2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Kraig Kinser Concord, NC-- January 26, 2009--With a full year back in a sprint car now under his belt, Kraig Kinser is ready to climb back into the No. 20 machine for Tony Stewart Racing next week...
2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Kraig Kinser
Concord, NC-- January 26, 2009--With a full year back in a sprint car now under his belt, Kraig Kinser is ready to climb back into the No. 20 machine for Tony Stewart Racing next week as the 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season kicks into high gear. After spending a couple of seasons competing on in the NASCAR Truck Series, the third generation driver returned to full-time sprint car racing in 2008, winning twice.
After finishing the 2008 season with a runner-up performance in the VAULT World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway, Kinser has been counting the days until the 2009 season opening Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. He won at the half-mile in 2004 and has four career Top-10 finishes at the track.
"It's been a long off-season," said Kinser. "I am definitely ready to get going. I'm really looking forward to getting in the Bass Pro Chevrolet. We made quite a few changes to the car in the off-season and hopefully everything will be looking good."
Click Here to listen to Kraig Kinser and a number of other World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers as they gear up for 2009.
Kinser spent a couple of weeks in Australia racing at Parramatta City Raceway during the off-season, competing in five events picking up four Top-10 finishes. The trip was highlighted by a third-place finish on New Year's Day and a fifth-place performance on Boxing Day against a very strong field of cars that included several World of Outlaws drivers, including his teammate at Tony Stewart Racing Donny Schatz and his father Steve, the 20-time World of Outlaws champion.
"It certainly doesn't hurt anything and a lot of people go over there and do it," he stated of racing in Australia. "It's good to do some racing in the winter. It helps me to get ready for the season here."
After enduring their fair share of bad luck at the beginning of last season, Kinser and his Tony Stewart Racing team hit their stride in the second half of the year. After picking up his first win of the year at Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington on Labor Day, he rattled off seven consecutive Top-10 finishes. He followed that up with his second win of 2008 in the World of Outlaws inaugural event at North Central Speedway in Minnesota.
"I definitely felt better at the end of the year and didn't want to see the season end," he noted of his 2008 season. "Hopefully we can kick off the new season the way that we ended last year."
Kinser looks for the competition to be just as tough in 2009 as it was in his return to the series last season. With 80-plus races stretching from February until early November, he will have plenty of chances to add to his nine career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws.
"It certainly takes the whole team and everyone needs to be working well together," said the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year. "If you have that it will go by pretty smoothly. That's what you need to stay on a positive note and to keep it going all year long. Hopefully you have a good season at the end of it."
The 2009 season will mark the second consecutive year that Tony Stewart Racing will be a two-car team, with Kinser paired with three-time and defending series champion Donny Schatz. The pair picked up a couple of one-two finishes for the team last year, with the first of those at Clay County Fair Speedway in Iowa in September and again at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway in North Carolina to wrap up the year.
"What's great about a two-car team is that you have a teammate to bounce ideas off of," he explained. "If you are every struggle, you have another driver that you can go back and ask questions to."
Kinser was just outside of the Top-10 in the championship standings last season on the strength of 19 Top-10 finishes, with 10 of those being Top-Five runs. He was one of just eight drivers last season to pick up more than one win with the World of Outlaws. He also was among the Top-10 in laps led in feature racing competition. He looks to build on this solid foundation in 2009 with the same crew as last season back turning the wrenches on his machine led by crew chief Mike Cool.
"The wins and the Top-Fives are what we need to have a good year," said the third generation drive. "If we can do the things we did at the end of last year, it should be a good year. I think we'll be able to do that. We have things in the right places. Mike Cool and Scuba (Steve Swenson) and the whole team have been working hard back at the shop. We should have a good car this year."
The 2009 World of Outlaws season opens on February 6 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. For more information on the event, including tickets, visit: www.dirtcarnationals.com.