‘King of the Outlaws’ Wins #500 at Houston
Raceway Park By Richard Day BAYTOWN, TX (March 27) – The wait
is over. Steve Kinser, the undisputed king of sprint car racing, has won
his 500th World of Outlaws Sprint Series “A” Feature. The defending and
18-time series champion drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past pole-sitter
Brooke Tatnell late in the 10th lap of the Fifth Annual Texas Shootout at
Houston Raceway Park Saturday, and held off a furious last-lap charge by
Donny Schatz to claim the milestone victory by half a car-length.
“I’m just glad to get this one over with so
we don’t have to hear about it any more,” Kinser said in victory lane. “Donny
Schatz is one of those guys who gets better the longer the race goes on.
I got to running the bottom of three and four pretty good through the middle
of the race, but when I saw him beside me there, I really didn’t know what
to do. I didn’t know if the top was any good, so I tried to stay low and
block him, but I ended up missing the bottom. We were all pretty bottled
up in traffic though."
“I have to thank Scott Gerkin. He’s the best
crew chief out there right now, and he and all the guys on my team do so
much to give me a great racecar night-in and night-out. Scott builds all
my motors, and for a bunch of country boys from Indiana, I guess we don’t
do too badly. I want to thank my wife Dana and my kids Stevie, Kraig and
Kurt. I wish Kurt could have been here tonight, but he’s busy wrestling
and boxing and living his own life."
“I’m just grateful to have a family that
loves sprint car racing as much as I do. I always wanted to drive a racecar,
but I figured I’d have to get a job and be lucky enough to race at home
on the weekends. The World of Outlaws started just about the time that I
did, and it seemed like back then I was one of the youngest guys in the
pits. Now here I am one of the oldest, but winning races still means everything
to me. I want to thank Quaker State for all they’ve done for me since I
started my own race team (in 1995). They’ve been a big help in me being
able to keep racing and winning. Maxim Chassis, Hoosier Tires, Jones Engineering,
Sanders – they all give me the best equipment you can have. Most of all,
I want to thank the fans. You’ve been great the whole time, and it’s been
a pleasure being able to race for all of you.”
The victory, Kinser’s fifth in seven main
events at Houston Raceway Park, pushed him 50 points ahead of Schatz in
the World of Outlaws Sprint Series point standings. “The King of the Outlaws,”
the fourth-fastest qualifier in the 30-car field, earned the privilege of
starting the 30-lap “A” Feature on the front row by winning the Second Dash
Race. Tatnell, the only Australian driver to ever win a World of Outlaws
Sprint Series main event, drove the #66 Trop Artic Maxim into the lead as
the green flag fell in the “A” Feature. Shane Stewart, a first-time winner
at Thunder Valley Speedway Friday, hit the outside retaining wall early
in the opening lap and lost 12 positions. Stewart stopped the severely damaged
#4M Ol’ Glory Maxim on the back straightaway the next time around and retired
to the pit area. Tatnell raced away from Kinser as the race resumed, and
opened a 10 car-length advantage by the seventh lap.
“The King of the Outlaws” gained on Tatnell
in lapped traffic, and passed him for the lead with an inside move in the
fourth corner three laps later. Jason Meyers, who won the February 28th
Snap-on Tools Shootout at Perris Auto Speedway after Kinser lost the lead
with a flat tire, started inside the sixth row. The 2000 World of Outlaws
Gumout Series Rookie of the Year drove the #14 Elite Landscaping Maxim past
five cars during the first 14 laps, and took fifth place from Kraig Kinser
midway through the race. Schatz steered his #15 Parker Store J&J around
Brian Paulus and Tatnell during laps 16 and 18, while “The King of the Outlaws”
opened a straightaway advantage. Meyers raced past Paulus in the low groove
between turns three and four to take over fourth place late in the 22nd
Schatz closed to within 10 car-lengths of
Kinser within three laps, and narrowed the gap to five car-lengths by lap
26. The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year caught Kinser in dense lapped
traffic with 1˝ laps remaining. Schatz raced wheel-to-wheel with “The King
of the Outlaws” through the first three corners during the final lap, but
Kinser beat him under the checkered flag for the $10,000 victory. Tatnell
finished in third place, ahead of Meyers, Paulus, Craig Dollansky, Danny
Lasoski, Paul McMahan, Daryn Pittman and Steve Kinser’s son, Kraig. Tim
Shaffer drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past eight cars to finish 15th.
Joey Saldana paced the qualifying session with a 104.949-M.P.H. lap around
Baytown’s semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval.
Kinser and Lasoski will represent the World
of Outlaws in Friday’s International Race of Champions event at Texas Motor
Speedway, then compete in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series’ NGK Spark
Plugs Shootout Saturday at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track. WoO 2004
World of Outlaws Sprint Series Fifth Annual Texas Shootout Houston Raceway
Park, Baytown, TX Saturday, March 27, Feature Program #5
Qualifying: 1. Joey Saldana, Cox 50D, 13.721;
2. Danny Lasoski, Stewart 20, 13.724; 3. Jason Meyers, Elite Racing 14,
13.763; 4. Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 13.796; 5. Brooke Tatnell, Grandstaff
66, 13.805; 6. Kraig Kinser, Kinser 11K, 13.836; 7. Brian Paulus, Pender
28, 13.871; 8. Erin Crocker, Woodring 16, 13.878; 9. Terry McCarl, McCarl
24, 13.883; 10. Craig Dollansky, Karavan 7, 13.884; 11. Paul McMahan, Helm
11H, 13.886; 12. Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 13.900; 13. Brandon Wimmer, Two
Winners Racing 7TW, 13.930; 14. Dean Jacobs, Woodward 2, 13.945; 15. Daryn
Pittman, Woodburn 21, 13.949; 16. Jason Sides, Sides Motorsports 7S, 13.959;
17. Shane Stewart, Chilcutt 4M, 13.973; 18. Jonathan Allard, Wright 35,
14.012; 19. Toni Lutar, Lutar 4X, 14.029; 20. Jason Solwold, K&M Motorsports
18, 14.109; 21. Tyler Walker, Forbrook 5, 14.110; 22. Aaron Berryhill, Fast
Forward Motorsports 97, 14.127; 23. Tim Shaffer, Roth 83, 14.172; 24. Brian
Brown, Parsons 6, 14.210; 25. Brian Carlson, Carlson 18C, 14.479; 26. Ray
Allen Kulhanek, Miller 21T, 15.550; 27. Scottie McDonald, McDonald 88, 15.641;
28. Larry Howery, Pokluda 5P, 15.886; 29. Ricky Lee Whatley, Whatley 223,
16.886; 30. Terry Parrish, Parrish 118, 17.699.
First Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Brandon Wimmer,
2. Jonathan Allard, 3. Donny Schatz, 4. Brian Paulus, 5. Kraig Kinser, 6.
Joey Saldana, 7. Toni Lutar, 8. Aaron Berryhill, 9. Larry Howery, 10. Brian
Carlson. (first six qualified for the “A” Feature)
Second Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Shane Stewart,
2. Dean Jacobs, 3. Brooke Tatnell, 4. Paul McMahan, 5. Danny Lasoski, 6.
Erin Crocker, 7. Tim Shaffer, 8. Jason Solwold, 9. Ray Allen Kulhanek. (first
six qualified for the “A” Feature)
Third Heat Race (eight laps): 1. Jason Sides,
2. Daryn Pittman, 3. Craig Dollansky, 4. Steve Kinser, 5. Jason Meyers,
6. Tyler Walker, 7. Terry McCarl, 8. Brian Brown, 9. Scottie McDonald, 10.
Terry Parrish. (first six qualified for the “A” Feature)
First Dash Race (five laps): 1. Brooke Tatnell,
2. Brian Paulus, 3. Donny Schatz, 4. Joey Saldana, 5. Craig Dollansky, 6.
Jason Meyers, 7. Dean Jacobs, 8. Jason Sides. (finish determined the inside
starting positions in the first eight rows in the “A” Feature lineup)
Second Dash Race (five laps): 1. Steve Kinser,
2. Erin Crocker, 3. Kraig Kinser, 4. Paul McMahan, 5. Danny Lasoski, 6.
Shane Stewart, 7. Daryn Pittman, 8. Brandon Wimmer. (finish determined the
outside starting positions in the first eight rows in the “A” Feature lineup)
B Feature (12 laps): 1. Aaron Berryhill, 2.
Terry McCarl, 3. Jason Solwold, 4. Tim Shaffer, 5. Toni Lutar, 6. Brian
Brown, 7. Brian Carlson ($200); 8. Ray Allen Kulhanek ($180); 9. Larry Howery
($150); 10. Terry Parrish ($120); 11. Ricky Lee Whatley ($100); 12. Scottie
McDonald ($90). (first six qualified for the “A” Feature)
A Feature (30 laps): 1. Steve Kinser  ($10,000);
2. Donny Schatz  ($5,500); 3. Brooke Tatnell  ($3,200); 4. Jason Meyers
 ($2,800); 5. Brian Paulus  ($2,500); 6. Craig Dollansky  ($2,300);
7. Danny Lasoski  ($2,200); 8. Paul McMahan  ($2,100); 9. Daryn Pittman
 ($2,050); 10. Kraig Kinser  ($2,000); 11. Jason Sides  ($1,500);
12. Joey Saldana  ($1,200); 13. Dean Jacobs  ($1,100); 14. Erin Crocker
 ($1,050); 15. Tim Shaffer  ($1,020); 16. Tyler Walker  ($900);
17. Terry McCarl  ($820); 18. Aaron Berryhill  ($820); 19. Brian
Brown  ($820); 20. Jason Solwold  ($820); 21. Jonathan Allard 
($800); 22. Brandon Wimmer  ($800); 23. Toni Lutar  ($820); 24.
Shane Stewart  ($800).
Lap leaders: Brooke Tatnell 1-9, Steve Kinser