Mark Kinser Wins Budweiser Spring Classic KNOXVILLE, IA (May 1) - The last time Mark Kinser raced at Knoxville Raceway, his father, Karl Kinser, underwent an emergency appendectomy at Knoxville Area Community Hospital during the...
Mark Kinser Wins Budweiser Spring Classic
KNOXVILLE, IA (May 1) - The last time Mark Kinser raced at Knoxville Raceway, his father, Karl Kinser, underwent an emergency appendectomy at Knoxville Area Community Hospital during the Knoxville Nationals. That somber memory was still on Kinser's mind Saturday when he won the Budweiser Spring Classic - only his second World of Outlaws Sprint Series event this season.
"I have to thank pretty much the entire staff of Knoxville Hospital," Mark said. "They got us through a rough time, and I still get pretty choked up even thinking about it.
"We finally got some good help. We've had trouble keeping good help around. I guess when you're not running up front, they don't want to stay. We have Chris (Strait) working for us now, and I think he's one of the best mechanics I've ever had.
"I have to thank Chuck Merrill of Maxim Chassis. We have an experimental car - it's the only one like it in the field. He and my dad put their heads together and came up with something that really worked here tonight. I didn't really think I was that well liked or respected around here, but I've had a lot of fans come up this weekend and say they're glad to see me back. That really means a lot."
The three-time Knoxville Nationals champion led all 25 laps in the 152nd victory of his World of Outlaws Sprint Series career. The $10,000 victory was the 13th of his career at Knoxville Raceway. Kinser is the sixth different winner in 11 World of Outlaws Sprint Series main events in 2004.
Kinser, the sixth-fastest qualifier in the largest field the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has attracted this year - 65 cars - qualified for the main event despite spinning out of third place in the Third Heat Race. The two-time World of Outlaw Sprint Series champion won the First Dash Race for the privilege of starting the "A" Feature on the pole.
Kinser drove the #5M SABKO Maxim past outside pole-sitter Jason Johnson as the green flag fell in the main event. Ricky Logan flipped in the first corner early in the second lap, however, bringing out the red flag. Kinser and Johnson exchanged the lead twice within a lap after the race resumed, only to have Matt Moro flip in turn four. Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year points leader Kraig Kinser used a provisional to start the "A" Feature. He collided with Moro, but rejoined the race after his crew replaced the front wing on the #11K Delco-Remy Maxim, and eventually finished in 20th place.
Defending Knoxville Nationals champion Danny Lasoski and Tim Kaeding passed Craig Dollansky within two laps after the green flag replaced the red. "The Crowd Pleaser" regained fifth place late in lap five by driving the #7 VMAC Maxim around Kaeding in the high groove between turns three and four.
Jason Meyers and Lasoski raced past Johnson for second and third place during the ninth and 10th laps. Johnson passed "The Dude" just before Brian Paulus stopped on the back straightaway with overheating problems late in lap 11. Fast-qualifier Chad Kemenah, Dollansky, Meyers and Tim Shaffer passed Johnson during the race's middle stages.
Kinser opened a comfortable advantage as positions 2-6 changed often during the final six laps. Lasoski and Kemenah raced past Meyers on the back straightaway for second and third place midway through the 19th lap. Kemenah continued his run to the front the next time around, riding the rim through turn four to pass "The Dude" for the runner-up spot a split-second before "B" Feature winner Joey Saldana flipped into Daryn Pittman on the front stretch. Pittman's crew repaired the #21 Hop & Sack CMC and he raced back into 14th place during the final five laps.
Shaffer, who drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past 14 cars during the first 21 laps, passed Kaeding deep in the second corner for sixth place with 1 2/3 laps remaining.
Kinser was 1.8 seconds ahead of Kemenah when he took the checkered flag. Beef Packers teammates Shaffer and Kaeding claimed fourth and fifth place with the checkered flag in sight as Dollansky ran out of fuel and coasted toward the finish line.
Lasoski narrowed Steve Kinser's advantage in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series standings to 53 points with his fifth top-five run of the year. Shaffer finished in fourth place, ahead of Kaeding, Dollansky, 22nd- starting Donny Schatz, Meyers, 20th-starting Steve Kinser and Jason Sides, who started inside the 12th row.
Kemenah paced the qualifying session with a 113.694-M.P.H. lap around Knoxville's legendary half-mile oval.
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series will run $51,600 events at Lawrenceburg Speedway Thursday and Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway Saturday.