Amoco Knoxville Nationals finale

Kinser Passes Schatz to Defend Nationals Title By Richard Day KNOXVILLE, IA (August 12) -- "Give them a couple of reds and they're tough," Donny Schatz said Saturday after being passed by Mark Kinser...

Kinser Passes Schatz to Defend Nationals Title By Richard Day KNOXVILLE, IA (August 12) -- "Give them a couple of reds and they're tough," Donny Schatz said Saturday after being passed by Mark Kinser late in the 40th Amoco Knoxville Nationals championship feature. "We got beat by the best." Such quotes are becoming familiar around the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' premier event. A year earlier, Danny Lasoski had a similar explanation for finishing behind Karl Kinser's #5M Mopar Maxim. Mark has claimed three of the last five Nationals titles. "Donny Schatz, young stud that he is, gave me a heck of a race," Mark said in victory lane. "This race -- there's nothing that compares to it. There's literally no other feeling of excitement in the world. It'll just well tears up in your eyes when the checkered flag falls. I bawled like a baby last year for about three days. The adrenaline pump is just amazing." Despite having to race in the "B" Feature just to qualify for Thursday's Second Preliminary Feature, the defending series and Nationals champion maintained his confidence throughout the event. "We set the car up for the last five laps," Mark explained. "We hoped the guys running the bottom would throw up enough wet stuff to the middle of the race track. With about five laps to go, we were in a little bit of traffic. I went to the middle to make up some ground on him and it worked. We ran him down and got this ($100,000) victory." The first two laps were as hard-fought as any in the $356,500, 30- lap war. Lasoski, who started on the pole, won a front-straightaway drag race with Schatz as the green flag fell. Kinser, who started inside the second row, passed Schatz on the back stretch, then beat "The Dude" across the finish line to lead the first lap. Schatz drove the Kenny Woodruff-prepared #15 Parker Stores Maxim past "The Dude" early in lap two, took the lead with a high move around Mark in the third corner and opened a half-straightaway advantage by lap four. Schatz was increasing his advantage the next time around when Jeff Shepard spun into Dale Blaney in the first corner. They slid to the retaining wall, where Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser's #11 Quaker State Maxim flipped into them. Schatz, still searching for his first "A" Feature victory of the new millennium, raced away from the 24-car field when the green flag replaced the red. He returned to his half-straightaway comfort zone within four laps and entered lapped traffic late in the 10th lap. Doug Clark threw the red flag again four laps later when Paul McMahan flipped in turn one. Karl Kinser, who maintained the #11 Steve Kinser drove to 10 of his 11 Nationals championships, changed the gears and added weight to the #5M during the first two red periods. He suggested Mark move the top wing back midway through the race. Kinser was unable to keep pace with Schatz on the ensuing restart, but started catching him when the leaders caught the backmarkers a second time with 8 1/2 laps remaining. Mark caught Schatz on the back stretch four laps later and passed him deep in the third corner. "I was running the top and I stayed up there too long," said Schatz, who was 1.331 seconds behind when Kinser took the checkered flag. "He just smoked me on the bottom." Karl Kinser had a surprising description for his 14th Amoco Knoxville Nationals triumph. "It's like falling out of an airplane and landing on a feather bed," he said. "It doesn't hurt you, and you say, 'I'm alive.'" Lasoski, who hugged Mark on the Amoco trophy stage, finished in third place. Johnny Herrera, another former Knoxville Raceway champion, finished fourth, ahead of Craig Dollansky, Sammy Swindell, Andy Hillenburg, Dean Jacobs, 20th-starting Jac Haudenschild and Joey Saldana. Randy Hannagan, who crashed during hot laps, won the CHANNELLOCK "B" Feature by less than half a car-length over Don Droud, Jr. He drove brother Terry's #1x TH Racing Eagle past seven cars to finish 14th in the championship feature. Jerrod Hull won the Vivarin "C" Feature and Mike Goodman prevailed in the NAPA AUTO PARTS "D" Feature. Dion Hindi, racing with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series for the first time in 25 months, won the "E" Feature. TNN televised the action live for the fifth consecutive year. World of Outlaws Gumout Series front-runner Jason Meyers edged Brian Ellenberger for Rookie of the Nationals honors. Brian Paulus, whose #28 Verdelli Farms Maxim took on the look of a salad bar for the Nationals, received the Best Looking Car Award. Jacobs/Honecker Motorsports was voted the Best Appearing Crew. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will open its annual Wild, Wild Northwest Tour at MetraPark Raceway Tuesday, then run a double- feature event at Grays Harbor Raceway Park Friday and Saturday. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Dean Jacobs , Jason Meyers , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera