Houston: Texas Shootout finale report

Mark Kinser wins Texas Shootout by an eyelash BAYTOWN, TX (March 24) -- Ronald Laney had to be smiling as he watched the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Third Annual Texas Shootout from heaven Sunday. Mark Kinser, who raced with Laney's wing...

Mark Kinser wins Texas Shootout by an eyelash

BAYTOWN, TX (March 24) -- Ronald Laney had to be smiling as he watched the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Third Annual Texas Shootout from heaven Sunday. Mark Kinser, who raced with Laney's wing cap on the #5M Mopar Maxim throughout the weekend in tribute to the late Humble, TX, driver, beat Donny Schatz under the checkered flag by only .012 seconds to win the Houston Raceway Park event for the second straight year.

"I'm just really proud to win here with the Laney name on the wing," Kinser said. "This is Ronald Laney country, and we miss having him out here."

Laney, who raced with the World of Outlaws in recent years, suffered fatal injuries in a crash at East Bay Raceway January 30th. The series' signature "four abreast" parade lap before the main event featured the "missing man" formation.

Kinser, the only driver to finish in the top five in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series first seven "A" Features this season, started a five-event winning streak in Texas last March. The $12,000 victory -- his first in 2002 -- pushed him into first place in the point standings.

"Mopar Mark," who finished second in Saturday's preliminary feature, earned the privilege of starting the 35-lap main event outside the front row by following Danny Lasoski across the finish line in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.

Kinser raced past "The Dude" as the green flag fell in Sunday's "A" Feature and was 1.1 seconds ahead of Lasoski when they entered lapped traffic four laps into the race.

Tyler Walker battled Schatz for third place throughout the sixth and seventh laps before steering the #35 C&W Motorsports Eagle into the high groove in the second corner to pass him early in lap eight.

Johnny Herrera's fourth-corner spin brought out the caution flag the next time around, tightening the field and opening the track ahead of the leaders.

Schatz drove the #15 Parker Stores J&J back into third place four laps after the green flag replaced the yellow, passing Walker deep in turn two.

Kinser was 1.2 seconds ahead of "The Dude" when he caught the back-markers again during the 14th lap. Schatz caught Lasoski the next time around, and passed him for the runner-up spot with an inside move between the third and fourth corners. Lasoski, who won Saturday's preliminary feature, battled Schatz through turn four late in lap 17, but was unable to surge ahead.

Steve Kinser, who won three of the first four events the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series ran at Houston Raceway Park, passed Stevie Smith for sixth place deep in the second corner early in lap 18.

Mark Kinser enjoyed a 1.8-second advantage over Schatz when he entered lapped traffic the next time around. Schatz was right behind Kinser again two laps later, however, as Jan Howard stopped on the front straightaway, bringing out the caution flag.

Steve Kinser steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the high groove between turns three and four to pass fast-qualifier Brad Furr for fifth place late in the 25th lap. "The King of the Outlaws" used a similar move to pass Walker for fourth late in lap 34.

Tim Shaffer, racing with a shoulder injury suffered in a crash the day before, drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past Smith deep in turn four to take over seventh place late in the 27th lap.

Schatz was two seconds behind Mark Kinser with 7 ½ laps remaining, but cut into the deficit lap by lap. The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner closed to within 1.2 seconds by lap 29 and was only .6 seconds behind two laps later. Schatz raced wheel-to-wheel with Kinser through turns three and four and down the front straightaway late in the final lap, but was just inches short in one of the closest finishes in Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series history.

"I wasn't really surprised to see Donny there on the last lap -- I found out I'd run the wrong part of the race track the last 10 laps or so, and I blistered the tires pretty good," Kinser said. "Donny's a clean racer, and he gave me plenty of room between himself and the wall to race to the flag. I'm glad we had the (Tracking Speed) electronic scoring here tonight; I wouldn't have wanted to pick that one."

Lasoski held off Steve Kinser for third place. Walker finished fifth, ahead of Furr, 13th-starting Shaffer, Smith, First Heat Race winner Jac Haudenschild and Craig Dollansky.

Immediately after the race, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series headed for Pike County Speedway in Magnolia, MS, where the fire-breathing, mudslinging sprint car racing teams were scheduled to race Monday evening.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Johnny Herrera