Kraig Kinser Takes Hoosier Fall Classic Win ; Wilson Narrowly Edges Smith for Championship LAWRENCEBURG, IN (9-15-07) -- Drama! That was the one word to best describe the 2007 O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions season finale. There could not...
Kraig Kinser Takes Hoosier Fall Classic Win ; Wilson Narrowly Edges Smith for Championship
LAWRENCEBURG, IN (9-15-07) -- Drama! That was the one word to best describe the 2007 O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions season finale. There could not have been more drama if it had been scripted. Greg Wilson and Danny Smith entered the pits in a tie for the $50,000 points championship as Smith cut Wilson's three point lead to zero on the preliminary night. Who would walk away with the top honors? Would Wilson repeat and defend his 2006 title? Would the sentimental favorite Smith get the first elusive series title of his storied career?
As Wilson started the A-main event from the front row with a two point deficit due to heat race points earlier in the evening, it looked as though he would be a lock to win the title over 10^th place starting Smith. An early spin by Smith in turn two all but sealed his fate as Wilson lead the race early on, but then Wilson nearly snatched defeat from the jaws of victory as his nose wing got knocked loose and the car would not turn. He dropped several spots as Smith continued to climb. The two met in the middle to settle the dispute. Smith fought for position after position until there was only one car between him and Wilson when he ran out of laps in the 50 lap event. All Wilson could do was hold on and hope that Smith would not get to him in time. He did not and Wilson pulled off the championship by just two points over the veteran Smith. The two then made one victory lap side by side and parked on the front stretch, exited their cars, and congratulated each other with a hug and a hand shake.
"Its going to take a while for this to sink in," said Wilson. "The way the race unfolded was frustrating behind the wheel. I was leading the race and saw Danny spin in the infield and thought -- alright just keep on it and try to win the thing but we knocked the nose wing off and struggled the rest of the way through." He continued to say, "Danny is a helluva racer, especially on a short track like this, and you know he's going to be coming back up through there. I was nervous, but I had my hands full and had to concentrate on running my own race and we got a little bit lucky there."
Danny Smith won the 2007 Owner Points due to the incident at Waynesfield Motorports Park during Ohio Sprint Speedweek. Wilson crashed in his heat race and was forced to run a team car (the #m20) during the A-main. That allowed him to maintain his driver points, but the #w20 car was given B-main points only. In the end, Wilson and Smith will split the first and second place money down the middle as Wilson's car owner Verl Warnimont finished second in owner points.
"We had a pretty good year," said Smith. "It's disappointing for my fans and my sponsors and everybody who works on this thing for us to come up just two points short. I learned over the last several years that things happen for a reason. Sometimes you don't know why, but you just go on down the road. I'm really proud of all my guys. We won the Owner Points so Greg and I will split the money. He isn't going to take all of it. I'm going to get a little bit of it."
Wilson was challenged early by front row starting Brian Paulus, who looked to be the car to beat as he held off Brandon Martin and Kraig Kinser and eventually drove around Wilson. Then disaster struck as his rear end broke going into turn one ending his night. The lead was handed back over to Wilson on the restart. Chad Blonde had been putting on a show coming from mid-pack and driving toward the front like a man possessed and got past Martin and trailed Wilson and Kinser.
After the restart, Kinser took off and bolted into the lead as Wilson's backward slide began. Then Blonde picked him off and chased Kinser through heavy traffic as the two thrilled the large crowd. Kinser was content on the low side as Blonde screamed around the top catching Kinser off guard. He passed him for the lead, but Kinser's elbows came up and he got the lead back. The two exchanged the lead several times over the second half of the race before the final caution flew. Kinser was leading over Blonde, Martin, Dale Blaney, and Kelly Kinser. At that time you could see Blonde had a broken front end which then folded under as the cars circled the track under caution. He was done for the night. This gave Kinser a clear track to the checkered flag as Martin would finish second and Blaney third.
"Chad was racing me hard. I'm not sure what happened to him, but he woke me up there," said Kinser from victory lane. "I started taking it easy there around the bottom and he just blew right by me. I was running hard to get back to him. I lost my brakes there at the end and moved to the top and the track was real good up there." Kinser continued, "The Fall Classic goes way back with the Kinser family and to get my name up there with some of the great drivers of Southern Indiana is just awesome."
Blaney made the A-main the hard way as he flipped in his heat race and then won the B-main. Kelly Kinser would finish fourth. This was Kelly's final race as he announced his retirement prior to the event adding more drama to the night. Rounding out the top five was Dean Jacobs. His finish vaulted him into the final Top 10 standings in championship points over 8^th place finishing Bill Rose to take the final spot.
In addition to everything else going on in the pits and on the track, Bert and Brigitte Emick were on hand for the weekend as the event Grand Marshals and were honored with a plaque prior to the event. The large crowd cheered as they were given recognition for creating such a great racing series and building it into something special over the years prior to their retirement after the 2001 season and for their service and dedication to Lawrenceburg Speedway and the Hoosier Fall Classic. The All Star staff, drivers, and fans wish them the very best in their retirement.
The All Star points season has concluded for 2007, but one more sanctioned event will be run as a co-sanction with the Midwest All Star Series on October 5^th at Morgan County Speedway in Jacksonville, IL. This event will mark the end of the 2007 All Star racing season for both series.
*Lawrenceburg Speedway - 9-15-07 - O'Reilly All Star Circuit of Champions*
1. 11K-Kraig Kinser, 10.217; 2. 71M-Paul May, 10.257; 3. 11M-Brandon Martin, 10.272; 4. 5B-Chad Blonde, 10.318; 5. 6-Bill Rose, 10.348; 6. 2-Dale Blaney, 10.360; 7. 28-Brian Paulus, 10.361; 8. W20-Greg Wilson, 10.371; 9. 4K-Kelly Kinser, 10.419; 10. 75-Jesse Hockett, 10.478; 11. 4N-Neil Shepherd, 10.498; 12. 11B-Brock Mayes, 10.502; 13. 4-Danny Smith, 10.504; 14. 92-Jimmy Stinson, 10.516; 15. 4B-Tom Busch, 10.532; 16. 56R-Ryan Myers, 10.573; 17. 7K-Dean Jacobs, 10.595; 18. O0-Nick Nabor, 10.631; 19. 7M-Geoff Dodge, 10.769; 20. 22-Wayne Mcpeek, 10.776; 21. 6K-Todd Kane, 10.792; 22. 33S-Keith Baxter, 10.805; 23. 34-Luke Hall, 10.824; 24. 54-Matt Westfall, 10.841; 25. 5J-Joss Moffat, 10.952; 26. 9S-Brad Stevens, 10.966; 27. 10-Shannon Jodrey, 10.969; 28. 9-Kent Wolters, 11.012; 29. 48-Ty Deckard, 11.073; 30. 95-Hud Horton, 11.075; 31. 6C-Chris Nabor, 11.103; 32. 17W-Scotty Williams, 11.223; 33. 4M-John Memmer, 11.239; 34. 16-Lee Stark, 11.278; 35. 34M-Arin Mcintosh, 11.288; 36. 23K-Kyle Simon, 11.386; 37. 8H-Mike Miller, 11.439; 38. 59-Kirk Jeffries, 11.466; 39. 22T-Miranda Throckmorton, 11.555; 40. 87-Lance Grimes, 11.790; 41. 2H-Dallas Hewitt, 12.236; 42. 72J-Johnny Johnson, 12.326; 43. 20E-Brian Ellenberger, (NT)
Outerwears Heat Race 1
1. 4-Danny Smith; 2. 6K-Todd Kane; 3. 7K-Dean Jacobs; 4. 11K-Kraig Kinser; 5. 6-Bill Rose; 6. 4K-Kelly Kinser; 7. 8H-Mike Miller; 8. 4M-John Memmer; 9. 5J-Joss Moffat; 10. 2H-Dallas Hewitt; 11. 48-Ty Deckard;
Hoosier Racing Tire Heat Race 2
1. 75-Jesse Hockett; 2. 92-Jimmy Stinson; 3. O0-Nick Nabor; 4. 71M-Paul May; 5. 59-Kirk Jeffries; 6. 9S-Brad Stevens; 7. 95-Hud Horton; 8. 33S-Keith Baxter; 9. 2-Dale Blaney; 10. 72J-Johnny Johnson; 11. 16-Lee Stark;
Engler Machine & Tool Heat Race 3
1. 34-Luke Hall; 2. 4B-Tom Busch; 3. 11M-Brandon Martin; 4. 28-Brian Paulus; 5. 4N-Neil Shepherd; 6. 7M-Geoff Dodge; 7. 6C-Chris Nabor; 8. 22T-Miranda Throckmorton; 9. 10-Shannon Jodrey; 10. 34M-Arin Mcintosh;
CarMate Heat Race 4
1. 22-Wayne Mcpeek; 2. 11B-Brock Mayes; 3. W20-Greg Wilson; 4. 54-Matt Westfall; 5. 56R-Ryan Myers; 6. 9-Kent Wolters; 7. 17W-Scotty Williams; 8. 23K-Kyle Simon; 9. 87-Lance Grimes; 10. 5B-Chad Blonde;
O'Reilly All Star Dash
1. 71M-Paul May; 2. 11M-Brandon Martin; 3. 11B-Brock Mayes; 4. W20-Greg Wilson; 5. 4-Danny Smith; 6. 28-Brian Paulus;
University of Northwest Ohio B-main
1. 5B-Chad Blonde; 2. 2-Dale Blaney; 3. 4K-Kelly Kinser; 4. 7M-Geoff Dodge; 5. 4M-John Memmer; 6. 17W-Scotty Williams; 7. 9S-Brad Stevens; 8. 8H-Mike Miller; 9. 22T-Miranda Throckmorton; 10. 95-Hud Horton; 11. 23K-Kyle Simon; 12. 72J-Johnny Johnson; 13. 34M-Arin Mcintosh; 14. 6C-Chris Nabor; 15. 10-Shannon Jodrey; 16. 2H-Dallas Hewitt; 17. 16-Lee Stark; 18. 5J-Joss Moffat; 19. 9-Kent Wolters; 20. 33S-Keith Baxter (DNS); 21. 48-Ty Deckard (DNS); 22. 87-Lance Grimes (DNS);
MSD Ignition A-main - Starting Position [#]
1. 11K-Kraig Kinser; 2. 11M-Brandon Martin; 3. 2-Dale Blaney; 4. 4K-Kelly Kinser; 5. 7K-Dean Jacobs; 6. 11B-Brock Mayes; 7. W20-Greg Wilson; 8. 6-Bill Rose; 9. 4-Danny Smith; 10. 4B-Tom Busch; 11. 71M-Paul May; 12. 4N-Neil Shepherd; 13. 7M-Geoff Dodge; 14. 34-Luke Hall; 15. 54-Matt Westfall; 16. 22-Wayne Mcpeek; 17. 59-Kirk Jeffries; 18. 92-Jimmy Stinson; 19. 5B-Chad Blonde; 20. O0-Nick Nabor; 21. 6K-Todd Kane; 22. 56R-Ryan Myers; 23. 28-Brian Paulus; 24. 75-Jesse Hockett;