Outlaws to Open Season at Kings Speedway HANFORD, CA (February 1) - Irony will be running rampant when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opens its 1999 season at Kings Speedway. Steve Kinser, the defending champion and winningest driver...
Outlaws to Open Season at Kings Speedway
HANFORD, CA (February 1) - Irony will be running rampant when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opens its 1999 season at Kings Speedway.
Steve Kinser, the defending champion and winningest driver in the history of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series, won a battle with 1988's big winners - Stevie Smith and Jac Haudenschild - when a record crowd packed Kings Speedway last September 11th.
"The King of the Outlaws" passed Haudenschild for first place during the fifth lap, then held off Smith to win by two car-lengths. The victory was the sixth of Kinser's career at Kings Speedway, and his first there since September 19, 1990.
"We've had a pretty long dry spell here," the 15-time World of Outlaws champion said, "and Stevie almost made it longer. I'm just glad it's over. Any time you start up front, you'd better make it count."
Kinser definitely made his six "A" Feature victories count last year. The total was the second-lowest of his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series career but his 58 top-10 finishes in 65 events made him the first to claim both the driver and owner championships in the same season.
Smith put his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Black Bandit in victory lane following 13 "A" Features while Haudenschild won 11 last season. They will lead a strong group of drivers intent on dethroning Kinser. Fourteen different drivers won Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Features during the series' 20th Anniversary Season, while 12 more combined to win the 22 Preliminary Features.
Stevie led the points race last May and eventually finished fourth in the standings. Haudenschild enjoyed a career year despite suffering a mid-season shoulder injury, earning a series-high $367,690.
Mark Kinser will have Mopar power behind him when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series closes out the 20th Century. The 1996 champion led the points race early last season. He won 12 main events and five Preliminary Features while finishing second in the point standings. He has earned more Vivarin Fast-Time Awards than any other driver in each of the last four seasons.
Sammy Swindell won seven "A" Features and one Preliminary Feature a year after claiming his third series championship. He drove his #1 Channellock Stealth into the top 10 52 times last season, including 35 in the top five. He's a two-time winner at Manzanita Speedway.
Stevie Smith enjoyed a career year, putting his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Black Bandit in victory lane following 13 "A" Features. Stevie led the points race last May and eventually finished fourth in the standings. His father, Steve, received the Channellock Mechanic of the Year award.
Danny Lasoski received the MBNA Most Improved Driver award following his first season in the #83 Beef Packers Eagle. He won four Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Features, including the prestigious Amoco Knoxville Nationals. "The Dude" has recorded top-10 finishes in the last 20 "A" Features.
Andy Hillenburg will have Luxaire backing him this year as he races to extend his streak of qualifying for Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main events. The streak, which dates to May 29, 1992, reached 457 by the end of 1998.
Johnny Herrera joined Eagle Raceway owner Craig Cormack during the off-season and will drive the #1BK Networks Eagle this year. Herrera won the Channellock Spring Classic at Williams Grove Speedway last season on his way to an eighth-place ranking the point standings.
Jeff Swindell enters the 1999 season confident Earl Gaerte will have the Ford engine in the #104+ Octane Boost J&J running on all cylinders. Despite the engine woes Two Winners Racing endured last year, Swindell maintained a top-10 ranking and won main events at Paducah International Raceway and Southern Oregon Speedway.
Dale Blaney, the 1998 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Rookie of the Year, said he didn't feel like a rookie last season. His consistent finishes in the #93 Amoco J&J kept him among the top 10 in the points race throughout the year.
Tyler Walker drove his family's #35 Air Sep Maxim through many peaks and valleys during his rookie season. Among his 31 top-10 finishes were eight top-fives, including the prestigious Western World Championships.
Joe Gaerte said his first year with car owner Henry Holbrook, Jr., was typical of a new team. Gaerte, who underwent off-season eye surgery, recorded 20 top-10 finishes, including five in the top five and a victory at Battleground Speedway last March.
Donny Schatz, the 1997 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Rookie of the Year, turned the sophomore jinx into a myth last season. He finished fourth at the Amoco Knoxville Nationals and won the first main event of his career at Riverside Speedway.
Craig Dollansky received the Vivarin Perseverance Award following his up-and-down rookie season that included four car changes. Craig is ready to hit the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series in his own #7 Polydome Gambler house car.
With the driving chores being split between Daryn Pittman and his son, Lance, Joe Blevins' first season with Up Front Phone Cards sponsoring his #21 J&J wasn't what he expected. He's confident 1991 Rookie of the Year Jim Carr's return as a driver will be successful.
Pittman, who was hired to drive the #47 Casey's General Stores Maxim during the off-season, is expected to battle Tim Shaffer for 1999 Rookie of the Year honors. Pittman raced in 26 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series events last year - 12 in his family's #11P Stealth and 14 in the #21 - and recorded three top-15 finishes, including an 11th-place run in the season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Shaffer drove the #11H Vivarin Maxim into the top 10 in 11 of the 21 events he competed last season and won the Preliminary Feature at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in late August.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 1999 season features 73 events over 105 race dates at 46 facilities in 25 states and more than $10 million in purses, contingencies and point fund awards.