2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Steve Kinser Concord, NC-- January 27, 2009--After having one of the strongest second halves of the 2008 season of any driver, Steve Kinser has been anticipating the start of the 2009 season since...
2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Steve Kinser
Concord, NC-- January 27, 2009--After having one of the strongest second halves of the 2008 season of any driver, Steve Kinser has been anticipating the start of the 2009 season since the moment the final checkered flag flew on the World of Outlaws in the VAULT World Finals at The Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway back on November 1.
Kinser's quest for a record 21st World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series title begins at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH on February 6. He has four career wins at the blazing fast half-mile.
"I'm ready to get out of this cold weather, that's for sure," said Kinser. "To be honest, I wasn't ready to stop racing last fall. I wish the season would have started this weekend. We're finishing up a few things here and we're definitely ready to go."
Kinser finished the 2008 campaign with 30 Top-10 finishes in the final 33 races of the season. He wound up third in the series championship standings on the strength of 49 Top-10 finishes, with 33 of those being Top-Fives, and was one of just five drivers that led more than 200 laps of feature racing competition during the season. He was tied for the series lead with six wins in the Crane Cams Dash to earn pole positions in feature events and also was quickest in time trials on five occasions, setting new tracks records at I-96 Speedway in Michigan and 34 Raceway in Iowa.
"You never know if you are going to or not," he explained when asked about carrying momentum from one season to the next. "We just hope everything comes out good at the beginning of the year and goes well the rest of the year. We had a terrible beginning of the first half of the year last year and if we can take off like we did the second half of last year, I'll be happy."
Kinser competed in a handful of events at Parramatta City Raceway in Australia over the Holiday's, scoring two victories, including the $50,000 top prize in the Scott Darley Memorial, winning a thrilling battle with Donny Schatz, that saw the pair trade the lead a couple of times over the last few laps. Kinser also picked up a win on Boxing Day in the Annual Valvoline Grand Prix at Parramatta against a number of fellow World of Outlaws drivers. He finished eighth or better in four of his five starts Down Under.
"It can't hurt anything, that's for sure," noted the native of Bloomington, Indiana of racing in Australia in the off-season. "There is a lot of good competition there. We were able to get five races under our belt and it definitely doesn't hurt to do that."
Kinser looks to carry some of that momentum into the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. In his career at the half-mile, Kinser has four wins, with the most recent coming in 2005. He has 12 Top-Five finishes at the track over the years, including in each of his first 10 starts at the track between 1979 and 2005.
"That is one of the toughest fields you'll probably have all year," he said. "Everyone comes down there with fresh motors, ready to run. If you get started off good there, it's a plus for the whole season."
Kinser won seven times last season, including the $40,000 Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup at Lernerville Speedway in Pennsylvania, where he dominated, leading all 40 laps after winning the Crane Cams Dash to start on the pole. He was also victorious at: the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania, Rolling Wheels Raceway Park in New York on Memorial Day, I-96 Speedway in Michigan, Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin, Dacotah Speedway in North Dakota and at Ocean Speedway in California, prevailing in a thrilling battle with Jac Haudenschild. With one of the strongest fields ever taking to the road this season with the World of Outlaws, Kinser looks for the level of competition to be ratcheted up ever more.
"I'm sure it won't be any easier," said the 2005 National Sprint Car Hall of Fame Inductee. "It doesn't get any easier for me and I'm sure it doesn't get any easier for anyone else as well. There are a lot of teams that are very close right now."
Kinser will be chasing his record 21st title in 2009 and looks to add to his 550 A-Feature wins that he currently has with the World of Outlaws. In his legendary career, he has finished in the Top-Five in the series championship standings a record 30 times.
"You have to be running good and you have to be one of the cars that can win any night coming in the gate," he shared of what it takes to contend for a championship. "That is a hard thing to do right now. That's sort of the way you have to do it and that's what we're working for."
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.