BLOOMINGTON, IN (March 30, 1999) -Steve and Karl Kinser won the World of Outlaws first feature race at Bloomington Speedway twenty-one years ago. Steve also won the last time the Outlaws visited Bloomington, on October 8th, all but wrapping up...
BLOOMINGTON, IN (March 30, 1999) -Steve and Karl Kinser won the World of Outlaws first feature race at Bloomington Speedway twenty-one years ago. Steve also won the last time the Outlaws visited Bloomington, on October 8th, all but wrapping up his fifteenth Pennzoil World of Outlaws championship. And as the Outlaws tour returns to Bloomington's lightening fast quarter-mile for 40 laps on Wednesday April 14, Steve and Karl are in the middle of another dogfight.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws' 1999 season is shaping up as one more shootout for the Outlaws' crown. With seven "A" features in the books, Steve and Mark Kinser, Karl's son, are second and third in the points, separated by only 20 points. And they trail the leader, Danny "The Dude" Lasoski, by less than twenty. Bloomington's $7,000 winner's payoff is only part of the big picture.
With four race victories (two preliminaries, two "A" features) already recorded, Mark Kinser is the winningest driver on the tour to this point. And having led 73 laps, nearly twice as many as anyone else, Karl Kinser's new MOPAR team is proving the strength of their powerplant. But Mark has been involved in two wrecks that have hurt his overall point total this season. The fact that he has never won a World of Outlaws feature at Bloomington could either be looked at as a negative, or as it could finally be his turn.
Although Steve Kinser has only one main event victory this season, he finished each of the seven "A" features in the top-10. This consistency earned him last year's crown. With his championship Quaker State team returning intact, the King of the Outlaws is poised for a season-long battle. Steve has won eight of the twenty-one Outlaw races at Bloomington. Another feature victory on his home track would give him a sure boost toward his sixteenth title.
Last summer's Knoxville Nationals champion, Danny Lasoski leads the Pennzoil World of Outlaw points on the strength of two "A" feature wins and one preliminary victory. He also has the most fast times and is second in laps led. "The Dude" is having his best season with the Outlaws and much of the credit goes to Dennis Roth's Beef Packers Eagle.
In his third full season with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws, Donny Schatz returns to the track where he thought he had a shot at victory last October. Schatz challenged Kinser for the lead mid-race before jumping the cushion and falling out of contention. He returns to Bloomington fourth in points, with one victory already in his ledger.
Many of the other Outlaws will come into Bloomington with a lot at stake. Jeff Swindell is fifth in points, with seven top-10 finishes. He's anxious to put his Ford-powered sprinter into victory lane this season. Sammy Swindell has two previous wins at Bloomington. Seventh in the points, Sammy would love another Bloomington victory to get his season on track. Stevie Smith has also won twice at Bloomington, and knows their Ingersoll-Rand team is better than their current eighth in the standings.
Tyler Walker is the most exciting young driver on the Outlaws tour, having already scored a preliminary race win. Joe Gaerte cut his teeth on Bloomington's red clay, and won the World of Outlaws feature in 1990.
Several Bloomington-area racers can be expected to challenge the Outlaws for bragging rights at their home track. Kelly Kinser has won more winged sprint car races at Bloomington than any other driver in the past three years. Randy Kinser was twice the sprint car division champion at Bloomington, and knows what to expect on the red clay banks. Other top chauffeurs who may tow in for the racing include All Stars series regulars Joey Saldana, Danny Smith, Kevin Huntley and Frankie Kerr.
This event is the first of Bloomington's 1999 Pennzoil Cup Sprint Car series and will count toward season points. As a rookie to sprint car racing, Columbus' Derek Scheffel made the Outlaws feature last October and went on to win the 1998 Pennzoil Cup title.
The Pennzoil World Of Outlaws series will be supported by the WalMart Tire and Lube Express Street Stocks, racing for $500 to win. Defending champion Perry Bruce is ready to pick up where he left off last year, standing in victory lane.
All gates open at 3:00 on Wednesday, April 14. General admission is $25, there is no reserved seating. Fans age 6 to 12 are $5 with an adult, and under 6 are free. Pit admission is $30. Tickets are available for the 19th Annual Outlaw Steak Fry, call 812-824-7400 for information.