RETURN TO THE HEARTLAND Tony Stewart Racing, Kinser Eye Another Strong Run in Outlaws Midwest Finale INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 21, 2008) -- The road map used by the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team in 2008 is full of ink, as they've criss-crossed the...
RETURN TO THE HEARTLAND
Tony Stewart Racing, Kinser Eye Another Strong Run in Outlaws Midwest Finale
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 21, 2008) -- The road map used by the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team in 2008 is full of ink, as they've criss-crossed the country racing with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series. In his first full WoO season since 2005, TSR's Kraig Kinser has traveled a lot of miles and made a ton of laps behind the wheel of the TSR No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/JD Byrider sprinter.
Just four more nights of racing remain in the 2008 WoO campaign, beginning with Saturday night's "Thunder at the Heartland" at Heartland Park Topeka (Kan.), and Kinser hopes to leave a lasting impression during the series' final Midwest race of this season.
The 24 year-old Kinser, his TSR teammate (Donny Schatz), and the rest of the Outlaws have battled each other 58 nights already in 2008, but Mother Nature may have been the season's biggest winner, affecting 26 nights of racing so far. Saturday's race was originally scheduled for Sept. 13, but rain forced the event to be pushed back until this weekend.
Kinser's return to the Outlaws has included the predictable roller-coaster ride of emotions over the past nine months. A surge in September has helped the team charge to the season's finish line. In his last 10 races, Kinser has picked up two wins and four top-five finishes. His most recent win came on Oct. 3 at North Central Speedway in Brainerd, Minn. He also scored a solid second-place finish at the Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, last month. Both of those top finishes came at 3/8-mile ovals.
On Saturday night, Kinser will return to action at Heartland Park Topeka (HPT), a 3/8-mile dirt oval. Kinser has raced at HPT on two occasions, both in the summer of 2002, and his best finish of 18th occurred on June 14 that year.
Kinser has qualified for 55 WoO races this season and currently ranks 12th in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings with 7,132 points. He has earned a pair of victories, eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10s.
For the event Saturday at Heartland Park Topeka, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. For race tickets and other event information, contact SLS Promotions at (815) 344-2023. The official Web site of Heartland Park Topeka is www.hpt.com.
Race fans unable to attend this week's event can catch all of the action from Heartland Park Topeka 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/Maxim:
The last time your team returned to action following races in California, you had a thrilling race in Iowa. Is a repeat performance what you are hoping for?
"Well, we definitely would like to have another night like we did at Spencer (Sept. 10), but end the night one place better. The Bass Pro Shops guys (Steve Sweneson, Mike Cool and Bob Curtis) gave me a great car that night. We were fast and I was able to stay out front most of the race. I got to lapped traffic and (Daryn) Pittman couldn't figure out where he really wanted to go and that ended up costing me. Joey (Saldana) had got close a few times, but then (TSR teammate) Donny (Schatz) got a run low and we went three-wide for the lead. In the end, it was a good night for TSR, but next time we want to be the driver on top. Maybe we can make that happen in Topeka."
You haven't raced at HPT since 2002. Is there anything you remember from that track that can help this weekend?
"So much has changed, since, that I think I'll go in there fresh like I've never been there before. I remember when they had the temporary track on the dragstrip there and that was a real tight little track. When they built the new track, I think everyone really liked it. We didn't have the greatest luck there in 2002, so hopefully we can change that this time.
"Time is running out on the year here, so we want get in as many laps as we can and try to have three more solid finishes. The best way to make it through the off-season is by finishing well, and hopefully we can start another streak at Topeka on Saturday."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from Heartland Park Topeka, log on to www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint. For information regarding TSR, Bass Pro Shops, J.D. Byrider, Chevy or Kinser, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.basspro.com, www.byrider.com, www.chevy.com or www.kraigkinser.com.