I-55 report 97-05-18

Mark Kinser Wins I-55 Tire War By Richard Day PEVELY, MO (May 18) - It didn't bother Mark Kinser that two weeks had passed since he last drove a sprint car. He knew he would be driving the Pennzoil World of Outlaws ...

Mark Kinser Wins I-55 Tire War By Richard Day PEVELY, MO (May 18) - It didn't bother Mark Kinser that two weeks had passed since he last drove a sprint car. He knew he would be driving the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest car at I-55 Raceway Sunday. Although he has taken two weekends off to race with the NASCAR truck series, Mark considers it a luxury to return to the #5M Wirtgen Maxim maintained by his father, car owner and crew chief, 15-time World of Outlaws champion Karl Kinser. "We've been really struggling with the truck," Mark said following his sixth World of Outlaws "A" Feature victory of the year. "We've been having a hard time making the races. "The sprint car has been really good to me. We came back and ran really well tonight. I just sat there and rode it out. We just started out front and the crew made all the right choices." Mark's crew definitely made the correct decision concerning which tire to mount on the #5M's right rear wheel. Rubber was at a premium during the final 15 laps of the "A" Feature. Kinser, the second-fastest qualifier in the 27-car field, followed Andy Hillenburg, Sammy Swindell and Dave Blaney across the finish line in the Vivarin Dash for the right to start the 40-lap main event outside the second row. Ironically, Hillenburg, Swindell and Blaney suffered flat right rear tires in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 18th event of the year. Hillenburg, whose crew replaced his engine after the Second Heat Race, won the Vivarin Dash from inside the third row. He and Swindell raced wheel-to-wheel through turn four as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature, only to have Sammy surge ahead on the front straightaway. Mark passed Blaney in the fourth corner, then took the high line to pass both Swindell and Hillenburg in turn two for the lead seconds later. Swindell and Hillenburg exchanged the runner-up spot twice during the first two laps as Kinser opened a four-car-length advantage. Mark entered lapped traffic five laps into the race. Sammy caught Kinser early in the eighth lap, and was joined by Hillenburg and "The Buckeye Bullet" two laps later. Blaney steered the #10 Vivarin J&J deep into turn one to take over third place early in the 11th lap. Lance Blevins brought out the caution flag when he took the #21 Citgo J&J for a spin in the second corner early in lap 12, opening the track ahead of the leaders. Jac Haudenschild steered the #22 Pennzoil Maxim into the low groove in turn four to pass Hillenburg for fourth place after the race resumed, and joined the leaders in lapped traffic two laps later. Swindell was threatening to pass Kinser for the lead midway through the race, only to have Mark execute a daring move around a pack of backmarkers between the first and second corners to extend his advantage to eight car-lengths. Justin Via's fourth-corner spin brought out the caution flag late in the 21st lap. Nine laps later, Hillenburg stopped his #2 STP J&J in turn one, the first victim of a flat right rear tire. Flat tires forced Third Heat Race winner Johnny Herrera and Greg Hodnett to stop within a lap after the green flag replaced the yellow. Joe Gaerte, Blevins, Donny Schatz, Jerrod Hull and Billy Wilburn joined Herrera and Hodnett in the work area to replace their right rear tires as well. Hillenburg's fresh rubber allowed him to pass Blaney for third place in turn three with seven laps remaining. Steve Kinser, winner of three World of Outlaws main events at I-55, also passed Blaney, but surrendered fourth place when the right rear tire on his #11 Quaker State Maxim lost air pressure the next time around. Randy Hannagan, Jeff Swindell and Paul McMahan had their crews replace their tires during the caution period. "The Wild Child" passed Sammy high in the second corner to take over the runner-up spot early in lap 36. Flat tires forced Blaney and Dion Hindi to stop the next time around. Kinser took the white flag with Hodnett and Danny Lasoski challenging Swindell for third place. Sammy had his #1 Channellock Gambler half a lap from the finish line when a flat tire forced him to stop on the back straightaway. Haudenschild was unable to keep pace with Kinser as the race resumed, and was four car-lengths behind when he took the checkered flag. When asked how he felt to be leading while other drivers stopped with flat tires, Mark said, "It's a little nerve- racking. The crew did a great job though. I could run high and in the middle early, and it didn't seem like anybody else could do that. Karl Kinser just picked the right tire. He's a pretty smart guy." Hodnett's third-place finish was his fifth in the top five in the last seven events. He was followed across the finish line by Lasoski, Hillenburg, Stevie Smith, Herrera, First Heat Race winner Steve Kinser, Craig Dollansky and Blaney. "The King of the Outlaws" moved three points ahead of Sammy in their battle for the lead in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series driver standings. Herrera's seventh-place run from inside the ninth row pushed him into 10th place in the points race. WoO 1997 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series I-55 Raceway, Pevely, MO Sunday, May 18, Feature Program #18 Qualifications: 1. Jac Haudenschild, Elden 22, 11.514; 2. Mark Kinser, Kinser 5M, 11.651; 3. Dave Blaney, Blaney/Hylton 10, 11.700; 4. Sammy Swindell, Swindell 1, 11.772; 5. Andy Hillenburg, Hillenburg 2, 11.921; 6. Greg Hodnett, Helm 11H, 11.929; 7. Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 11.943; 8. Danny Lasoski, Wahlie 1W, 11.950; 9. Stevie Smith, Smith 19, 11.960; 10. Randy Hannagan, Roth 83, 12.065; 11. Tim Montgomery, Montgomery 32, 12.090; 12. Joe Gaerte, Gaerte 3G, 12.122; 13. Dion Hindi, Hindi 11D, 12.215; 14. Joey Saldana, Gray 51, 12.249; 15. Jeff Swindell, Two Winners 7TW, 12.297; 16. Craig Dollansky, Lindsey 2D, 12.365; 17. Lance Blevins, Blevins 21, 12.379; 18. Johnny Herrera, Sonner 47, 12.390; 19. Jerrod Hull, Hull 11J, 12.432; 20. Paul McMahan, Stanton 75, 12.445; 21. Jim Farmer, Hillman 14F, 12.470; 22. Lee Dunn, Dunn 81, 12.472; 23. Billy Wilburn, Wilburn 0, 12.527; 24. Justin Via, Via 24V, 12.575; 25. Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 12.675; 26. Matt Rogerson, Rogerson 91, 13.025; 27. Bryan Smith, Smith 0T, 13.161. First Heat Race (10 laps): 1. Steve Kinser, 2. Sammy Swindell, 3. Craig Dollansky, 4. Randy Hannagan, 5. Jac Haudenschild, 6. Lee Dunn, 7. Jerrod Hull, 8. Dion Hindi, 10. Donny Schatz. (first six qualified for the "A" Feature) Second Heat Race (10 laps): 1. Mark Kinser, 2. Joey Saldana, 3. Andy Hillenburg, 4. Danny Lasoski, 5. Tim Montgomery ($200); 6. Lance Blevins, 7. Paul McMahan, 8. Billy Wilburn, 9. Matt Rogerson. (first six qualified for the "A" Feature) Third Heat Race (10 laps): 1. Johnny Herrera, 2. Joe Gaerte, 3. Dave Blaney, 4. Jeff Swindell, 5. Stevie Smith, 6. Greg Hodnett, 7. Justin Via, 8. Jim Farmer, 9. Bryan Smith. (first six qualified for the "A" Feature) Vivarin Dash (seven laps): 1. Andy Hillenburg, 2. Sammy Swindell, 3. Dave Blaney, 4. Mark Kinser, 5. Greg Hodnett, 6. Jac Haudenschild, 7. Steve Kinser, 8. Danny Lasoski. (finish determined the first eight starting positions in the "A" Feature) B Feature (12 laps): 1. Jim Farmer, 2. Paul McMahan, 3. Jerrod Hull, 4. Donny Schatz, 5. Billy Wilburn, 6. Dion Hindi, 7. Justin Via, 8. Bryan Smith ($180); 9. Matt Rogerson ($150). (first six qualified for the "A" Feature) A Feature (40 laps): 1. Mark Kinser ($7,000); 2. Jac Haudenschild ($4,000); 3. Greg Hodnett ($3,000); 4. Danny Lasoski ($2,500); 5. Andy Hillenburg ($2,300); 6. Stevie Smith ($2,200); 7. Johnny Herrera ($2,100); 8. Steve Kinser ($2,000); 9. Craig Dollansky ($1,700); 10. Dave Blaney ($1,600); 11. Paul McMahan ($1,220); 12. Joe Gaerte ($1,150); 13. Jeff Swindell ($1,100); 14. Sammy Swindell ($1,050); 15. Joey Saldana ($1,000); 16. Lance Blevins ($700); 17. Donny Schatz ($620); 18. Lee Dunn ($500); 19. Randy Hannagan ($500); 20. Jerrod Hull ($520); 21. Dion Hindi ($520); 22. Jim Farmer ($520); 23. Billy Wilburn ($520); 24. Justin Via ($520). DNS - Tim Montgomery; replaced by Justin Via Lap leader: Mark Kinser 1-40 Channellock Fast-Time Award winner: Jac Haudenschild WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Dave Blaney , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera , Jeff Swindell