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WORLD OF OUTLAWS TEAMS READY TO RESUME SEASON By Richard Day MCCOMB, MS (March 9) - When the World of Outlaws' fire-breathing, mud- slinging sprint car racing teams broke camp after the season ...

WORLD OF OUTLAWS TEAMS READY TO RESUME SEASON By Richard Day MCCOMB, MS (March 9) - When the World of Outlaws' fire-breathing, mud- slinging sprint car racing teams broke camp after the season opener at St. Augustine Speedway, their next race loomed 3 1/2 weeks away. During the lengthy layoff, the teams headed in different directions as they prepared for Wednesday's $34,485 event at Pike County Speedway. Following the Mississippi race, only one day separates the teams from their first double-feature event of the year - the 22nd Annual Spring Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway. "It feels good to be on top," Mark Kinser, winner of the Second Preliminary Feature and the main event at St. Augustine, said Wednesday. "We've started the year on top before and didn't finish that way, so we're hoping to change that this year." When asked how it was having his father, Karl, as his car owner and crew chief, he said, "There were two strange things at St. Augustine: Steve (Kinser) wasn't there and Dad was in my trailer all night. Dad used to come down to have a cup of coffee, then go back to the #11 car. It was strange having him with me all night." Mark says he's been busy restoring a 1946 Indian motorcycle. He also bought Steve's old motorhome, and he's been getting it ready to go on the road with the World of Outlaws. "The crew's been thrashing away on the car pretty good, too," Mark added. "It seems like when you start out good, the crew just works harder." Dave Blaney, who battled Steve for the Skoal Outlaw Series championship the last two years, has been racing during the layoff. "I drove my Dad's modified at Hagerstown, but it was rained out after the heats," Blaney said. "I'm going to Chico (for the Mini Gold Cup) this weekend (March 10-11). I'm going to drive Jim Riolo's #17 car. We won the opener last year, but we broke in the feature." "The Buckeye Bullet" would like to repeat the green-to-checker victory he recorded in the "A" Feature at Pike County last March. Blaney started on the outside pole and drove the #10 Vivarin J&J around 1989 World of Outlaws champion Bobby Davis, Jr., as the green flag fell. He led all 30 laps for his first of 10 victories last season. Randy Hannagan was also planning to race in the Mini Gold Cup. "My crew is in Kansas right now," Hannagan said. "They're over there shivering and I'm here baking in the sun. After we left Florida, we went to Memphis and cleaned up the cars. Then we went to Jenkins Chassis in Kansas to work on the car and trailer. We're raring to go now. "It's unfortunate we had such a bad showing in Florida; we just got off on our left foot. We're looking to get off on the right foot in Mississippi. We want to let everybody know we're not just out there to fill the field. To win the Rookie of the Year award with the World of Outlaws would be great, but we want to represent California well. Jimmy Sills and Tim Green have done well with the World of Outlaws in the past, but this is the 90s." There were conflicting reports concerning who would drive Bob Consani's #4C sprinter at Silver Dollar Speedway's season opener. Jac Haudenschild, the Mini Gold Cup champion in 1987 and 1989, was originally entered as Consani's driver, but Hannagan was under the impression he would steering the #4C. "Jac and I are small," Hannagan quipped. "We could probably fit in there at the same time. One of us could stand watch while the other one drove, then we could switch off." While "The Wild Child" said he was "ready to go racing," he admitted he wouldn't be competing in the Mini Gold Cup this year. "Mr. Consani called me about a month ago and asked me to drive his car, but I turned him down," Haudenschild said. "We've just been working on our race cars and the new trailer. We got a new Goldrush, and we've been getting the inside of it ready for the season. I'm anxious to leave and start racing again." Johnny Herrera, the World of Outlaws' Rookie of the Year in 1986, drove his father's #45x Avenger at St. Augustine. He says he'll be in Guy Forbrook's #5 C&S Enterprises American Challenger when the World of Outlaws regroups at Pike County Speedway. "I dropped my dad's car off in Albuquerque, and came back home (to Tempe, AZ), Herrera said. "Since then, I've been getting ready to go racing again. I want to go out and win some races. "I'm meeting Guy in Memphis Sunday, then we'll head south." World of Outlaws 1988 Rookie of the Year Andy Hillenburg was busy getting his new team headquarters ready for the racing season. "I've been working my tail off trying to get our new shop finished," Hillenburg said. "We didn't do that well in Florida, so we've got to get on the stick." Hillenburg will be looking forward to returning to the Devil's Bowl, the site of his first victory last year. In fact, Andy predicted he would win the main event two nights before. Leading 29 of the 30 laps, he held off Jeff Swindell by two car-lengths to claim the $8,200 first prize. Joe Gaerte, the 1989 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year, spent the last few days of the layoff nursing himself back to health. "A virus has been going through the (Gaerte Engines) shop," Gaerte said. "Last weekend, I went to Las Vegas to represent our sponsor, Cornwell Tools. It sounds like they really want to get involved in sprint car racing. We had talked about racing in Williams Grove's opener, but we decided it would be better to take care of our sponsor." Joe also found time to finish building a couple of engines for his new team, Hamilton Motorsports. "We did pretty much what we wanted to do in Florida," Gaerte said. "I had never run J&J cars before. I just wanted to get organized and get settled in with Moon (crew chief Ray Byers). We struggled the first couple of nights, but we got a good starting point for the Mississippi race." Stevie Smith, the Skoal Outlaw Series' Rookie of the Year in 1990, stayed extremely busy during the 23-day layoff. "I've been helping my Dad get his race car ready," Smith said. "I don't get to do that much when you're traveling with the World of Outlaws. I did my taxes, and a lot of other things I've been putting off, too. I've been busy; it seems like it keeps me going from morning until night." When asked about his first two months of marriage, Stevie said, "Married life is good; I'm really happy." In addition to marrying the former Kendra Blevins on January 7th, Smith joined a new team when the 1995 World of Outlaws season opened at St. Augustine. "I was glad to join the Motter Brothers' #71M Ecowater Systems team, but I didn't figure I'd spin out three times on the first night," Smith said. "We just set the car up too loose. "We were happy when we left Florida. Second (in the main event) is a lot better than we finished the first two nights." World of Outlaws 1993 Rookie of the Year Greg Hodnett was scheduled to attend the Richard Petty Driving Experience between the St. Augustine and Pike County events. "We were all ready to go, but it rained that day," Hodnett said. "So we're going to try to work it in another time. I've been working out a couple of hours every day. I may not be able to out-race them, so maybe I can out-last them. I've also been tinkering with the car some to make it run better." Six-time and defending Knoxville Raceway champion Danny Lasoski has been working out every day to keep his body race ready. When asked about his recent physical check-up, he said, "So far so good; everything is normal right now. The doctors and I are taking it one month at a time." "The Dude" added that he wished he had taken it one car at a time in the finale at St. Augustine Speedway. "I just screwed up," Danny said. "I didn't wait for the lapped traffic; I hit the fence and bent the car up. I didn't want to run second." Sammy Swindell, the Skoal Outlaw Series champion in 1981 and 1982, is splitting his racing schedule between the World of Outlaws and NASCAR's SuperTruck Series this year. A conflict with the March 19th SuperTruck Series race at Sears Point in California will keep Sammy from racing his #1 Hooters Restaurants Gambler in the Pike County and Devil's Bowl (March 17- 18) events. "We've just been getting things organized and fine-tuning the car," Swindell said. "There hasn't been a truck race since early February in Phoenix, but we'll be back in Sonoma (CA) next week." WoO*eot

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Richard Petty , Danny Lasoski , Sammy Swindell , Randy Hannagan , Jimmy Sills , Dave Blaney , Johnny Herrera , Jeff Swindell , Tim Green
Teams Williams