Back on Track: Steve Kinser Wins Finale of DIRTcar Nationals
Barberville, FL- February 7, 2010-Heading into the 2010 season, 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser said that he felt better than he had in two or three years, after having off-season surgery to fix a bulging disc in his neck. He started the season off very strong and was in contention for wins in each of the first three races of the 39th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals by University of Northwestern Ohio at Volusia Speedway. Kinser sealed the deal on Sunday night, picking up his first win of the season and his first victory since joining Tony Stewart Racing.
Kinser battled Tim Kaeding for most of the 30-lap contest and had Joey Saldana challenging him in the late going. For the Hall of Famer, it was his third career World of Outlaws A-Feature win at Volusia Speedway Park and his fifth overall triumph at the half-mile. Kinser now has 553 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws.
“It feels good to get the first win of the year early on,” Kinser said. “The car got better as the race went on and I had to let it come to me. I was able to run low and also up top. I’m just glad to be in Victory Lane. Thats what we want to do, win races with this car.”Kinser lined up second in the Bass Pro Shops Maxim and took the lead for the first time on the 12th lap from Tim Kaeding in traffic. Kaeding took the top spot back on the 16th lap using the high side of turn four. Just two laps later, Kinser was able to dive under Kaeding in turn one to take the lead and would pace the field for the rest of the way. On the second and final double file restart of the night, Kinser had Joey Saldana to contend with, who was using the extreme high side of the track to get a run on the leader. Kinser used strong restarts each time to hold down the top spot.”The car was good on the restarts,” shard the native of Bloomington, Ind. “We have been trying some different things here lately and I think we found a few that seem to work.”
Kinser had a very strong week at the DIRTcar Nationals, finishing fourth or better in all four events he competed in, with three of those being podium runs. He leaves the Sunshine State second in points, just three markers behind his teammate Donny Schatz as he chases his record 21st series title.”We had a pretty good week here and it was good to get back to the track and racing again,” noted Kinser. “We still have some work to do and we’ll go back to the shop and keep plugging away. This is a pretty good start to the year and we have plenty of racing left.”
Joey Saldana powered his way from the eighth starting spot to a runner-up finish in the Budweiser Maxim. He tracked Kinser down late in the race and got along side of him a couple of times on the 23rd and 24th laps, but was not able to make a pass. Saldana was up to third just seven laps into the race, passing Donny Schatz, Craig Dollansky and Jason Sides along the way.
“We had a very good car tonight and it’s a good run to finish second,” Saldana said. “I am disappointed though, because I feel like we had a better car than he did I was able to track him down a couple of times and just about had him passed once and feel like we should have won this race. We’ll keep working hard and go from here.”Saldana, who finished first or second in all four races at Volusia, earned the overall DIRTcar Nationals championship for his strong performance over the course of the week, which brought drivers from across the country to the half-mile. He is currently tied with Kinser for the second spot in points as he chases his first series championship.”It does feel good to win the overall title with all of the strong cars that were here,” stated the second generation driver. “We started eighth a couple of times and fifth and were able to pass very strong cars. We are doing the right things and if we keep at it, we’ll get the wins.”
Danny Lasoski passed more cars than any other driver on Sunday night. The 2001 series champion lined up 14th and wound up third in the Caseys General Stores JEI to earn the KSE Hard Charger Award. On the double file restart on the 15th lap, he powered his way from eighth to fifth as he marched toward the front of the field.”I’m very happy for this entire team,” Lasoski said. “We didn’t quite start the week how we wanted and to finish on a strong note like this is great. Barry (Jackson), Pete (Stephens) and Cody (Jacobs) worked very hard all week and certainly deserved a strong finish like this.”
Donny Schatz, the four-time and defending series champion, who won on Saturday night came home fourth in the Armor All J&J and left the Sunshine State as the series championship point leader as he chases his fifth consecutive title.Tim Kaeding led 13 laps aboard the DTR Transport KPC and ended up fifth. Jason Meyers was sixth in the GLR Investments KPC, with Craig Dollansky seventh aboard the Big Game Treestands Maxim. Terry McCarl was eighth also in the Big Game Treestands Maxim. Jason Sides set fast time for the second consecutive night and wound up ninth piloting the Wetherington Tractor Service Maxim. Paul McMahan rounded out the Top-10 in the Indy Race Parts Eagle.The World of Outlaws return to action on Friday, February 26 Las Vegas Motor Speedway’s Dirt Track for the second annual Las Vegas Super Sprint Classic.