TEXAS HOLD 'EM Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Aims For Consistency In World of Outlaws' Return to the Lone Star State INDIANAPOLIS (April 7, 2009) -- It's been more than four years since World of Outlaws (WoO) star Kraig Kinser made laps...
TEXAS HOLD 'EM
Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Aims For Consistency In World of Outlaws' Return to the Lone Star State
INDIANAPOLIS (April 7, 2009) -- It's been more than four years since World of Outlaws (WoO) star Kraig Kinser made laps on Texas clay behind the wheel of a Sprint car. And following a rare weekend off, the 24-year-old hopes to build on his recent fourth-place performance at Manzanita Speedway when he and the Tony Stewart Racing (TSR) team return to action with a pair of events in the Lone Star State this weekend.
Kinser will kick off the driving in the TSR No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim on Friday night at Lone Star Speedway in Kilgore, and then will compete in the Texas Shootout at Houston Raceway Park (HRP) in Baytown, Texas, on Saturday night.
The 2004 Kevin Gobrecht WoO Rookie of the Year spent last week in North Carolina with his family while the Bass Pro Shops crew regrouped in Indiana and geared up for the WoO series' first appearances in Texas since March 2007. Kinser hopes to mirror the consistency his boss, Tony Stewart, had this past weekend at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Stewart brought the Stewart-Haas Racing Old Spice/Office Depot Chevrolet home fourth in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series Samsung 500 one day after racing the Armor All-backed Chevrolet of Kevin Harvick Inc., to a second-place finish in the O'Reilly 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
Kinser's thrilling charge from ninth to fourth at Manzanita Speedway on March 28 marked the third time during the young 2009 WoO campaign he finished inside the top-five. Adding to those numbers this weekend is the focus for Kinser, who last competed at Lone Star Speedway in March 2005. On that night, Kinser turned the fifth-fastest qualifying lap around the semi-banked, half-mile dirt oval before winning the Crane Cams Dash and, ultimately, finishing the feature event in third place.
Saturday's event at HRP will be Kinser's sixth visit to the quarter-mile dirt oval and his first since it was reconfigured from its original 4/10-mile layout. In each of the last five races, he has improved his finishing position. In March 2005, he raced from 10th to a career-best finish of sixth at HRP.
With nine of 84 scheduled nights of WoO racing complete, Kinser has three top-five finishes and five top-10s. He currently ranks ninth in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings with 1,168 points, trailing leader and TSR teammate Donny Schatz by 76 markers.
On Friday, the pit gates at Lone Star Speedway will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. For more details, contact Lone Star Speedway at (903) 986-9731. The official Web site of Lone Star Speedway is www.lonestarspeedway.com.
On Saturday, the pit gates at Houston Raceway Park will open at 2 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more details, call SLS Promotion at (815) 344-2023. The official Web site of Houston Raceway Park is www.houstonraceway.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 World of Outlaws schedule has been sporadic. How do you build on your good nights when there are a couple of weeks between races?
"That's one of the hard things for me, right now. I raced basically two full seasons with the Outlaws (in 2004 and 2005) before going to the (NASCAR Camping World) Truck Series for two years. Last year was my first full season back and, by the end of the year, I really felt like I was back into the groove. It just takes time. I try to look at it as a positive. We raced six straight nights in Florida to start the year and got a little better each night. We raced three weekends out west and ended up good in Phoenix, so now that the schedule is pretty steady with a couple of races every week, I think we'll be okay.
"It's like any team. You've got to be able to communicate and be on the same page. The Bass Pro Shops guys have been giving me a good racecar. We made a bold decision for the feature out there in Phoenix and it ended up paying off. I'm looking forward to doing a lot of racing in the coming months."
This week, you return to Texas. What are your thoughts on returning to Lone Star Speedway and Houston Raceway Park?
"I'm excited. It's definitely good to have some races in Texas. There are a lot of Sprint car fans down there and, hopefully, we can give them a great show. I've only raced at Lone Star a couple of times, but the last time we were there it was a good race. I started on the pole and battled Paul McMahan for the lead, and then Dad (Steve Kinser) got under me and went on to win the race. I think it ended up being his 500th Outlaws win, so that was a special night.
"It's been a few years since we've been to both tracks, and I think the last time I was at Houston Raceway Park, the track was a little bigger. I know the guys have good notes from the past and we'll have a good starting point for the night. We're looking forward to getting out there and trying to be consistent. It seems like we've been all over the board with results so far this year. We'd like to get Bass Pro Shops, Chevy, J.D. Byrider and all the people involved with Tony Stewart Racing a couple of good finishes this weekend."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from the Lone Star Speedway and Houston Raceway Park, 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.