Nebraska: Preliminary race report

Mark Kinser takes Great Plains Shootout Preliminary. GREENWOOD, NE (May 3) - Mark Kinser loves racing in Nebraska. One of his most loyal supporters - Phil Durst - lives there, and the two-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion has shown...

Mark Kinser takes Great Plains Shootout Preliminary.

GREENWOOD, NE (May 3) - Mark Kinser loves racing in Nebraska. One of his most loyal supporters - Phil Durst - lives there, and the two-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion has shown his appreciation with nine victories in 22 feature races at Nebraska Raceway Park.

Kinser drove the #5M Mopar Maxim to victory Friday as the series opened the Dodge Great Plains Shootout at the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval, passing fast-qualifier Joey Saldana with 2 1/3 laps remaining to win the Preliminary Feature.

"The Mopar car ran great all night long," Kinser yelled to the capacity crowd. "My crew guys Justin (Adams) and Dennis (Kohler) did great job, and we got Jamie Adrian - who used to work with us a couple of years ago - back this weekend. I want to thank my sister-in-law, Jen, my wife, Cindy, and the kids - just everyone who makes this all possible. I also want to thank the Omaha area Dodge dealers for getting involved in sprint car racing.

"It's just great to win in Phil Durst's hometown. He's been one of my biggest supporters for a long time."

Kinser, who set the single-lap record at Nebraska Raceway Park 1 ½ years ago, was the sixth-fastest qualifier in the 27-car field Friday. He finished sixth in the First Heat Race, then earned the privilege of starting the 25-lap feature outside the front row by winning the Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash.

"Mopar Mark" burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature, only to have pole-sitter Tim Shaffer pass him deep in the first corner and slide in front of him in turn two several seconds later.

Saldana drove the #17 Eagle Raceway Eagle past Kinser in the low groove in the fourth corner late in the opening lap, then took the lead by passing Shaffer with a similar move in the same spot one lap later.

Stevie Smith fell back to 16th place late in the third lap when he hit the wall in turn three and spun in the air. The Kevin Gobrecht 1990 Rookie of the Year kept the #11H Vivarin Maxim moving in the right direction, so the caution flag never fell.

Lasoski, who swept the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events at Nebraska Raceway Park in 2000, passed Shaffer for second place with an inside move in the fourth corner the next time around. First Heat Race winner Brad Furr took the inside line through turns three and four to pass Steve Kinser for fourth place late in lap five.

A fuel leak in the #2W Heintz Brothers Maxim forced Johnny Herrera to stop in the third corner, bringing out the caution flag, one lap later.

Mark Kinser challenged Lasoski for second place as the green flag replaced the yellow, but was unable to surge ahead. Kinser continued battling "The Dude" before passing him in the high groove between turns one and two early in the ninth lap.

Rick Ideus brought out the caution flag 1 ½ laps later when he spun in turn three. Donny Schatz, whose ignition problems kept him from taking a qualifying lap, started outside the 12th row. The 1997 Rookie of the Year drove the #15 Parker Stores J&J past 14 cars in the first nine laps and passed Jac Haudenschild for ninth place high in turn four within a lap after the race resumed.

Mark Kinser caught Saldana early in lap 13 and raced nose-to-tail between him and Lasoski for two laps. "The Dude" passed Kinser for second place deep in the fourth corner just seconds before Jan Howard stopped in turn two with a flat left rear tire early in the 16th lap. Kinser regained the position as the green flag replaced the yellow, taking the high line around Lasoski between the first and second corners.

Saldana was eight car-lengths ahead of Kinser when he entered lapped traffic with 3 ½ laps remaining. Kinser, racing in the high groove, caught the 1996 Rookie of the Year in turn two, then passed Saldana for the lead entering the third corner late in lap 22.

"You know, we were probably one of the worst all weekend last week at Knoxville, and now tonight we were probably the best," said Kinser, who took the checkered flag a straightaway ahead of Lasoski. "It was definitely a case of give and take tonight. Joey had (turns) three and four wired, and we had one and two, and then Danny (Lasoski) kept creeping up in there as well."

Saldana and Steve Kinser earned the second-row starting positions in Saturday's O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash by finishing third and fourth. Shaffer finished in fifth place, ahead of Furr, Craig Dollansky, Schatz, Second Heat Race winner Paul McMahan and Smith.

Saldana set quick time for the third time this season, averaging 102.034 M.P.H. on his fastest qualifying lap.

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Jac Haudenschild