Points Race Could be Tightest in Outlaws History

Points Race Could be Tightest in Outlaws History By Richard Day After 31 events, a little less than halfway through the season, Mark Kinser had to be feeling good about presenting Mopar with a ...

Points Race Could be Tightest in Outlaws History By Richard Day After 31 events, a little less than halfway through the season, Mark Kinser had to be feeling good about presenting Mopar with a championship in its first year as his sponsor. Kinser had won 11 main events and three preliminary features and was leading the point standings by 180 points over Danny Lasoski. Kinser dominated the Tri-City Speedway event June 16th, setting the single-lap record and leading all 30 laps from outside the front row. After winning at the semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval for the first time in his career, the driver of the #5M Mopar Maxim wisely said it was too early to think about winning his second title in four years. "We're not counting that (championship) money yet," Mark said. "There's still a long way to go, and there's a lot of tough competition out here." "The Dude" drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle into third place at Tri-City, and has since reeled off 25 top-10 finishes in the last 26 races. He's only 76 points behind Kinser with 14 events remaining. Kinser has won seven "A" Features - to three for Lasoski - in that stretch, but six finishes of 15th or worse have hurt him dramatically. In all, Kinser has victories in 18 main events and five preliminary features, while "The Dude" has 10 and four, respectively. Mark has recorded 47 top-10 finishes, including 42 in the top five. Lasoski has 51 top-10s - 36 in the top five - in the first 56 events. "We're still focused on being consistent and winning the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship," Danny said after winning the "A" Feature at Riverside Speedway August 23rd. "The 5M (Mark) and the 11 car (Steve Kinser) are pretty tough though." Kinser has won 35 "A" Features at the remaining 14 facilities on the schedule. That's 30% of his 118 career victories. "The Dude" has won six main events at those tracks. Mark and Lasoski will both be looking for their first "A" Feature victory at Calistoga Speedway when the series sanctions the Seventh Annual Harvest Classic Friday through Sunday. Kinser finished ninth and "The Dude" was seventh in last year's championship race. Lasoski's 1999 season-opening victory was the second of his career at Kings Speedway. A flat left rear tire caused Kinser to flip during the Second NAPA Auto Parts Heat Race, destroying the car. He used a provisional to start the "A" Feature, but took only two laps before coasting into the pit area. "The Dude" collided with Steve Kinser while passing him for the lead on his way to winning the "A" Feature at Santa Maria Speedway last September 12th. Mark followed Lasoski and Jeff Swindell under the checkered flag. Neither Kinser nor Danny has ever won at Silver Dollar Speedway, although the 11.885-second lap Mark took around the high-banked, 1/4- mile oval on March 4, 1988, may forever stand as the track's qualifying standard. Mark finished fifth, while Lasoski ran ninth in last year's Gold Cup Race of Champions main event. Kinser won the "A" Feature at Sweetwater Speedway in Rock Springs, WY, on August 18, 1998, while "The Dude" finished in fifth place. Mark, who won four of the first five Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events at I-80 Speedway, was right behind third-place Lasoski in the Independence-Day race earlier this season. Kinser won his fourth straight Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup July 27th. "The Dude" followed Stevie Smith under the checkered flag as Mark won the fifth "A" Feature of his career at Lernerville Speedway. Mark, winner of eight main events at Williams Grove Speedway, swept the double-feature event at the legendary semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval July 29-30. Lasoski finished seventh in the "A" Feature. Kinser won a fierce battle with Smith and Lasoski at the Schick Protector Razor Winged Thunder event May 22nd. Danny finished third as Mark claimed his third career "A" Feature victory at the Terre Haute Action Track. Mark led the first 10 laps and followed Donny Schatz and Tim Shaffer under the checkered flag at Battleground Speedway March 20th. "The Dude" finished 13th in that race. Kinser and Lasoski have both won once at the high-banked, 3/8-mile oval near Houston. Lasoski took a seven-point lead in the point standings when he won the Spring Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway April 24th. Mark, a three-time winner at Lanny Edwards' famous facility, finished third. Kinser led all 30 laps for his second career "A" Feature victory at Manzanita Speedway February 27th. "The Dude" finished in fifth place. Mark won the first five main events the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series ran at Perris Auto Speedway before Johnny Herrera stopped his streak February 20th. Lasoski was right behind when Kinser claimed second place. "The Dude" took a 19-point lead in the standings and stopped Kinser's two-race winning streak at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a flag-to-flag victory when the series sanctioned the Silver State Shootout March 5-6. Mark followed Lasoski and Steve Kinser under the checkered flag in the main event. As the season heads down the home stretch, many factors will determine whether Kinser or Lasoski wins the championship. It could come down to a fourth-corner pass as they head for the checkered flag in the "A" Feature at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Johnny Herrera , Jeff Swindell
Teams Williams