Hillenburg Beats 'The King' at Talladega TALLADEGA, AL (October 20) -- Andy Hillenburg started the season as the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest driver and he's determined to finish it the same way. Hillenburg, who won the first two...
Hillenburg Beats 'The King' at Talladega
TALLADEGA, AL (October 20) -- Andy Hillenburg started the season as the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' hottest driver and he's determined to finish it the same way.
Hillenburg, who won the first two races of the year, narrowly defeated Steve Kinser in an epic battle at the Talladega Short Track Saturday. The leaders through every corner of the high-banked, 1/3-mile oval during the final 24 laps before Hillenburg claimed the $20,000 first prize.
"I think everyone out there got their money's worth with that one," Hillenburg said in victory lane. "That was some close racing. I saw Steve's nose there a couple of times, and then he passed me that one time. I messed up getting into three, and he slid up in front of me. He had me by a foot or six inches or something like that, but I didn't even have to get on the brakes. Steve Kinser's a great driver, and he raced me clean that whole race. It was a pleasure running with him like that."
Hillenburg's sixth "A" Feature victory of the season pushed him past Tim Shaffer into sixth place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings.
Hillenburg, who finished second behind Shane Stewart in Friday's Preliminary Feature, raced into the lead when his protégé spun his tires as the green flag fell in the 40-lap main event.
"Shane must not have seen the water at the very bottom getting out of turn four," said Hillenburg, who employed Stewart early in the season. "We took an extra parade lap and someone must've gotten too low there and splashed some water out on the track. Shane must not have seen it because he lit the tires up when he got on the gas. Our Hoosier tires took off pretty good and we were able to get out in front."
Stevie Smith also passed Stewart as Hillenburg drove his #2 Luxaire J&J into the lead during the opening lap. Six car-lengths separated Hillenburg and Smith when they entered lapped traffic six laps into the race.
Smith caught Hillenburg within two laps, and Danny Lasoski passed Craig Dollansky for fifth place during lap eight.
Kinser, who set quick time and started inside the third row, started making his way toward the front during the 12th lap. "The King of the Outlaws" passed Stewart and Smith with inside moves in the fourth corner late in laps 12 and 15, then started challenging Hillenburg for the lead two laps later.
Kinser, who won an International Race of Champions event at Talladega Superspeedway on April 30, 1994, steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim to the lowest point in turn four to pass Hillenburg for the lead midway through the race.
Kinser and Hillenburg raced wheel-to-wheel through turn two and down the back straightaway during the 21st lap, but "The King" managed to maintain first place. Hillenburg made several more runs at Kinser before regaining the lead with a high more between the first and second corners 2 1/3 laps later.
Kinser raced past Hillenburg when Andy slid over the cushion in turn three late in the 26th lap, but Hillenburg came back with a daring dive into the low groove in the fourth corner to reclaim first place.
Kelly Kinser took the leaders out of lapped traffic several seconds later when he stopped on the front stretch with engine problems. Hillenburg controlled the ensuing restart and was two car-lengths ahead when "The King of the Outlaws" chased him into lapped traffic late in the 30th lap.
Kinser caught Hillenburg two laps later and tried to pass him with inside moves between turns three and four during the next three laps, but was unable to surge ahead.
Smith joined the battle for the lead early in lap 36 and raced three-abreast with Hillenburg and Kinser down the back straightaway. Stevie drove his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Maxim past Kinser deep in turn four, only to have "The King of the Outlaws" regain the runner-up spot with an inside move between the first and second corners the next time around.
Hillenburg maintained a slim advantage during the final four laps and was two car-lengths ahead of Kinser when he took the checkered flag.
Lasoski claimed third place by passing Smith deep in turn four as they raced toward the checkered flag. The third-place finish pushed "The Dude" to within 14 points of Mark Kinser in their battle for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series championship.
Stewart held off a late charge by Dollansky for fifth place. Brad Furr finished seventh, ahead of Dale Blaney, 19th-starting Tim Shaffer and Johnny Herrera.
Dollansky's 40th top-10 run of the year put him a fourth-place tie with Donny Schatz in the point standings.
Mark Kinser spun and collided with Danny Wood in turn one early in the first lap of the Third O'Reilly Heat Race. Both restarted at the rear of the field, Kinser without a nose wing and Wood with a new right rear tire. Wood won the 10-lap battle for fifth place, sending "Mopar Mark" to the "B" Feature. Kinser won the "B" and finished 13th in the main event.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will sanction the 28th Annual Winter Nationals at its birthplace -- Devil's Bowl Speedway -- Friday and Saturday.