CUP OF GOLD Kraig Kinser Charges Tony Stewart Racing's Bass Pro Shops Sprinter Toward Outlaws' Biggest Race on the West Coast INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 8, 2009) -- Every time the World of Outlaws (WoO) stars hit the dirt, they are looking to put on...
CUP OF GOLD
Kraig Kinser Charges Tony Stewart Racing's Bass Pro Shops Sprinter Toward Outlaws' Biggest Race on the West Coast
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 8, 2009) -- Every time the World of Outlaws (WoO) stars hit the dirt, they are looking to put on a show. The series wraps up its schedule on the West Coast in a big way this week at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. The quarter-mile, high-banked dirt track in northern California plays host to the 56th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions beginning Thursday, and for Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Kraig Kinser, it's an opportunity to conquer one of the sport's most historic races.
More than 100 challengers will join Kinser in the three-night Gold Cup. Each hopes to be vying for the $50,000 prize that waits Saturday night's winner of the 40-lap finale. The Gold Cup format includes two nights of complete racing with the field being divided on Thursday and Friday. Each program includes qualifying, heat races and a preliminary feature. Points will be awarded to the drivers following each night, and Saturday's event will be lined up by total points.
If recent results at the track are any indication, Kinser should be considered one of the drivers to beat this week. The 24-year-old finished third at the track in March during Silver Dollar Speedway's Mini Gold Cup and, last year, had his best Gold Cup by finishing fourth on his qualifying night and ninth in the final.
Kinser and the Bass Pro Shops team enter the weekend of action following a pair of top-seven runs at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Washington. He has 10 top-10 finishes in his last 12 starts as he continues searching for his first victory of the 2009 campaign. The Bass Pro Shops Maxim has finished inside the top-10 in all three of the races that have paid more than $20,000-to-win this season. Kinser finished ninth in the Kings Royal at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in July. He finished sixth in the Knoxville (Iowa) Nationals and seventh in last weekend's $20,000-to-win race at Skagit.
The Bass Pro Shops team has raced 55 times with the Outlaws this year, and Kinser has scored 10 top-five finishes and 28 top-10s. He currently ranks eighth in the WoO Sprint Series championship standings with 6,815 points.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Silver Dollar Speedway, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. PDT and grandstands open at 5 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets for each race can be purchased by calling Silver Dollar Speedway at (916) 969-7484. For more information on the event, visit www.silverdollarspeedway.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend's races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, "Voice of the Outlaws," calls the action as he does at all WoO Sprint Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other race fans.
Kraig Kinser, Driver of the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim:
The Gold Cup is one of those races that can change a career. What makes winning it so tough?
"It's just a huge race for everybody out in California and all over out West, actually. The guys who race out here spend all year gearing up for this race. Chico (Silver Dollar Speedway) is a really unique track. It's small, and usually wet early in the night, so you have to be fast and smart. The Gold Cup is a points deal kind of like the Nationals, so you every time you hit the track, you have to be going forward.
"The competition is another thing that makes it so tough. Not only are all the Outlaws there, but everybody who races in California is there. You have a ton of cars and it's pretty tough to overcome any mistakes. The Bass Pro Shops team (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson, and Bob Curtis) has really been on its game at the big races, and I'm sure it'll be ready again this week."
You have had some recent success at Silver Dollar Speedway. Does that help you heading into the Gold Cup?
"Definitely. We have information about every track we go to, but it does help to have a little success at a track, too. Last fall, we went to Chico on a pretty good roll and just carried it through the Gold Cup. We qualified well, got through our heat and had a good dash draw. To finish in the top-four at Chico is always an accomplishment, but to back that up with another top-10 in the Gold Cup final and then finishing third there earlier this year is something we can work with."
The Gold Cup concludes the Outlaws Gold Rush Tour. Last year, you picked up a win and a lot of momentum during the western swing that helped you finish the season strong. Would another solid weekend at the Gold Cup give the Bass Pro Shops team a lot of confidence heading into the final Outlaw races of 2009?
"I certainly think so. Like I said before, we have been able to do well in some of the big races already this season and this one would be another good one to succeed in. Last year, we were able to run up front quite a bit down the stretch, and I think a lot of it had to do with what we were able to find while racing out west. We've been getting better each night and I hope that continues through the rest of the year."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from Silver Dollar Speedway, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint. For information regarding TSR, Bass Pro Shops, J.D. Byrider, Chevy or Kinser, visit www.tonystewartracing.com, www.basspro.com, www.byrider.com, www.chevy.com or www.kraigkinser.com.