Pike County report 2005-03-18

Kinser slides to World of Outlaws Sprint Series victory at Pike County Speedway Magnolia, MS -- March 18, 2005 -- It was only a week ago in Las Vegas that Australia native Brooke Tatnell said the reason he fought so hard to come to the United ...

Kinser slides to World of Outlaws Sprint Series victory at Pike County Speedway

Magnolia, MS -- March 18, 2005 -- It was only a week ago in Las Vegas that Australia native Brooke Tatnell said the reason he fought so hard to come to the United States to race with the World of Outlaws Sprint Series was so he could compete against Steve Kinser.

Tatnell in essence said the 19-time series champion is more machine than he is human, but he also said if a racer wants to learn from Kinser he either has to work for him or race against him.

Friday night at Pike County Speedway, Tatnell nearly beat him. Instead, Kinser held off Tatnell by a fraction of a second to claim his second victory of the season heading into the Texas Shootout Saturday at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

With Kinser ahead on Lap 28 of the 35-lap feature, the leaders hit heavy traffic on the 3/8-mile oval. Craig Dollansky closed fast on Tatnell and the two set their sights on Kinser. On Lap 29, they went three-wide into Turn 2 with Tatnell racing on the bottom of the track and charging into the lead down the backstretch ahead of Kinser and Dollansky.

Still weaving through traffic, Kinser wasn't ready to concede. He slipped back in front of Tatnell on Lap 32 by staying on the low side in Turn 2 and powering down the backstretch. Tatnell tried to fight his way back to the lead but he ran out of laps as Kinser took the checkered flag to collect $10,000.

Finishing out the top five were Mean 15 racers Dollansky, Tim Shaffer and Donny Schatz.

"We had a motor running hot the whole time," said Kinser, whose only other World of Outlaws victory at Pike County Speedway came in 1996. "We couldn't really run it hard because we had to let it cool it back down. I got into all those lapped cars and I didn't know what to do and [Tatnell] slipped by me. I sort of slid him a little bit coming off Turn 2 and got pretty close but we got away with a win I guess."

In fact, it was the 515th feature win in his career, and a fitting way for Kinser to return Saturday to Houston Raceway Park, where one year ago he reached a milestone with his 500th victory.

Early on it didn't appear either Kinser or Tatnell would figure in the finish. Danny Lasoski was extending a lead he grabbed from pole-sitter Tatnell at the drop of the green flag. But on Lap 16, Terry McCarl, who had set the quick time for the night, stopped on the backstretch to bring out a caution. While under the yellow, Lasoski spun in Turn 2, which gave the lead to Kinser.

Kinser remained strong as the feature wore on, but a red flag came out on Lap 22 when third-place runner Daryn Pittman began to slow on the frontstretch and rolled over in Turn 1 with a broken left front radius rod. Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year contender Brandon Wimmer tried to avoid Pittman, but caught the berm on the inside of Turn 1 and also wound up on his side. Both drivers were uninjured.

On the restart, Kinser pulled away from Tatnell but traffic prevented Kinser from escaping, which set up the wild finish.

In the race for top rookie honors, Shane Stewart turned in another consistent performance by finishing seventh after starting the A-main 17th. Tim Kaeding improved from 18th on the grid to finish ninth, while Wimmer was collected in two separate incidents started by other cars and eventually wound up 23rd in the feature after a strong third-place run in the B-main.

In qualifying action, Tatnell and Lasoski easily claimed front-row starting positions by smoothly winning the dashes.

In the 10-lap B-main, Danny Smith held off a final turn surge by McCarl to earn a spot in the feature, while Jason Sides, Schatz and Mark Kinser won the three heats.

McCarl appeared to be the driver to beat after time trials. He ended Dollansky's string of two consecutive quick times by circling the 3/8-mile high-banked oval in 13.578 seconds.

After racing Saturday night at Houston Raceway Park, the World of Outlaws Sprint Series takes a well-earned weekend off. But the racers don't get much of a break as the series hits Batesville Speedway on April 1, I-55 Speedway on April 2, and then Eldora Speedway for a two-night show April 8-9.

Fans can watch all the action from Kinser's late-lap battle with Tatnell March 23 by tuning into Dirtvision.com at 9:30 p.m. Eastern for a video cybercast of the Pike County Speedway race.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Sides , Shane Stewart , Tim Kaeding