Outlaws' Opener at Bristol Race Report 2000-06-09

Mark Kinser Takes CHANNELLOCK Challenge Opener By Richard Day BRISTOL, TN (June 9) -- The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' long-awaited invasion of Bristol Motor Speedway produced even more excitement,...

Mark Kinser Takes CHANNELLOCK Challenge Opener By Richard Day BRISTOL, TN (June 9) -- The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' long-awaited invasion of Bristol Motor Speedway produced even more excitement, pageantry and surprises than anyone anticipated Friday. Defending series champion Mark Kinser stood in victory lane amid an elaborate fireworks display after Sammy Swindell lowered the track record by almost 1 1/3 seconds and Tyler Walker put on an inspiring performance in his Ratbag Racing debut. "This place is awesome," Kinser said following the CHANNELLOCK Challenge Preliminary Feature. "With all the fireworks going on here, Bruton Smith and the entire crew do an excellent job." Smith's crew loaded 14,000 cubic yards of dirt on the high-banked, 1/2-mile oval that usually hosts NASCAR Winston Cup races. Swindell's 129.870-m.p.h. lap around the 24-degree-banked track was 1.324 seconds faster than the qualifying standard Pennzoil driver Steve Park set on the 36-degree banking in March. Kinser, the 10th-fastest qualifier in the 53-car field, won the Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and earned the right to start the 20- lap feature outside the second row by following Walker across the finish line in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. Walker, who drove former CART champion Jimmy Vasser's #V12 Wirtgen Maxim when Greg Hodnett was injured earlier this season, piloted J.D. Kramer's #10 Ratbag sprinter for the first time. The team is a cooperative effort between the computer game manufacturer and Apple Motorsports. Walker raced around pole-sitter Danny Wood as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Kinser passed Swindell, then took second place with a high move past Wood between the first and second corners. Swindell steered his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth around Wood high in turn three late in the opening lap. Dean Jacobs brought out the red flag seconds later when the #8H Energy Release Eagle flipped in the second corner. Swindell took full advantage of the ensuing restart, racing between Walker and Kinser to take the lead in turn three. Kinser, 10th-starting Donny Schatz and Wood passed Walker by the midpoint of the race. Swindell was 1.2 seconds ahead of Kinser when he entered lapped traffic during the 11th lap. He lost his comfortable advantage three laps later, however, when Hodnett spun in front of him on the back straightaway. Sammy hit the wall and spun, but kept his Gaerte engine fired as the caution flag fell. Swindell had problems negotiating the first corner as the race resumed, and Kinser raced past him. With his right rear tire losing air pressure, Sammy slowed in turn four. Jac Haudenschild, Danny Lasoski and Shane Stewart collided as they avoided Swindell. Since no laps were completed between the caution periods, Swindell restarted ahead of the 24-car field. Although his right rear tire lost more pressure before the restart, he stayed on the track rather than change the tire and lose the lead. Kinser, Schatz and Wood raced past Swindell as the green flag replaced the yellow. Sammy stopped on the front stretch seconds later and restarted at the rear after his crew replaced the flat tire. Schatz challenged Kinser with an inside move between turns one and two as the race resumed, but was unable to drive the #15 Park Stores Maxim into the lead. Mark was .9 seconds ahead of Schatz when he took the checkered flag to win his first Preliminary Feature of the season. "I was being really careful out there," Kinser admitted. "I think Tyler's motor was laying down on him. I wanted to give him plenty of room, and darn if Sammy didn't come in there and drive by both of us. Sammy had a little problem there on the back stretch with that accident, and I think it put a little hole in his right rear tire. It started leaking, but that's all part of racing. "Donny Schatz is one of my best friends out here. In fact, he worked on his car all week at my shop. We even had to clear a tree or two out to get his rig in there. He's pretty much doing this thing without a mechanic now, and he did an excellent job tonight." Crew chief Dave Yingst recently left Schatz Motorsports and Todd Devnich went to work for Jack Elden Racing. Wood finished third and Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Walker with 1 2/3 laps remaining to claim the final automatic starting position in Saturday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. Completing the top 10 were Stevie Smith, Walker, Joey Saldana, Tim Shaffer, Jeff Shepard and First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Paul McMahan. WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Steve Park , Jimmy Vasser , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Tyler Walker , Dean Jacobs , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Jac Haudenschild