SEEKING SHORT TRACK SUCCESS Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Prepared To Battle World of Outlaws On a Pair of Quarter-Mile Tracks in Bass Pro Shops Sprinter INDIANAPOLIS (April 21, 2009) -- After the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint series...
SEEKING SHORT TRACK SUCCESS
Tony Stewart Racing's Kraig Kinser Prepared To Battle World of Outlaws On a Pair of Quarter-Mile Tracks in Bass Pro Shops Sprinter
INDIANAPOLIS (April 21, 2009) -- After the World of Outlaws (WoO) Sprint series made its first Midwest appearance of the 2009 season last Friday night at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway, Tony Stewart Racing's (TSR) Kraig Kinser and the Bass Pro Shops team are ready for more action on familiar dirt. Kinser and the TSR team continue the Outlaws spring tour through the Midwest with two races this weekend, beginning Friday night at Riverside International Speedway (RIS) in West Memphis, Ark., then moving on to Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind., on Saturday night.
The more nights on the track the better for Kinser and the traveling Outlaws. For only the second time this season, the series lost a race to Mother Nature last Saturday night. The scheduled event at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., was canceled when rain hit the area Saturday afternoon. Kinser was disappointed that the race couldn't be completed because his previous results at the historically action-packed track included a thrilling victory in April 2005.
This weekend offers the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht WoO Rookie of the Year two more opportunities to compete on short tracks that offer plenty of excitement. Kinser will put the TSR No. 20 Bass Pro Shops/Chevy/J.D. Byrider Maxim up against the best in the business Friday night at RIS. The Memphis-area is rich with Sprint car tradition, and the area's most famous track can be quite a handful. Two years ago, when the Outlaws made their inaugural visit, several of the top teams had trouble making the show.
Last year, Kinser's debut at RIS began very well. He qualified 12th in the field of 32 entries, won the fourth heat race and scored a third-place finish in the Crane Cams Dash. He battled inside the top-five during the first part of the 40-lap feature race before contact sent him spinning to a stop. After the incident, he wasn't able to regain his momentum and ended the night in 15th place.
Saturday's race at Tri-State will be the first of three scheduled nights of action in the Hoosier state this season. The Bloomington, Ind., native would like nothing more than to find himself right in the thick of things and battling for the win. He's made five career starts at the high-banked, quarter-mile dirt oval located in Southwest Indiana. Three of those starts were with the Outlaws, and his best finish of the three came in October 2004, when he finished 11th.
With last Friday night's race at Paducah International Raceway, 12 of the 84 scheduled 2009 WoO races dates have been completed. Kinser has three top-five finishes and six top-10s. He currently ranks 10th in the WoO Sprint Series Championship standings with 1,540 points, trailing leader and TSR teammate Donny Schatz by 147 markers.
On Friday, the pit gates and grandstands at RIS will open at 3 p.m. CDT. Qualifying is set to begin at 6:30 p.m. For more details, contact RIS at (901) 840-1970. The official Web site of RIS is www.riversideinternationalspeedway.com.
On Saturday, the pit gates at Tri-State Speedway will open at 2:30 p.m. CDT with the grandstands opening at 3:30 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. For more details, call Tri-State Speedway at (812) 768-6025. The official Web site of Tri-State Speedway is www.tristatespeedway.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:
Last weekend, you lost a race to Mother Nature. How important is it to be on the track as much as possible early in the year?
"We certainly hated to see the rain come on Saturday, but that's how things go, sometimes. Especially in the Midwest, you just never know. I mean, Friday was beautiful, almost as warm as it was the week before in Texas, and then Saturday it just wasn't to be. Hopefully, this weekend we get some good weather and have two good nights of racing.
"We want to be on the track as much as possible. Laps and seat time are only going to make us better. The Bass Pro Shops team (Mike Cool, Steve Swenson, and Bob Curtis) will do whatever it takes for us to have a chance to succeed on the track, and that kind of effort is what you need out here (with the Outlaws)."
There is a wide variety of track types on the Outlaws schedule. This weekend, it's a pair of smaller tracks. As a driver, do you approach tracks based on their size?
"Definitely. Every track is different, whether it's the dirt, size, banking, or whatever. They each react differently. I've only been to Memphis once, but the guys said the first year they were down there it was heavy and rough, and then last year, it was slick and smooth. Haubstadt is always really good and racy, but it changes as the night goes on, so you've got to stay on top of it.
"You have to just take it night by night. I started racing on the smaller tracks here in Indiana, so this weekend we'll be in our short-track mode. Again, it starts with qualifying well and getting through your heat in the top two spots. If you can do that, then you'll have a chance.
"Traffic plays a big part of the race on these short tracks. Our goal is to be in a position where our Bass Pro Shops car is good all across the track and I can make the right decisions behind the wheel."
Saturday's race is the first of three in your home state. Is there any added pressure racing close to home?
"There's pressure no matter where we race. We all want to win and succeed, but if you can do it close to home, there's an added bonus. It's fun to see familiar faces around and be at places where you at least have been a few times. We'd like to have a good showing for everybody involved with the Tony Stewart Racing team, and if we can do that, there will be a lot of happy Hoosiers, as well."
For complete WoO Sprint Series results from Riverside International Speedway and Tri-State Speedway, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com/sprint. For information regarding TSR, Bass Pro Shops, J.D. Byrider, Chevy or Kinser, go to www.tonystewartracing.com, www.basspro.com, www.byrider.com, www.chevy.com or www.kraigkinser.com.