Commonwealth Clash Saturday report

Steve Kinser Captures the World of Outlaws Sprint Series Commonwealth Clash Sarver, PA -- May 21, 2005 -- Some things keep improving with age. After 26 years of World of Outlaws Sprint Series racing at Lernerville Speedway, Steve Kinser won a...

Steve Kinser Captures the World of Outlaws Sprint Series Commonwealth Clash

Sarver, PA -- May 21, 2005 -- Some things keep improving with age.

After 26 years of World of Outlaws Sprint Series racing at Lernerville Speedway, Steve Kinser won a main event for 15th time when he led the final 26 laps Saturday night to capture the Commonwealth Clash.

The victory is his seventh this season, the 520th of his career, and increases his advantage in the standings to 174 points as he takes aim this season at a remarkable 20th World of Outlaws series championship.

To accomplish the victory Saturday night, Kinser first had to figure out a way around Joey Saldana, who dominated the Preliminary Feature on Friday and the Stacker 20x00ae Dash to start on the pole Saturday night.

Kinser made his move on Lap 9 of the 35-lap, $12,000-to-win feature. After running on the high side of the 4/10th-mile oval, he pushed his Steve Kinser Racing machine under Saldana in Turns 1 and 2 and raced down the backstretch, making his advantage stick coming out of Turn 4.

"He was down there on the bottom so I just started blasting around the top in Turns 3 and 4 and got a little run on him and got by him," said Kinser, 50, whose team changed engines in less than 10 minutes before the Stacker 20x00ae Dash. "I think Joey got loose as he went, but everybody did."

From that point, Kinser smoothly negotiated traffic to stretch his lead while Jason Meyers and Sammy Swindell edged closer to the front. Meyers, who turned the third quickest lap of the night in time trials, got past Brooke Tatnell and local favorite Ed Lynch Jr. to slide into third, then on Lap 27 he caught and passed Saldana coming out of Turn 2. That's when Swindell, who also has 15 wins at Lernerville, set his sights on Saldana and snuck past him to finish third.

Saldana wound up fourth followed by Daryn Pittman, Brooke Tatnell, Donny Schatz and Lynch, who was fourth quickest in time trials.

"We just ran out of time," said Meyers, who is third in points. "He was having a tough time with lapped traffic and our car was really, really good tonight. The guys did a great job, made a little adjustment on that [open] red and made it even better. We really didn't have a great car all night long until the main event. The guys made some good calls and made some changes and pulled it all together for us."

The open red flag came about after several attempts to start the Commonwealth Clash resulted in dinged racecars, and with multiple cars making use of the work area. When Rob Eyler flipped violently in Turn 1, the field was shut down to allow crews access to their cars. For some, like Meyers, the advice from his crew made a difference.

"We were all over the place," Meyers said. "I started out on the bottom and I was real good down there then I saw that Steve and Joey went up to the top so I went up to the top and I actually felt real good up there for a couple of laps. Then I had to move down to go around a lapped car and actually stuck and got a little bit of a run on Joey and after that I moved back to the bottom. Joey, he kind of was searching around and we were able to get down on the bottom and get around him. I think the bottom was better, but you had to hit. You really had to hold the car down off the exits of the corners, which was hard to do. Our car just rotated the corner really nice tonight. We were catching Steve, we just ran out of laps."

Swindell was mired in traffic, sneaking past Tatnell and Lynch into third as the laps wound down.

"If we could have cleared those guys, I could have gone on a little easier," Swindell said. "The track had a couple of different lanes in it. You had to run a little bit different and if you missed it, you really slowed up. If you caught it right, you got a good run. I had to pass Lynch on the top and Brooke on the bottom."

For Saldana, who has had several strong runs in recent weeks, a top-five finish coming off the Preliminary Feature win is a strong boost for the team as the series heads May 24 into Grandview Speedway, May 26-27 into Williams Grove Speedway and May 28 into Hagerstown Speedway.

"It's huge for us," Saldana said. "This year we've been fighting the car and the motor and stuff like that. Tonight, definitely Steve had the best car but I gave away second. Once Steve got by me, I just moved around on the racetrack and I should have stayed doing what I was doing."

Pittman's team recovered from mechanical trouble that prevented him from taking the green flag in the Stacker 20x00ae Dash to earn his fourth top-five finish of the season. Pittman finished fourth Friday in the Preliminary Feature.

"You never want to be happy with fifth, but the way our night started there in the Dash we were definitely happy to get back up there," said Pittman, who won earlier this year in Wichita, Kan. "I think I backed up to eighth at one point. We spent the whole time right before the feature trying to get it fixed and really didn't get to work on the setup. Any time you go into Williams Grove with two top-fives, I feel like we're starting to get things on track and be a lot more consistent."

In the Stacker 20x00ae Dash, Saldana picked up where he left off Friday night by leading from flag-to-flag while Kinser wound up second followed by Tatnell, Lynch, Meyers. Pittman never made it back from the work area to take the green flag.

In the B-main, Jason Solwold started on the inside of Row 2 when Kraig Kinser had to go to the work area. Solwold drove off with the victory while Kinser missed the transfer spot. Brandon Wimmer cruised along while the fight for the final transfer spot came down to a three-car battle with Rob Eyler and Bob Felmlee getting the positions by 0.031-seconds over

In the first heat race, Donny Schatz held onto the win while Stevie Smith, Tim Kaeding, and Brian Paulus picking up the other transfer spots. In Heat No. 2, Danny Lasoski opened a huge lead and won while contact knocked out Brandon Wimmer, the second fastest qualifier. Craig Dollansky, Jack Sodeman Jr. and Jason Sides rounded out the qualifiers. In Heat #3, Shane Stewart powered to victory after a side-by-side battle with Kevin Swindell. Sammy Swindell and Jason Meyers were the other qualifiers. ... In the final heat, Paul McMahan led Shaffer, Lynch, and McCarl into the A-main.

By making it through their heats, Meyers and Lynch accomplished something they couldn't on Friday -- advancing to the A main feature. They timed in as the third and fourth on hanlde

Kraig Kinser paced the 37-car field with a lap around the 4/10-mile oval in 12.951 seconds at 125.087 mph. Joey Saldana established the single-lap record of 12.334 seconds on May 14, 2002.

"We're getting to run tracks now for the second time around," said Kraig Kinser, the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner. "We're just hitting things a little bit better, the guys are doing a little bit better. Hopefully we'll keep it going for the whole season."

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series heads May 24 to Grandview Speedway in Bechtelsville, Pa., May 26-27 to Williams Grove Speedway and May 28 to Hagerstown Speedway then begins a trip across New York and Ohio

All the action from Lernerville Speedway can be seen at 8 p.m. ET on May 25 and June 1 on The Outdoor Channel.

-woo-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Tim Kaeding
Teams Williams