USAR: USA-Lakeland II: John Kinder race summary

Kinder has tough race at Lakeland. LAKELAND, Florida (June 1, 2002) -- John Kinder, driver of the 08 Multi Media Graphics Chevrolet would just as soon forget the race at Lakeland this past weekend. "I have been driving stock cars for more...

Kinder has tough race at Lakeland.

LAKELAND, Florida (June 1, 2002) -- John Kinder, driver of the 08 Multi Media Graphics Chevrolet would just as soon forget the race at Lakeland this past weekend.

"I have been driving stock cars for more than ten years and never did we ever have so much go wrong in a single night," said John. "It was a very long and frustrating night. First, we had a power steering pump go out during practice, and this was a new part! It seemed to set the stage for what was about to happen to us all night," he added.

Despite the early on problems during practice, John had a good qualifying run, placing him in 12th spot of the 39-car field. But when the green flag fell, just a few laps into the race, John radioed crew chief Ronnie Griffin and advised he had a sway bar problem and he felt the bar broke. Well, he was right! A Heim joint on the sway bar broke clean in half, causing the bar to be unfunctional.

For more than 100 laps John muscled the car the best he could, driving with a broken sway bar waiting for a caution so he could pit and the team could try to fix it. When he pitted, they were able to take on four tires and made a quick repair to the bar, but it had already done additional damage, which John would come to learn about a little later in the race.

As John returned to the track, a few laps later he radioed in again, and said, "You are not going to believe this, it feels like we lost the spring on the accelerator, and sure enough, bad luck struck again, as one of the two springs broke clear in half. And if that was not enough a few more laps later, John said, "The right front shock, just left go" Again the driver was correct, the right front shock Heim joint broke clear in half, now he was driving with a broken sway bar, broken shock, one accelerator spring, but he continued to race, holding his own with what he had to work with. "We were just trying to turn as many laps as we could without getting into anyone's way. I had a handful of a race car to drive, but we just kept at it, it was very frustrating," John said.

The car kept getting worse, so finally the crew chief and John decided to pit and take the time to make temporary repairs to see if they could get the car to work long enough to make the distance of the race. The team went down several laps while repairs were made under green flag conditions. "We had no choice, John was doing an outstanding job, muscling the car around the track, but we were concerned, for his safety, so we just brought the car in made what repairs we could then sent him back out." said crew chief Griffin.

"We just rode since I could not race hard, so I just tried to turn laps to pick up as many points as possible and stay clear of the leaders. I had a great car when we got to the track but, this big monkey decided to crawl in and ride with me, and he was not very kind," said Kinder.

Then, with about 30 laps to go, once again, the monkey reared its ugly head. As John was entering turn three the center of the right front wheel tore completely lose sending the right front wheel flying off the car. "How John saved the car from hitting the wall, I don't know, but I did know our night was over," said Jim Kinder, John's father and CEO PowerBase Motorsports, the team owner.

John retired the 08 car, frustrated and pretty tired from the nights events. In the end, John finished 26th 39 laps down. "I just don't understand it. Brand new parts broke all night long, and in over ten years of racing stock cars, I never had this type of thing happen to me. Parts fail, I know that and it has happened before, but I never had so many things go wrong all in the same night. Guess it just was not my night to race.

The guys on the crew did a great job keeping me on the track. I really felt bad for them, they worked so hard, all day long, we laid down a good qualifying run and we were ready to settle in for a great race, but I guess it just was not meant to be," said John. "I have had to overcome many obstacles in racing, and tonight is just another example of how tough our sport is. We will overcome and be back ready to challenge for the lead in Myrtle Beach." He added. "As our slogan on our pit cart reads, Never say Never, so we will just regroup, fix and repair, check and double check everything and go at it again in a couple of weeks," Kinder said.

For additional information about John and the PBM team, visit their web site at


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Stock car