Lebanon Valley race report 2005-05-30

Kinser Powers Through Lebanon Valley for 10th World of Outlaws Sprint Series Win West Lebanon, NY -- May 30, 2005 -- Steve Kinser's car was fast Monday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway before the door on his hauler hit the ground. From hot laps...

Kinser Powers Through Lebanon Valley for 10th World of Outlaws Sprint Series Win

West Lebanon, NY -- May 30, 2005 -- Steve Kinser's car was fast Monday night at Lebanon Valley Speedway before the door on his hauler hit the ground. From hot laps through the checkered flag on the feature, Kinser's experience paid off.

After winning on the half-mile track in West Lebanon last year, Kinser and his crew knew he could run the top groove to a World of Outlaws Sprint Series victory once again, which he did for the ninth time at Lebanon Valley, the 10th time this season and the 523rd time in his career.

But Donny Schatz was determined to make it close. While Kinser started on the outside pole after racing from sixth to first in the second Dash, the near capacity crowd watched Schatz start from the 11th spot on the feature grid and pick off cars high and low, lap after lap to finish second. Given a few more than the scheduled 25 laps and more forgiving traffic, Schatz most likely would have been on Kinser's tail as he was circling the track a half-second quicker than Kinser near the end.

Finishing behind Kinser and Schatz were Paul McMahan, Kevin Swindell, pole-sitter Joey Saldana, Tim Kaeding, Lance Dewease, Craig Dollansky, Brooke Tatnell and Chad Layton. For Swindell, 16, it marked his first top-five finish with the World of Outlaws.

"We were working pretty good in Turns 1 and 2 around the top there," said Kinser, the series points-leader who collected $10,000 after winning an A-feature for the fourth time in the past five events. "We ran there last time we were here, too, and ran pretty good so we just played with it. We've been running pretty good all year. To start sixth in the Dash, that was the main thing here. On this racetrack, you want to be in the lead. It's hard to pass on. We've had an exceptionally good racecar, one of the few cars that can do it right now.

"As long as we didn't run into anything or make any mistakes [we were going to have a chance to win]. I was fairly conservative the whole race. I didn't try to push any lapped cars real hard or anything and sort of watched what I was doing."

Schatz, who won three times earlier this season, shuffled his crew after the series ran Saturday night at Hagerstown Speedway. An intense competitor, Schatz was determined to post a good finish at Lebanon Valley.

"I think we're at least going the right direction," Schatz said. "We were definitely fast. I know we were faster than [Kinser]. It's been a long time since I was actually fast enough to lap cars. I think if I wouldn't have had lapped traffic I could have got to him and got by him. But unfortunately he got out there far enough. He got himself better earlier in the night and that's important.

"We know we can race, but we just can't come from the back like we have. We can't start that far back. -- I'm just trying to do everything I can here. What I've been doing hasn't worked the past two months so it's nice to actually have something I think that will work."

What worked for Kinser was knowing he could push his car almost to the wall in Turns 1 and 2 and still have enough muscle to power down the backstretch. By having that control, it didn't matter that the inversion had him starting last in the second Dash or sixth in his heat race. His experience was the key factor.

"I've been here a while and we've got a lot of confidence in the racecar," Kinser said. "Most teams right now probably couldn't do it from last in the Dash. Most generally in these races the winners come off of the front row of the Dash and then the front row or front two rows of the feature. It's been a little different the past few races. I've passed a lot of cars working the top of Turns 1 and 2. I'm good enough that if they try to go up and block me on the top I'm good enough on the bottom to drive by them there."

McMahan has had several strong runs in the past month. His finish at Lebanon Valley matched a season-best and was his second consecutive top-five.

"The inversion helped us a ton," McMahan said. "At this place, you don't pass many cars. If you start up front, you're going to stay up front. If you start in the back, you're going to stay in the back.

"I just ran around from the middle to the bottom. I tried up where Steve was early and my car didn't work up there so I just stayed down on the bottom and tried to pick them off that way. At this place, you don't want to make mistakes and try something too abrasive unless you're trying to pass a car. I got to Joey [Saldana] and was able to get by him on the inside. I tried a couple of lapped cars on the outside and it didn't work. Schatz was rolling around the top pretty good and was able to get by, but I'll take top threes all day."

Kevin Swindell's fourth-place finish is his best with the series, and follows a top-10 at Hagerstown where he also won a Dash for the first time. At 15 in the opening event in Australia, Swindell became the youngest driver to finish in the top-10 of an Outlaws feature.

"We've been trying some stuff with the motors," said Swindell, the son of three-time series champion Sammy Swindell. "We went back to stuff like I had in Australia and at the beginning of the year and that's working. It's helped coming back to some places where my dad has run good before. He knows what to do with the car.

"I had a little help with the inversion and getting on the front row of the Dash the last couple of nights, but the car has been running good and we've been able to stay up front. It's good to know we can run with these guys now."

In the Stacker 2® Dash, Saldana led flag-to-flag for his fourth Dash win in May. In the second Dash, Steve Kinser raced from last to first, turning the fastest lap of the night in the process when he circled the half-mile oval on Lap 3 at 127.033 mph.

In the B-main, Danny Lasoski started on the outside pole and grabbed the lead going into Turn 1. The field fell in line single-file behind him, except for Brandon Wimmer who powered through the bottom of Turns 3 and 4 to go from 13th to seventh.

In the first heat race, Jason Sides got the jump in the first turn and drove away with the win ahead of qualifiers Chad Layton, Kraig Kinser, Tim Kaeding and Brooke Tatnell. In the second heat, pole-sitter Jason Meyers grabbed the lead in Turn 1 while Steve Kinser dared to go almost to the wall in Turns 1 and 2 and move all the way from sixth to second ahead of Shane Stewart, Terry McCarl and Paul McMahan. In the third heat, Tim Shaffer got a quick start as the field stretched out with Chad Kemenah, Joey Saldana, Donny Schatz and Lance Dewease all transferring to the feature. In the fourth heat, Travis Rilat grabbed the lead at the flag while Brian Paulus, Kevin Swindell and Lucas Wolfe fell in line behind him as Craig Dollansky and Daryn Pittman waged an exciting side-by-side battle for the final transfer spot, eventually going to Dollansky on the final lap.

Brooke Tatnell paced the 33-car field in time trials with a lap around the half-mile oval in 18.027 seconds at 124.815 mph. Danny Lasoski owns the single-lap record with a lap of 16.383 seconds on May 27, 2003.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series heads Wednesday to Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in Elbridge, N.Y., Friday to Sharon Speedway in Hartford, Ohio, and Saturday to Eldora Speedway.

At 8 p.m. ET Wednesday, The Outdoor Channel broadcast action from the Commonwealth Clash at Lernerville Speedway. At 8 p.m. on June 8, The Outdoor Channel will broadcast all the action from last Thursday and Friday's race at Williams Grove.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Travis Rilat , Lucas Wolfe , Chad Kemenah , Tim Kaeding
Teams Williams