GREENWOOD, NE (September 20) -- It wasn't surprising that Mark Kinser won the First Preliminary Feature of the Inaugural Great Plains Shootout at Nebraska Raceway Park Thursday. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader won the first four...
GREENWOOD, NE (September 20) -- It wasn't surprising that Mark Kinser won the First Preliminary Feature of the Inaugural Great Plains Shootout at Nebraska Raceway Park Thursday. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader won the first four main events the series ran at the facility.
What was incredible about Kinser's third Preliminary Feature victory of the season was his margin of victory -- 10.11 seconds -- over runner-up Andy Hillenburg.
"It's pretty amazing when you're coming up to lap guys like Steve Kinser and Donny Schatz," Mark said. "Those are some pretty tough drivers, and winning by 10 seconds is just a testament to how good a job my crew did.
"I just want to say 'God bless America' tonight. I've been thinking about all that's happened in the last week and about all the kids who don't have mothers or fathers anymore, and all I can say is that we'll get those terrorists soon."
Kinser, who set the single-lap record at the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval last September 21st, was the fourth-fastest qualifier in the 45-car field. He earned the right to start the 25-lap feature outside the front row by following Stevie Smith across the finish line in the Fourth O'Reilly Heat Race and the Channellock Dash.
Smith, whose crew replaced the RPM Engine in his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Maxim after the qualifying session, raced wheel-to-wheel with Kinser down the front straightaway as the green flag waved at the beginning of the Preliminary Feature. Stevie, who won an "A" Feature at Nebraska Raceway Park on May 1, 1998, surged ahead between the first and second corners.
Kinser tried to take the lead in the low groove between turns three and four the next time around, but was unable to pass Smith. Craig Dollansky, who started outside the fourth row, drove Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim around Hillenburg high in turn four to take over fourth place several seconds later.
Kinser continued battling Smith for two more laps before steering the #5M Mopar Maxim to the lowest point in the fourth corner to take the lead late in lap four.
Sammy Swindell, a two-time winner at Nebraska Raceway Park, won a back-straightaway drag race with Smith to take over second place midway through the sixth lap. Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Brad Furr spun in turn two, however, bringing out the caution flag and nullifying the move.
Swindell duplicated the move as the race resumed, only to have Smith regain second place deep in the fourth corner. Hillenburg drove his #2 Luxaire J&J past Dollansky in the low groove between turns one and two for fourth early in the 10th lap. Swindell took the low line through the third and fourth corners to pass Smith for the runner-up spot four laps later.
Joey Saldana, who started inside the fourth row, started making his way toward the front with nine laps remaining. The 1996 Rookie of the Year passed Hillenburg and Smith deep in turn four to take over third place late in the 16th lap. He raced into second two laps later, taking the low line past Swindell in the same spot.
Jeff Shepard raced past nine cars in the first 18 laps, then took fifth place from Smith with an inside move through the fourth corner late in lap 19.
The #83 Beef Packers Eagle slowed dramatically in turn two with 4 2/3 laps remaining, allowing five cars to pass Saldana. Tim Shaffer turned sideways in the fourth corner several seconds later, allowing 20th-starting Danny Lasoski to pass him for seventh place.
Hillenburg took the high line through turn four to pass Swindell for the runner-up spot as they headed for the checkered flag. Lasoski passed Saldana and Smith in the low groove between the third and fourth corners to take fifth place.
The $5,000 victory gave Kinser a 27-point advantage over Lasoski in their battle for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship.
Shepard finished fourth, ahead of "The Dude," Smith, Saldana, Shaffer, Dollansky and Schatz.