'The King' Outlasts Young Competition in Texas By Richard Day FORT WORTH, TX (October 14) -- Steve Kinser may be the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' elder statesman, but he's still "The King." The...
'The King' Outlasts Young Competition in Texas
By Richard Day
FORT WORTH, TX (October 14) -- Steve Kinser may be the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' elder statesman, but he's still "The King." The 45-year-old racer from Bloomington, IN, pulled off a third-to- first move a driver of any age would envy Saturday on his way to winning the O'Reilly Texas Showdown before a near-capacity crowd at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. "The competition keeps getting tougher and tougher and I keep getting older and older, but it's always nice to win," Steve said. Kinser's ninth "A" Feature victory of the season gave him a 211- point advantage over cousin and defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series champion Mark Kinser in the standings. Steve can claim his 16th title in the series' 23-year history by finishing 22nd or better in the final three main events and Preliminary Features. Mark left the pole position open in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' traditional "Four Abreast" parade formation in memory of Tony Roper, who died of injuries suffered in Friday's O'Reilly NASCAR Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway. Mark was battling Sammy Swindell for the lead on the back stretch midway through the 12th lap when "The King of the Outlaws" steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the low groove to pass them. "I went in high on turns one and two to pass those guys," Steve said. "After that, I patient with the lapped cars. I really like the track being heavy like this, because it makes it good to race on." Mark, who won his eighth CHANNELLOCK Dash of the season, fell behind Swindell when the green flag fell in the 40-lap "A" Feature. He was close behind when Sammy entered lapped traffic early in lap five. Mark took the low line through turn three to pass Swindell the next time around, only to have Sammy regain the lead deep in the second corner early in the seventh lap. Steve, the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 32-car field, won the Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race. He earned the right to start the main event outside the second row by passing three cars in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. He chased Sammy and Mark for 11 1/2 laps before pulling off the miraculous pass for first place. Mark put a slide move on Swindell in turn two and drove the #5M Mopar Maxim into the high groove to block Sammy when "The King of the Outlaws" passed them both on the inside. "When Steve went by us, we were battling for the lead and got a little bottled up," Mark said. "I picked my way around the rest of the way." Kinser was building a comfortable advantage in lapped traffic when Swindell took the low line into the third corner to pass Mark for second place late in lap 13. Mark regained the runner-up spot with an inside move in turn one with 3 3/4 laps remaining in the caution-free race. "We bent a tie rod with 15 laps to go," Swindell said. "The right front wheel wouldn't turn left after that. We were coming back a little bit faster, but we got stuck at the end. At that point, the car wasn't 100 percent, so there wasn't much we could do." Kinser maintained a substantial advantage and took the checkered flag while Mark raced into the fourth corner. Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Danny Wood surrendered 11th place when a flat left rear tire forced him to stop in turn three as Kinser crossed the finish line. Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Stevie Smith finished third, ahead of Danny Lasoski, Swindell, Randy Hannagan, Joey Saldana, Jac Haudenschild, Johnny Herrera and 18th-starting Andy Hillenburg. Saldana received his ninth Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season for pacing the qualifying session with a 108.712-m.p.h. lap around the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval. Preliminary Feature winner Tim Shaffer started on the pole in the CHANNELLOCK Dash, but collided with Swindell on the front straightaway and flipped into the first corner. Shaffer drove a backup car into 23rd place in the "A" Feature. Dale Blaney was leading the Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race when the #93 Amoco Maxim suffered a broken rear end. His last-place finish cost him the third row outside starting spot in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run a double-feature event at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, TX, Friday and Saturday.