Manzanita - Steve Kinser spotlight

Kinser Looks for Another Win at Manzanita Speedway While many people descend upon Arizona each spring and fall to get out of the cold or to play a round of golf, Steve Kinser heads to the desert to win sprint car races at Manzanita Speedway. In...

Kinser Looks for Another Win at Manzanita Speedway

While many people descend upon Arizona each spring and fall to get out of the cold or to play a round of golf, Steve Kinser heads to the desert to win sprint car races at Manzanita Speedway. In his career, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion has won at the half-mile located on the corner of 35th and Broadway in Phoenix, a series-best nine times.

He will have a chance to add to his remarkable record at the storied track on Friday, October 19, as the World of Outlaws contest the Outlaw Desert Classic on the half-mile. It will be the series second visit of the season to Manzanita Speedway and their final event of the season in the state of Arizona.

"I've always enjoyed running Manzanita," said Kinser, driver of the Q Oil Maxim, who has 542 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws. "We have a lot of friend there and it's a track that I have had a lot of success at."

Kinser competed in the first World of Outlaws event at Manzanita Speedway in the series inaugural season of 1978, the season in which he won his first series championship. He was victorious for the first time at the half-mile the following season. He has returned to the winner's circle eight more times since that event in the Arizona desert and is the winningest driver with the World of Outlaws at the storied track. His most recent win at Manzanita came in 2005.

"It has changed a little bit how you have to drive it," he explained, when looking back on his first couple of visits to the always fast track. "It's still the same track though. If the track opens up, we can get up and run the top. When it has a bottom groove it is fun to race on. If it stays narrow, it is not quite as much fun."

After two consecutive races on high-banked bullrings, the World of Outlaws will compete on half-mile tracks twice this weekend, beginning at Manzanita on Friday night and concluding on Saturday night at Perris Auto Speedway in California. Kinser has won three times this season on half-mile tracks, including at New Egypt Speedway in New Jersey in the closest finish of the season, as he inched out Jason Sides, as well as being victorious at Missouri State Fair Speedway and at Eldora Speedway in Ohio. He also won at USA Race Park in Tucson, Arizona earlier this season.

"It does take a little different mindset on the bigger tracks," he said. "It's a track that is very hard on engines, so you have to watch it. I have burned up some motors over there and not only me, but a lot of people have. It is a track where the air is good and you have to be careful and keep some fuel in them so you don't burn the engine up."

After a ninth-place run in the spring at Manzanita, Kinser looks to improve on that and battle for the win, which would be his 10th career win triumph the series at the track and 10th win of the season. In time trials in March at the track, he was sixth of the 36 cars that took to the track.

"We always run good there, but there are a lot of tracks that we have run good at and not gotten the job done at this year," he said. "We'll just have to wait and see what happens."

The native of Bloomington, Indiana enters the Outlaw Desert Classic this week fresh off an eighth-place run in the Dave Helm Memorial at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, California last weekend. After some bad luck in his heat race to start the night, he won the B-Main to race his way into the A-Feature, where he passed a number of cars on a track that was very rough, narrow and difficult to pass on. Prior to that event, Kinser was sixth in the PolyDome Princeton National at Princeton Speedway in Minnesota on October 6.

"We're not quite happy running in the Top-10," said the always focused driver. "We have to be in the Top-Five. That is out goal. Right now, we are just searching around and trying to get some stuff together for next year and see what happens the rest of this year."

With just four races left on the 2007 calendar, Kinser is locked in a tight battle with three other drivers all looking to finish in the Top-Five in points. He is currently sixth, on the strength of 48 Top-10 finishes, just 48 markers out of fifth and 106 points out of third. He is set to finish in the Top-10 in championship points for the 28th time in his career.

"It would be nice to get a couple more wins this year," Kinser said. "We are not going to make a whole lot of changes here in the next few races, but we will try a couple of different cars and a few things in Charlotte and see what happens."

On Friday, October 19 at Manzanita Speedway, adult reserved tickets in sections AA-DD of the bleachers will be $32, with tickets in sections A-D in the main grandstand $35, with reserved tickets for kids in the main grandstand and bleachers $15. Adult general admission tickets will be $30, with kids 6-12 years of age just $10, while kids 5-under will be admitted free of charge. For ticket information call SLS Promotions at: 815-344-2023 or visit www.slspromotions.com.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Steve Kinser , Jason Sides