Knoxville Saturday Finale report 2005-04-30

Steve Kinser Nabs World of Outlaws Sprint Series Finale At Knoxville Raceway Knoxville, IA -- April 30, 2005 -- In a classic World of Outlaws Sprint Series duel, Steve Kinser held off Danny Lasoski Saturday night at historic Knoxville Raceway to...

Steve Kinser Nabs World of Outlaws Sprint Series Finale At Knoxville Raceway

Knoxville, IA -- April 30, 2005 -- In a classic World of Outlaws Sprint Series duel, Steve Kinser held off Danny Lasoski Saturday night at historic Knoxville Raceway to earn his sixth victory of the season.

After taking the green flag side-by-side, the two Mean 15 racers used nearly every inch of the track as they slid up and down and back and forth throughout the caution-free $12,000-to-win, 25-lap finale of the two-night event.

Kinser edged in front exiting Turn 2 on the first lap, leaving pole-sitter Lasoski to battle with Sammy Swindell for second. Lasoski worked the low groove with Swindell at the top.

Only six laps in, Kinser hit traffic that allowed Lasoski and Swindell to close the 1.07-second gap. Now Lasoski slid up the track as Kinser started lapping cars on the low side. Lasoski gained momentum at the top and pulled even with Kinser as Swindell tucked down to the bottom to try the low groove.

Lasoski surged to the lead coming out of Turn 2 on Lap 12, only to see Kinser slip back in front as they exited Turn 4 on Lap 14. Kinser then stretched his advantage as the field began to settle and took the checkered flag 0.988 seconds ahead of Lasoski for the 519th main-event victory in his career.

Swindell cruised to the finish in third, followed by Terry McCarl and Brian Paulus, who both had their best runs of the season with the Outlaws. And for the second consecutive night, rookie Tim Kaeding raced to a sixth-place finish after starting 20th.

"It was a fun race," said Kinser, who won a race at Knoxville for the 58th time in his career. "Danny has probably been the fastest car here the past couple of years and he's hard to outrun here. We had our car probably as good as we've had it in some time here, and I couldn't get away from him. We're glad to win one here. We struggled here for about the past year and a half. We're still not right rolling around the bottom but we're a lot closer."

While Lasoski certainly is never satisfied with anything but a win, after struggling for much of the early part of the season he was all smiles Saturday night after a weekend that saw his Tony Stewart Motorsports team win the preliminary feature and run second in the main event.

"That's the way we should have been racing all year long," said Lasoski, who has won 85 times at Knoxville. "This Bass Pro Shops car is getting back into form and I hope from here on out we can put on shows like that all across the country because Steve and I have done this for years and years and years and it's a lot of fun racing for the win. I know that both of us are really hard-headed, but both of us have the will to win like no other, and when you've got us both up there in front, we do whatever it takes to put on a great show for the fans."

With Swindell running in third, the top three drivers at the finish represented some of the most decorated sprint car racers in history, with a combined 23 World of Outlaws Sprint Series championships between them.

"I ran with Lasoski there for a little bit," Swindell said. "Most of the time I was by myself and passed a few cars, but there were only two or three cars in my lane so it was pretty much just go out there and run the laps off and go as fast as I could."

No driver has had as much recent success at Knoxville as McCarl, winner of the past six 410-division titles at Knoxville. He used that experience Friday night to get locked into the Stacker 2® Dash for the main feature, where he held his ground for the duration of the race.

"I got a little loose from the middle on and we had to run the top," McCarl said. "I tried to move around and catch Sammy. I'd catch him a little bit here and lose a little bit there. Any time you run top-five with the World of Outlaws it's fun."

Paulus was having fun from the start of the night. He was one of two drivers to break the Knoxville Raceway single-lap record in time trials, but got loose and spun in his heat and raced his way into the feature by winning the B-main.

"For some reason, and maybe it's the competition level, we always seem to step it up at Knoxville," Paulus said. "Last year, on our qualifying night we timed it good, ran good in our heat race, but I crashed the car and bent it really bad. We pieced it together in what many people would say was a very unsafe car to race and it still qualified us, we still passed 10 cars on our qualifying night in the feature with a completely destroyed racecar. I think our confidence level from nights like that has helped us out on good weekends."

Kaeding has had nothing but good weekends recently in his Dennis Roth-owned machine. No matter where he starts, Kaeding always seems to work his way to the front.

"You just have to hit your marks," said Kaeding, who leads the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. "It went non-stop tonight so I got to keep my momentum going. I got comfortable running around the bottom. We went with basically the same setup as [Friday] night and just ran it. It's just one of those things where I'm a die-hard racer. I never give up. I think that's one of the reasons Dennis chose me to drive his cars. A lot of other guys give up if something happens or they start that far back. I just go out and do what I'm supposed to do, stand on the gas and have some fun."

Right now, nobody in the series is having more fun than Kinser. With his sixth feature win this season--and the fourth in the past six nights of racing--he extended his lead in the standings to 100 points over Craig Dollansky and the rest of the field.

"Winning races is something that's always enjoyable," Kinser said. "It never quits no matter how many you win."

In the Stacker 2® Dash, Lasoski held off Kinser in a thrilling side-by-side race to earn the pole position in the A-main.

In the B-main, Paulus recovered from his heat race mishap and easily won ahead of Chad Kemenah, with Jason Sides surging to the final transfer spot by 0.011 over Stevie Smith. Jason Solwold and Peter Murphy advanced to the B-main by finishing in the top two spots in the C-main.

The heat race winners included Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Tim Shaffer and Don Droud Jr.

Saldana and Paulus broke the Knoxville Raceway single-lap record. Saldana was quickest with a lap around the 1/2-mile oval in 14.908 seconds at 120.741 mph. Paulus turned a lap in 14.931 seconds at 120.555 mph. The previous mark--Don Droud Jr.'s 14.934-second run--had stood since Aug. 29, 1998.

"The Outlaws right now are unbelievably tough," said Saldana, whose father also owns a speed record at Knoxville as well as a Nationals title. "Not only are there a lot of good Outlaws guys, but there's also a lot of good local guys that are up on their game and are running strong. There is a numerous group of guys that can win these races. Hopefully we can get ourselves up there and win one of these things."

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series heads May 6 to Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., May 7 to Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., and May 9 to Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., before hitting K-C Raceway May 14 in Chillicothe, Ohio, for The Ohio Challenge.

All the action from Knoxville Raceway can be seen at 8 p.m. ET May 11 on The Outdoor Channel. At 8 p.m. on May 4, The Outdoor Channel will broadcast coverage of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series race from 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan.

-woo-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Chad Kemenah , Tim Kaeding , Peter Murphy