CANTON, MA (September 16) - Mark Kinser's recent live chat with fans on World of Outlaws Online centered around the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points race and the powerful Mopar engine. Here are some excepts from the 30-minute session. ...
CANTON, MA (September 16) - Mark Kinser's recent live chat with fans on World of Outlaws Online centered around the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points race and the powerful Mopar engine. Here are some excepts from the 30-minute session. Looking at the records, it appears that you do well at the Perris and Devil's Bowl tracks. How will you do at these two tracks? "With Danny Lasoski tightening up the point standing right now, we better run really good," Mark said. As Danny closes in on you in the points, at which tracks will you have an advantage? "I think the Devil's Bowl, Lernerville and Williams Grove." How does it feel to be on top of the points standings? How is your relationship with Steve? What do you think of Grays Harbor Raceway Park? "We started the year really strong. Lately, we've been struggling, but that's racing. Steve and I fight like brothers. I enjoy the fans the most at Gray's Harbor Raceway Park. It has a carnival atmosphere. I'd say, all they need to do is widen the race track a little bit." What are your chances of winning the Gold Cup this weekend? "The Gold Cup is going to be tough. I've never won the race. It's always eluded me. But we do have a legitimate shot." Can you describe the difference in feeling between a Mopar engine and the other brand? "The biggest thing that comes out and grabs you it is the low end torque. It has the power and it has it right now. With the Chevy, it's more lazy." Can't you change that with the camshafts - the bottom end I mean? "Oh, yeah, there are different changes. Cam shafts, compression, change the timing of the motor to turn the cam shaft." What is the difference in setup with the Maxim chassis for a Mopar engine versus a Chevy engine? "With the Mopar engine, it has a lot more torque and is more responsive. It's the only product we've put on a race car to have to make chassis adjustments for. There are a lot of differences in the chassis themselves. There is just a world of changes that we had to make." How supportive has Mopar been to you and your dad? "Mopar has been there for everything that we've needed. They've made parts and that's not even in their contract for them to do. They've been behind us at our beckon call." Which type of track do you enjoy running on, 1/4, 3/8 or 1/2? "I enjoy the 1/2 mile because of running the Mopar motor, it really has a lot of power and really likes the big tracks." How much do you attribute your success this year to Gary Stanton and the Mopar engine? "I think Gary is one guy that is totally overlooked, even by myself. Gary seems to get lost in the shuffle. I'd say about 70% to answer the question." Do you have any ambitions on driving a Mopar in the truck series? "I would like to test a truck. I would like to have the opportunity to prove I could do it." How do you see the rest of the outlaws responding to the dominance that Mopar engines has had? How many drivers will have Mopar engines next year? "I would say a half-dozen are trying to obtain a Mopar motor. That's probably a low count." You've been with Maxim for awhile. Do you feel that there is a big advantage with Maxim? "I think Maxim is on the cutting edge of sprint car design, but there are a host of other companies that make nice equipment." You appear to be very mechanical. Do you work on the car and engine? Are you really the chief mechanic? "No, no, our race team works better when I don't touch the race car." How about the green Quaker State car? "The green Quaker State car ... it's a beautiful car. He is the king, long live the king!" Do you think the Pennzoil World of Outlaws is heading in a positive direction? "Next year there will be a lot of changes for the best. We're taking small track racing and taking it to the big track. I think there is a world of positive changes." Can you elaborate on what changes will be coming next season? "I just think the tracks in Texas and Charlotte. They're even thinking about putting dirt right on the asphalt at other tracks. We're running at tracks with 10 times the seating than we've ever had." Bert Emick weighed all the cars at the Sharon Nationals. The lightest car was 1,186 pounds. What does the #5M car weigh and would you like to see a weight rule? "To be honest, we don't weigh our cars. I think our car weighs around 1,100 pounds. I think they are as light as they are going to be and I don't like a weight rule." Who do you hang out with mostly on the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series tour? "Donny Schatz is sitting behind me right now in his motor home." Tell Donny "nice article" in Open Wheel. "I'll do that. It was a very nice article." Do you have a say in the travel schedule? "The traveling part is the toughest. We try to hit every aspect of the United States. I've been on the road for 15 years and traveling is my least favorite." What do you do for fun between events? "I spend a lot of time with my family - my wife Cindy, and my son Cole. We take advantage of the time we have off." Would you like your son to follow in your footsteps and be a racer? "I'd rather him be a brain surgeon, or a lawyer, but I think he'll be right down here racing. He's two years old." Do you have a workout routine or are you just winded after each event? "You have to stay in shape out here. I used to work out seven days a week. But after I had my boy, I spend some workouts chasing him." I saw your dad at Dingus in Knoxville having a great time. It seems he is enjoying his golden years. "Well, it's strange. My dad doesn't have that much fun except for the Nationals. He really lets his hair down there. It can get embarrassing sometimes (laughing)." How many years can your father take of the schedule and such? "He's said he's going to stop but, I believe, because of Mopar it's rejuvenated his willingness to sacrifice himself." What do you do to psyche yourself up before a race? "My crew pretty much sets my tone. They psyche me up or tone me down. They read me well and they try to set me at my best." What has been the most satisfying part of your racing career? "Winning the Amoco Knoxville Nationals recently. It was a very surprisingly nice win for us." Where and when did you get started in racing? "I started at Bloomington, IN, in 1983. Jeff Gordon and I started the same year." Who did you drive for in 1983? "I actually ran my own car. It was stuff my father and Steve Kinser tore up, I put together and just raced it. It was just back yard junk." Do you have any odd superstitions? "No peanuts in the pits. Positively not." As far as your hobbies, I have heard that you like to tap dance and you like to play the drums. Are these rumors or is there some truth there? "Well, I do have a pair of tap shoes, and I do have a drum set ... enough said! (laughing) On the whole, do you think the east or west coast has better equipment, specifically Pennsylvania? "That's pretty tough. I think PA now has the better equipment because they have a better standing of 410 cars. PA is more prepared for the outlaws now."
Four more Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series drivers will be chat guests on World of Outlaws Online (http://www.goracing.com/outlaws) during the next six weeks. Stevie Smith will appear September 30th, Andy Hillenburg October 7th, Donny Schatz October 21st and Lasoski October 28th. Each chat session will start at 5:30 p.m. eastern time.