Las Vegas II: Season finale race report

Kinser caps championship season with Vegas victory. LAS VEGAS, NV (November 9) -- No matter how much success Steve Kinser achieves, he always sets more goals for himself. As he approached the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship in...

Kinser caps championship season with Vegas victory.

LAS VEGAS, NV (November 9) -- No matter how much success Steve Kinser achieves, he always sets more goals for himself. As he approached the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship in recent weeks, "The King of the Outlaws" said he wanted "to win a few more "A" Features to reach an even 20."

Kinser, who clinched his 17th series championship a week before, reached his goal of 20 victories Saturday in the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, holding off P.J. Chesson and Tim Shaffer while leading all 30 laps.

"There's a lot of good racers here," Kinser said. "P.J. likes these TV shows and all the bright lights and everything. I saw him getting around the bottom pretty good, but we had a pretty good car, too. After that (10th-lap) restart, I just wanted to stay smooth and not make any mistakes with the lapped cars. It was getting pretty tough to pass, but there was just enough there coming out of (turn) two and (turn) four, and I was trying to keep some lapped cars between us. We'll let Mark (Kinser) have the prelim; we'll take the big ones."

The Speed Channel taped all the action for a January 9, 2003, telecast scheduled to start at 11 p.m. Eastern Time. The preliminary program was also taped and will be aired January 2nd.

Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Mark Kinser to win his 20th O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash of the season. Winning the five-lap race gave him the pole position in the main event.

Kinser burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Chesson and Shaffer passed Mark, Steve's second cousin, early in the opening lap. "The King of the Outlaws" was 10 car-lengths ahead of Chesson when he entered lapped traffic during the seventh lap. Engine problems in the #5M Mopar Maxim forced Mark out of the race two laps later.

Travis Cram's #92 sprinter lost its left rear tire late in the 10th lap, causing him to turn over. World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion Tyler Walker collided with several cars trying to avoid the crash and flipped into the retaining wall in the fourth corner.

Craig Dollansky, who claimed the $25,000 Ratbag Cup first prize by finishing fourth in the main event, exchanged the position with Randy Hannagan during the 12th and 13th laps. Ratbag is the official developer of the World of Outlaws video games for PC and Sony PlayStation2. The Ratbag Cup is a season-long points battle that involves televised Speed Channel events.

"Ratbag has done a great job with the Playstation game," Dollansky said. "My sons, Lucas and Garrett, got me hooked on it, and I'm just happy to be here for V-Mac, Polydome and Karavan Motorsports. I'm not sure how they set those cars up, but Lucas is usually pretty good in that #7 car. I'm just glad we had an opportunity to be a part of it."

Joey Saldana, who led the series with 21 fast times, passed Hannagan for fifth place late in the 17th lap. Kinser caught the back-markers with a 12-car-length advantage the next time around. Chesson, who won the preliminary feature at Red River Valley Speedway in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' first Speed Channel telecast in July, caught Kinser in dense lapped traffic early in lap 23. Chesson was challenging for the lead two laps later when he bumped the berm in turn two, allowing Shaffer to pass him for the runner-up spot.

Sammy Swindell, who won the 2000 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series season finale in Las Vegas, started inside the ninth row and passed 11 cars during the first 20 laps. The series' three-time champion passed 1999 season finale winner Donny Schatz for fifth place late in lap 26.

Shaffer raced wheel-to-wheel with Kinser through the third and fourth corners late in the final lap, but was unable to surge ahead. Less than a car-length separated the 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year from "The King of the Outlaws" at the checkered flag.

"The Beef Packers guys did a great job all year long," Shaffer said. "We just kept getting better and better all year long, and hopefully we'll just be stronger next year. We really wanted to win this one. We gave it all we had, but just came up a little bit short. Steve did a great job, not only tonight but all year long."

Chesson finished in third place, ahead of Dollansky, Swindell, Schatz, Saldana, Hannagan, Johnny Herrera and 15th-starting Shane Stewart.

Schatz' sixth-place finish pushed him past Brad Furr into seventh place in the final point standings.


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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Shane Stewart , P.J. Chesson , Johnny Herrera