Talladega: Race report

Originally-From: Richard Day <richardd2@earthlink.net> Meyers Holds Off Kraig Kinser to Win at Talladega TALLADEGA, AL (April 24) -- Jason Meyers maintained the lead despite the repeated challenges of rookie Kraig Kinser all the way to...

Originally-From: Richard Day <richardd2@earthlink.net>

Meyers Holds Off Kraig Kinser to Win at Talladega

TALLADEGA, AL (April 24) -- Jason Meyers maintained the lead despite the repeated challenges of rookie Kraig Kinser all the way to the checkered flag while winning Saturday's World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Feature at the Talladega Short Track.

Meyers, who also won at Perris Auto Speedway February 28th, led all 35 laps from outside the front row to claim the seventh victory of his World of Outlaws Sprint Series career. The $10,000 victory pushed him from 10th to eighth place in the point standings.

"It feels really good to get our second win here," Meyers said. "We set a goal at the beginning of the season to win 10 races, and we were falling a little behind. This puts us back on track. This is a brand new team this year. We hired Steve Swenson as the crew chief, we just hired Bob Curtis this week, and they're doing a great job. A bunch of people came together to make this work: Elite Landscaping, Pacific Union Homes, Lafferty Homes, and Peninsula Ford Dealers."

Meyers, the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 29-car field, earned the privilege of starting the main event on the front row by driving the #14 Elite Landscaping Maxim to victory in the Second Dash Race.

Danny Lasoski, who has won World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Features at the Talladega Short Track the last two years, won the First Dash Race and started on the pole. "The Dude" drove 2002 NASCAR Nextel Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event twice, but Brian Paulus and Bob Bennett nullified with starts with turn-two spins.

Meyers raced around the 2001 World of Outlaws Sprint Series champion to take the lead when the green flag replaced the yellow. Kinser, who is racing for the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award, drove the #11K Delco-Remy Maxim to the deepest point between the first and second corners to pass Lasoski for second place early in the opening lap.

Shane Stewart, who won a Preliminary Feature at the Talladega Short Track on October 19, 2001, passed "The Dude" for third place with an inside move through turn four 1½ laps later. Second Heat Race winner Joey Saldana used a similar move to pass World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader Steve Kinser for fifth place late in lap four.

Meyers was 12 car-lengths ahead of Kraig Kinser when he entered lapped traffic three laps later. Kraig Kinser, who raced back into fifth place in the Third Heat Race after colliding with fellow rookie Erin Crocker and turning over, narrowed the gap to three car-lengths in dense lapped traffic by the ninth lap, however.

Third Heat Race winner Donny Schatz raced wheel-to-wheel with "The King of the Outlaws" throughout the 13th lap, but was unable to pass him for sixth place.

Rookies Brian Brown and Jonathan Allard collided in turn four while battling for 11th place late in lap 22. Brown stopped following the collision, but Allard turned the #35 PRT Travel Maxim completely around and continued racing to maintain the position.

Meyers raced away from Kraig Kinser when the green flag replaced the yellow, and opened a four-car-length advantage within five laps. Allard and Brown collided again late in lap 29 when the #35 spun in the fourth corner, taking the leaders out of lapped traffic and setting up a six-lap dash to the checkered flag.

Kraig Kinser challenged Meyers with an inside move through turns three and four two laps after the race resumed, but was unable to surge ahead. Kraig, racing as intensely as his father -- defending and 18-time series champion Steve Kinser -- threatened to take the lead between the third and fourth corners again the next time around, but Meyers managed to keep the #14 ahead.

Meyers was only a car-length ahead of his closest pursuers when he caught the back-marker with 1½ laps remaining. Shane Stewart drove the #4M Ol' Glory Maxim past Kraig Kinser for the runner-up spot in the low groove between turns three and four late in the final lap, but was three car-lengths behind when Meyers took the checkered flag.

"I was getting a little tight there at the end," Meyers said. "Under that (last) caution I could see Steve (Swenson) telling me to move down, but I was a little too tight there. We hit traffic in those last couple of laps, and the traffic actually saved me. If anyone's out there from the big track (Talladega Superspeedway), that's where I want to go, so maybe we were able to open a few eyes tonight. I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight, and I hope you all enjoyed the races."

Kraig Kinser improved four positions -- from seventh to third -- in the point standings with his third top-five "A" Feature finish of the season. Lasoski finished fourth, ahead of Saldana, Steve Kinser, Schatz, Daryn Pittman, Travis Rilat and 15th-starting Tyler Walker.

Tim Shaffer made a success of a roller-coaster evening. The 1999 Rookie of the Year was the second-fastest qualifier, but collided with Brown and finished last in the Second Heat Race. Shaffer won the "B" Feature and drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past six cars to finish 11th in the main event.

Steve Kinser paced the qualifying session with a 12.380-second lap around Talladega's high-banked, 1/3-mile oval.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series will sanction the Spring Classic at Knoxville Raceway Friday and Saturday.

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Tyler Walker , Brian Brown , Brian Paulus , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jonathan Allard , Kraig Kinser , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat