Kinser Hammers Hartford Speedway Park for 15th World of Outlaws Sprint Series Victory Hartford, MI -- July 27, 2005 -- When Steve Kinser has a racecar that feels comfortable, it often spells doom for the rest of the field. That was the case ...
Kinser Hammers Hartford Speedway Park for 15th World of Outlaws Sprint Series Victory
Hartford, MI -- July 27, 2005 -- When Steve Kinser has a racecar that feels comfortable, it often spells doom for the rest of the field. That was the case Wednesday night as the World of Outlaws Sprint Series invaded Hartford Speedway Park.
Kinser started his Quaker State Maxim on the outside of the front row, swept to the lead off of the fourth corner and led all 30 laps in the caution-free feature for his 15th main-event victory of the season. It also marked the eighth consecutive top-five run since he finished a season-worst 20th on July 13 at Attica Raceway Park. In fact, over that span, Kinser's average finishing position has been 2.6, helped by sweeping the big-money events at Eldora.
Once he battled past pole-sitter Terry McCarl on the half-mile oval, Kinser pulled away turning smooth laps, maneuvering cleanly through lapped traffic and eventually winning by more than 11 seconds on a track where the fastest qualifying times were slightly more than 16 seconds.
"I knew I had a good car," Kinser said. "Everybody we came to I could pass. The car would stick in the middle going in and come back and pick up the cushion. The car was getting off the corners better than it has in quite some time. It felt a little more like the car did at the beginning of the year. I had an exceptionally good racecar tonight. I could run the bottom in Turns 1 and 2 and I could run through the middle and back up to the cushion in Turn 3. When you're like that, [crew chief] Scott Gerkin and the guys did a great job."
Fast qualifier Jac Haudenschild held onto second in front of Jason Meyers, the defending race winner who came from 13th to finish third. Kraig Kinser turned consistent laps to finish fourth, followed by Craig Dollansky, McCarl, Danny Lasoski, Joey Saldana, Chad Kemenah and Danny Smith.
With no cautions, Kinser kept motoring through traffic, quickly growing his advantage. In recent races, cautions have been his nemesis, cutting his momentum just as he was about to attack, but Wednesday night it was never a concern.
"I think my car would have picked the pace right back up," said Kinser, 52, who now has 528 World of Outlaws feature victories in his career. "I have been having some troubles getting heat back in the tires after they cool down on restarts and we can't take off again. We didn't have to try it tonight. It felt like it would go ahead and do it, but you never know. I'm glad I didn't have to. I was getting through the cars pretty good."
His dominating run and most-recent string of top-five finishes, has his team gaining momentum as the series rolls not only Friday and Saturday into Princeton, Minn., but also as it prepares for the $140,000-to-win Knoxville Nationals beginning Aug. 10. Kinser is keenly aware, however, that no matter how well he's running, it can all change in the next event.
"With this group of cars here, you can win a race and struggle to run in the top 10 the next night," said Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind. "Everything's got to go your way. We have been playing with this motor a little bit and we felt like we got it a little bit better."
Haudenschild posted his best finish in the Dennis Roth-owned Beef Packers car since he became the primary driver of the Mean 15 machine on July 19 at Lernerville Speedway.
"The Roth car is feeling real good to me," said Haudenschild, of Wooster, Ohio. "We're getting it going. We're just getting some momentum going and I think we'll be all right for the rest of the year.
"All the big races are coming up so we feel pretty good about that. The car is working good and handling good so we should be all right. You just kind of keep your eye on the racetrack and you just try to keep up with the racetrack and make changes as you go."
Meyers and his crew made just enough changes to shoot his car toward the front after he missed transferring through his heat. In the feature his Elite Racing Team car was locked down to the surface. It took only two laps for him to go from 13th into a fight for sixth, taking Dollansky and Ryan Coniam three-wide into the Turn 1. Halfway through the race he was running fifth in a nose-to-tail high-speed run on the top with McCarl and Kraig Kinser. With eight to go he surged past those two and closed on Haudenschild but couldn't find a lane around him.
"We just had a great car tonight," said Meyers, a Mean 15 racer from Clovis, Calif. "We were struggling a little bit early in the night and didn't get out of the heat race and gave up a chance to start on the front row. I guess that puts a little fight in you. The car was just awesome. Brian [Sundby] and Steve [Swenson] worked together right before the feature and made a few calls and had a great racecar. I've always liked this racetrack and always run good here. It was another good run tonight, we just started too far back."
Meyers' situation was a perfect example of how high the level of compeition is this season along the Outlaws trail. Simply putting up a fast time in time trials no longer is a guarantee a car will make the main event as the importance of running well in heat races has become much more important than it has ever been.
"When you used to only have 10 traveling cars out here, a heat race was a chance to try something, see if it works," Meyers said. "It's not like that anymore. You have to qualify. It's all or nothing there. You have to get out of your heat race, so it's all or nothing there. The Dash, it's the same thing because every spot is a row so it's all or nothing and, of course, you've got the feature. There is never a chance to relax, or a chance to be off one bit. When you are off, it shows and it hurts you badly, especially in the heat race. You just got to be good all night long. You have to stay focused all night, every night, all year."
After departing Hartford Speedway Park, the Outlaws invade Princeton, Minn., for the July 29-30 Princeton National. The series kicks off August with races Aug. 3 at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind., and Aug. 5 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
HARTFORD SPEEDWAY PARK NOTEBOOK
* Steve Kinser earned his series-leading 15th A-feature victory by winning Wednesday night at Hartford Speedway Park. Kinser, the Kings Royal winner, also has a preliminary feature victory this season in the Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway. -- Fred Rahmer's victory July 23 at Williams Grove made him the 15th different World of Outlaws A-feature winner this season, and the 19th different winner including preliminary events. -- -- Kraig Kinser won his fourth A-feature of the season in June at Knoxville Raceway. 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, at Parramatta, Las Vegas and Houston and 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. -- 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. -- 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. -- Craig Dollansky has won two features, most recently at Powercom Park, and he also has two preliminary feature wins. -- Brooke Tatnell's victory July 25 at Fulton Speedway was his second of the season after he also won July 4 at Cedar Lake Speedway. -- Single-event winners include Stevie Smith July 13 at Attica Raceway Park, Tim Kaeding June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park, Daryn Pittman April 23 at 81 Speedway in Wichita, 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.
* Hartford Speedway Park is a half-mile oval. After Wednesday night, and including preliminary features, the series has raced 24 times this year on half-mile circuits with Steve Kinser winning seven times (Volusia, Eldora three times, Knoxville, Williams Grove and Hartford), Sammy Swindell winning three times (twice at Eldora, once at Hagerstown), Craig Dollansky winning twice (Manzanita and Williams Grove), Kraig Kinser winning twice (Las Vegas, Knoxville), Jason Meyers winning twice (Granite City and Red River Valley), Donny Schatz winning twice (Las Vegas and Route 66 Raceway), and Brian Paulus (Red River Valley), Danny Lasoski (Knoxville), Jeff Shepard (Volusia), Jason Johnson (Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (Williams Grove) and Fred Rahmer (Williams Grove) each winning once.
* In the Stacker 2® Dash to set the inside first six rows in the starting grid, Terry McCarl swept into the lead in Turns 1 and 2 and held off Jac Haudenschild to earn his first pole of the season. Kraig Kinser, Craig Dollansky, Chad Kemenah and Jeremy Campbell rounded out the field.
His dominating run in the Stacker 2® Dash might have ultimately hindered McCarl when the feature rolled around. Just as if a racer is leading, he was hesitant to make too many adjustments to his car for the feature after such a strong run.
"We were great in the Dash," said McCarl, of Altoona, Iowa. "I had an awesome car in the Dash and I didn't change it enough. It was a little bit of inexperience with this place. I was a little disappointed because I don't think anybody had anything for us at the Dash time but everybody kept on getting better.
"We were so fast after the Dash I just made some subtle changes. In a way I'm proud of how well we ran. I've only been here once before a long time ago and we didn't run very well. We ran great tonight."
* In the second Dash to set the outside first six rows in the starting grid, Steve Kinser slid to the front in the first corner and drove away as Danny Lasoski finished second, followed by Joey Saldana, Ryan Coniam, Ben Rutan and Brett Mann.
* In the B-main, Jason Meyers charged into the lead, survived a restart and was never contested to the checkered flag. Danny Smith held off Paul McMahan to finish second with Brooke Tatnell picking up the final transfer spot.
* In the first heat, Jason Solwold and Joey Saladana shot to the high side of the track in the first corner and pulled away from the field to finish first and second. Fast qualifier Jac Haudenschild raced from sixth to third as Ryan Coniam and Jeremy Campbell were the final two drivers to transfer to the main event.
* In the second heat, Daryn Pittman motored to the front by himself, held off a charge from Chad Kemenah in Turn 4 and drove to the checkered flag. Kemenah was second, with Kraig Kinser, Steve Kinser and Dustin Daggett also transferring to the feature.
* In the third heat, Brian Paulus and Brandon Wimmer raced side-by-side into the first corner before Wimmer edged ahead and drove off to the checkered flag. Paulus was second, with Ben Rutan, Danny Lasoski and Brett Mann picking up the rest of the transfer spots.
* In the fourth heat, Jason Sides came out in front after a wild four-car battle into the first turn. Sides then drove away from the field to win, followed by Tim Shaffer, Craig Dollansky, Terry McCarl and Shane Stewart.
* Jac Haudenschild paced the field of 35 cars with a lap around the 1/2-mile, high-banked oval in 16.236 seconds at 124.834 mph. Jason Meyers set the World of Outlaws single-lap record of 16.148 seconds on July 14, 2004. Jason Johnson established the track record of 15.739 seconds on Sept. 3, 2001.
* After departing Hartford Speedway Park, the Outlaws invade Princeton, Minn., for the July 29-30 Princeton National. The series kicks off August with races Aug. 3 at Lawrenceburg Speedway in Lawrenceburg, Ind., and Aug. 5 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio.
* The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) July 27 and Aug. 3 all of last weekend's action from Eldora Speedway. The Outdoor Channel will then broadcast the Silver Cup at 8 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 10. The Outdoor Channel will air the Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals from Williams Grove at 8 p.m. (ET) on Aug. 17.