Steve Kinser Lightning Fast at Thunderbowl - By Bobby Gerould - 09/02/03 - Tulare, CA. ...Throughout his incomparable career Steve Kinser has adapted quickly. The 17-time World of Outlaws champion christened Thunderbowl Raceway Tuesday night under wild circumstances, garnering his 491st A-Main win in O'Reilly World of Outlaws competition. During the 35-lap feature race, lightning struck a transformer two blocks from the track, knocking the lights off while cars were at speed on lap 19. Thankfully no one was injured and all cars stopped safely. When the lights returned, rain appeared. However the quick thundershower at the Thunderbowl let up in time for the finish.
Kinser, in his own Quaker State Maxim #11 tuned by Scott Gerkin, snatched the lead from his contemporary Sammy Swindell on lap five. What turned out to be the winning pass occurred on the high side of turn two. Kinser told WoO announcer John Gibson in the winner's circle, "We got a good run there at the beginning, and got by Sammy, and then we started messing around on the bottom, and finally got up top, and it seemed to run a little better up there."
With the win, Kinser recaptured the lead in the season point standings. Danny Lasoski who swept the Calistoga races, finished ninth at the Thunderbowl.
The event was CO-promoted by car owner Dennis Roth whose teams rewarded him by sharing the front row for the feature. Sammy Swindell in the ORE-CAL #1 J&J, and Tim Shaffer in the Beef Packers #83jr. Eagle were the respective dash winners, earning the front row starting spots. Swindell led the opening four laps but faded to sixth at the checkered flag. Shaffer was strong throughout, driving the car that Kasey Kahne has had success in. The primary #83 car was resting on this night, an experiment by new Shaffer crew chief Ken Woodruff.
Local, Blake Robertson of Visalia, diced much of the race with Jason Meyers of Clovis. Meyers wound up third with Robertson driving home fourth. Joey Saldana completed the top five.
The feature start was unlucky for Donny Schatz. As the field raced out of turn 4, Schatz slowed on the frontstretch with engine problems. Schatz stopped in turn 1, then pitted for repairs, but was unable to get the car fired.
The biggest crowd in the history of the Thunderbowl, estimated at 4,000, watched action on the track and in the sky. The Outlaw travelers, many of whom are based in the storm heavy Midwest, yawned at the unusual California weather. But for Californian's any thunderstorm is news! The lightning strikes all around the state fairgrounds facility kept many entertained when cars were not on the track.
Paul McMahan was leading the first dash when his car came out of gear exiting turn 2 on the last lap. McMahan coasted across the line in 8th. In the feature, McMahan's Vivarin #11h suffered a broken rear-end, forcing him to the pits.
O’Reilly World of Outlaws Thunderbowl Raceway
September 2, 2003
Qualifying 1) Steve Kinser, Kinser 11, 13.350 2) Danny Lasoski, Stewart 20, 13.407 3) Daryn Pittman, Sher-Don Motorsports 21, 13.573 4) Joey Saldana, Saldana 17, 13.666 5) Sammy Swindell, Roth 1, 13.699 6) Blake Robertson, McMillen 10, 13.770 7) Paul McMahan, Helm 11H, 13.805 8) Tim Shaffer, Roth 83, 13.867 9) Jason Meyers, Karavan 7, 13.875 10) Donny Schatz, Schatz 15, 13.881 11) Dennis Moore, Jr., Williams 0, 13.896 12) Brian Paulus, P&P Motorsports 28, 13.910 13) Jonathan Allard, Wright 35W, 13.917, 14) Tim Kaeding, Cowen 7T, 13.923 15) Jason Sides, Sides Motorsports 7S, 13.924 16) Tommy Tarlton, Tarlton 21T, 13.948 17) Peter Murphy, Elite 1E, 13.958 18) Johnny Herrera, Forbrook 5, 13.987 19) Brent Kaeding, Kaeding 69, 13.999 20) Brian Coelho, Coelho 6C, 14.073 21) Garrett Ishi, Ishi 71G, 14.043 22) Mike Faria, Faria 4F, 14.068 23) Randy Hannagan, TH Racing 1X, 14.096 24) Toni Lutar, Lutar 4X, 14.129 25) Ricci Faria, Faria 89, 14.210 26) Andy Forsberg, Forsberg 92, 14.266 27) Davey Key, Key 15K, 14.315 28) Charlie Louden, Louden X, 14.516
First Heat Race (8 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Johnny Herrera 2) Paul McMahan 3) Jonathan Allard 4) Steve Kinser 5) Brian Paulus 6) Blake Robertson 7) Mike Faria 8) Ricci Faria 9) Charlie Louden 10) Brent Kaeding
Second Heat Race (8 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Tim Kaeding 2) Peter Murphy 3) Tim Shaffer 4) Dennis Moore, Jr. 5) Sammy Swindell 6) Danny Lasoski 7) Brian Coelho 8) Randy Hannagan 9) Andy Forsberg
Third Heat Race (8 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)--1) Tommy Tarlton 2) Jason Sides 3) Donny Schatz 4) Jason Meyers 5) Joey Saldana 6) Daryn Pittman 7) Garrett Ishi 8) Davey Key 9) Toni Lutar
First Dash (5 laps, finishing order determined inside first 8 rows of A-feature)--1) Sammy Swindell 2) Steve Kinser 3) Jason Meyers 4) Daryn Pittman 5) Dennis Moore, Jr. 6) Jason Sides 7) Jonathan Allard 8) Paul McMahan
Second Dash (5 laps, finishing order determined outside first 8 rows of A-feature)—1) Tim Shaffer 2) Blake Robertson 3) Joey Saldana 4) Danny Lasoski 5) Donny Schatz 6) Tim Kaeding 7) Tommy Tarlton 8) Brian Paulus
B-main (10 laps, top 6 finishers transferred to A-feature)—1) Brent Kaeding 2) Brian Coelho 3) Mike Faria 4) Randy Hannagan 5) Garrett Ishi 6) Toni Lutar 7) Ricci Faria 8) Andy Forsberg 9) Davey Key 10) Charlie Louden
A-main (35 laps)--1) Steve Kinser 2) Tim Shaffer 3) Jason Meyers 4) Blake Robertson 5) Joey Saldana 6) Sammy Swindell 7) Tim Kaeding 8) Dennis Moore, Jr. 9) Danny Lasoski 10) Daryn Pittman 11) Brian Paulus 12) Randy Hannagan 13) Johnny Herrera 14) Peter Murphy 15) Brent Kaeding 16) Toni Lutar 17) Brian Coelho 18) Mike Faria 19) Paul McMahan 20) Jason Sides 21) Garrett Ishi 22) Jonathan Allard 23) Tommy Tarlton 24) Donny Schatz
Lap leaders: Sammy Swindell 1-4, Steve Kinser 5-35