Outlaws'' Preliminary at Terre Haute, Report 2000-05-12/13

'The King' Rules Winged Thunder Preliminary By Richard Day TERRE HAUTE, IN (May 13) -- Steve Kinser has won 439 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events in his career. Many of his victories have...

'The King' Rules Winged Thunder Preliminary By Richard Day TERRE HAUTE, IN (May 13) -- Steve Kinser has won 439 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events in his career. Many of his victories have been conventional, while others have been not so routine. "The King of the Outlaws" won the Winged Thunder Preliminary Feature at the Terre Haute Action Track Saturday evening by simply conserving his fuel while others stopped with empty fuel tanks. Danny Lasoski, who was eight points behind Kinser when the green flag fell, was one such victim. His 15th-place finish gave Kinser an extra 14 points in their battle for the series' points leadership. "I thought I could finish the race, but I was glad to see it stopped (during the 18th lap)," Kinser said. "Not many guys were fueled up for a 20-lap race with that many cautions. We had about four gallons left, so we could have probably gone ahead and finished unless guys would have kept running out. We couldn't have had any more yellows with that much fuel. It had me worried, but we made it." The preliminary program was originally scheduled for Friday, but rain hit the semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval early in the "B" Feature, forcing Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series officials to postpone it to Saturday afternoon. TNN televised four hours of live racing coverage. Kinser, only the 17th-fastest qualifier in the 46-car field, finished second in the Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and third in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. He started the preliminary feature outside the third row. CHANNELLOCK Dash winners Stevie Smith and Johnny Herrera were on the front row when the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature. They were battling for the lead late in the first lap when Smith's #19 Ingersoll-Rand Black Bandit hit the berm in the third corner, sending it into a wheel stand. He collided with Herrera and both stopped in turn four. "I'm not sure what happened," a dejected Herrera said. "He tried to put a slide job on me and didn't quite have it clear. All I know is, I had a good run going and all of a sudden I saw him coming at me sideways. I had nowhere to go." Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Sammy Swindell, who moved up to the front row with P.J. Chesson on the ensuing restart, took the lead when the green flag replaced the red. Lasoski passed Chesson and Kinser quickly, then caught Swindell before Vivarin Fast-Time Award winner Mark Kinser stopped in the second corner with a flat left rear tire early in lap two. Swindell and "The Dude" exchanged first place during the third lap, Lasoski surging ahead in turn two then Sammy returning the favor high in the fourth corner. Tyler Walker, who spun in turn two within seconds after the original green flag fell, stopped Jimmy Vasser's #V12 Wirtgen Maxim with a broken right front spindle late in the fifth lap. Kinser used an inside move in the third corner to pass Lasoski for second as the race resumed. Joey Saldana started making his way toward the front midway through the race, passing Jac Haudenschild and Brian Paulus deep in the first corner early in laps nine and 11 to move into fourth place. Swindell was .5 seconds ahead of Kinser when he entered lapped traffic with 8 1/2 laps remaining. "The King of the Outlaws" caught him in dense traffic a lap later, however, and took the lead deep in turn two. Swindell, who won the Winged Thunder event in 1997, regained first place early in the 17th lap, only to have Shane Stewart spin in turn four before the leaders crossed the finish line. Lasoski and Daryn Pittman ran out of fuel and brought out the caution flag before officials threw the red flag late in lap 18. Saldana and Swindell exchanged second place four times during the final two laps as Kinser raced away from the field and claimed the $5,000 first prize. Paulus gained the final claimed the final automatic starting position in the feature program's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash by finishing in fourth place. "The Wild Child" finished fifth, ahead of Craig Dollansky, Paul McMahan, 24th-starting Andy Hillenburg, Mark Kinser and Randy Hannagan. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Andy Hillenburg , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Tyler Walker , Brian Paulus , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Shane Stewart , P.J. Chesson , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera