SAN FELIPE PUEBLO, NM (March 10) - Steve Kinser increased his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead Sunday afternoon, passing Joey Saldana and exchanging the lead with Jac Haudenschild on his way to winning the preliminary feature at ...
SAN FELIPE PUEBLO, NM (March 10) - Steve Kinser increased his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead Sunday afternoon, passing Joey Saldana and exchanging the lead with Jac Haudenschild on his way to winning the preliminary feature at Hollywood Hills Speedway.
"We've been running pretty good all year long, so let's hope we can just keep plugging away," Kinser said after opening a 32-point advantage over second cousin Mark Kinser. "At least we're locked in for the second show. We can watch and see what happens before we go out for the (O'Reilly Auto Parts) dash."
Kinser, the fifth-fastest qualifier in the 32-car field, finished fifth in the First Heat Race and earned the right to start the 25-lap preliminary feature outside the second row by finishing second in the Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.
The preliminary program was originally scheduled for Saturday evening, but was postponed due to unsafe racing conditions.
Saldana, who beat Kinser across the finish line in the five-lap dash, drove his family's #17 HEM Saw Eagle around pole-sitter Jason Johnson as the green flag fell to take the lead in the preliminary feature. Kinser passed Johnson high in turn two to take over second place early in the opening lap. Johnson tried to regain the spot with an inside move between the first and second corners the next time around, but was unable to pass "The King of the Outlaws."
Haudenschild took the high line around Johnson in turn two for third place early in the fourth lap, just seconds before Kinser steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the low groove in the fourth corner to pass Saldana for the lead.
Stevie Smith, who started outside the fourth row, passed Johnson for fourth place deep in turn two early in lap five.
Saldana raced wheel-to-wheel with Kinser through turns three and four the next time around, but was unable to surge ahead. "The King of the Outlaws" was .6 seconds ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic early in the eighth lap. Haudenschild steered the #5 Wirtgen Maxim into the low groove between the first and second corners to pass Saldana for second place, then set his sights on Kinser.
Second Heat Race winner Brian Paulus flipped on the back straightaway early in the ninth lap, tightening the field and taking the leaders out of lapped traffic.
Smith and Saldana exchanged third place during the 10th and 11th laps as Kinser and Haudenschild raced away from the rest of the field. Only .6 seconds separated the leaders when they caught the back-markers midway through the race.
"The Wild Child" took the high line through the third and fourth corners to pass Kinser for the lead late in lap 14. Kinser stayed in the low groove and regained first place between turns one and two the next time around, however.
"Haud kind of caught us behind a lapped car there in three and four, and when he went by me I wasn't sure if the top was going to take rubber," Kinser said. "I thought it was just starting to take rubber on the bottom in three and four, but I couldn't tell in one and two."
Danny Lasoski, whose car owner -- Tony Stewart -- won the MBNA America 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Race at Atlanta Motor Speedway earlier in the afternoon, passed Saldana for fourth place with an inside move between turns three and four late in lap 19.
Kinser opened a 1.4-second advantage as Smith challenged Haudenschild for the runner-up spot with six laps remaining. Smith steered the #11H Vivarin Maxim to the lowest point between the first and second corners to pass "The Wild Child" early in the 21st lap. Lasoski used a similar move to pass Haudenschild for third place one lap later.
Johnson lost eighth place early in the 24th lap when he collided with Tim West, who hit the backstretch wall and flipped.
Kinser raced away from Smith as the green flag replaced the red, and took the checkered flag with 1.5 seconds to spare. Lasoski tried to drive the #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle past Smith between turns three and four late in the final lap, but was unable to complete the pass.
Lasoski finished in third place, ahead of Haudenschild, ahead of Brad Furr, New Mexico native Johnny Herrera, Saldana, 16th-starting Mark Kinser, Donny Schatz and Danny Wood.
Wood set quick time with a 104.822-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 3/8-mile oval. He won the "B" Feature, then raced into 10th place from inside the ninth row in the preliminary feature.