'The King' Rules Sooner Nationals Finale By Richard Day OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (March 18) -- Everyone in racing knew it had to happen sooner or later ... Steve Kinser would put his ...
'The King' Rules Sooner Nationals Finale
By Richard Day OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (March 18) -- Everyone in racing knew it had to happen sooner or later ... Steve Kinser would put his #11 Quaker State Maxim in the lead and win a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature. "The King of the Outlaws" did just that Sunday afternoon at State Fair Speedway, winning the O'Reilly Sooner Nationals. The defending and 16-time Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion passed pole- sitter Craig Dollansky early in the 15th lap and held off points leader Danny Lasoski for the $12,000 victory. "It feels good to get the first one under our belt," Kinser said following the 446th main event victory of his career. "At least you know you're going to get one for the year. We started the season pretty slow, then got into the wall there in Las Vegas and it put us behind." Kinser, who was three car-lengths behind when Dollansky won Saturday's Preliminary Feature, started the main event inside the second row. He was close behind when Saldana challenged Dollansky for the lead during the opening lap of Sunday's 25-lap "A" Feature and took over second place when the #17 HEM Saw Eagle suffered a blown engine the next time around. Andy Hillenburg, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature winner at State Fair Speedway last June 22nd, turned sideways in turn two early in the second lap. Donny Schatz was trying to avoid Hillenburg when he hit the retaining wall and flipped. Andy maintained his position and took the low line through the third and fourth corners to pass fast-qualifier Mark Kinser for fourth place when the green flag replaced the red. Dollansky had Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim six car-lengths ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" when the leaders entered lapped traffic during the eighth lap. Stevie Smith drove his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Maxim into the low groove between turns one and two to pass Mark Kinser for fifth place the next time around. Dollansky, the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion, increased his advantage to 12 car-lengths in dense lapped traffic midway through the race. Kinser narrowed the gap to two car-lengths by the 14th lap, however. "The King of the Outlaws" took the lead when Dollansky slowed behind Danny Wood in the second corner early in lap 15. "The Dude" relegated Dollansky to third place with an inside move in turn four several seconds later. "I'd rather be leading than running second anytime," Kinser said. "When Craig got caught behind the lapped car, he slid up and I thought I was going to take a big ride. I just closed my eyes and when I opened them, we had the lead." Jason Sides stopped in the second corner early in the 16th lap, taking the leaders out of lapped traffic and setting up a nine-lap dash to the checkered flag. Tim Shaffer, who started inside the sixth row, steered the #11H Vivarin Maxim deep in the third corner to pass Brad Furr for seventh place late in lap 16. Kinser quickly opened a comfortable advantage and took the checkered flag as Randy Hannagan passed Shaffer for seventh place. The victory, the ninth of Kinser's career at State Fair Speedway, pushed him into fourth place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings. Dollansky held off Hillenburg for third place. Smith finished fifth, ahead of Mark Kinser, Hannagan, Shaffer, Furr and 15th-starting Brooke Tatnell. Wood, the 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner, raced into 17th place from outside the 12th row. Mark Kinser sliced .204 seconds off the single-lap record he set on March 29, 1997, driving the #5M Mopar Maxim around the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds' semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval in 15.765 seconds (114.177 m.p.h.). The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run $51,600 events at State Fair Motor Speedway in Sedalia, MO, and I-55 Raceway in Pevely, MO, Friday and Saturday, respectively.