Steve Kinser Captures World of Outlaws preliminary win at Grays Harbor Raceway Elma, WA -- August 26, 2005 -- From the first corner it was clear Friday night at Grays Habor Raceway in Elma, Wash., that Jonathan Allard was determined to beat his...
Steve Kinser Captures World of Outlaws preliminary win at Grays Harbor Raceway
Elma, WA -- August 26, 2005 -- From the first corner it was clear Friday night at Grays Habor Raceway in Elma, Wash., that Jonathan Allard was determined to beat his racing hero, Steve Kinser.
The green flag waved on the World of Outlaws Sprint Series preliminary feature and Allard immediately cut to the inside of pole-sitter Roger Crockett and slid up in front of Kinser to the top in Turn 2 and into the lead. Allard had the momentum on the top of the racy 3/8-mile oval, but Kinser's keen awareness of track position and a little bad luck on Allard's part allowed Kinser to catch and pass him with three laps to go.
As the leaders worked through traffic, Allard's rear brakes began to fail him about the same time Kinser realized cars in the bottom groove were gaining speed. Kinser abandoned the top line and slid his Quaker State Maxim to the inside of Allard, made the decisive pass at the flagstand and drove off to the checkered flag for the third time this year in a preliminary event and the second time on the Brownfield Promotions' Wild, Wild Northwest Tour.
With three distinct lines around the speedway, weaving through traffic was an adventure that made finishing in the top four spots to be guaranteed a position in the A-feature on Saturday all the more thrilling for the capacity crowd. While Allard and Kinser were setting the pace, Terry McCarl, Shane Stewart, Kraig Kinser and Jason Meyers waged a battle for the remaining to spots in Saturday's grid.
After a red flag with five laps down, Kraig Kinser was running third as McCarl and Stewart swapped positions in nearly every corner for four laps until a caution waved with nine laps complete. That's when they realized racing each other would leave somebody out of the top four so on the restart they ganged up on Kraig Kinser and shot by with McCarl sliding into third and Stewart fourth.
Allard was still strong in his GT Trends Maxim, carrying his momentum around the top and keeping a safe distance back to Kinser. McCarl, who won a Northern Sprint Tour race Thursday night at Grays Harbor to kick off the weekend's action, was the first driver to make the bottom work. From there he slowly closed in on Allard and Kinser before Kinser spotted the lapped cars in the low groove actually gaining ground so he cut to the bottom and picked up enough momentum to catch Allard, who had no choice but to fly around the top when he lost a rear brake caliper. Allard held on to finish second while McCarl, in his Big Game Treestands Eagle, and Stewart, driving the Snap-On Tools Maxim he raced at Knoxville, earned the remaining spots to Saturday's A-feature.
"I was just real tight on the cushion," said Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who will be looking for his 18th A-feature victory of the season Saturday night. "[Allard] could roll along the top a little better than I could. With cool tires I could make a little run at him on the restarts. I thought I might have had him cleared a couple of times, but I put too much heat in my tires so I went back up to top and waited until lapped traffic. Then I saw some lapped cars just about to pass us back on the bottom so I figured it was time for me to get a move and get down there. Just as soon as I went down there I was pretty sure if he didn't get down there and block me I was going to drive by."
Allard, who raced on the Outlaws circuit for part of the 2004 season, was disappointed he couldn't hang on for the victory, but at the same time was still energized by his battle with Kinser.
"We had him beat," said Allard, of Chico, Calif. "I knew we had a good car. We got into lapped traffic the first time and got through there pretty well. As we got going through traffic after the yellow, I knew we were good on the top but I lost my rear caliper and we had no brakes. I didn't want to get in on traffic and not have anywhere to go so I had to drop to the middle to try to hold him off a little bit because if he pinched me up in traffic I would have probably gotten into the fence.
"We had a great car. I'm very happy for the team. Williams Motorsports has put me in a good car. To go wheel-to-wheel with the king, there's nothing better. Last year we got to run with him quite a bit, but never wheel-to-wheel for that long. It was nice to drive around the outside of him. I know I'm fast when I can do that. Steve was very gracious and gave me plenty of racing room and we were able to get around the top. He's definitely my hero and it's nice to run with a guy like that. You know you're good when you can do that. Hopefully we can continue this trend and run up front."
Allard's move in the very first corner of the race got everybody's attention. Starting on the outside of the front row, Allard was headed for the top when Stacker 2 Dash winner Crockett tried to slide up the track. Allard made a hard left, caught the berm at the bottom of Turn 1 and slid right in front of the lead pack. Kinser, who started on the inside of Row 2 powered through the bottom and followed Allard to the high side.
"I saw Roger start to go to the top and I think he second-guessed it and I just blazed it in there and it stuck," Allard said. "My crew chief Ashley Smith had this thing dialed in. It was definitely a Cadillac to run. If I could have a car like this all the time who knows what we could do."
Kinser, who is closing in on his 20th World of Outlaws championship, invented just about every move in the book and was impressed with Allard's maneuver.
"He did what he needed to do," said Kinser, who has a 454-point lead in the championship standings. "He got a run at him and ran under him and right back out in front of everybody and set sail on the top. He set a good pace. When we got to the lapped cars I figured I might catch him but he got to passing cars right in the middle where I was in Turns 3 and 4. He did a good job."
McCarl and Stewart made it difficult to keep an eye on the leaders. The intensity increased with every pass in every turn during that four-lap stretch early in the feature as they were actually battling for fourth before they each moved past Kraig Kinser.
"That was the pivotal spot at the time," said McCarl, a native of Altoona, Iowa, who noted he had a right rear tire going flat during the last few laps that actually made his car better. "It's funny because Shane and I are really good friends off the track and it just seems like we're always going at it. It seems like I've run into Shane more than anybody else this whole year, and I know this is his car owner's back yard so he really wanted to do good. We really had a great car and we were really going at it.
"I pulled up beside him on the yellow and gave him a thumbs up because we were going at it but never touched wheels. It was awesome. That was clean racing. He was blocking me, I was blocking him, we were sliding and I was having a blast, but I just wanted to quit doing it so we could both get locked in."
Stewart, whose car owner -- Kevin Rudeen -- is from Washington and had a large crowd on hand, was so quick along the top he was unsure if he could continue that pace on the bottom.
"Terry and I diced it out there for four or five laps," said Stewart, of Bixby, Okla., who is leading the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award battle. "I could see Steve moving down towards the bottom and I knew Terry was getting better and better on the bottom and I knew I needed to go down there, I just had such great momentum around the top. You don't want to change your rhythm up too much.
"My guys did a great job. We had a brand new Shark motor in and it ran really good. I'm just very happy to be locked in with the Snap-On car. It makes Saturday 10 times easier. When you have to qualify in the top two to get yourself in that Dash, it makes it pretty tough and there are a lot of good cars here."
The World of Outlaws Sprint Series continues the Wild, Wild Northwest Tour with the finale Saturday at Grays Harbor Raceway. The series then closes out the month Aug. 30 at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., where last season Kraig Kinser earned his first career World of Outlaws A-feature victory.
GRAYS HARBOR RACEWAY NOTEBOOK
* Brian Paulus paced the 43 cars that went through time trials by turning an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the 3/8-mile oval in 12.187 seconds at 112.388 mph. Jason Solwold, the only driver who hails from Washington touring this season with the Outlaws, turned the second fastest lap of the night at 12.133 seconds. Craig Dollansky established the single-lap record of 11.915 seconds on Aug. 27, 2004.
"It's pretty good," said Solwold, who was home for the first time in more than two months. "I've raced here on the older track and won quite a few races here. Last year was the first time I had run on the new track and I haven't been back since. We had a fresh motor in and we had our car working good. I kind of know where I need to go around this place. That helps out a lot.
"I just wish all of our Outlaws show were around about a six-hour radius from here."
* The praise for promoter Fred Brownfield and his crew was universal after Friday's show that featured not only a very racy track but also an entertaining atmosphere for fans.
"What a great racetrack," Terry McCarl said. "Last night we won the Northern Sprint Tour race and it was an awesome track. I told everybody I wish we could have that good of track [Friday] but I doubt it because the Outlaws with so many fast guys can wear a track out. Fred Brownfield does such a great job promoting, and I'm a promoter so I can see both sides. He treats us really well, this facility is super nice and what a great racetrack. I mean, when cars are everywhere to the last lap, I could run right through the middle. I passed most of my cars through the middle. That's crazy, you can't do that. So that's Fred, what a great place and what a great crowd. This is a fun place to come."
Stewart was equally impressed.
"My hat's off to Mr. Brownfield and all his guys," Stewart said. "He's done a great job. There was a top and a bottom and any time you can do that these guys out here are so good they'll make it work, especially when you get in lapped traffic. It makes it exciting and interesting for the fans."
* Steve Kinser's victory Friday at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash., was his third preliminary feature win this to go with his series-leading 17th A-feature victories. -- Shane Stewart won the second preliminary A-main Aug. 12 at Knoxville Raceway, visiting Victory Lane with the Outlaws for the first time this season and making him the 22nd different driver to do so. There have been 16 different A-feature winners. -- 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. -- Jason Meyers earned his fourth win of the season July 2 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. -- Donny Schatz also has four A-feature victories, winning most recently on July 8 in Joliet, Ill. -- 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. -- Craig Dollansky has won two features, most recently at Powercom Park, and he also has two 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. -- Daryn Pittman won his second A-feature of the season Aug. 21 at BMP Speedway in Billings, Mont. -- 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, Danny Lasoski has won twice while Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan and Jason Johnson have each won once.
* Drivers who have raced to victory in preliminary features this season include (in alphabetical order) Craig Dollansky twice (Manzanita/Williams Grove), Jason Johnson once (Williams Grove), Kraig Kinser once (Las Vegas), Steve Kinser three times (Eagle/Billings/Elma), Danny Lasoski twice (Australia/Knoxville), 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).
* Grays Harbor Raceway is a high-banked 3/8-mile oval. Including preliminaries, the series has raced 12 times this season on tracks that length, at Pike County Speedway, Houston Raceway Park, Batesville Speedway, Outlaw Motor Speedway, 81 Speedway, Huset's Speedway, Cedar Lake Speedway, Attica Raceway Park, Fulton Speedway, BMP Speedway and Grays Harbor Raceway. Steve Kinser held off Brooke Tatnell to win at Pike County, Donny Schatz edged Steve Kinser at Houston, Kraig Kinser dominated at Batesville, Steve Kinser snuck past Jason Meyers late at Outlaw, Daryn Pittman cruised to victory at 81 Speedway, Jason Meyers outlasted the field at Sharon, Brian Paulus started on the pole and won at Huset's, Brooke Tatnell picked up his first win of the year at Cedar Lake and his second at Fulton, Stevie Smith won at Attica, Daryn Pittman and Steve Kinser won at BMP Speedway, and Steve Kinser won the preliminary at Grays Harbor.
* In the Stacker 2® Dash that set the top six positions on the inside row for the A-feature, Roger Crockett started on the pole and motored to the lead with Steve Kinser in tow. Crockett continued to pull away from the field after a caution with a lap down and went on to earn his the first Outlaws pole in his career. Kinser was second followed by Jason Solwold, Danny Lasoski, Jac Haudenschild and Terry McCarl.
* In the second Dash that set the top six positions for the outside row of the A-feature, Jonathan Allard quickly shot to the lead in the first two turns and pulled away to win and earn a spot on the outside of the front row. Kraig Kinser was second, followed by Shane Stewart, Craig Dollansky, Brandon Wimmer and Jason Meyers.
* In the B-main, Brooke Tatnell, Joey Saldana and Brian Paulus formed a nose-to-tail train and easily finished in the top three spots with Toni Lutar earning the final transfer spot to the feature. Henry Van Dam and Brad Holmes advanced to the B-main after dominating the C-main.
* In the first heat, Daryn Pittman charged into the lead on the second corner and pulled away from the field. After Steve Kilcup brought out a caution with three laps down, Pittman again checked out as Craig Dollansky, Roger Crockett, Barry Martinez and Kraig Kinser earned the final transfer spots.
* In the second heat, Tim Kaeding and Donny Schatz raced side-by-side into the the first corner before Kaeding edged ahead of Schatz and Jonathan Allard. The top three pulled away as Steve Kinser and Joey Saldana swapped fourth and fifth when a caution flew with five down for Lance Sponberg's spin in Turn 4. On the single-file restart, Kaeding shot out to the lead again with Schatz, Allard and Steve Kinser in tow as Jason Solwold slipped past Joey Saldana to pick up the final transfer spot and a spot in the Stacker 2® Dash as the fastest driver from time trials to make it through heats.
* The third heat, which went flag-to-flag, Jason Sides motored to the lead and held off a swarm of cars in the first corner. Sides set a blistering pace, edging ahead each lap as Tim Shaffer, Jac Haudenschild and Jason Meyers settled into second, third and fourth. Brooke Tatnell tried to hold off Danny Lasoski for the final transfer spot, but Lasoski's machine was locked into the bottom groove while Tatnell was trying to carry his momentum around the top. Lasoski finally slipped to the inside of Tatnell going into the first corner afte the white flag waved and he held on to transfer the main event.
* In the fourth heat, Paul McMahan jumped out to a quick lead and drove off to the checkered flag. Brandon Wimmer slipped into second in the first turn with McCarl charging from sixth to third on the high side. Shane Stewart and Travis Rutz secured the final transfer spots.
* The World of Outlaws Sprint Series continues the Wild, Wild Northwest Tour with the finale Saturday at Grays Harbor Raceway. The series then closes out the month Aug. 30 at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore., where last season Kraig Kinser earned his first career World of Outlaws A-feature victory.
* The Outdoor Channel will air the Polydome Princeton National from Princeton Speedway at 8 p.m. Eastern on Aug. 24, followed Aug. 31 by the event at Billings Motorsports Park.