Kinser claims his fifth Kings Royal championship ROSSBURG, OH (July 19) -- Steve Kinser was concerned how his engine performed during Friday's Knight Before the Kings Royal event at Eldora Speedway. His ...
Kinser claims his fifth Kings Royal championship
ROSSBURG, OH (July 19) -- Steve Kinser was concerned how his engine performed during Friday's Knight Before the Kings Royal event at Eldora Speedway. His #11 Quaker State Maxim powered "The King of the Outlaws" to his fifth $50,000 Kings Royal payday 24 hours later, however, when the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series returned to "The World's Fastest Half-Mile."
Kinser, who also won Kings Royal races in 1984, 1988, 1991 and 1997, took the lead from one of his former crew members, Jason Johnson, late in the fifth lap and held off Greg Hodnett for his 16th "A" Feature victory of the season.
"I saw the rubber coming off turn two in the 360 race, and I really wanted to put a little harder tire on," Kinser said in victory lane. "But (crew chief) Scott (Gerkin) said nobody else was going with a harder tire except Jason Johnson, so we stuck with our original game plan. I was plenty concerned about it though. I thought there might be enough left up top that I could get out there and get the lead, and then get back down into the rubber, and that's what we were able to do. I knew there late in the race that we were going to be pretty close on the tire, but we had enough to get the job done. I really didn't think anyone could get by me once the rubber was down, and I didn't even want to run up on any lapped cars. I just tried to keep a distance back and not get into any problems there."
Kinser only experienced problems early in the opening lap of Saturday's Third Heat Race. He hit the retaining wall in turn two, spun on the back straightaway, and was forced to restart at the rear of the field. "The King of the Outlaws" raced past seven cars to claim one of the four transfer positions in the 10-lap race. Kinser earned the right to start the main event inside the second row by following Johnson across the finish line in the First Dash Race.
Johnson won a front-straightaway drag race with Second Dash Race winner Stevie Smith as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Donny Schatz, who started outside the third row, raced past Hodnett, Tim Shaffer and Kinser during the first half of the opening lap.
Mark Kinser, who started outside the sixth row, drove father Karl's #5M Sabko Maxim past Shaffer for fifth place with an inside move between turns one and two the next time around. Jac Haudenschild spun on the back straightaway midway through the third lap.
"The King of the Outlaws" took advantage of the early caution, passing Schatz and Smith deep in the second corner as the green flag replaced the yellow. Kinser continued his run to the front two laps later, riding the rim around Johnson in turn four. The defending and 17-time O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series champion was 15 car-lengths ahead of Johnson when he entered lapped traffic during lap eight.
Hodnett, the 1993 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year, challenged Johnson for five laps before passing him for the runner-up spot high in the fourth corner. O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski slowed in turn three with a flat right rear tire early in lap 14. Lasoski's crew replaced his flat tire, but mechanical problems forced the #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into the pits soon thereafter.
Mark Kinser passed Johnson for third place with an inside move in turn one early in the 16th lap. Schatz steered his #15 Parker Stores J&J deep in the second corner to pass Tyler Walker for sixth one lap later.
Jim Nier's collision with Jason Meyers late in lap 17 broke the steering on his #00 sprinter and caused him to hit the retaining wall in turn one the next time around.
Walker chased Smith for four laps after the race resumed, then passed him for sixth place with an inside move between the first and second corners midway through the race.
"The Wild Child" collided with Meyers, hit the wall and flipped in turn three late in the 30th lap, bringing out the red flag and setting up a 10-lap dash to the checkered flag. Schatz, Walker, Todd Kane, Kenny Jacobs, Randy Hannagan, Meyers, Sammy Swindell and Jason Sides surrendered their positions to replace their right rear tires and restarted at the rear of the field.
"The King of the Outlaws" controlled the final restart and took the checkered flag as Hodnett raced into the third corner. Mark Kinser's right rear tire lost air pressure in the third corner, allowing Johnson, Smith and Shaffer to pass him before he coasted across the finish line.
Sides and Hannagan started on the 12th row and raced past 11 cars to finish 12th and 13th, respectively.
The O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series will sanction the $35,000-to-win Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup event at Tuesday at Lernerville Speedway and the Second Annual Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway Thursday, Friday and Saturday.