Mark Kinser Takes TALK.com Outlaws Championship By Richard Day CONCORD, NC (October 6) -- Mark Kinser won both battles at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, which has made the war for the Pennzoil...
Mark Kinser Takes TALK.com Outlaws Championship
By Richard Day
CONCORD, NC (October 6) -- Mark Kinser won both battles at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway, which has made the war for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship much closer. Mark exchanged the lead with cousin and series points leader Steve Kinser three times Friday on his way to winning the TALK.com Outlaws Championship. The $20,000 victory, his 12th of the season, pushed him to within one point of Sammy Swindell in the standings. Winning the Wix Filers Outlaws Showdown in May put him in second place. "The Mopar team got into a slump there at the middle of the season, and I honestly believe we're racing for second (in the standings)," Mark said. "Maybe we can put together a few more runs and get a good strong showing. These fans here are very knowledgeable, and it's a pleasure to be here to put on a show for them." Mark, who finished third in Thursday's Preliminary Feature, earned the right to start the 40-lap "A" Feature inside the second row by following Steve and Donny Schatz across the finish line in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. "The King of the Outlaws" burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. Schatz raced wheel-to-wheel with him through the second corner, but Kinser won the back-straightaway drag race. Mark steered the #5M Mopar Maxim into the low groove in turn four to pass Schatz for second place late in the opening lap. Johnny Herrera's first corner spin brought out the caution flag early in lap two. Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Stevie Smith took the inside line through the first and second corners to pass Schatz as the green flag replaced the yellow. Swindell used a similar move to pass Schatz for fourth place three laps later. Mark was just inches from Steve's rear bumper when they entered lapped traffic early in the seventh lap. Steve threaded his #11 Quaker State Maxim between his brother, Randy, and Herrera in turn four to open a 10-car-length advantage several seconds later. Swindell and Schatz used inside moves to pass Smith for third and fourth place during the 10th and 16th laps, respectively. Mark steadily gained on his cousin for 13 laps before passing him for the lead deep in turn four midway through the race. Herrera took the leaders out of lapped traffic late in the 21st lap when he stopped the #20 Networks Eagle in the second corner with a blown engine. Danny Lasoski, who started outside the ninth row, exchanged ninth place with Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Dale Blaney during laps 25 and 26. Mark was 10 car-lengths ahead of Steve when he caught the backmarkers midway through the 27th lap. Steve narrowed the gap two laps later when Mark slowed behind "B" Feature winner Daryn Pittman and Tim Shaffer, who raced side-by-side for 12th place. "The King of the Outlaws" passed Mark for the lead with a low move between turns three and four late in lap 31. Mark regained first place seven laps later, beating Steve into the low groove in the second corner. The series' defending and two-time champion was eight car- lengths ahead of his cousin when he took the checkered flag. "Steve got held up in traffic and it let us get by; then the same thing happened to me, but we finally got it done," Mark said. "Steve Kinser is one of the best there's ever been in traffic, and any time you can pass him back it's a great honor. It was a pretty tough race -- a high-speed race for 40 laps. I want to thank the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series and everybody here at Charlotte for giving us such a great race track." Swindell surrendered third place when his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth stopped with a broken rear end late in the final lap. Schatz held off Smith for third. World of Outlaws Gumout Series points leader Craig Dollansky finished fifth, ahead of Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, 15th-starting Greg Hodnett, Lasoski and Blaney. Smith received his sixth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the year for pacing the qualifying session with a 118.499-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will sanction the $102,670 O'Reilly Auto Parts Texas Showdown Thursday and Saturday at Texas Motor Speedway. WoO