Texas: Race report

Paulus Wins NGK Spark Plugs Shootout With Late Pass FORT WORTH, TX (April 3) -- Kraig Kinser was 2¼ laps from joining his father in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series victory column Saturday when Brian Paulus spoiled the party. ...

Paulus Wins NGK Spark Plugs Shootout With Late Pass

FORT WORTH, TX (April 3) -- Kraig Kinser was 2¼ laps from joining his father in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series victory column Saturday when Brian Paulus spoiled the party.

Paulus took the low line into the fourth corner to pass Kinser for the lead and kept the #28 Arnold Transportation Maxim ahead to win the NGK Spark Plugs Shootout at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.

"Something was not right with our motor, so I moved my line to the low groove," said Paulus, who hugged Texas Motor Speedway mascot Sparky in victory lane. "It was much shorter than Kraig's line, and it worked out for us. If I could get past the lapped cars, I knew I could get closer to him."

The $10,000 victory was the second in World of Outlaws Sprint Series competition for Paulus, who won his first main event last August 6th with a last-lap pass of Donny Schatz.

Ironically, the second runner-up run of Kinser's World of Outlaws Sprint Series career came almost two years before at the Texas Motor Speedway when Brad Furr won the main event.

"We were out front with lots of room," said Kraig, who is racing for the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award. "I just chose the wrong line."

Steve Kinser, who won his 500th "A" Feature a week earlier at Houston Raceway Park, patted his son on the back and said, "You ran a great race."

Paulus, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 30-car field, won the Second Heat Race and the First Dash Race for the privilege of starting the 30-lap main event on the pole. Paulus and outside pole-sitter Brooke Tatnell were battling for first place early in the opening lap when Kinser raced between them for the lead in the second corner.

Tatnell drove the #66 Trop Artic Eagle past Paulus a lap before Tyler Walker spun into the infield between turns three and four late in lap five. Tatnell, the only Australian driver to ever win a World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event, battled Kinser for the lead until Paulus challenged him for the runner-up spot three laps later.

Tatnell caught Kinser during lap 11 and threatened to take the lead several times during the race's middle stages. "B" Feature winner Craig Dollansky raced into 11th place from inside the 11th row during the first half of the race before the #7 VMAC Maxim suffered a blown engine early in lap 17.

Tatnell was challenging Kinser for the lead three laps later when his engine lost power, causing him to stop on the back straightaway. Kinser drove the #11K Delco-Remy Maxim away from the field as the race resumed, only to have Paulus catch him as they approached lapped traffic early in the 27th lap.

Paulus raced wheel-to-wheel with Kinser down the back stretch the next time around, and took the lead several seconds later. Kinser tried to regain first place during the final two laps, but was unable to surge ahead. Paulus improved two positions in the point standings to fifth place with his second top-five finish of the season.

Meyers finished in third place, ahead of Shane Stewart, Steve Kinser, Jason Sides, First Heat Race winner Daryn Pittman, Paul McMahan, 14th-starting Tim Shaffer and Joey Saldana.

Sammy Swindell, driving Bob Veilhauer's #12X Beaver Drill & Tool Maxim for the first time in World of Outlaws Sprint Series competition, enjoyed a roller-coaster evening. The three-time series champion raced into fourth place from back of the pack after colliding with Dean Jacobs in the Second Heat Race, then passed 12 cars to finish 11th in the "A" Feature.

Australian Kerry Madsen, who swept the Preliminary Features in the World of Outlaws 'Down Under' event three months earlier, paced the qualifying session with a 102.857-M.P.H. lap around the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval. After failing to qualify for the main event in the First Heat Race, Madsen drove the #55 TK Concrete Twister into 12th place from inside the ninth row.

Steve Kinser, a two-time winner at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, increased his World of Outlaws Sprint Series points lead to 70 points with his fifth top-five finish in six events. Shaffer moved into a second-place tie with Schatz, who finished 15th. Stewart, who won his first World of Outlaws Sprint Series main event eight days earlier at Thunder Valley Speedway, climbed into 16th place in the point standings with his third top-five finish of the year.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series will run a double-feature event at Eldora Speedway Friday and Saturday.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Brian Paulus , Daryn Pittman , Dean Jacobs , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart