Calistoga report 96-09-01

Blaney Gives Crew Chief Special Birthday Gift By Richard Day CALISTOGA, CA (September 1) - Defending Harvest Classic champion Steve Kinser had the tables turned on him Sunday when it appeared he would win...

Blaney Gives Crew Chief Special Birthday Gift By Richard Day CALISTOGA, CA (September 1) - Defending Harvest Classic champion Steve Kinser had the tables turned on him Sunday when it appeared he would win the event for the second consecutive year. "The King of the Outlaws" was leading the championship feature by six car-lengths when Jason Lund spun in front of him. With nowhere to go, Kinser slammed into Lund, sending Jason's #8L flipping and mangling the #11 Quaker State Maxim's front end. Dave Blaney restarted the race at the front of the field and led the final 16 laps for the $15,000 victory. "The Buckeye Bullet" dedicated the victory to crew chief Kenny Woodruff, who was celebrating his birthday. It was the second straight year Blaney presented Woodruff with a birthday victory. "I have to credit my crew," Blaney told the sellout crowd from victory lane. "They've been working hard on the Vivarin J&J all weekend, and it was perfect tonight." The turn of events represent a rather ironic twist of fate for the former World of Outlaws champions. After winning both preliminary features in last year's Harvest Classic, Blaney passed Kinser for the lead late in the main event, only to have a caution nullify the move. Kinser returned to first place and cruised to victory. Winning for the seventh time this season pushed Blaney to within 354 points of Mark Kinser in their battle for the lead in the Skoal Outlaw Series point standings. Mark, who suffered a blown engine during the hot-lap session, started next to cousin Steve Kinser on the front row of the main event. They raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the 30-lap feature, and Steve surged into the lead in turn one. Sammy Swindell, who passed Blaney seconds before, threaded his #1 Channellock Gambler between Mark and the inside berm in the first corner to take over the runner-up spot. After challenging Mark for 1 1/2 laps, "The Buckeye Bullet" passed him for third place with a fourth-corner slide move late in lap three. Kinser opened a 10-car-length advantage within five laps, and entered lapped traffic the next time around. Within a lap, however, Swindell caught Steve in the third corner and Blaney made it a three-car battle for the lead as they entered the turn four. "The Buckeye Bullet" continued his run to the front the next time around, steering the #10 Vivarin J&J through lapped traffic and around Swindell high in turn one. By lap nine, Blaney was challenging Kinser for the lead while Mark battled Sammy for third place. Splitting a pair of backmarkers allowed Kinser to increase his advantage to 10 car-lengths two laps later. More dense lapped traffic allowed Blaney to close to within six car-lengths by the 14th lap, however. Kinser was threatening to run away with the race the next time around. He passed Kevin Pylant deep in the third corner, only to have Lund spin in front of him and end his night. "The King of the Outlaws," a five-time winner at Calistoga, was credited with a 23rd-place finish. "B" Feature winner Sean Fenn sent the red flag flying again as the race resumed, flipping in turn three. Blaney must have thought it was his birthday when the race resumed. Restarting at the front of the field with a clear track ahead of him, he put six car-lengths between himself and his closest pursuers within two laps. "The Buckeye Bullet" slowed in lapped traffic with 10 laps remaining, allowing Sammy and Mark to catch him. Swindell raced next to Blaney through turn one the next time around, but was unable to surge ahead. A quick move between a pair of backmarkers early in the 24th lap allowed "The Buckeye Bullet" to increase his advantage to four car-lengths. Although he was eight car-lengths ahead with four laps remaining, Sammy cut his lead in half by lap 28. Swindell was right behind the leader when they took the white flag, but a quick move past a lapped car in turn one allowed Blaney to take the checkered flag with four car-lengths to spare. Mark Kinser held off hard-charging Californian Paul McMahan for third place. Rounding out the top 10 in the World of Outlaws' 54th event of the year were Stevie Smith, First Heat Race winner Jac Haudenschild, 11th-starting Jeff Swindell, Second Heat Race winner Johnny Herrera, Andy Hillenburg and Joe Gaerte. The next stop on the Skoal Outlaw Series' annual tour of California is San Jose Speedway, which hosts the fire-breathing, mud-slinging sprint car racing teams Friday and Saturday, September 6-7. WoO 1996 World of Outlaws/Skoal Outlaw Series Fourth Annual Harvest Classic Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, CA Sunday, September 1, Feature Program #54 First Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Jac Haudenschild, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Jeff Swindell, 4. Greg Hodnett, 5. Lance Blevins, 6. Greg DeCaires, 7. Brian Paulus, 8. Brian Coelho, 9. Steve Coelho. (first five qualified for the "A" Feature) Second Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Johnny Herrera, 2. Paul McMahan, 3. Joey Saldana, 4. Joe Gaerte, 5. Kevin Pylant, 6. Jason Lund, 7. Steve Kent, 8. Jamie Cobbe, 9. Robert Walker. (first five qualified for the "A" Feature) Third Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Randy Hannagan, 2. Andy Hillenburg, 3. Bobby McMahan, 4. Johnny Rodriguez, 5. Tyler Walker, 6. Toni Lutar, 7. Rob Johnson, 8. Keith Nafzger, 9. Sean Fenn. (first five qualified for the "A" Feature) B Feature (12 laps): 1. Sean Fenn, 2. Steve Coelho, 3. Greg DeCaires, 4. Jason Lund, 5. Steve Kent, 6. Jamie Cobbe ($210); 7. Robert Walker ($185); 8. Brian Coelho ($160); 9. Toni Lutar ($135); 10. Keith Nafzger ($110); 11. Brian Paulus ($100); 12. Rob Johnson ($90). (first five qualified for the "A" Feature) A Feature (30 laps): 1. Dave Blaney ($15,000); 2. Sammy Swindell ($10,000); 3. Mark Kinser ($5,000); 4. Paul McMahan ($4,010); 5. Stevie Smith ($3,010); 6. Jac Haudenschild ($2,510); 7. Jeff Swindell ($2,010); 8. Johnny Herrera ($1,910); 9. Andy Hillenburg ($1,810); 10. Joe Gaerte ($1,760); 11. Greg Hodnett ($1,610); 12. Randy Hannagan ($1,510); 13. Bobby McMahan ($1,310); 14. Joey Saldana ($1,210); 15. Tyler Walker ($1,110); 16. Lance Blevins ($1,010); 17. Kevin Pylant ($810); 18. Jason Lund ($630); 19. Steve Kent ($530); 20. Greg DeCaires ($530); 21. Johnny Rodriguez ($510); 22. Steve Coelho ($530); 23. Steve Kinser ($500); 24. Sean Fenn ($530). Lap leaders: Steve Kinser 1-14, Dave Blaney 15-30 WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Johnny Rodriguez , Tyler Walker , Brian Paulus , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Toni Lutar , Dave Blaney , Robert Walker , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera , Bobby McMahan , Jeff Swindell