Steve Kinser returns to World of Outlaws

QUAKER STATE TO SPONSOR KINSER'S RETURN TO WORLD OF OUTLAWS By Richard Day OIL CITY, PA (April 13) - While Steve Kinser and Kenny Bernstein have agreed to end their Winston Cup partnership, the Quaker ...

QUAKER STATE TO SPONSOR KINSER'S RETURN TO WORLD OF OUTLAWS By Richard Day OIL CITY, PA (April 13) - While Steve Kinser and Kenny Bernstein have agreed to end their Winston Cup partnership, the Quaker State Corporation has decided to follow "The King of the Outlaws" into sprint car racing. Quaker State announced Thursday that it would sponsor Kinser in his return to the World of Outlaws. "The King of the Outlaws" started putting a sprint car team together immediately after leaving King Sports' Quaker State-sponsored Winston Cup team earlier in the week. "Quaker State is delighted to continue its sponsorship role with Steve Kinser," Charlie Bechtel, Quaker State's executive vice president of sales and marketing, said. "He is one of America's great racing champions and his new partnership will allow us to participate in Steve's sprint car efforts for the next three years." As successful as Kinser's World of Outlaws career has been, he knows winning a 15th series championship won't be easy. "Competition on the World of Outlaws' tour is going to be as tough as ever," he said. "There are no guarantees of success, but at the same time I'm very anxious to return to a series that has brought so much joy to my career." In Kinser's absence, the World of Outlaws has yet to have a repeat winner in six events in 1995. "I'm excited to remain a member of the Quaker State family," Steve said. "I've come to know a lot about the company and its products in the last few months. I like what I've seen." Kinser, who earned 14 championships in the World of Outlaws' first 17 seasons with Karl Kinser as his car owner and crew chief, will base his team in Bloomington, IN. He has hired Scott Gerken to be his crew chief. "We're excited to have Steve back," World of Outlaws President Ted Johnson said. "We're also glad that Quaker State is expanding its racing sponsorship into the sprint cars." "The King of the Outlaws" is unsure exactly when he'll get back on track with the Skoal Outlaw Series. He said he would like to be ready for the Terre Haute Action Track event scheduled for May 12th. World of Outlaws front-runners Jac Haudenschild, Dave Blaney, Jeff Swindell and Mark Kinser had varying reactions to Steve's return. "It's too bad things didn't work out for him down there (in the Winston Cup series)," Haudenschild, the leader in the Skoal Outlaw Series point standings, said. "I don't think it will take him long to get back on track. He'll probably be pretty quick right out of the box. I don't think it will change the series that much. Everybody's picked up the pace a little this year. He's not going to have Karl wrenching the car for him now, so it might be a little tougher for him. We'll just have to see what happens. I'm just hoping we can keep up the pace and stay on top." Blaney, the runner-up behind "The King of the Outlaws" in the points race the last two years, said, "I'm not really sure how it's going to affect the series. It's going to be different for him being without Karl. It's really hard to tell with him having his own team. For some guys, that's good and for some guys, it's not. I just wish we had run better Saturday night at Eldora." Swindell had a completely positive outlook on Kinser's return: "I'd just as soon him be there when we win," he said. "It will definitely add prestige to the series, considering all the championships he's won. The other guys in our series are starting to win more now, so it won't be like he's coming back on top. It will be nice to outrun him, but we've got to start outrunning everybody else first. "I'm glad to see him come back as far as racing against him, but I hate to see that (Winston Cup) deal fall apart," Jeff added. "I guess it wasn't as good an opportunity as everybody thought it was. It's a tough deal, but we'll get over it. One of us will get another shot. There are some former sprint car racers down there right now who are winning races. A lot of people are overlooking that; they think Steve's the first guy to go to Winston Cup from sprint car racing. He's just the most-publicized one. I had to turn down five races this year because of conflicting dates with the sprint car team. Hopefully, I'll be doing to some stock car racing next year. We'll just have to wait and see." Mark, Steve's second cousin, sees Steve's return making the World of Outlaws stronger. "Him coming back just gives us another good competitor out there," Mark said. "I think Steve and my dad (Karl) were the best in the sport. Splitting them apart, they still may be the best there is. It's shown me one thing - Dad can still put a good car on the track. His cars have been competitive and been in contention to win every race this year, except for Houston. I have a feeling Steve will do well, too." Kinser captured the World of Outlaws' first three championships (1978- 1980), won six straight between 1983 and 1988 is the series' defending champion having swept the last five. He won 384 "A" Features, including 10 Knoxville Nationals championships and nine Gold Cup Race of Champions titles. He has been voted to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters All-America team 13 times. WoO*eof

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kenny Bernstein , Mark Kinser , Steve Kinser , Dave Blaney , Jac Haudenschild