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Kinser Finds Victory Lane in World of Outlaws Return to Kokomo
The Indiana native picks up his first win of the season at the Kasey Kahne Challenge
KOKOMO, Ind. – June 5, 2012 – A fired-up Kraig Kinser reveled on the infield stage as confetti showered his celebration.
Kinser snapped a 39-race winless streak with the World of Outlaws in impressive fashion on Tuesday at Kokomo Speedway in the third round of the Kasey Kahne Challenge. He led all but the first lap to secure his 12th career Outlaws win in front of a near capacity crowd.
As meaningful as it was to get the monkey off his back, the Indiana native was just as enthused to find his way to Victory Lane at a track that has historic significance to his family.
“I love running in my home state of Indiana,” he said. “This track has a lot of history with my family, so being able to add a little more history with the Kinser name is unbelievable for me.”
Kinser, who grew up and resides in Bloomington – a little more than a two-hour drive from Kokomo – picked up his first career sprint car victory at the quarter-mile track. He also claimed a World of Outlaws feature in 2005 at Kokomo Speedway, where his father, 20-time Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, holds a series-best six victories.
“It goes way up there with me,” Kraig Kinser said. “And not just with me, but my grandpa, my cousins, my uncle, my dad; they just have a lot of history at this track and a lot of tracks in Indiana.”
Kinser qualified third quickest of the 31 competitors and finished fourth in his heat race, locking himself into the dash. The inversion for the eight-lap dash was a six, starting him on the outside of the second row. Kinser gained one position to earn the third starting spot for the feature.
It didn’t take long for Kinser to find the lead. After two failed attempts to start the main event – the first for Brian Paulus’ flip in turn three followed by Kyle Larson and Austen Wheatley spinning in turn four – Kinser advanced to second by lap two, when the third caution occurred.
Polesitter Joey Saldana chose the outside lane for the double-file restart, putting Kinser on the inside. His restart made the duo even at the flag stand and Kinser took the lead entering turn one, pulling away to a sizeable advantage.
As he entered traffic for the first time, Sammy Swindell, who was in fourth place, tipped over in turn three on lap 10. Swindell’s car was towed to the pits and he ended with a 20th-place finish, which dropped him to a season-worst fourth in the championship standings.
Kinser set a blistering pace as the final 31 laps were cautionless. Craig Dollansky, who passed Saldana for second on lap 11, closed to within a couple of car lengths when Kinser was stuck in thick traffic. However, Kinser always had an answer to retain the top spot.
“Kraig drove a great race,” said Dollansky, who advanced to third in the championship standings. “We were right there. If he would have made a mistake there ….”
Saldana outlasted KSE Hard Charger Dave Blaney for the final spot on the podium.
“Obviously the third-place finish is awesome tonight, but when you start on the front row and run third, we gave a good, solid night up,” Saldana said. “That race played out perfect for Kraig Kinser’s car. He’s been good. He’s definitely been fast enough to win these races and he’s had bad luck, so he definitely deserved that win tonight.”
Brad Sweet, who started on the outside of the front row, finished fifth. Donny Schatz was sixth and Steve Kinser drove from 17th to seventh to maintain the championship standings lead. Daryn Pittman was eighth, Kerry Madsen ninth and Cody Darrah rounded out the top 10.
Swindell was the quickest in qualifying with a track-record time of 10.950 seconds. Saldana, Schatz and Pittman each won a heat race, and Chad Kemenah claimed the Last Chance Showdown.
The fourth-and-final Kasey Kahne Challenge race is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 14, at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb.
Kasey Kahne Challenge Round 3 Notebook
NOTES – This was the first World of Outlaws event at Kokomo Speedway since 2007. … Sammy Swindell set quick time for a series-best fifth time this season. … Joey Saldana picked up his sixth heat race win, Donny Schatz his fifth heat win and Daryn Pittman his second heat win. … Joey Saldana claimed the dash for the second time this season. … Chad Kemenah became the 23rd different Last Chance Showdown winner in 25 events this season. … The top five in the championship standings are separated by only 69 points.
CONTINGENCY WINNERS – MSD Ignitions ($50 cash): Kraig Kinser; Comp Cams ($50 certificate): Kraig Kinser; Armor All (case of product): Logan Schuchart; STP ($50 cash): Craig Dollansky; UNOH ($50 cash): Donny Schatz; Gravely Tractors ($50 cash): Steve Kinser; VP Racing Fuel ($50 cash): Kerry Madsen; Comp Cams ($50 cash): Lucas Wolfe; JE Pistons (set of rings): Lucas Wolfe; Cometic Gasket ($50 cash): Lucas Wolfe; Wix Filters ($50 cash): Chad Kemenah; Superflow ($50 cash): Chad Kemenah; JE Pistons ($50 cash): Bill Rose; JE Pistons (set of rings): Brady Bacon; MSD Ignitions ($25 cash): Brady Bacon; Klotz Synthetic Lubricants ($50 cash): Logan Schuchart.
WINNERS – Craig Dollansky – 4 (I-96 Speedway on June 2, Hagerstown Speedway on May 20, Tri-State Speedway on April 21 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Sammy Swindell – 4 (Eldora Speedway on May 5, Knoxville Raceway on April 28, Missouri State Fair Speedway on April 20 and Merced Speedway on March 30); Joey Saldana – 3 (The Dirt Track at Charlotte on May 25, Paducah International Raceway on April 13 and Perris Auto Speedway on March 10); Donny Schatz – 3 (Farmer City Raceway on April 25, Silver Dollar Speedway on March 23 and Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 19); Tim Kaeding – 2 (Thunderbowl Raceway on March 16 and The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 8); Chad Kemenah – 2 (Lawrenceburg Speedway on May 28 and Eldora Speedway on May 4); Kraig Kinser – 1 (Kokomo Speedway on June 5); Steve Kinser – 2 (Orange County Fair Speedway on May 19 and Williams Grove Speedway on May 12); Danny Dietrich – 1 (Lincoln Speedway on May 10); Danny Lasoski – 1 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 18); Paul McMahan – 1 (Rolling Wheels Raceway Park on May 16); Fred Rahmer – 1 (Williams Grove Speedway on May 11).
TIME TRIALS – Sammy Swindell was the fastest qualifier around the quarter-mile oval with a track-record time of 10.950 seconds to earn five championship points. Also earning points were Craig Dollansky (4 points), Kraig Kinser (3), Brad Sweet (2) and Kody Kinser (1).
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Kasey Kahne Challenge Round 3 Statistical Report; Kokomo Speedway; Kokomo, Ind.; June 5, 2012
A-Main – (40 Laps) – 1. 11K-Kraig Kinser  [$6,000]; 2. 7-Craig Dollansky  [$3,500]; 3. 9-Joey Saldana  [$2,000]; 4. 2-Dale Blaney  [$1,800]; 5. 49-Brad Sweet  [$1,500]; 6. 15-Donny Schatz  [$1,400]; 7. 11-Steve Kinser  [$1,350]; 8. 71-Daryn Pittman  [$1,300]; 9. 29-Kerry Madsen  [$1,250]; 10. 4-Cody Darrah  [$1,200]; 11. 1K-Kyle Larson  [$900]; 12. 5W-Lucas Wolfe  [$800]; 13. 44W-Austen Wheatley  [$700]; 14. 4S-Danny Smith  [$650]; 15. 63-Chad Kemenah  [$600]; 16. 6-Bill Rose  [$550]; 17. 1S-Logan Schuchart  [$500]; 18. 4K-Kody Kinser  [$500]; 19. 1X-Randy Hannagan  [$500]; 20. 1-Sammy Swindell  [$500]; 21. 99-Brady Bacon  [$500]; 22. 93-Sheldon Haudenschild  [$500]; 23. 54-Cap Henry  [$500]; 24. 28-Brian Paulus  [$500]. Lap Leaders: Joey Saldana 1, Kraig Kinser 2-40. KSE Hard Charger Award: 2-Dale Blaney [+11].