leg injury that caused him to miss the final two months of the 2001 season. He ranks 12th in the point standings.

Steve Kinser's 18-year-old son, Kraig, has burst on the sprint car racing scene this season with 10 top-10 finishes, including five in the top five.

Young Jeremy Campbell is another Gumout Series transplant racing with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series for the first time.

Johnny Herrera, the 1986 Rookie of the Year, has driven NASCAR Winston Cup crew chief Billy Wilburn's #2W Heintz Brothers Maxim into the top five in five events.

Tyler Walker won the 2002 World of Outlaws Gumout Series championship. He has driven C&W Motorsports' #35 Eagle to victory at Devil's Bowl Speedway and I-55 Raceway this year.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Brian Paulus , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , P.J. Chesson , Johnny Herrera