By Richard Day FORT WORTH, TX (March 30) -- It was only a matter of time before Mark and Karl Kinser returned to the form that put them atop the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series in recent years. Mark, who won the 1996 and 1999...
By Richard Day FORT WORTH, TX (March 30) -- It was only a matter of time before Mark and Karl Kinser returned to the form that put them atop the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series in recent years.
Mark, who won the 1996 and 1999 championships, became the first driver to sweep a 2001 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series double-feature event Friday at Texas Motor Speedway, leading all 40 laps in the Second Annual Southern Bleacher Classic main event. TNN: The National Network televised the feature program live.
Kinser was dominant throughout the $112,145 event, winning the Preliminary and "A" Features by a combined 8.72 seconds. He lapped 17 cars in the $20,000 victory, which pushed him into third place in the point standings. The #5M Mopar Maxim was .6 seconds faster than any other car on the 4/10-mile oval in the 40-lap championship feature.
"The Mopar car was working well; it was getting the power to the ground nicely," Mark said in victory lane. "I just had to be patient. My crew has worked really hard this year. Sometimes I feel like I've let them down, but they've given me 110 percent."
Kinser won the CHANNELLOCK Dash for the privilege of starting the "A" Feature on the pole. He burst into the lead as the green flag fell and was building a comfortable advantage when Andy Hillenburg and Tim Shaffer crashed in turn two early in the second lap.
Kinser was a half-straightaway ahead of outside pole-sitter Danny Wood when "B" Feature winner James Chesson flipped on the back stretch four laps later. Wood kept pace with Mark when the green flag replaced the red, only to have the #21W Pepsi Avenger turn sideways and flip between the third and fourth corners.
Craig Dollansky took the high line around Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski in turn two and passed Brad Furr deep in the third corner when the race resumed. Dollansky caught Steve Kinser within two laps while Mark extended his advantage to a half-straightaway by the seventh lap. Mark doubled his lead soon after entering lapped traffic three laps later.
Third O'Reilly Heat Race winner Paul McMahan took the leaders out of lapped traffic when a flat left rear tire caused him to stop in turn four in front of the leaders late in the 14th lap.
Dollansky won a back-straightaway drag race with Steve Kinser when the green flag replaced the yellow, only to have Jac Haudenschild spin between the third and fourth corners.
Furr lost fifth place when he flipped between turns three and four on the ensuing restart. Daryn Pittman collided with Furr and joined him in the pit area.
Mark raced away from the field when the green flag replaced the red, and was a half-straightaway ahead of his closest pursuers when he caught the backmarkers again midway through the race.
Steve Kinser was gaining on his second cousin before Mark threaded the #5M between Randy Hannagan and John Bankston in turn two early in the 29th lap.
Sammy Swindell stopped his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth in the second corner with a flat right rear tire late in the 37th lap, setting up a three-lap dash to the checkered flag. With three lapped cars giving him a comfortable cushion, Mark raced away when the race resumed and took the checkered flag with 3.09 seconds to spare.
"The guys from the so-called 'B' Series running with the 'A' Series are making it tough every night," Mark said. "I just hope we can keep up our momentum next weekend in Houston."
Dollansky, the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, passed Steve Kinser for the runner-up spot with an inside move on the back straightaway on the final restart.
Jeff Shepard had to use a provisional, but drove Guy Forbrook's #5 Wirtgen Maxim past 19 cars to finish in sixth place.
"The race was too short," Shepard said. "I wish it had been 50 laps. I had the tires for it (Goodyears)."
Lasoski finished fourth, ahead of Joey Saldana, Shepard, 19th- starting Travis Rilat, Brooke Tatnell, Haudenschild and Donny Schatz.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will sanction the Second Annual Texas Shootout at Houston Raceway Park Friday and Saturday. TNN: The National Network will televise Friday's race live.