MIDWESTERN ROOTS Kraig Kinser Eyes Return to Middle America Behind the Wheel of Tony Stewart Racing's Bass Pro Shops Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (April 14, 2009) -- Chasing taillights across the United States is nothing new for World of Outlaws...
Kraig Kinser Eyes Return to Middle America Behind the Wheel of Tony Stewart Racing's Bass Pro Shops Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (April 14, 2009) -- Chasing taillights across the United States is nothing new for World of Outlaws (WoO) racer Kraig Kinser. After all, traveling up and down the highway heading from one race to another has been a way of life. No matter how far he traveled to see his dad circle dirt tracks across the county, it was always nice being close to home. Now that the 24-year-old is on that same Outlaw racing trail himself, he still looks forward to returning to the Midwest.
After starting the season with races in Florida, California, Arizona and Texas, Kinser and the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team will make their first appearance in Middle America with events at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway (PIR) on Friday night and at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., on Saturday night.
The 2004 Kevin Gobrecht WoO Rookie of the Year and driver of the TSR No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim is excited to race within 275 miles of his hometown of Bloomington, Ind. This weekend's races also begin a four-week stretch during which Kinser will participate in seven events in seven different states.
Four years ago, in the spring of 2005, Kinser and the Outlaws made their Midwest debut following a stop at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas. Kinser had one of his more memorable weekends by dominating the program at Batesville (Ark.) Speedway on Friday night and sweeping the weekend with a win in the feature race at I-55 Raceway. The weekend proved, in his second season on the road with the WoO stars, that he was a contender.
Contending is just what Kinser is hoping to do when he makes his third appearance at the high-banked 3/8-mile dirt oval in Paducah. He finished 10th there last July and is hoping to become the fifth different WoO feature winner in as many races held at the track.
The anticipation for Saturday's return to I-55 Raceway is always high as the track typically provides some of the season's best action. Kinser has 10 career starts at the high-banked 1/3-mile track. He finished second in August 2004 and picked up his fourth career WoO "A" feature event triumph there in April 2005.
With 11 of 84 scheduled nights of racing on the 2009 WoO campaign in the books, Kinser has three top-five finishes and six top-10s. He currently ranks 10th in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings with 1,420 points, trailing leader and TSR teammate Donny Schatz by 121 markers.
On Friday, the pit gates at PIR will open at 1 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more details, contact PIR at (270) 898-7469. The official Web site of PIR is www.paducahinternationalraceway.com.
On Saturday, the pit gates and grandstands at I-55 Raceway will open at 2 p.m. CDT. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m. For more details, call I-55 Raceway at (636) 479-3219. The official Web site of I-55 Raceway is www.i55raceway.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:
After the early schedule had you racing all across the country, how does it feel to be racing somewhat close to home?
"It's always fun to get back in the area where it's easier for some of your family and friends to drive to the track and see you race. The schedule has always been that way, when we race in places where it's warm -- well, sunny anyway -- to start the season before coming back to the Midwest. Obviously, you just never know what the weather is going to be like here in April, so you hope for the best. I know last spring we had a terrible time getting races in.
"It's good to be coming back this way. We've only been to Paducah a couple of times, but we've been to Pevely a bunch. The Bass Pro Shops team (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson, and Bob Curtis) will have a good starting point for the car each night and we're hoping to put up some good finishes this weekend."
Both tracks this weekend offer the chance for some good racing. Is the strategy still the same?
"Definitely. You still have to get your car working the best in the feature. We've been really good about qualifying in the right place and making it through the heat races. Paducah is one of those places where the top is going to be there for most of the night. That's where we'll be. We do have to be able to run other places on the track, and that's what we're working on getting better at. Pevely is just one of those exciting places where anything can happen. We've started up front and won a race there, and we've also started in the back and worked our way forward. Traffic is a big part of the races there, too, so we'll have to be able to move around on the track.
"It's also a good weekend for us to do well for the people who are behind this team. I know (team owner) Tony (Stewart) is involved with the Paducah track, and Bass Pro Shops is headquartered in Missouri. So, any time we race there, it's a great chance for us to give them some extra exposure. We're really shooting for a good weekend and one that will give us some momentum for the upcoming weeks."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from Paducah International Raceway and I-55 Raceway, 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.