Along the World of Outlaws Trail By Richard Day CHICO, CA (September 18) -- For the first time in the 21st Century, Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser is in a slump. Finishing 19th and 13th in...
Along the World of Outlaws Trail
By Richard Day
CHICO, CA (September 18) -- For the first time in the 21st Century, Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser is in a slump. Finishing 19th and 13th in the last two main events would be a minor setback for most, but not for "The King of the Outlaws." It marked the first time this season the #11 Quaker State Maxim finished out of the top 10 in successive "A" Features. Kinser crashed with Sammy Swindell late in the opening lap at Watsonville Speedway and started inside the 12th row in the 47th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions main event. Those were only the fifth and sixth times this year "Mr. Consistency" has finished out of the top 10 in a main event. That doesn't mean "The King of the Outlaws" is in any real danger of losing his comfortable advantage as he races toward his 16th Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship. He leads his cousin, defending and two-time series champion Mark Kinser, by 216 points with 10 main events and eight Preliminary Features remaining on the 2000 schedule. Even if Mark leads every lap while winning the remaining 18 races, Steve can clinch the championship by averaging a sixth-place finish in the remaining feature races ... Mark will have to shake Sammy Swindell off his rear bumper before he can make a move on his cousin. He's only four points ahead of the series' three-time champion. Mark leads the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series with 11 "A" Feature victories and has two more top-five finishes than Swindell, but Sammy has won more Preliminary Features than anybody -- seven. Mark and Sammy each has 38 top-10 finishes ... The odds are definitely in Mark Kinser's favor as he tries to lead the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series in Vivarin Fast-Time awards for the sixth consecutive year. The #5M Mopar Maxim has been the fastest- qualifying sprinter 20 times this season. Swindell ranks second with 12. Mark has also lowered the qualifying standard six times and holds the single-lap record at six the last 10 facilities the series visits this year ... Swindell has started up front more often than anybody and is tied with "The King of the Outlaws" in "A" Feature laps led. Sammy has made his sponsor proud by winning 20 CHANNELLOCK Dashes, four more than Steve Kinser. Swindell and Kinser have both led 235 laps, while Mark Kinser has been in first place for 233 laps ... Tim Shaffer and Daryn Pittman became the 12th and 13th drivers to win Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Features when they won Gold Cup Race of Champions races at Silver Dollar Speedway. Shaffer and Pittman rank 12th and 13th in the point standings, too. Twelve drivers have combined to win the first 52 main events. Pittman's flag-to-flag victory in Friday's Second Preliminary Feature -- the first of his career -- put him over $100,000 in earnings ... This week's Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' triple-program event at I-80 Speedway has been named the Circuit City Shootout. It will be the electronic super store chain's first sponsorship of a "greatest show on dirt" event. TNN Sports will televise Saturday's feature program live, starting at 10 p.m. EDT. WoO