'The King' wins Grove Preliminary with last-lap pass MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 16) - Steve Kinser loves racing at Williams Grove Speedway. He has enjoyed tremendous success at the legendary, half-mile oval, winning 22 Pennzoil World of Outlaws ...
'The King' wins Grove Preliminary with last-lap pass
MECHANICSBURG, PA (May 16) - Steve Kinser loves racing at Williams Grove Speedway. He has enjoyed tremendous success at the legendary, half-mile oval, winning 22 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events there.
"The King of the Outlaws" pulled off a dramatic, last-lap pass to win the preliminary feature when the series opened a $95,350 event at Williams Grove Thursday, driving his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Tyler Walker in the low groove between the first and second corners.
"They have a lot of good race fans here, and any time you see a last-lap pass it makes it a good race," Kinser said. "The rubber started getting down on the bottom in (turns) one and two, and I don't think anyone really expected that. I knew if I could get a run on him (Walker) getting into turn one, maybe I could kind of run him up the track and maybe get him out of the rubber. I started out up on the top, but then I saw Danny (Lasoski) get a nose up beside me on the bottom, so I moved down there and it felt better low.
"I saw Donny Kreitz run good on the bottom in the 'B' Feature, but he runs the bottom everywhere. I was trying to keep track of my tire, and with about five to go I figured I was going to run top four and be locked in (into Friday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash). So I decided to try to get up there and give it a shot. I kept hoping Tyler would maybe get impatient with those lapped cars and try to run up in the middle, but he didn't do that. I just had to try to run him down and see what happened. It's always fun to win a race, and as long as I can stay competitive, I'm going to keep doing it."
Kinser's second preliminary feature victory of the season pushed him to within six points of Lasoski in their battle for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead. Walker leads the World of Outlaws Gumout Series point standings.
O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash winners Craig Dollansky and Johnny Herrera started on the front row. They raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the feature. Herrera took the lead, surging ahead in the low groove between the first and second corners. Walker raced past Kinser between turns three and four several seconds later, then drove C&W Motorsports' #35 Eagle into second place, passing Dollansky low in the second corner the next time around.
Kinser and Daryn Pittman passed Dollansky during the fifth and sixth laps as Walker chased Herrera. Walker challenged Herrera in the low groove between the third and fourth corners late in lap eight, then took the lead with an inside move in turn two half a lap later. Walker started building a comfortable advantage almost immediately - he was a half-straightaway ahead within two laps.
"The King of the Outlaws" passed Herrera deep in the second corner five laps later, but was 10 car-lengths behind as the leaders raced through dense traffic with four laps remaining. Kinser, whose crew replaced his engine following the Third Heat Race, narrowed the gap to five car-lengths within two laps, however, and caught Walker late in lap 24. Using his extraordinary lapped traffic skills, Kinser took the lead with an inside move between turns one and two and took the checkered flag with seven car-lengths to spare.
"I just got a little too cautious with some lapped cars," Walker admitted. "We had a good run going. I've had some bad luck this year with lapped cars, so I was trying to be patient. I'm so hungry to win races - maybe a little too hungry sometimes - so the main thing for tonight was just to be sure to be locked in for tomorrow."
Herrera held off Pittman for third place. Lasoski finished fifth, ahead of Lance Dewease, Donny Schatz, P.J. Chesson, Sean Michael and Dollansky.
Schatz, only the 21st-fastest qualifier in the 36-car field, was .652 seconds off Tim Shaffer's pace-setting speed of 102.215 M.P.H. The 2000 Williams Grove National Open champion made amends in the feature, however, driving the #15 Parker Stores J&J past 13 cars to finish in seventh place.
Brad Furr, who has already suffered six blown engines this season, had two more lose power Thursday. After one power plant malfunctioned during hot laps, Furr's crew had to replace another engine in the #2 Sanmina/SCI Eagle after the First Heat Race.