MEMORABLE MEMORIAL WEEKEND Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Returns to Charlotte, Virginia, New York During Bass Pro Shops Team's Busy World of Outlaws Weekend INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2009) -- For an Indiana kid, there's nothing quite like ...
MEMORABLE MEMORIAL WEEKEND
Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Returns to Charlotte, Virginia, New York During Bass Pro Shops Team's Busy World of Outlaws Weekend
INDIANAPOLIS (May 19, 2009) -- For an Indiana kid, there's nothing quite like Memorial Day. While most of America is enjoying a rare three days off, racing fans indulge in one of the best weekends in motorsports.
The month of May has always been special for World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint Car Series racer Kraig Kinser. He has racing in his blood, having watched his dad chase WoO championships. He grew up just 55 miles from Indianapolis, where he became entrenched in the annual "Month-of-May" activities surrounding the Indy 500. All are great memories.
This weekend, the 24-year-old driver of Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim is looking forward to playing a part in the weekend's cornucopia of motorsports activity when the WoO series stages three events. In true Outlaw-style, Kinser will race three nights in three different states beginning Friday night at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. The following night, he'll race at Virginia Motor Speedway in Jamaica, Va., and then on Monday, the series will return to Canadaigua (N.Y.) Speedway for the first time since 1999.
For Kinser, Friday's race is a rare chance to race where he calls home as the Indiana native now resides in Mooresville, N.C., after spending the 2006 and 2007 seasons competing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) and Nationwide Series (NNS), as well as the Auto Racing Club of America (ARCA) RE/MAX Series with the Ginn Racing team. The race at Lowe's is also an opportunity for Kinser and his TSR teammate, Donny Schatz, to rekindle a battle that ended the 2008 WoO season. Last November, Schatz won the feature event as Kinser chased him to the checkered flag in the World Finals finale.
Kinser has made nine starts at the 4/10-mile dirt oval. Three of those came last year, when he had a ninth place run in May, and he concluded the season with his career-best second-place finish at the track last fall. Friday's event will air live on SPEED beginning at 8 p.m. EDT.
After the drama plays out on Friday night, Kinser and the Bass Pro Shops crew will travel north to Virginia for the WoO series' second appearance at VMS, a half-mile dirt oval. Last May, in the inagural race at the track, Kinser finished 18th. On Monday night, the Outlaws will conclude the weekend in upstate New York at Canadaigua Speedway, where Kinser will be making his debut at the semi-banked, half-mile dirt track.
Last week, Kinser made his debut at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar, Del., and had an impressive showing that included a second-place effort in qualifying and a seventh-place finish in the feature. The event at Williams Grove Speedway last Friday night was the 18th of the 84 scheduled 2009 WoO races that Kinser and the Bass Pro Shops team have completed. Kinser has three top-five finishes and seven top-10s and currently ranks ninth in the WoO Sprint Series championship standings with 2,215 points.
On Friday at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 1 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4:30 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more information, call The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway at 800-455-FANS. The official Web site of The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway is www.lowesmotorspeedway.com.
On Saturday at Virginia Motor Speedway, the pit gates will open at 3 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot Laps are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more details and ticket information, visit www.vamotorspeedway.com.
On Monday at Canadaigua Speedway, the pit gates and grandstands will open at 2 p.m. EDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot Laps are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. For tickets and more race information, visit www.canandaiguaspeedway.com or call the track at 315-834-6606.
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 month of May is one of the biggest in racing. You've been around the sport all of your life. What are some of the things that you remember most?
"There are so many things that stand out over the years but, being from Indiana, you always got excited about May for the Indy 500. Sprint cars have always been my first love, and we were out on the road a lot when I was growing up. School was still going on in May, so we were
always around home and keeping up with what was going on at the Brickyard. I'd say seeing my dad race there in 1997 was probably one of the coolest things.
Friday's race at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway is one of the more prominent races early in the season. What are your expectations for the race?
"The build-up will be kind of like Knoxville or the Kings Royal, with everything going on. Both of our TSR teams have been working up at Stewart-Haas Racing all week and you had those guys all coming around and checking out the cars. Tony (Stewart) and Ryan (Newman) both came to Las Vegas, and I know they're excited to see the race Friday, as well. It's a chance for me to race in front of lot of friends I made while racing down here, too. We'll have a lot of sponsors there, and then you throw in the fact that it's on TV, and that's just another great thing about it.
"With all that said, it still comes back to the racing basics once we get in the car. Qualifying is going to be key. The track conditions in May are usually a little different than they are in the fall. It's usually a little faster, and that means passing becomes really difficult. We have to get ourselves up front in the heat and get a good draw in the dash. I know my crew (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson and Bob Curtis) have worked hard this week and are all looking forward to getting the weekend started with a good showing Friday night.
The weekend doesn't end in Charlotte. You've got two more races at places where your experience is limited. How do you approach those races?
"That's the beauty of the World of Outlaws. There's always another race to go to. We want to have a good night in Charlotte and build on that the next two races. When you have a great team like we do at TSR, going to new tracks isn't a big deal. We won last year in Brainerd (Minn.) and that was our first time there, so it can be done.
"If I remember right, Virginia Motor Speedway was really fast and qualifying in the right spot was important. We didn't and we had a long night. And then, as far as heading up to New York goes, again, every night is a new one. The big thing for us is to get as many races in as we can and try to improve every time we hit the track. We know this weekend is a great opportunity for us and we're geared up for it."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, Virginia Motor Speedway and Canadaigua Speedway, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint. For information regarding TSR, Bass Pro Shops, J.D. Byrider, Chevy or Kinser, go to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.basspro.com, www.byrider.com, www.chevy.com or www.kraigkinser.com.