READY FOR FIREWORKS Tony Stewart Racing's Kinser Looks To Keep Bass Pro Shops Sprinter on the Podium as Outlaws Continue Summer Heartland Tour INDIANAPOLIS (July 1, 2009) -- Finding consistency is one key to long-term success in most sports.
READY FOR FIREWORKS
Tony Stewart Racing's Kinser Looks To Keep Bass Pro Shops Sprinter on the Podium as Outlaws Continue Summer Heartland Tour
INDIANAPOLIS (July 1, 2009) -- Finding consistency is one key to long-term success in most sports. It's certainly vital to surviving a racing schedule that includes more than 80 nights a season. Sprint car racing's premiere series, the World of Outlaws (WoO), has one of the most demanding race schedules in motorsports and, during the Independence Day weekend, it's full-speed ahead. Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser will be looking to build on back-to-back podium finishes when he returns to action Friday night at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D., and then Saturday night at Eagle (Neb.) Raceway.
Kinser's latest surge behind the wheel of TSR's No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim includes three consecutive top-four finishes and five top-nine runs in his last six starts, including consecutive third-place finishes last weekend at U.S. 36 Raceway, in Osborn, Mo., and the famed Knoxville (Iowa) Raceway. The Bass Pro Shops team's recent consistency has moved it into eighth place in the Outlaws season point standings.
The weekend will open with Friday's race at Huset's Speedway, where Kinser has competed only three times previously. His best result was a runner-up finish in June 2005, which came only days after he scored his first career victory at Knoxville. He confidently heads back to the South Dakota 3/8-mile, high-banked dirt oval following another solid race at Knoxville. Last season, Kinser struggled at Huset's, finishing 21st in June and 16th in July.
The Outlaws will celebrate the Fourth of July holiday on the high banks of Eagle Raceway in eastern Nebraska. Through the years, the Eagle Nationals have provided plenty of fireworks. The 1/3-mile dirt oval typically allows for some of the summer's best side-by-side action. Kinser will be making his 17th appearance at the track. His best finish came in the 2003 Eagle Nationals, when he finished fourth. He has five top-10 finishes during his career. Last June, he finished 14th in the feature event.
After the first 32 WoO races of 2009, Kinser has eight top-five finishes and 16 top-10s. He currently ranks eighth in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings with 4,097 points.
On Friday at Huset's Speedway, the pit gates open at noon CDT, and the grandstands will open at 5 p.m. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. For more details, visit the official Web site of Huset's Speedway, www.husets-speedway.com.
On Saturday at Eagle Raceway, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. CDT., and the grandstands will open at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tickets for the race can be purchased by calling Eagle Raceway at (402) 238-2595. For more information on the event, visit www.slspromotions.com.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend's races can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, "Voice of the Outlaws," calls the action as he does at all WoO Sprint Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including updated results from each night of racing, as well as a chat room to interact with other race fans.
Kraig Kinser, Driver of the No. 20 TSR/Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim:
The calendar has turned to July and you're getting close to the halfway point of the season. Do you like where you guys are positioned?
"I'd say yes and no. We like the way we are running right now, but the early part of the year was really up and down. We'd like to have a couple of wins already and a few more top-five runs, but things are headed in the right direction. The Bass Pro Shops guys (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson and Bob Curtis) have done a great job of sticking behind me and working to keep us going in the right direction.
"For most of the early season, we were hit-or-miss on qualifying, and that pretty much sets up your night. Then, we got on a streak where we would make the heat inversion and get in the dash, but had a hard time moving forward at the end of the night. In the last couple of weeks, we've kind of put it all together. Qualifying better, running up front in the heats, and moving forward in the feature. If we can continue that, we'll be able to have the results we were hoping for to start the season."
Huset's Speedway is a pretty unique dirt track. You've only raced there a few times, so what's your game plan heading into Friday's race?
"Well, racing at Huset's can be pretty tough. The wall on the outside really makes it feel narrow getting out of the corners and heading down the straightaways. There are a lot of nights when you have to be right on that wall, so having a good-handling car is really key. It's one of the things you have to have to succeed there.
"The other key is being in the right position. You have to qualify in the right spot. Passing can be tough early in the night, so you have to be either one of the fastest two cars in qualifying or be on the front row of a heat."
Saturday's Eagle Nationals is another short-track race where there almost always seems to be a lot of action. Do you enjoy the smaller tracks more than the bigger ones?
"I think the beauty of this sport and the Outlaw series is that we are challenged every night with something different. No two dirt tracks are the same, and the dirt itself is always different. The big tracks produce high-speed races, and the short tracks make us really work our way through traffic.
"I like them all. Eagle is one of those places where the race can really change as it goes on. When you get 24 cars on that track and we go for 15 or 20 laps without a yellow, it can get pretty crazy. Hopefully, we can get ourselves started up front and lead the way through traffic or be right there with the leaders. Things can obviously change quickly in the last five laps or so. Like I said, we'd just like to be in the hunt at the end and take our chances. The guys have been doing a really good job and I'd like nothing more than to get a win this weekend for everyone involved with this Tony Stewart Racing team."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from Huset's Speedway and Eagle Raceway, log on to www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint. For information regarding TSR, Bass Pro Shops, J.D. Byrider, Chevy or Kinser, log on to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.basspro.com, www.byrider.com, www.chevy.com or www.kraigkinser.com.