Devil's Bowl report 98-03-20

'The King' Wins Spring Nationals Opener By Richard Day MESQUITE, TX (March 20) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series returned to Devil's Bowl Speedway - where it all started for the world's permier sprint car racing...

'The King' Wins Spring Nationals Opener By Richard Day MESQUITE, TX (March 20) - The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series returned to Devil's Bowl Speedway - where it all started for the world's permier sprint car racing series - Friday for opening night of the 25th Annual Spring Nationals. So much has changed for Ted Johnson's circuit since the inaugural preliminary feature race on March 17, 1978. Big, beautiful 18-wheelers emblazoned with national corporate sponsors have replaced the open trailers that transported the cars to the track. Live, national television coverage and world wide telecommunications have joined the weekly racing newspapers in keeping the fans abreast of news from the series. With all these changes taking place, it was almost fitting when the series' first champion, Steve Kinser, showed how little has changed on the race track, leading all 20 laps to win Friday's Preliminary Feature. Norman Martin, winner of the World of Outlaws' first Preliminary Feature 20 years and three days before, was in attendance. As owner of Action Sportswear, his company manufactures many of the racing T-shirts the teams sell. Kinser, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 38-car field, won the Channellock Dash for the right to start the 20-lap feature on the pole. As he drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the lead, 1997 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year Donny Schatz passed Frankie Kerr and Tommie Estes, Jr., and started challenging "The King of the Outlaws" for the lead. Their battle last throughout the race. The caution or red flag flying each time the leaders approached lapped traffic kept Schatz' chances of winning his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series race alive. Daryn Pittman stopped on the front straightaway - minus his nose wing - early in the third lap. Eight laps later, John Bankston collided with Pittman on the front stretch and turned over. Fourth Racing Champions Heat Race winner Tyler Walker crashed with 1994 Spring Nationals champion Andy Hillenburg on the front straightaway late in the 13th lap. Aside from those three incidents, the race featured Schatz challenging Kinser for the lead while Sammy Swindell - the winningest driver in Devil's Bowl history - raced through the field from the 10th row. Swindell, winner of 10 World of Outlaws main events at "The Bowl," passed eight cars to finish 12th. Schatz caught Kinser between the third and fourth corners with the white flag flying. He almost stole the $4,500 first prize from "The King," but the #15 Blue Beacon Gambler was one car-length behind as the checkered flag fell. When asked if he thought winning his first feature race since last July would go a long way toward returning him to World of Outlaws supremacy, Kinser said, "We just got the right positions tonight and everything worked well. The Quaker State car is feeling better. We just hope this is the start of good things. "I gave myself a little room behind the lapped cars. I didn't want to get pinned in behind anybody there at the end." Although Schatz would have much rather won, he was pleased with his career-best finish in a World of Outlaws feature race. "We're pretty excited," Schatz said. "I feel like I had my chances to win the race. The crew (Scott Benic and Todd Sikes) works really hard, so I just hope we can keep the Blue Beacon car up front. We just came up a little short tonight." Kerr finished in third place, ahead of Jeff Swindell, Estes, Joe Gaerte, Danny Wood, Johnny Herrera, Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Mark Kinser and Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Danny Lasoski. Craig Dollansky, making his debut in the #75 Mopar Schnee, was the 26th-fastest qualifier and finished sixth in the "B" Feature. WoO 1998 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series 25th Annual Spring Nationals Devil's Bowl Speedway, Mesquite, TX Friday, March 20, Preliminary Program Qualifications: 1. Danny Lasoski, Roth 83, 14.665; 2. Joe Gaerte, Holbrook 8H, 14.867; 3. Frankie Kerr, Shoff 23S, 14.948; 4. Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 15.048; 5. Terry McCarl, McCarl 24, 15.218; 6. Mark Kinser, Kinser 5M, 15.272; 7. Tommie Estes, Jr., Archer 1A, 15.442; 8. Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 15.470; 9. Danny Wood, Woodburn 21W, 15.471; 10. Jeff Swindell, Two Winners 104+, 15.510; 11. Jac Haudenschild, Elden 22, 15.560; 12. Johnny Herrera, Sonner 47, 15.585; 13. Andy Hillenburg, Hillenburg 2, 15.596; 14. Gary Wright, Action Motorsports 9, 15.604; 15. Greg Hodnett, Helm 11H, 15.643; 16. Tyler Walker, Walker 35, 15.652; 17. Mike Peters, Grandstaff 66, 15.666; 18. John Bankston, Bankston 8, 15.679; 19. Stevie Smith, Smith 19, 15.730; 20. Larry Neighbors, Neighbors 29N, 15.736; 21. Sammy Swindell, Swindell 1, 15.738; 22. Dale Blaney, Hylton-Blaney 93, 15.799; 23. Donnie Crawford, Hillenburg 1H, 15.838; 24. Daryn Pittman, Pittman 11P, 15.878; 25. Shane Stewart, Stewart 9S, 15.962; 26. Craig Dollansky, Stanton 75, 15.991; 27. Danny Smith, Smith 4, 16.025; 28. Calvin Landis, Landis 70, 16.051; 29. Randy Kinser, Kinser 14, 16.086; 30. Danny Jennings, Woodburn 61, 16.119; 31. Ronald Laney, Laney 52, 16.157; 32. David Chappell, Chappell 50, 16.169; 33. Dion Hindi, Hindi 18, 16.304; 34. Chuck Swenson, Swenson X, 16.370; 35. Jeff Mitrisin, Sereg 5J, 16.516; 36. Leonard Lee, Lee 16L, 16.769; 37. Shawn Sander, Sander 48, 16.889; 38. Keith Dempsey, Dempsey 9D, 20.190. First Racing Champions Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Sammy Swindell, 2. Mike Peters, 3. Andy Hillenburg 4. Danny Wood, 5. Danny Lasoski, 6. Randy Kinser, 7. Dion Hindi, 8. Shawn Sander, 9. Shane Stewart, 10. Terry McCarl. (first five qualified for the Preliminary Feature) Second Racing Champions Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Dale Blaney, 2. Jeff Swindell, 3. Gary Wright, 4. Joe Gaerte, 5. John Bankston, 6. Mark Kinser, 7. Craig Dollansky, 8. Chuck Swenson, 9. Danny Jennings, 10. Keith Dempsey. (first five qualified for the Preliminary Feature) Third Racing Champions Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Jac Haudenschild, 2. Greg Hodnett, 3. Frankie Kerr, 4. Tommie Estes, Jr., 5. Danny Smith, 6. Ronald Laney, 7. Stevie Smith, 8. Donnie Crawford, 9. Jeff Mitrisin. (first five qualified for the Preliminary Feature) Fourth Racing Champions Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Tyler Walker, 2. Larry Neighbors, 3. Steve Kinser, 4. Johnny Herrera, 5. Donny Schatz, 6. Calvin Landis, 7. Leonard Lee, 8. Daryn Pittman, 9. David Chapell. (first five qualified for the Preliminary Feature) Channellock Dash (five laps): 1. Steve Kinser, 2. Frankie Kerr, 3. Tommie Estes, Jr., 4. Donny Schatz, 5. Joe Gaerte, 6. Danny Lasoski, 7. Jeff Swindell, 8. Danny Wood. (finish determined the first eight starting positions in the Preliminary Feature) B Feature (12 laps): 1. Donnie Crawford, 2. Stevie Smith, 3. Mark Kinser, 4. Daryn Pittman, 5. Shane Stewart ($150); 6. Craig Dollansky ($125); 7. Calvin Landis ($100); 8. Randy Kinser ($75); 9. Terry McCarl ($60); 10. Dion Hindi ($50); 11. Danny Jennings ($40); 12. Chuck Swenson ($40); 13. Jeff Mitrisin ($60); 14. Leonard Lee ($40); 15. Shawn Sander ($40); 16. Keith Dempsey ($40); 17. David Chappell ($40). DNS - Ronald Laney. (first four qualified for the Preliminary Feature) Preliminary Feature (20 laps): 1. Steve Kinser ($4,500); 2. Donny Schatz ($2,500); 3. Frankie Kerr ($1,700); 4. Jeff Swindell ($1,500); 5. Tommie Estes, Jr. ($1,350); 6. Joe Gaerte ($1,250); 7. Danny Wood ($1,200); 8. Johnny Herrera ($1,100); 9. Mark Kinser ($1,075); 10. Danny Lasoski ($1,050); 11. Greg Hodnett ($1,000); 12. Sammy Swindell ($800); 13. Tyler Walker ($700); 14. Dale Blaney ($630); 15. Mike Peters ($400); 16. Jac Haudenschild ($400); 17. Stevie Smith ($300); 18. Danny Smith ($300); 19. Larry Neighbors ($300); 20. Andy Hillenburg ($300); 21. John Bankston ($300); 22. Donnie Crawford ($300); 23. Daryn Pittman ($300); 24. Gary Wright ($300). Lap leader: Steve Kinser 1-20 Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner: Danny Lasoski WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Larry Neighbors , Jeff Mitrisin , Daryn Pittman , Shane Stewart , Jac Haudenschild , Danny Jennings , Johnny Herrera , Jeff Swindell