Pike Country: Race report

Mark Kinser Continues his own March Madness MAGNOLIA, MS (March 25) - College basketball's national tournament is nearing its end, but Mark Kinser is continuing his own March Madness with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series. The two-time...

Mark Kinser Continues his own March Madness

MAGNOLIA, MS (March 25) - College basketball's national tournament is nearing its end, but Mark Kinser is continuing his own March Madness with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series.

The two-time series champion, who started a five-event winning streak last March on his way to finishing a close second in the point standings, won his second straight "A" Feature Monday at Pike County Speedway. "Mopar Mark" increased his advantage in the standings to 17 points over 16-time champion Steve Kinser with the $10,000 victory.

"My guys gave me an excellent car all night long," said Kinser, who has won four of the series' nine "A" Features at Pike County Speedway. "I just want to thank all the fans for coming out here tonight. I know we had a pretty short car count. I just hope they'll all stick it out, and it will get better."

Kinser, who set the single-lap record on his way to winning the "A" Feature at Pike County Speedway last April, was the fastest qualifier in the 19-car field. He finished fourth in the First Heat Race and earned the right to start the 35-lap main event inside the third row by finishing third in the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.

O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash winners Craig Dollansky and Tim Shaffer raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway and through the first corner as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Shaffer drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle into the lead high in turn two.

Jason Johnson lost eighth place when he spun in the fourth corner early in the second lap. Danny Wood collided with Jan Howard on the front stretch and spun into Leonard Lee and Dale Howard as the race resumed. Wood's crew was unable to repair the #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim in time for him to take the green flag on the ensuing restart.

Mark Kinser started making his way toward the front of the field when the green flag replaced the yellow. He steered the #5M Mopar Maxim into the low groove between turns three and four to pass cousin Steve for fourth place late in lap four.

Ignition problems in the #2 Sanmina-SCI Eagle forced Brad Furr to stop on the back straightaway two laps later. While Wood returned to the race after the caution period, Furr was not as fortunate.

Mark Kinser used another inside move between the third and fourth corners to pass Stevie Smith for third late in lap eight. Johnson tangled with Michael Dupuy in turn four several seconds later. The damage to the #41 kept Johnson from restarting, but Dupuy recovered and eventually finished in 12th place.

The battle for third between Kinser and Smith raged for four laps. Smith steered the #11H Vivarin Maxim deep in turn two to pass Kinser, only to have Mark win a back-stretch drag race during the ninth, 10th and 11th laps. Smith was trying to catch Kinser early in lap 15 when he spun into Donny Schatz, who lost seventh place in the second-corner crash.

Kinser was on the move again after the race resumed, passing Dollansky for second place deep in turn four. He took the lead two laps later, passing Shaffer deep in turn three and sliding in front of him in the fourth corner.

Steve Kinser challenged Dollansky for two laps before taking over third place with a low move between turns three and four late in the 22nd lap.

Mark Kinser was a straightaway ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic the next time around. "The King of the Outlaws" claimed the runner-up spot with an inside move past Shaffer between the first and second corners with 7 2/3 laps remaining.

First Heat Race winner Randy Hannagan started inside the sixth row and exchanged sixth place with Danny Laoski three times during the 25th and 30th laps. "The Hurricane" won a backstretch drag race, then lost the position in the second corner and passed Lasoski again in the low groove between turns three and four.

Mark Kinser built a comfortable advantage during the final 12 laps and took the checkered flag with a straightaway to spare.

"Stevie (Smith) and I had a pretty good race there for a while, and I think he kind of used his tire up trying to stay in front of us," Kinser said. "Once we got by, I was able to get a pretty good run on them (Dollansky and Shaffer). I saw a bunch of pretty good cars racing hard in front of me toward the end, and I thought,'Oh no.' But then I saw the white flag and I knew I wouldn't have to mix it up with them. If I would have had to, it could've been pretty ugly." Shaffer finished in third place, ahead of Dollansky, Second Heat Race winner Joey Saldana, Hannagan, 12th-starting Jac Haudenschild, Schatz, Lasoski and Jason Sides.

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild , Jason Johnson