Mid-season review

World of Outlaws Enjoys Tight Points Race By Richard Day For years, mid-season chatter at World of Outlaws events rarely concerned championship predictions. Steve Kinser, the champion in 14 of the ...

World of Outlaws Enjoys Tight Points Race By Richard Day For years, mid-season chatter at World of Outlaws events rarely concerned championship predictions. Steve Kinser, the champion in 14 of the series' first 17 seasons, usually had an insurmountable lead by Independence Day. World of Outlaws President Ted Johnson can only laugh when he considers the metamorphosis his series has undergone. "All it took was Kinser going Winston Cup racing for a few months, and we've got more competition than we've had in 17 years," Johnson says. While Kinser has visited victory lane with his usual regularity, it's been unusually crowded at the top of the Skoal Outlaw Series point standings. Dave Blaney, runner-up to Kinser the last two years, exchanged the points lead with Jac Haudenschild three times in as many events in mid-June before "The Wild Child" surged ahead again. Blaney passed Haudenschild with a third-place run at Kokomo Speedway on June 14th, only to have fall victim to a flat left rear tire at Tri-City Speedway two nights later. Haudenschild coasted out of the Memphis race and out of the points lead with a blown engine the next night. An early crash in Knoxville's Valvoline Classic (June 24th) knocked "The Buckeye Bullet" out of first place. While Haudenschild hasn't won as often as Blaney, he's put the #22 Pennzoil Maxim in the top 10 in 37 of the first 43 "A" Features. He entered the July 19th event at Knoxville Raceway with 13 consecutive top-10 runs, currently the longest streak on the tour. Mark Kinser, Steve's successor as championship car owner Karl Kinser's driver, burst into the lead by winning the season opener and adding a pair of Preliminary Feature victories. He led the World of Outlaws with nine main event victories until Steve passed him at Tri- State Speedway on July 16th. He would be firmly entrenched in the top five had he not missed four races in June and July. Mark has been consistently fast; he leads the World of Outlaws with 14 EcoWater Fast-Time Awards. Haudenschild replaced Mark as the leader in the point standings when a turn-two pass at State Fair Speedway on March 26th led to his first of four "A" Feature victories this year. Blaney's April Fools Day victory at Memphis Motorsports Park pushed him into second place, where he's been almost ever since. Successive victories at LaSalle Speedway and Tri-City Speedway and a third-place run at Tri-State left "The Buckeye Bullet" and the #10 Vivarin team only 40 points behind Haudenschild. Blaney ranks third in "A" Feature victories with seven. Danny Lasoski believes an off-track move - changing rides - will be his ticket to the World of Outlaws championship. Twelve straight top-10 finishes in the #47 Casey's General Stores Maxim enabled "The Dude" to make several runs at Blaney in June and early July. The six- time Knoxville Raceway champion jumped into Al Hamilton's #77 Cornwell Tools J&J as the series headed to Knoxville. Stevie Smith's first half-season in the Motter Brothers' #71M EcoWater Maxim has produced three victories among 32 top-10 finishes. He's currently battling Jeff Swindell to retain fourth place in the points race. Jeff, the Skoal Outlaw Series leader with seven Wells Lamont Hard Charger Awards, moved into a tie with Smith with 22 straight top-10 finishes before running 16th at Tri-State. Former World of Outlaws Rookies of the Year Andy Hillenburg and Greg Hodnett can't be counted out of the race, either. Currently ranking sixth and seventh in points, they have almost identical statistics, with one "A" Feature victory among 33 top-10 finishes. Randy Hannagan has taken control of the Rookie of the Year race with top-10 finishes in five of the last seven events. He also threw in a qualifying record at LaSalle Speedway for good measure. In all, World of Outlaws racers broke 20 one-lap records during the first half of the season. With less than 100 points separating the top three and only 418 points lying between first and seventh place, the second half of the 1995 season is sure to produce the closest points race in World of Outlaws history. WoO*eof

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Randy Hannagan , Dave Blaney , Jac Haudenschild , Jeff Swindell