Steve Kinser Captures 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals Preliminary Feature at Eagle Raceway Eagle, NE -- Sept. 16, 2005 -- For the third time this season, Steve Kinser powered his way to Victory Lane at Eagle Raceway. In the 30-lap opener to the...
Steve Kinser Captures 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals Preliminary Feature at Eagle Raceway
Eagle, NE -- Sept. 16, 2005 -- For the third time this season, Steve Kinser powered his way to Victory Lane at Eagle Raceway.
In the 30-lap opener to the World of Outlaws Sprint Series 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals Friday night, Kinser started fifth and pushed his Quaker State Maxim through traffic around the racy high-banked oval to grab the lead on Lap 14. From there he worked the top and bottom to hold off Donny Schatz's ParkerStore J&J for his sixth preliminary feature win of the season.
Joey Saldana, who started on the pole in his Volcano Joe's/Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Maxim, led the first nine laps and regained the lead on the Lap 12 before eventually settling for third. Daryn Pittman, coming off a victory on Tuesday, kept his Titan Garages & Carports Maxim in the top five all race, eventually winding up fourth.
Kinser, Schatz, Saldana and Pittman are locked into the Stacker 2® Dash on Saturday. Combined with the two fastest qualifiers who make it through their heat races on Saturday, the Dash will set up the top six positions for the 40-lap main event.
Saldana raced into the lead in the first corner, sliding his machine along the bottom while Pittman went right to the cushion. Behind them, Schatz, Kinser and Brooke Tatnell in his Castrol/Steel Dreams Eagle went three-wide into Turn 3.
After five intense laps, the lone caution of the race with five down gave everybody a chance to catch their breath. On the restart, Saldana and Pittman stayed on the bottom while Schatz slid up to the top and eventually carried his momentum around Pittman to grab second. A lap later, Kinser made the same move to swipe third.
Saldana was still holding onto the bottom on Lap 10 when Schatz got a strong run off of Turn 4 and swept in front to complete the lap. They would battle back and forth over the next three laps while Kinser was sizing up both of them.
With Schatz in front on Lap 14, Kinser got around on the top coming off of Turn 4 seized the lead to complete the lap. With traffic running side-by-side, Kinser and Schatz found a spot to plow through and those two edged away from the field, with Kinser eventually taking the checkered flag worth $5,000. Kinser also won the preliminary and A-feature in June at Eagle Raceway.
Tatnell held on to finish fifth followed by Sammy Swindell in the Wirtgen/Jackpot Junction Casino Maxim, Brian Paulus in the Arnold Transportation/Abbylou.org Maxim, 2005 Knoxville Raceway champion Kerry Madsen in the TK Concrete Cool, Jason Meyers in the Elite Landscaping/Pacific Union Maxim and Danny Lasoski in the Bass Pro Shops Eagle.
"We got a bad draw and had to start in the back of the Dash," said Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who will be chasing his 19th A-feature victory of the season on Saturday night. "We actually had a good Dash that got us up to third. Then I found a little spot where everybody was blocked in lapped cars. They were running around there and about four laps is all it was good for before it went away. Those four laps allowed me to get in the lead and then it was pretty hard. I should have been pounding the top the last couple of laps but I didn't see anybody so I wasn't going to give that bottom up.
"It was a good racetrack, a fun racetrack. You could move around on it. There was more than one groove on it."
Schatz was coming off a West Coast swing that saw him win twice and run solidly in the top 10 night after night.
"We tried something with our racecar tonight like we've run in the past at a short track out West to see what it could do," said Schatz, a Mean 15 racer from Fargo, N.D., who has six A-feature wins this season. "It was good there, but tonight I wasn't as good as I needed to be. We had a tire going down and that didn't help us, which is probably why we weren't very good at the end. We're locked in and that's where we want to be."
With the season winding down and Schatz in the top five in points, he and his crew of Ricky Warner and Dion Hindi are beginning to think about how to improve for 2006.
"The rest of the year is a test session for us," Schatz said. "We're experimenting, trying some things to get ready for next year. This is the only time we have to do it. We're not in a points battle so we'll just keep playing around and see if we can find something that gives us a little bit of an edge for next year."
Saldana won the pole with a victory in the Stacker 2 Dash and as the leader he wasn't going to give up the bottom of the track, not knowing what the action behind him looked like. Once Schatz and Kinser made the top groove work, Saldana fought through traffic to hold off Pittman for third.
"When those guys ganged up on me I had to do something so I tried moving around," said Saldana, a Mean 15 racer from Brownsburg, Ind., a preliminary feature winner in May at Lernerville who will be seeking his first A-feature win of 2005. "It might have made a better race for the fans but they still beat me anyway. It was good for us because we haven't been starting up front."
After a scary three-car incident in a heat race when the Outlaws raced in June at Eagle that left Saldana with serious head injuries, he was just happy to post positive results on Friday.
"I'm excited just to be racing," he said. "Coming back here is no big deal. It could have happened anywhere. It was just a freak deal. We just have to get better with our racecar. We haven't been starting up front, and tonight we were lucky with the pill they drew [that inverted the Dash field]. That's about a normal place for us to qualify. Starting 10th to 15th is normal, and we've been racing pretty good."
Pittman has been one of the hottest drivers on the circuit of late. Coming off a victory Tuesday in Colorado, Pittman has consistently been finishing in the top 10 since early August.
"Since right before the Nationals we got going pretty good and have been pretty steady ever since," said Pittman, a native of Owasso, Okla., and a Mean 15 racer who moved back into the top 10 in points with his finish on Friday. "We picked up two wins and only been out of the top 10 once since the Nationals. I'm happy the team is doing a really good job. It's a prelim night and top four is really all you're shooting for. The outside has been tough on these starts, but I think we have a good enough car. We're slowly making some strides to get back into the points deal a little bit. As long as we keep being consistent and finish the year as good as we're running, I'll be tickled to death."
Pittman was one of the many drivers who found that the 1/3-mile Eagle Raceway surface was in its best condition for an Outlaws race in years, offering a chance to race in three separate grooves.
"That was more of the Eagle of old to me," Pittman said. "That's probably the best racetrack I feel like we've had here in a couple of years. You could move around the top, bottom and right through the middle, too. I think they do a good a job. Craig [Cormack] works hard at putting on a good show and I think they definitely have things going the right way."
After the 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals at Eagle Raceway, the Outlaws invade Jackson Speedway on Sept. 23 in Jackson, Minn., then return Sept. 5 to Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis., and compete Sept. 27 at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio.
EAGLE RACEWAY NOTEBOOK
* Terry McCarl paced the 32-car field in time trials with a lap around the high-banked 1/3-mile oval in 11.304 seconds at 106.051 mph. Joey Saldana established the single-lap record of 11.124 seconds on Sept. 20, 2002, and Paul McMahan matched it on Sept. 19, 2003. Craig Dollansky was second quick with a lap in 11.338 seconds at 105.733 mph. Following his quick time, McCarl pulled the No. 6 pill, meaning the field for the Dashes would be completely inverted with the fastest car making it through the heats starting last.
"It's nice to know you're fast and that you're qualifying good," said McCarl, a six-time Knoxville Raceway champion from Altoona, Iowa. "If you're top two on [Saturday] you get a shot at the Dash again so it's real important to get qualified good. Hopefully we can do it again."
* Steve Kinser's victory Friday night was his sixth preliminary feature win this season. He leads the series with 18 A-feature victories. -- Kraig Kinser captured the Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 14 for his sixth A-feature victory of the season. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. -- Donny Schatz's victory on Sept. 4 at Calistoga Speedway was his sixth of the season. -- Jason Meyers earned his fourth win of the season July 2 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. -- Tim Shaffer's victory July 19 in the Silver Cup was his third of the season, going with wins Lake Ozark Speedway and Thunderbowl Raceway. -- Daryn Pittman's victory Tuesday night at Rocky Mountain National Speedway was his third of the season. -- Craig Dollansky has two A-feature victories and three preliminary feature wins. -- Brian Paulus won June 28 at Huset's Speedway for his second victory of the season, and picked up a preliminary feature win in the following race at Red River Valley Speedway. -- Brooke Tatnell has two A-feature victories, winning at Cedar Lake and Fulton speedways, as well as a preliminary feature win at Princeton Speedway. -- Sammy Swindell won his second A-feature of the season June 4 at Eldora Speedway. Swindell also has a preliminary feature win April 8 at Eldora and Aug. 14 at Knoxville Raceway in the Nationals' non-qualifiers event. -- Danny Lasoski won Aug. 30 at Cottage Grove Speedway and has three preliminary feature wins. -- Fred Rahmer won the Summer Nationals crown July 23 and picked up a preliminary feature win in the Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 10. -- Single-event winners include Jac Haudenschild on Aug. 5 at Eldora Speedway, Stevie Smith July 13 at Attica Raceway Park, Tim Kaeding June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park, Chad Kemenah July 9 at I-55 Raceway, and Jeff Shepard Feb. 11 at Volusia Speedway Park. -- In preliminary features, Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart have each won once.
* Eagle Raceway is a 1/3-mile oval. The series has raced 10 times this season on a track that size, including preliminaries, with five different winners. Chad Kemenah earned the first World of Outlaws victory by winning July 9 at I-55 Raceway. Steve Kinser won June 17-18 and Sept. 16 at Eagle Raceway and May 24 at Grandview Speedway, Tim Shaffer captured A-mains May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., and Feb. 25 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. Craig Dollansky won at July 6 at Powercom Park and Feb. 26 at Bakersfield Speedway near Bakersfield, Calif. On April 2, Kraig Kinser won at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo.
* Drivers who have raced to victory in preliminary features this season include (in alphabetical order) Craig Dollansky three times (Manzanita/Williams Grove/Silver Dollar), Jason Johnson once (Williams Grove), Kraig Kinser once (Las Vegas), Steve Kinser six times (Eagle twice/Billings/Elma/Calistoga/Silver Dollar), Danny Lasoski three times (Australia/Knoxville/Calistoga), Kerry Madsen once (Australia), Paul McMahan once (Williams Grove), Brian Paulus once (Red River Valley), Fred Rahmer once (Knoxville), Joey Saldana once (Lernerville), Shane Stewart once (Knoxville), Brooke Tatnell once (Princeton), Sammy Swindell twice (Eldora/Knoxville).
* In the B-main, Craig Dollansky, the night's second fastest qualifier, led from flag-to-flag. He slowed only when he caught the rear of the field, which was running two abreast in Turns 3 and 4. That allowed Jason Meyers to close the gap, but once he pushed through the backmarkers, Dollansky again charged away. Meyers, Shane Stewart and Kevin Swindell rode the cushion to the final transfer spots as the track began to widen in advance of the A-main.
* In the Stacker 2® Dash that made up the top six inside rows of the main event, Joey Saldana fended off Donny Schatz over the first three laps and then pulled away to victory and the pole, a bit of redemption for his injury in June at Eagle that forced him out of action for a couple of weeks. Schatz held on to finish second with Steve Kinser racing from fifth to third after finally getting around Brian Paulus and Kerry Madsen. Fast qualifier Terry McCarl rounded out the field.
* In the second Dash that set the outside top six rows for the A-main, Daryn Pittman jumped out to a quick lead as Brooke Tatnell worked around 2002 Eagle Raceway champion Billy Alley. Jason Solwold maintained his ground while Sammy Swindell caught and passed Kraig Kinser on the final lap.
* In the first heat, Danny Lasoski fought off Jac Haudenschild in the first corner then drove away from the field, leading all 10 laps and winning by 4.415 seconds. Haudenschild maintained second while Brooke Tatnell and fast qualifier Terry McCarl worked their way around Kerry Madsen, with all five transferring to the main event.
* In the second heat, Justin Henderson jumped to the lead at the drop of the green flag and with clear track powered to victory by 2.779 seconds. Jason Solwold held off Brian Paulus for second with John VanDenBerg and Brandon Wimmer picking up the remaining transfer spots.
* The third heat featured some of the best racers the World of Outlaws have to offer. Paul McMahan was leading with Donny Schatz bearing down when they quickly came upon the slowing car of Duane Olson running in the middle groove. McMahan went to the bottom, Schatz to the top. Schatz was able to carry his momentum around McMahan into the lead on Lap 6. McMahan slid back into second and held off Tim Shaffer and Daryn Pittman. In race-long battle for the final transfer spot, Sammy Swindell slid past Jason Meyers in the final two corners to sweep into the position.
* In the fourth heat, Jason Sides pulled out to a quick lead before Joey Saldana tried to run him down. Saldana got to Sides' rear bumper coming off of Turn 2 for the final time, but Sides slammed the door, forcing Saldana onto the binders going into Turn 3 and giving Sides enough of a cushion to pick up the win. Billy Alley held off Steve Kinser for third while Kraig Kinser earned the final transfer spot.
* After the 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals at Eagle Raceway, the Outlaws invade Jackson Speedway on Sept. 23 in Jackson, Minn., then return Sept. 5 to Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis., and compete Sept. 27 at K-C Raceway in Chillicothe, Ohio.
* The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. Eastern on Sept. 21 the Gold Cup Race of Champions from Silver Dollar Speedway and on Sept. 28 the 1/3-mile Short Track Nationals from O'Reilly Auto Parts Eagle Raceway.