TAKING THE HIGH ROAD Kraig Kinser Looks To Make it Two Straight Wins for TSR's Bass Pro Shops Team in Outlaws' Return to the Northwest INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2009) -- The miles continue to rack up on the World of Outlaws (WoO) team haulers as...
TAKING THE HIGH ROAD
Kraig Kinser Looks To Make it Two Straight Wins for TSR's Bass Pro Shops Team in Outlaws' Return to the Northwest
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 1, 2009) -- The miles continue to rack up on the World of Outlaws (WoO) team haulers as the 2009 campaign rolls on. Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Kraig Kinser and the Bass Pro Shops team are headed to the Great Northwest for a busy slate of action during Labor Day weekend.
When the season started back in February, some 3,100 miles away from the Seattle area, the 24-year-old Kinser was optimistic his late surge in 2008 would lead his team to a very productive 2009. With more than 50 nights of racing completed, Kinser has been very consistent and currently finds himself holding down the eighth position in the WoO series standings. Last season's late charge began in the Northwest when Kinser picked up WoO career "A" feature win number eight at Gray's Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, Wash.
This weekend, Kinser and the Bass Pro Shops team will compete on Friday and Saturday night at Skagit Speedway in Alger, Wash., and on Monday night, at Gray's Harbor. The extended weekend will continue with the WoO series making its annual stop at Cottage Grove (Ore.) Speedway on Tuesday.
Last August, the 2004 WoO Rookie of the Year made his debut at Skagit, a 3/10-mile clay oval located north of Seattle just off Interstate 5. Kinser raced the TSR No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim to a 10th-place finish in his first appearance at the track and is hoping last year's experience will help in his pursuit of Saturday night's top prize of $20,000.
This year, Labor Day will be extra special for Kinser at Gray's Harbor. He will enter Monday's race as the defending event champion, having scored his first WoO win while driving for TSR last year. Last year, he qualified fourth and started second in the 30-lap feature. Kinser drove a smart race and took the checkered first on that cool Sept. 1 evening. He has made four other starts at the track and his finishes include a fifth place and two sixth-place runs in his career on the 3/8-mile track.
On Tuesday evening, the Outlaws return to Cottage Grove, the track where Kinser scored his first WoO career win in August 2004. Ironically, it's the same venue where his current TSR teammate, Donny Schatz, scored his first WoO feature back in 1998. Last season, Kinser was the third-fastest qualifier in the field of 36 cars. In the feature, he raced the Bass Pro Shops Maxim from the sixth row to an eighth-place finish.
Kinser and the Bass Pro Shops team have completed 52 nights of racing on the Outlaws' 2009 schedule. The Mooresville, N.C., resident has scored nine top-five finishes and 26 top-10s. He currently ranks eighth in the WoO Sprint Series championship standings with 6,415 points.
Friday and Saturday at Skagit, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. PDT and grandstands open at 5 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. both nights. Tickets for each race can be purchased by calling Skagit Speedway at (360) 724-3567. For more information on the event, visit www.skagitspeedway.com.
Monday at Gray's Harbor, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. PDT and grandstands open at 5 p.m. Racing is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling Gray's Harbor Raceway Park at (360) 482-4374. For more information on the event, visit www.graysharborraceway.net.
Tuesday at Cottage Grove, the pit gates open at 2 p.m. PDT and grandstands open at 3 p.m. Hot laps scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling Cottage Grove Speedway at (541) 942-7223. For more information on the event, visit www.cottagegrovespeedway.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:
You had a consistent last six weeks of the season except for a couple of DNF's. Unfortunately, the DNF's probably over shadow the good runs. How do you focus on the good finishes rather than the bad ones?
"That's kind of what being a competitor is all about. You have to be able to stay sharp and focused at all times. In Sprint car racing, it seems like there is always another race just around the corner. No matter if you win, lose or crash, there is another chance to prove yourself. Racing with the World of Outlaws can certainly take a lot out of a competitor, but that motivates us all to try and put those good nights together.
"Unfortunately, the Bass Pro Shops team (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson and Bob Curtis) had to build a new car this week because of what happened in Edmonton. We've got great equipment, so I expect us to continue being fast. The car we had been running came out of the box fast at Eldora Speedway and we had a good Knoxville Nationals with it. I'm looking forward to getting back on the track and putting last week's crash behind us."
Last year was your first trip to Skagit Speedway. Will that experience you gained help you this year when you return to the track?
"Definitely. Every track has something that is unique about it and, a lot of times, the only way to learn how to get around it is by racing there. It's a fast racetrack and they have a strong group of guys who race there every week. We were able to qualify in the top-five last year and qualifying is again going to be really important.
"All year, we've been trying to have that complete night where we qualify strong, get into the dash through the heat race and then put together 30 strong laps in the feature. That's our goal again for Skagit and, if we can put it all together on Saturday night, we'll have 20,000 reasons to celebrate."
The action continues with a pair of races at a track where you have won before. That has to provide some extra confidence, doesn't it?
"I'd say both yes and no. Like I mentioned earlier, as a competitor, you can only focus on the task at hand. Winning at those tracks in the past won't help me win on Monday and Tuesday night, but it will give us a boost on the way to the track. It's all about putting yourself in the right position to win.
"That's what happened in 2004 at Cottage Grove ... I worked my way from sixth into second and just bided my time. Eventually, we passed Craig Dollansky and I ended up getting the win. Last year in Elma, the track was rubber down and once again, I was running second. The leader got a little impatient and I was right there to take advantage. Hopefully, we'll be able to work ourselves into contention when we return to both of those tracks this week."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from Skagit Speedway, Grays Harbor Raceway Park and Cottage Grove Speedway, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint. For information regarding TSR, Bass Pro Shops, J.D. Byrider, Chevy or Kinser, visit www.tonystewartracing.com, www.basspro.com, www.byrider.com, www.chevy.com or www.kraigkinser.com.