Kokomo race report 2005-06-14

Kraig Kinser Captures World of Outlaws Sprint Series Return to Kokomo Kokomo, IN -- June 14, 2005 -- In one of the most thrilling World of Outlaws Sprint Series races of the season, Kraig Kinser held off Jason Meyers by 0.366 in the series'...

Kraig Kinser Captures World of Outlaws Sprint Series Return to Kokomo

Kokomo, IN -- June 14, 2005 -- In one of the most thrilling World of Outlaws Sprint Series races of the season, Kraig Kinser held off Jason Meyers by 0.366 in the series' first race at Kokomo Speedway since 1996.

At the halfway point of the 40-lap feature on the quarter-mile oval, Kraig Kinser was in front with his father, 19-time series champion Steve Kinser, in pursuit. As they hit heavy traffic, Kraig Kinser went to the cushion, Steve Kinser dove to the bottom. Meyers was in third, looking for a chance to pounce. Meyers powered to the outside of Steve Kinser off of Turn 2, then Kinser shot right back.

The three were virtually side-by-side as they came out of Turn 4. Steve Kinser was trying to fend off Meyers and look for a lane around Kraig at the same time. Kraig muscled his car to the bottom to keep his father behind him. Steve touched Kraig's car hard enough to smash Steve's front wing. The damage made it nearly impossible for him to hold off Meyers, who was unrelenting in his effort to reach the front, but he managed to fend off Meyers for three laps.

With eight to go, Meyers drove to the outside of Steve Kinser on the backstretch and made it a two-car race for the lead. Meyers went high, Kraig Kinser went low. Then traffic pushed them both to the high side.

The two were clearly pushing their cars to their limits. Two laps from the finish Meyers had to tuck behind Kinser as they worked through traffic. Then Meyers went low, Kinser shot back to the high side.

The white flag waved and Kinser could hear Meyers, although he thought is was his father. Kinser sliced to the bottom to upset Meyers' racing line. It was just enough as he raced under the checkered flag 0.366 seconds ahead of Meyers and wound up spinning in Turn 1 from the momentum he carried off of Turn 4.

For Kinser, it was his third A-feature victory of the season and the fourth of his Outlaws career. He also won a Preliminary Feature this season in Las Vegas. Meyers has finished in the top 10 in 10 of the past 12 A-features.

Steve Kinser finished third as he continues to roll along in his quest for a 20th Outlaws championship. Steve Kinser was followed by 15th-place starter Brooke Tatnell, Craig Dollansky, Donny Schatz, Danny Lasoski, Jason Sides, Shane Stewart and Paul McMahan, whose finish gave him the biggest jump in points by moving from ninth to seventh.

But while the action was fierce throughout the field, the battle for the lead had the capacity crowd on its feet.

"I knew Dad was back there somewhere," said Kraig Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who collected $10,000 for the win after his team changed motors following his heat race. "I actually thought that was him still underneath me. I was just having a struggle there in the middle of the race and at the last couple of laps just getting around the track. I knew somebody had to be coming. I heard him coming off the bottom off the frontstretch at the white flag so I went to the bottom to ruin the line for him. I didn't have any idea it was Meyers until he went by me.

"It's definitely a big win for me. My family has a lot of history here at Kokomo and I've won a couple of [Great Lakes Outlaw Sprint Series] races here so it's definitely special to get a win here in my home state."

It was the second consecutive top-three for Meyers, but he was left wondering what might have been after he passed Kraig Kinser for second on Lap 5 at the same time pole-sitter and leader Joey Saldana had mechanical trouble that resulted in a caution. Kinser was moved back in front of Meyers and never relinquished the lead.

"It was a great race from my standpoint," said Meyers, a Mean 15 racer from Clovis, Calif. "He drove a great race. I had him there early in the race and a caution came out and I had to give it back and I chased him the rest of the night. It was a fun race from the driver's seat and from what everyone is telling me it was a fun race for the fans. I'd have to say if you didn't like tonight's race then you're just not a sprint car fan."

Meyers believed that had he been able to grab the lead, he would have been able to set a pace that would have resulted in a victory.

"I really wanted to get to the lead as fast as I could and just set the pace," Meyers said. "When you get behind somebody, you might run behind them for 15 laps and you get slowed down to their pace and you forget that maybe you're a little faster. When you're out front, you keep pushing yourself because you don't know what's going on behind you. I think it might have been a different race there. We had a real good racecar. Had we gotten out front and been able to set the pace, I think we could have pulled it off."

Steve Kinser knew his chance at winning his 12th feature of the season was lost when his front wing was damaged as he tried to get around Kraig.

"I started to make a move on [Kraig] and he went down and blocked the track on me and got my nose wing and it was over with," Steve Kinser said. "It wouldn't have been so bad if it would have just knocked it off, but it knocked it up and it was getting wind underneath it pulling my front end up. I had already dragged my other wing back and I was just hanging on from there."

While nearly all the eyes were focused on the action for the lead, Tatnell raced his way from 15th on the grid through heavy traffic to finish fourth. Tatnell has not finished outside the top 10 since the feature at May 27 at Williams Grove, a span of eight races. Despite setting the quick time of the night and a track record, Tatnell was forced into the B-main when he was unable to race his way out of a heat race. That might ultimately have helped him as he used the heat to test his car.

"Starting that far back, you've got to figure out something," Tatnell said. "We ran the car a little bit tighter in the B-main than what we normally would have, but it was more of a scenario to see where we would be for the feature race, to see if we had to tighten up a little more or make it a little freer."

Joey Saldana powered to the lead in the Stacker 2® Dash as the green flag waved and drove off with an easy victory to earn the pole for the feature. Finishing behind Saldana were Craig Dollansky, Paul McMahan, Danny Lasoski, Donny Schatz and Jason Solwold.

After replacing a motor following his heat race, Kraig Kinser dominated the second Dash. He earned the outside pole ahead of Jason Meyers, Steve Kinser Danny Smith, Tim Kaeding and Daryn Pittman.

In the B-main, fast qualifier Brooke Tatnell started on the pole and was never challenged in the 12-lap race. Terry McCarl was running in a transfer spot when a left front shock broke, leaving McCarl with a nearly impossible car to control as the track began to get rough in Turn 1 and Turn 3.

In the first heat, Brandon Wimmer grabbed the lead from Jac Haudenschild as they exited Turn 2 on the first lap and Wimmer drove off with the victory as Jason Sides, Danny Smith, Craig Dollansky and Haudenschild all transferred to the feature, with Haudenschild holding off fast-qualifier Brooke Tatnell.

In the second heat, Travis Rilat and Joey Saldana shot around pole-sitter Cameron Dodson in Turns 1 and 2. Daryn Pittman and Paul McMahan followed suit with Jason Meyers sliding around to pick up the final transfer spot.

In the third heat, Bill Rose and Brian Paulus raced side-by-side into Turns 1 and 2 as Tim Kaeding powered his way from sixth to a battle for the lead. Halfway through the heat, Kaeding went around Paulus and used nearly every inch of track in an attempt to get around Rose, but Rose held on to win, with Kaeding second followed by Paulus, Kraig Kinser and Jason Solwold.

In the fourth heat, Shane Stewart pulled out to the lead and drove off with the win ahead of Tim Shaffer, Steve Kinser, Donny Schatz and Danny Lasoski.

Brooke Tatnell paced the 35-car field in time trials with a lap around the tacky quarter-mile oval in 11.461 seconds at 78.527 mph to establish a track record.

"It's nice to have quick time and know you're quick," Tatnell said. "But it can also bite you in the butt."

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series invades Eagle Raceway on June 17 and 18, June 22 to Missouri State Fair Speedway, June 24-25 to Knoxville Raceway and wraps up the month June 28 at Huset's Speedway.

All of the action from the June 1 race at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park will air at 8 p.m. (ET) June 15 on The Outdoor Channel, followed June 22 by the race at Eldora Speedway that was run on June 4. The Outdoor Channel will air the race from I-96 Speedway at 8 p.m. (ET) on June 29.

-woo-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Cameron Dodson , Bill Rose , Jac Haudenschild , Tim Kaeding
Teams Williams