2002 Awards Banquet report, part II

World of Outlaws honors sprint car racing's best. Part 2 of 2. Brad Furr drove his ...

World of Outlaws honors sprint car racing's best.

Part 2 of 2.

Brad Furr drove his #2 Sanmina/SCI Eagle into eighth place in the point standings.

"I want to thank my parents," Furr said. "I wouldn't be out here without them. I want to thank my crew. Those guys did all the work this year; they really worked hard. I want to thank Eagle Chassis and Don Ott Engines for giving us such good equipment to race with. I also want to thank Lori (his girl friend) for waking me up in the afternoons in time for me to race."

Donny Schatz passed Furr during the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to finish seventh in the point standings.

"I want to thank my mom and dad for giving me the best equipment possible so we can race to our ability," Schatz said. "I want to thank everybody who stood behind us, from the ones who build the motors and the race cars to the crew. Shane Anderson has been with me for three years. We've been through a lot together. Thanks guys, and I'll see you again next year."

Danny Schatz complimented Kinser, the series' 17-time champion.

"I want to congratulate Steve Kinser for being the toughest competitor we've ever seen in this sport," Schatz said. "Everybody here is a tough competitor, but he showed us again he's the best.

"It's so much fun to be a part of this organization. This is one tough group. Wherever we go -- whether it's Pennsylvania or anywhere else -- we have a high level of competition.

"I want to thank Parker Stores, Featherlite, Blue Beacon, Dick Bellerud and my wife (Diane) for being involved in this."

Two-time series champion Mark Kinser finished sixth in the 2002 point standings.

"I want to apologize in advance for leaving early," Mark said. "My dad and I have a red-eye flight, and I think we'll leave early since I got my check. I want to thank my crew -- especially my dad -- for all their support."

Karl Kinser, who has won 17 car owner championships, was disappointed in his Mopar team's 2002 season.

"I don't know why we had such a bad year; I'm just glad it's over," Karl said. "All I can say about next year is, surely I can't be this bad.

"Mopar has come out with a lot of developments and we hope to be a lot better next year. I want to thank Mopar and Maxim for being our sponsors. I just hope I'm better next year."

Tim Shaffer's fifth-place finish in the point standings was the best of his career.

"First of all, I want to congratulate Steve Kinser for winning the championship," Shaffer said. "You have a great time and you seem to get stronger and stronger.

"I want to thank Beef Packers and Dennis Roth. I want to thank Mark Ellis and the crew; you guys did a great job. I also want to thank Hoosier, Kistler, Eagle and Weld."

Joey Saldana, who finished fourth in the standings, was another driver who enjoyed a career year.

"I want to thank Craig and Linda Cormack at Eagle Raceway," Saldana said. "They're the ones who got us here. Davey Whitworth and my crew did a great job this year. Maybe we can build something for next year and come out here and do better."

Craig Dollansky, one of the series' most consistent drivers, finished third in the standings, only four points out of second. He also won the Ratbag Cup.

"First of all, I want to thank the Ratbag people," Dollansky said. "I appreciate the money they put up. I also like the game they put together. I have a lot of fun going in the back of the motor home and playing it.

"I want to thank my entire team -- Karavan Racing, Scott Boyd and V-Mac. I was happy to sign a three-year sponsorship deal with them to back our team. I look forward to racing with them at least two more years. I can't thank them enough for what they've done for us. Polydome has been with us for a long time. They won't be with us next year, but they've supported us a long time. We had a lot of good people supporting us. That's what gets you up here on the podium."

Lasoski was the runner-up in the standings after leading the points race five different times.

"First of all, I want to thank the guy I consider the best car owner around, Tony Stewart," Lasoski said. "He had a dream to do this a couple of years ago. He came to me and we put this thing together and I'll tell you, it's a dream come true. I appreciate it a lot. We have good sponsors, starting with J.D. Byrider. I also want to thank Eagle Chassis and Hoosier Tires.

"All the crew chiefs out here did a good job, but I consider mine the best. He's my best friend, Jimmy Carr.

"Congratulations Steve (Kinser). We went back and forth a lot this year. We didn't get to run all the races, but that's how it goes."

Stewart, who won the NASCAR Winston Cup drivers championship a week after the Awards Banquet, was proud of his World of Outlaws team.

"First of all, I want to congratulate Steve," Stewart said. "You guys definitely set the benchmark of what everybody here wants to do. You've done it for so long now, it seems like you'd slack off, but you never do.

"I personally want to thank J.D. Byrider for all they've done for us. They came on board with me four years ago and sponsored my dirt late model. They've given me the opportunity to do what I really and truly want to be, and that's a dirt track racer. Kenny Schrader and I like to come back and race on dirt. We're all one big family.

"There's one thing I haven't figured out yet. I have to talk to Ted to see if I'm doing something wrong. The World of Outlaws has gotten so good, my driver has a bigger house than I do."

Kinser delivered a gracious, humble speech as he accept $200,000 for winning his 17th World of Outlaws championship.

"We just had a good year," Kinser said. "We just felt like any time we went up to the gate, we had one of the cars to beat. That's a good feeling to have and it really helps your confidence. I think everybody around here knows that as much as we race you can be good one night and the next can be the complete opposite. We were fortunate enough to have a good year.

"I want to thank our sponsors: Quaker State, Maxim, Delco Remy and Hoosier Tires.

"More than anything, I'd like to have (crew chief) Scott Gerken stand up. He means so much to Steve Kinser Racing and I just want to say thanks. It's a pleasure watching these guys (crew members) work. They do a tremendous job."

Johnson closed the Awards Banquet by thanking all the teams racing with the series.

"I want to congratulate all the winners. Steve, you did it again. Danny, you raced really hard but ran into some bad luck, but you came back strong. All the teams are winners; they ran hard all year. That's one thing about the World of Outlaws, there's nobody else like you and you always run hard. I'm just proud to be a part of it."


Part I

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Mark Ellis