Series Billings spotlight - Kraig Kinser

Kraig Kinser Carries Momentum into Billings Motorsports Park Billings, MT-- August 19, 2008--Kraig Kinser knew it would be no easy task returning full-time to the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series this season, after...

Kraig Kinser Carries Momentum into Billings Motorsports Park

Billings, MT-- August 19, 2008--Kraig Kinser knew it would be no easy task returning full-time to the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series this season, after spending a couple of seasons in the NASCAR Truck Series, but he was certainly up to the challenge. After bad luck plagued him early in the season, the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner and his Tony Stewart Racing team have been running very strong the last couple of weeks and continue to put in endless hours at the track and on the road, as they close in on their first win of the season.

In his first visit to Nodak Speedway in Minot, North Dakota on Sunday night, the third generation driver earned a season-best third-place finish.

Next up for Kinser will be a return tonight to Billings Motorsports Park in Billings, Montana, where he last competed in 2005, which was the last time the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series competed at the high-banked 3/8-mile. He finished third in that event, which was his second career Top-Five finish in four starts at the track. In the A-Feature event, the night before he had to start at the back of the field by way of rules for missing time trials, due to running at ARCA series event at Michigan International Speedway, where he earned a Top-10 finish. In that World of Outlaws event, Kinser finished seventh. In his career at Billings Motorsport Park, the third generation driver has finished ninth or better in all four of his starts.

"We enjoy going there and we always seem to do well," he said. "I remember that night where I had to start at the back because I was running an ARCA race and worked my way to the front. We turned some good laps that night."

Kinser is excited to head back to Billings, as the Gold Rush Tour continues for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. He will then visit a couple of tracks for the first time at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and Skagit Speedway in Washington, before returning to Grays Harbor Raceway, which is also in Washington and Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon, where he won his first World of Outlaws A-Feature event in 2004, holding his father, 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser.

"I've been away for a while and it seems like all of the tracks I had good luck at have been tough for me this year," noted the native of Bloomington, Indiana. "Hopefully we can get up to speed quick and have a good showing at Billings and the rest of the West Coast races."

Though he was out of a sprint car for a couple of seasons, the younger Kinser has gotten back up to speed pretty quick at a number of the tracks on the always demanding World of Outlaws schedule. He has raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash 10 times this season to earn Top-10 starting spots in A-Feature events, and has had several Top-10 qualifying efforts aboard the Bass Pro Shops Maxim.

"It usually doesn't take too long with all the races I have driven in a sprint car," shared the 2005 Knoxville Nationals winner. "I feel comfortable in the cars again and now our main goal is to get our cars up front every night."

While he is going back to tracks for the first time in a couple of seasons, Kinser does not see that as much of hindrance, especially with the solid team he has behind him at Tony Stewart Racing, along with his teammate, two-time defending series champion and current series point leader Donny Schatz.

"The experience of the team definitely helps," he commented. "When I was young, I got used to running on so many different tracks so much. The tracks are different sometimes when you go back to them, and the main thing is to check the track out when you get there and adjust to it from there."

Kinser has nine Top-10 finishes on the season, with three of those being Top-Five performances as he chases his first A-Feature win of the season. He currently has seven career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws, including three at tracks that are on the 2008 schedule. While his team is within striking distance of the Top-10 in the standings, the 23-year old driver is not worried about points, but rather running consistently at the front of the field.

Entering the event at Billings Motorsports Park, Kinser is 13th in the World of Outlaws championship standings, just five markers behind Jason Sides who is in 12th.

"When it gets late in the season, you start to look at where you can get to in points," he explained. "We are still back a bit in points, so that is not a concern for us this year. The pressure that is there at the beginning of the year is going to be there at the end of the year is how I look at it. Hopefully we can have a good swing out west and get some good finishes. If we get this car turned around and pick up a win or two that would make it a good end of the season. Our goal is to get this car ready and headed in the right direction for next season."

After finishing third at Billings Motorsports Park in his last visit to the track in 2005, Kinser would like nothing more than to pick up his first win of the 2008 campaign at the high-banked 3/8-mile. He has plenty of momentum entering the race, after earning a season-best third-place finish at Nodak Speedway in North Dakota on Sunday night, which is also a high-banked 3/8-mile.

"You have to have a good strong night," explained Kinser, when asked what it would take to win at Billings Motorsports Park. "You have to start the night strong in time trials and run well in the heat to get in the dash. That is the key. You have to put yourself in a position to win the race."

On Tuesday, August 19 at Billings Motorsports Park, adult general admission tickets will be $35 if purchased in advance and $40 the day of the race. Adult reserved seating will be $40 in advance and $45 the day of the race. Seating for juniors, ages 10-under will be $20. For tickets call: 866-581-6892 or visit www.fatboyzpromotions.com.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Kraig Kinser