'King of the Outlaws' Wins Silver State Shootout LAS VEGAS, NV (March 2) -- Steve Kinser, the most consistent driver in Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series history, has finished in the top four in the first five races of the 2002 season. His first...
'King of the Outlaws' Wins Silver State Shootout
LAS VEGAS, NV (March 2) -- Steve Kinser, the most consistent driver in Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series history, has finished in the top four in the first five races of the 2002 season. His first victory of the year -- in Saturday's Silver State Shootout finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- put him in position to start a strong run toward his 17th series championship.
"We've been pretty good since the beginning of the year -- pretty consistent -- and tonight we hit it just right," Kinser said. "Scott (Gerkin) and the guys did a great job all night, and it looks like they did a great job all winter. We've gotten off to the right kind of start (to win another championship); now we just have to keep up the pace."
Kinser was unable to maintain pole-sitter Sammy Swindell's early pace, but drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the low groove between the third and fourth corners to pass his longtime rival for the lead late in the fifth lap. "The King of the Outlaws" held off a late charge by Joey Saldana, taking the checkered flag with only .64 seconds to spare. The $20,000 victory was Kinser's first in 12 races in Las Vegas.
"We got a pretty good run on Sammy there a couple laps in, and I think I found the bottom in (turns) one and two before he did," Kinser said. "The car could run anywhere I put it -- low or high, it didn't matter."
Swindell, who scored the most points in the preliminary programs, started on the pole in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash and earned the right to start inside the front row in the "A" Feature by winning the five-lap race.
Stevie Smith also got off to a fast start as the green flag fell in the 30-lap main event, driving the #11H Vivarin Maxim past Johnny Herrera on the front straightaway and racing into the low groove between the first and second corners to pass Tim Shaffer for fifth place.
Saldana and Kinser exchanged second place during the second lap, the 1996 Rookie of the Year surging ahead in the low groove between turns one and two only to have "The King of the Outlaws" regain the position deep in the fourth corner.
Shaffer drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past Smith in the low groove entering turn two to regain fifth place the next time around.
Kinser was .5 seconds ahead of Swindell when they entered lapped traffic during lap eight. Swindell almost spun the #83jr Beef Packers Eagle in the fourth corner several seconds later, but recovered without losing a position. Kinser took advantage of the miscue, opening a 3.4-second advantage within a lap.
Daryn Pittman, the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, lost seventh place early in the 11th lap when the #21 Hop 'n Sac J&J flipped in turn two. Swindell coasted into the pits to replace a flat left front tire and restarted at the rear of the 24-car field.
Herrera, who won the opening-night preliminary feature, exchanged fourth place with Smith during the 12th and 13th laps.
Kinser controlled the 12th-lap restart and opened a 1.9-second advantage within four laps. Steve Coelho and Peter Murphy collided in front of Saldana during the 17th lap, giving "The King of the Outlaws" the opportunity to increase his lead to 4.2 seconds.
Smith and Mark Kinser took turns passing each other for third place with six laps remaining. Smith surged ahead deep in the second corner, but Mark regained the position by driving the #5M Mopar Maxim around Stevie high between turns three and four.
Defending Silver Shootout and Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Danny Lasoski claimed fifth place with an inside move past Herrera between the third and fourth corners late in lap 28.
Mark Kinser took over second place in the point standings by finishing in third place. Smith finished fourth, ahead of "The Dude," Herrera, 17th-starting Donny Schatz, Fourth Heat Race winner Jason Meyers, Shaffer and Swindell.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will christen Hollywood Hills Speedway in San Felipe Pueblo, NM, Friday and Saturday.