Steve Kinser Captures World of Outlaws Sprint Series Cactus Classic Finale Phoenix -- Oct. 11, 2005 -- By Chris Dolack, WoO Sprint Series Public Relations Director For the ninth time in his career, Steve Kinser raced to Victory Lane at...
Steve Kinser Captures World of Outlaws Sprint Series Cactus Classic Finale
Phoenix -- Oct. 11, 2005 -- By Chris Dolack, WoO Sprint Series Public Relations Director
For the ninth time in his career, Steve Kinser raced to Victory Lane at Manzanita Speedway on Tuesday night when he captured the Cactus Classic finale, which was delayed by rain in March.
When a wing valve failed pole-sitter Craig Dollansky, Kinser grabbed the lead on a restart with nine laps down as Donny Schatz slid into second two corners later. Kinser and Schatz would duel each other over the final 20 laps, even splitting a lapped car running through the middle of the high-speed half-mile oval at one point, before Kinser gained momentum on the bottom and rolled to the checkered flag in the Quaker State Maxim for a series-high 20th time this season in a main event. He also has six preliminary feature wins.
Schatz continued his streak as the hottest driver on tour as he held on to finish second in the ParkerStore J&J as he gears up for the 2006 season with the Outlaws. Despite his malfunctioning top wing, Dollansky, another racer preparing to run with the Outlaws again in '06, kept the VMAC/Karavan J&J in third with Danny Lasoski in the Bass Pro Shops Eagle and Shane Stewart in the Snap-On Maxim rounding out the top five.
Randy Hannagan scored another strong run with the Outlaws, driving the Terry Hannagan Racing Maxim to sixth with '06 Outlaw Daryn Pittman in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim, Jason Meyers in the Elite Landscaping Maxim, Joey Saldana in the Volcano Joe's/Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Maxim and Brandon Wimmer in the Astro Titanium Maxim rounding out the top 10.
After Dollansky held off Lasoski to win the preliminary feature in March, series officials and SLS Promotions attempted to get the main event in for two days before they were forced to delay it to Tuesday night. That worked in Kinser's favor because once he and Schatz split the lapped car, Kinser found the bottom was the fastest lane to propel his machine around the track. Schatz tried to keep pace but a left rear losing air pressure hampered his efforts and Dollansky was in third still trying to battle with his injured top wing.
Fast-qualifier Terry McCarl was working his way toward the front when suddenly with 25 laps complete his right rear tire exploded in Turn 1 just as he had moved into fourth. It sent his car into a flip and brought out the lone red flag of the event, setting up a five-lap shootout for the $12,000 checkered flag.
Kinser pinched the bottom as he led the field to the green flag and powered into Turn 1. Schatz and Dollansky, whose crew repaired his wing under the open red flag, raced nose-to-tail in an effort to run down Kinser, but with clear track in front of him, Kinser turned smooth laps and extended his lead to win 1.724 seconds.
"I had a pretty good car," said Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind. "I got a little bottled up in Turns 1 and 2 a few times, but I think everybody was getting up there and getting tight. If you hit it wrong it would wad you up a little bit. Then I got to where I could work the bottom in Turns 3 and 4 and I had two grooves to work when we got to lapped cars. I had a pretty good way to go then."
The key to victory for Kinser was holding off Schatz and Dollansky on the final restart with five laps to go.
"That was my main thing, trying to get off there and not let him get a run at me going into Turn 1," Kinser said. "The only lap I messed up was the first lap on the restart. I went in and missed the bottom a little bit. It was a little slow, but it wasn't too bad. After that I caught it pretty good the last four laps. I knew I was getting through there good enough. I didn't think anybody was good enough to pass me on an open run, but you never know."
Schatz had pulled even with Kinser early on, but once they caught the lapped car running through the middle, Schatz held his position, making Kinser go to the bottom while he went to the top. From there, Kinser found the bottom was actually faster than where he had been running and Schatz was unable to get back along side him.
"It was my own fault because I forced him down there with the lapped car," said Schatz, a Mean 15 racer from Fargo, N.D. "I was catching him on the bottom. He found it. When we were on open racetrack we were about the same. The problem I had was that I started overdriving, trying to catch him. We actually had a left rear going down. That didn't help because it got real soft. When we get on these high-speed tracks and the tire gets too soft it really gets to be handful. We'll be happy with second. I know we were good enough to beat him, things just didn't go our way. -- It was [crew chief] Ricky Warner's birthday and we really wanted to get him a birthday victory but he's going to have to settle for a birthday second.
Schatz has been one of the top cars on the circuit since he finished second in the Knoxville Nationals. Four of his eight A-feature victories have come since late August.
"I guess it says a lot for this whole team," Schatz said. "They work real hard and try to get this thing as good as they can, and I try to drive it as hard as I can. Sometimes it's probably too hard and it gets me in trouble. I guess the whole goal is to be consistent. It's a shame it's this late in the year, but there's always next year."
After winning the Stacker 2 Dash to earn the pole, preliminary feature winner Dollansky jumped out to a quick lead. He was pulling away from the field when the first caution waved with nine laps complete. It was under that caution when he realized his wing wasn't functioning properly, but there was no way to correct the problem without easing into the turns.
"On that restart when Steve got underneath me, the wing cylinder fell right off so the wing went all the way back," said Dollansky, a Mean 15 racer from Elk River, Minn. "I had to go into that first corner easy and push the front end and let him get underneath me. I was just trying to hang on from that point. We changed it on the red but it was too little too late then.
"We were actually getting better as the race was going on. When the wing valve fell off, I knew it had happened rolling around the caution. The wing was all the way forward and when I pushed on the gas it went back. I knew I was done."
Dollansky maintained his spot in third in the championship standings despite a season where odd happenings from blown tires to plug wires falling off have worked against him.
"We definitely need to get a win here before the end," said Dollansky, a two-time A-feature winner in 2005. "We've been testing some things and trying to get some things situated for going into next year. We've had some tough luck this year and it's kind of sticking with us. Last weekend we had a plug wire fall off when we were going to sit on the front row of a Dash and tonight we had a wing valve fall apart. We've got to get some of this stuff put behind us."
Lasoski, who was coming off a sweep at Dodge City Raceway Park, was able to cruise around the half-mile oval in the top five for the entire race.
"We probably had a fifth-place car," said Lasoski, a Mean 15 racer from Dover, Mo. "The Mopar had been running great so we put another engine in and it would run wide open but that was it. I couldn't throttle it. It wouldn't take off, wouldn't do anything. To run across the bottom you had to lift a little bit. But I'm just tickled. We're making progress. A top four for us is a victory. We had an opportunity to run better, but as long as we're going forward that's all we're working toward."
Being locked into the Stacker 2 Dash helped Stewart, the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award leader, maintain his spot and post a top-five run.
"Any time you can get locked in with these guys, it's very vital," said Stewart, of Bixby, Okla., who finished in the top five of an A-feature for the seventh time this year. "My guys gave me a really good car. The Maxim car was working really good, the Hoosier tires did their job. We had a Gaerte engine tonight. Joe has helped us out there and that thing ran really good. We're just trying to do a little bit of R&D work. I think we struggled just a little bit in the middle of summer when it was hot and the air was bad. That's when you needed to be in you're A-game and that's when we lost a lot of points. My hat's off to my guys and my car owner. None of them have given up. It's been a struggle. It's a rookie year for us, but I don't look at myself as a rookie. I've been pretty hard on myself."
Following the Cactus Classic, the Outlaws close out the season with a two-day show Friday-Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., and a two-day show Oct. 21-22 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
CACTUS CLASSIC NOTEBOOK
* For a series-leading 11th time in 2005, Terry McCarl paced the 23 cars that went through time trials in the Big Game Treestands Eagle with an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the half-mile oval in 15.633 seconds at 115.141 mph. Donny Schatz was the second-quickest racer in time trials at 15.645 seconds at 115.053 mph. Jac Haudenschild owns the track record for an Outlaws event when he turned in a 15.340-second lap on Jan. 30, 1997. Craig Dollansky, Danny Lasoski, Steve Kinser and Shane Stewart were locked into the Stacker 2 Dash and did not go through time trials.
"I just have to thank Wesmar," McCarl said. "If we get this fast in the features we're going to be pretty unstoppable next year. Right now we've got the qualifying thing down, which definitely helps on the second day of a two-day show. It puts you behind the 8-ball on a normal World of Outlaws show. My wife always gets mad at me when I set quick time because you have to start sixth in the heat and it's pretty difficult to transfer with the tough competition".
* Steve Kinser has a series-leading 20 A-feature victories and six preliminary feature wins this season. -- There have been 17 different A-feature winners this season. Including preliminary features, 22 different drivers have visited Victory Lane this season with the Outlaws. -- Donny Schatz's victory Oct. 1 at Williams Grove Speedway was his eighth of the season, second-most this year with the Outlaws. -- Kraig Kinser captured the Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 14 for his sixth A-feature victory of the season. He also has a preliminary feature win at Las Vegas. -- Jason Meyers earned his fourth win of the season July 2 at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D. -- Tim Shaffer's victory July 19 in the Silver Cup was his third of the season, going with wins Lake Ozark Speedway and Thunderbowl Raceway. -- Danny Lasoski's victory Oct. 9 at Dodge City Raceway Park was his second A-feature win this season. He also has four preliminary feature victories. -- Craig Dollansky has two A-feature victories and three preliminary feature wins. -- Brian Paulus won June 28 at Huset's Speedway for his second victory of the season, and picked up a preliminary feature win in the following race at Red River Valley Speedway. -- Brooke Tatnell has two A-feature victories, winning at Cedar Lake and Fulton speedways, as well as a preliminary feature win at Princeton Speedway. -- Sammy Swindell won his second A-feature of the season June 4 at Eldora Speedway. Swindell also has a preliminary feature win April 8 at Eldora and Aug. 14 at Knoxville Raceway in the Nationals' non-qualifiers event. -- Fred Rahmer's victory Friday night was his second preliminary feature win of the season with the Outlaws. He also won the Summer Nationals crown July 23 and picked up a preliminary feature win in the Knoxville Nationals on Aug. 10. -- Single-event winners include Jac Haudenschild on Aug. 5 at Eldora Speedway, Stevie Smith July 13 at Attica Raceway Park, Tim Kaeding June 11 at Sheboygan County Fair Park, Chad Kemenah July 9 at I-55 Raceway, and Jeff Shepard Feb. 11 at Volusia Speedway Park. -- In preliminary features, Joey Saldana, Paul McMahan, Jason Johnson and Shane Stewart have each won once.
* Manzanita Speedway is a half-mile oval. Including preliminary features, the series has raced 37 times this year on half-mile circuits with Steve Kinser winning 10 times (Volusia, Eldora three times, Knoxville, Williams Grove, Hartford, Red River Valley, Calistoga and Manzanita), Donny Schatz winning four times (Las Vegas, Route 66 Raceway, Calistoga, Williams Grove), Sammy Swindell winning four times (twice at Eldora, once at Hagerstown and Knoxville), Kraig Kinser winning three times (Las Vegas and twice at Knoxville), Craig Dollansky winning twice (Manzanita and Williams Grove), Jason Meyers winning twice (Granite City and Red River Valley), Fred Rahmer winning three times (Williams Grove twice and Knoxville), Danny Lasoski winning twice (Knoxville and Calistoga), and Daryn Pittman (Jackson), Brian Paulus (Red River Valley), Jeff Shepard (Volusia), Jason Johnson (Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (Williams Grove), Jac Haudenschild (Eldora) and Shane Stewart (Knoxville) each winning once.
* Drivers who have raced to victory in preliminary features this season include (in alphabetical order) Craig Dollansky three times (Manzanita/Williams Grove/Silver Dollar), Jason Johnson once (Williams Grove), Kraig Kinser once (Las Vegas), Steve Kinser six times (Eagle twice/Billings/Elma/Calistoga/Silver Dollar), Danny Lasoski four times (Australia/Knoxville/Calistoga/Dodge City), Fred Rahmer twice (Knoxville/Williams Grove), Kerry Madsen once (Australia), Paul McMahan once (Williams Grove), Brian Paulus once (Red River Valley), Joey Saldana once (Lernerville), Shane Stewart once (Knoxville), Brooke Tatnell once (Princeton), Sammy Swindell twice (Eldora/Knoxville).
* In the Stacker 2 Dash that set the top six positions for the A-main, Craig Dollansky, Danny Lasoski, Steve Kinser and Shane Stewart were joined by Terry McCarl and Donny Schatz -- the two fastest qualifiers who transferred through their heats. In the Dash, Dollansky, the preliminary feature winner in March, jumped out to a quick lead and motored to victory in the VMAC/Karavan J&J to earn the pole for the main event. Lasoski was second followed by Stewart, Kinser, Schatz and McCarl.
* In the B-main, Jason Johnson, the fifth different driver this season in the Dennis Roth-owned Beefpackers Eagle, raced side-by-side with Brian Paulus in the first two turns before edging out to the lead and driving to the checkered flag. Paulus wound up second with Jason Solwold, Kaylene Verville and Ben Gregg earning the final transfer spots.
* In heat race action, Jason Meyers shot to the front in the first heat and held off Terry McCarl on a restart with two to go for the victory; former Outlaws rookie of the year Randy Hannagan jumped out front in the second heat and raced to the checkered flag; and Kevin Swindell, who has excelled this season on asphalt and dirt, cruised to victory in the third heat.
* Following the Cactus Classic, the Outlaws close out the year with a two-day show Friday-Saturday at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif., and a two-day show Oct. 21-22 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
* The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. Eastern on Oct. 12 the National Open from Williams Grove Speedway on Oct. 12, followed Oct. 19 by the race from Dodge City Raceway Park.