FIELD OF DREAMS Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Begins "Month of Money" With Brad Doty Classic and Kings Royal in Bass Pro Shops Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (July 14, 2009) -- Some of the most exciting times in a season come when the stage...
FIELD OF DREAMS
Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Begins "Month of Money" With Brad Doty Classic and Kings Royal in Bass Pro Shops Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (July 14, 2009) -- Some of the most exciting times in a season come when the stage becomes larger than life. While the greats of Major League Baseball gathered in St. Louis this week for their annual "Midsummer Classic," the stars of Sprint car racing are headed toward the Buckeye State to kick off the richest month in short-track racing. This weekend's 26th annual Kings Royal at Tony Stewart's Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, launches a five-week marathon during which drivers have the opportunity to win the race of a lifetime, collect a lot of money, and gain momentum for the rest of the World of Outlaws (WoO) campaign.
Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Kraig Kinser has already experienced what winning one of the biggest events in Sprint car racing does for a driver. This week, he's hoping to add the coveted Kings Royal to a resume that already includes a Knoxville Nationals triumph. Kinser will be on the track driving TSR's No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim three times this week. First, he'll compete in the Brad Doty Classic at Limaland Motorsports Park in Lima, Ohio, before returning to Eldora for Friday's Knight Before the Kings Royal and Saturday's Kings Royal.
Over the next five weeks, the WoO drivers will race 14 nights and included are races that pay the winner $50,000, $25,000, $20,000 and $150,000. Every driver sees this time of the year as a chance to make or break a season. Kinser has had a consistent beginning to the 2009 WoO campaign, but he knows the addition of some high-profile victories would really boost his season.
Wednesday's trip to Limaland for the Brad Doty Classic will be Kinser's third time racing at the high-banked quarter-mile track. He made his debut during the Ohio Speedweek back in July 2001. He raced in the Doty Classic last year, but a cut tire ended his chances at victory and he finished 18th.
On Friday night, Kinser returns to Eldora looking to make his 25th WoO feature event at the track. He has six career top-10 finishes at the high-banked, half-mile dirt oval, including a fifth-place finish during last September's Chevy Weekend. His best career finish of third came in April of 2005.
The Kings Royal has always ranked as one of "the" races to win in Sprint car racing. Kinser spent many nights at the famed Eldora layout while growing up, watching his dad claim victory after victory and watching him put on the famous winner's crown. The 24-year-old now would like nothing more than to walk up the stage Saturday night and put the crown on his own head. Kinser is hoping to qualify for the 40-lap Kings Royal main event for the fourth time in his career. His best finish was sixth in July 2005, just before his Knoxville Nationals win.
Saturday's 26th annual Kings Royal from Eldora will be broadcast on SPEED-TV on a tape-delayed basis. The two-hour broadcast will air on Aug. 9 at 5 p.m. EDT. For a complete WoO Sprint Series television schedule, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
With 36 WoO races of the 2009 campaign complete, Kinser has eight top-five finishes and 17 top-10s. He currently ranks ninth in the WoO Sprint Series championship standings with 4,600 points.
Wednesday at Limaland, the pit gates open at 4 p.m. EDT, and the grandstands open at 5 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for the race can be purchased by calling Limaland Motorsport Park at (419) 998-3199. For more information on the event, visit www.limaland.com.
Friday and Saturday at Eldora, the pit gates and the grandstands open at 2:30 p.m. EDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. each night. Tickets for the race can be purchased by calling Eldora Speedway at (937) 338-3815. For more information on the event, visit www.eldoraspeedway.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:
On Wednesday, you get to race in the Brad Doty Classic. What makes that race special?
"I've always looked up to Brad, and to be able to compete in his race is really special. He's just one of those guys who always makes me smile. He's been around our sport for a long time and, unfortunately, I never got to see him race. I can still remember reading his book (Still Wide Open) and learning a lot about him.
"The past few years, it seems like that race has been a really exciting one. The Bass Pro Shops guys (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson and Bob Curtis) keep giving me a fast racecar and we just have to keep plugging away. It starts with qualifying. The past couple of years, more than 40 cars have shown up to race in it, so you have to be fast out of the box. You have to get to the front in the heat races and have some good luck in the dash draw. We've drawn the Nos. 8, 9 and 10, lately, so if we can get in the dash, maybe our luck at the draw will change.
"It'd be a really big honor to say I won the Brad Doty Classic, so we're hoping to put it all together on Wednesday night."
The Kings Royal is the first "big race" of the season. Is there any added pressure to that race with your dad having won it so many times and the track being owned by your car owner, Tony Stewart?
"Well, both of those things cause pressure just about every night. You want to win them all, but when these big ones do come up, you can definitely tell it's not just another race. There is something special about the Kings Royal. You get all the people there and the intensity just keeps up all night. Crazy stuff happens in that race so, no, there isn't added pressure to have a certain finish there.
"I've been to so many good races at Eldora, I feel like I'm walking on hallowed ground when I get into the pit area. I've had some good runs over there but just haven't quite gotten over the hump. History shows that anything can happen, and a good showing in one of these bigger races can lead to future success, as well."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from the Brad Doty Classic, the Knight Before the Kings Royal and the Kings Royal, 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.