BUILDING BLOCKS Kinser Looks To Improve on Previous Chico Success Behind the Wheel of Tony Stewart Racing's Bass Pro Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (March 10, 2009) -- A new season always offers competitors a clean slate and an equal chance for a ...
Kinser Looks To Improve on Previous Chico Success Behind the Wheel of Tony Stewart Racing's Bass Pro Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (March 10, 2009) -- A new season always offers competitors a clean slate and an equal chance for a prosperous year. Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Kraig Kinser simply wanted to continue the success with which he closed the 2008 World of Outlaws (WoO) season when this year's Outlaws schedule kicked off in Florida during the first week of February.
So far, so good for Kinser as he has three top-10 finishes in the first four WoO Sprint Car Series events of the 2009 campaign. He'll be looking to make it four when he returns to action for Friday's opener of the two-night 23rd annual Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway (SDS) in Chico, Calif.
The 24-year-old Bloomington, Ind., native will pilot TSR's No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim on one the country's most exciting high-banked quarter-mile dirt ovals. This weekend's Mini Gold Cup will be sanctioned by the WoO for the first time since March 1992 when Kraig's father, 20-time WoO champion Steve Kinser, won the event.
Kraig's consistency has helped jumpstart his fourth full season racing with the premiere Winged Sprint car series. Kinser is one of only four WoO drivers to finish inside the top-11 in each of the 2009 races. If he is able to duplicate his performance from last fall's Gold Cup Race of Champions at SDS, he'll have six straight top-11 finishes to start the year.
The 2004 Kevin Gobrecht WoO Rookie of the Year has six career starts at SDS. Last September's results easily top the charts. Kinser entered the 55th annual Gold Cup Race of Champions fresh off his first WoO triumph of the season three nights earlier at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, Wash. During the second qualifying program, he was the seventh-fastest qualifier in the field of 54 cars and followed that by winning his heat race and the Crane Cams Dash, earning the pole position for the 30-lap feature. Kinser finished fourth and totaled the fifth-most points of the 106 entrants who participated in the event. The following night, he ran consistent laps during the 40-lap feature and ultimately finished ninth.
Friday's race is the first of four nights of racing in California over the next two weeks. The weekend in Chico is part of 84 scheduled race dates during the 2009 WoO season.
After the first four WoO races of 2009, Kinser has one top-five finish and three top-10s. He currently ranks sixth in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings with 538 points, trailing leader and TSR teammate Donny Schatz by only 61 markers.
On Friday and Saturday at Silver Dollar Speedway, the pit gates will open at 2 p.m. PDT, while the grandstands gates will open at 5 p.m. Qualifying is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more details, contact SDS at (916) 969-7484, or visit the track's official Web site, www.silverdollarspeedway.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 early part of the season has included several nights of racing and then a few weeks between shows. Is that hard for you as a driver and team to get in a rhythm?
"I'd say it definitely makes it harder that first night you get back in the seat when you haven't raced in a couple weeks. The adrenaline is there because that's what you do and you just have to believe in your team. We kind of got spoiled in Florida racing six nights in a row. By the end of the week, you really felt like you had everything working well. Then, you have almost three weeks before we raced again at Las Vegas. Now, it's been a couple of weeks since Las Vegas. I've spent some time at home with my family and I know that from here on out we'll be racing just about every weekend until November.
"We've shown early that the Bass Pro Shops crew (Mike Cool, Steve Swensen, and Bob Curtis) did a great job of having us prepared to succeed this year. We'd like to be challenging (TSR teammate) Donny (Schatz) for some of the wins he's got, but we've been able to get a top-five and have consistently been finishing in the top-10. It's been a good start and I'm sure we'll continue to improve by racing a couple of times a week from here on out."
When you last visited Silver Dollar Speedway last September, you had a really good weekend. What's it going to take to equal or improve on that performance this weekend?
"Last year at Chico, I really felt like we were working well as a team. We had just won our first race a few days before and then things went well in our qualifying night. Sometimes, it's about being in the right place at the right time. In our heat race, the track was still pretty tacky and tough to pass and I was starting third. The guy in front of me drove off the track at the start, so when we restarted, I had the pole. We won it and drew a good number for the dash. The night just kept getting better from there. We learned some things the next night that hopefully will help us this weekend.
"Honestly, we have to keep doing what we have been doing with the Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider car -- qualifying strong enough to be up front in the heat race and then coming home first or second so that we can get in the dash. If we can do that, we'll have a good chance both nights."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway, 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.