2007 World of Outlaws Preview: Steve Kinser Concord, NC--Jan. 31, 2007 -- Steve Kinser has one thing on his mind as he returns to the World of Outlaws full-time this year, and that is to pick up his 21st series championship. A consistent...
2007 World of Outlaws Preview: Steve Kinser
Concord, NC--Jan. 31, 2007 -- Steve Kinser has one thing on his mind as he returns to the World of Outlaws full-time this year, and that is to pick up his 21st series championship.
A consistent season in 2006, that saw him win five races and finish second in the National Sprint Tour standings, has the native of Bloomington, Indiana anxious to return to the track for the World of Outlaws season opener, the 36th Annual DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Mopar Speedshop at Volusia Speedway Park, February 9-11.
"I'm just looking forward to getting out and racing this year and racing a lot," Kinser said. "Getting back to what I am used to doing. I'm looking forward to getting back to running Steve Kinser racing and winning races."
Kinser spent nearly a month in Australia over the off-season competing at Parramatta City Raceway. He picked up two feature wins, and finished in the Top-Five in nine of the 10 races he contested, in star-studded fields consisting of many fellow World of Outlaws drivers. While the cars he ran in those events are not the cars he will be running this season, the legendary driver was still able to get into a rhythm, after a couple months out of the car.
"It can't hurt any to get over there and race," he stated. "I enjoyed going over there. The weather was nice. It was a long flight, but they had a lot of good racing. It does knock the rust off a little bit."
With the season opener just around the corner, Kinser is putting the finishing touches on his race cars before heading south to the Sunshine State. With nearly 30 teams starting the year off full-time with the World of Outlaws, in addition to All Star Circuit of Champion competitors, as well as the always tough drivers from Pennsylvania that will be on-hand, the three nights at Volusia are shaping up to be some of the most competitive all season long.
"Everybody is there with new equipment ready to go," explained Kinser, who won at Volusia in World of Outlaws competition in 2005. "That's usually as tough as it gets down there. You have every car in the country there running. When you get there you have to be pretty well right."
With nearly 90 races on the schedule, stretching from February until the Outlaws World Finals in early November at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, Kinser is excited for the fans this season that will be able to take in World of Outlaws events from coast-to-coast, along with three stops north of the border. This will be the series first visit to Canada since 1982, with a date at Ohsweken Speedway in Ontario in July, and two events at Castrol Raceway in Edmonton, Alberta in August.
"A lot of times people travel many miles and hours to come see a race," he said. "It's always nice to get to areas where the fans can come to their home tracks. They really appreciate it. It's good to be able to do that. I'm looking forward to going up there."
With eight races to be televised on ESPN2 as part of the "Summer of Money" as well as 12 additional races to be broadcast on SPEED, Kinser and his fellow World of Outlaws drivers will receive a great amount of exposure this year and be introduced to many new fans. Having been around sprint car racing his entire life, Kinser knows the excitement that fans receive when they see a winged sprint car for the first time, especially when they experience the high-powered machines up close, when they are able to visit a track.
"Any kind of television exposure we can get is good for sprint car racing," he explained. "It's still not quite as exciting as being there live and seeing it firsthand. It's good for me and my sponsors and all the people involved with this. There are a lot of people across the country that enjoy watching the races, and we can't make it to every area at once. That part of it works really well."
Despite having won 20 World of Outlaws titles, Kinser is never one to rest on his laurels. He continues to work harder each off-season to prepare for the always grueling schedule that awaits him when February rolls around. With four decades of experience under his belt, Kinser still gets that same anticipation and excitement when a new season opens.
"This racing game has never been easy, and it gets tougher every year," he admitted. "You just have to get out there and come out of the box and see what you have done all winter, and hope that is pays off. A lot of times when you are in this racing game, you do stuff over the winter and hope you did the right things. A lot times it is hard to fix things once you are out on the road during the season, because you stay so busy."
Though he holds every major record in sprint car racing, Kinser is quick to point out that each night presents a whole new challenge and one's luck can change in an instant. Hard work and perseverance are a couple of the traits that have helped him reach the level and status that he has in the sport, and expect those traits to remain with him for as long as he straps into the cockpit and puts on his helmet, and for as long as he is a team owner.
"This race team has been pretty good for the last five or six years," shared Kinser, who will field a team car for California native Tim Kaeding again this year. "We run pretty solid, but you never know what can sneak up on you in this business."
While he seeks his record 21st title, Kinser will also look to add to his amazing 533 A-Feature wins in World of Outlaws competition. With nothing on his mind this year except winning races, expect that number to continue to grow.
"That (winning the title) is everyone's goal to be out there," he said. "We're out here to run 100 percent of the World of Outlaws races. I'm looking forward to everyone running under one banner with the World of Outlaws. I am glad to not have to worry about anything else, but trying to win races."