Kinser Takes Southern Bleacher Classic Opener By Richard Day FORT WORTH, TX (March 29) -- Mark Kinser was among the 34 drivers who broke his single-lap record Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Second Annual Southern...
Kinser Takes Southern Bleacher Classic Opener
By Richard Day
FORT WORTH, TX (March 29) -- Mark Kinser was among the 34 drivers who broke his single-lap record Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Second Annual Southern Bleacher Classic at ultra-racy Texas Motor Speedway.
Kinser showed the 56-car field and the capacity crowd who was the fastest in the 30-lap Preliminary Feature, however, lapping more than half the field and taking the checkered flag with 5.63 seconds to spare.
"This takes the pressure off," Kinser said after winning his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series feature race of the year. "We've been struggling; third was our best finish before this.
"We've done everything we could to get faster. The guys did a wonderful job of setting the up #5M Mopar Maxim for me. It was a lot of fun. I could move all over the track; I could go high or low. This race was won in the pit area."
The modest two-time series champion contributed greatly to the $5,000 victory as well. He used the high groove to his advantage early in the CHANNELLOCK Dash and earned the third row outside starting position in the feature by passing four cars in the eight-lap race.
Brian Paulus, who won the Third O'Reilly Heat Race, took the high line around pole-sitter Brooke Tatnell in the fourth corner to take the lead as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature. Kinser passed Craig Dollansky and Paul McMahan during the opening lap to take over fourth place.
First O'Reilly Heat Race winner Dale Blaney lost eighth place early in the fourth lap when he hooked the cushion and flipped in turn two. Sammy Swindell and Jason Sides coasted into the pits during the caution period and restarted at the back of the pack.
Kinser dove to the lowest point in turn four to pass Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski for third place during the ensuing restart.
Danny Wood, who started outside the ninth row, raced into seventh place before McMahan stopped the #U2 United Expressline Eagle in turn four with a flat left rear tire early in the sixth lap.
Kinser moved into second place with an inside move in turn two as the green flag replaced the yellow, and immediately set his sights on Paulus. Mark was gaining on Paulus when P.J. Chesson and McMahan collided on the back straightaway and flipped late in lap eight.
Paulus held off Kinser as the race resumed. The leaders narrowed missed Randy Hannagan as they entered lapped traffic six laps later.
Kinser raced into the lead early in the 16th lap when Paulus slid out of the low groove in turn two. Mark immediately started building a comfortable advantage, and was 3.4 seconds ahead within four laps.
Wood passed Lasoski for fourth and Tatnell for third place during the 18th and 21st laps as Kinser increased his lead to five seconds.
Brad Furr, who chased Wood from the 20th starting position, claimed the final guaranteed starting position in Friday's CHANNELLOCK Dash by passing "The Dude" for fourth place on the back stretch late in lap 24. Wood claimed the runner-up spot with a daring move in dense lapped traffic four laps later.
"It was really racy tonight," Wood said. "I think the track will be a little wider tomorrow, and we're really looking forward to it."
Paulus finished in third place, ahead of Furr, Tatnell, Dollansky, Lasoski, Donny Schatz, 16th-starting Jason Meyers and new father Tim Shaffer. Shaffer's wife, Debra, gave birth to Timothy David Shaffer Wednesday afternoon.
Daryn Pittman chopped more than two-thirds of a second off Texas Motor Speedway's previous single-lap record, circling the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval in 12.276 seconds, an average speed of 117.302 m.p.h. He won the "B" Feature and finished 17th in the evening's main event.
Joey Saldana was forced to use a backup car after crashing with Billy Wilburn on the front straightaway during hot laps. Saldana, the fourth-fastest qualifier, finished 11th in the Preliminary Feature.