Kinser Victorious Once Again at Orange County Fair Speedway
‘The King’ ties Swindell for the World of Outlaws championship points lead
MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – May 19, 2012 – Like they did in the ’70s and ’80s and ’90s, Steve Kinser and Sammy Swindell are battling for a World of Outlaws championship.
Swindell, who leads the series with four victories, has been in or around the points lead since the start of the season. Kinser has gotten hot recently and capitalized on the momentum.
He snapped a 27-race winless streak exactly a week ago and added to an impressive record on Saturday at Orange County Fair Speedway, where Kinser won for the sixth time in 22 features, claimed career Outlaws victory No. 572 and pulled into a tie atop the World of Outlaws championship standings with Swindell.
“It’s nothing that hasn’t happened many years before,” Kinser said of his renewed rivalry with Swindell.
Kinser led all 25 laps of the main event at the 5/8-mile oval, which has featured a different winner in the past six World of Outlaws events dating back to 1999. However, Kinser is a familiar face in Victory Lane.
He claimed the first race at Orange County Fair Speedway in 1983 and won five more within a decade. After starting on the pole on Saturday, it appeared that his sixth victory – which is twice as many as any other driver – was eminent.
Kinser rocketed to a 10-car advantage in front of son, Kraig Kinser, on the opening lap. The duo paced the field with Kraig beginning to close the gap on lap five. They entered traffic on the ninth lap and were side by side on the frontstretch of lap 10.
The elder maintained the lead and the preferred lane around the bottom. The race went cautionless until lap 21 when it became just the opposite.
There were eight cautions and a red flag for a fuel stop in the final five laps. In fact, only three drivers of the 24 starters weren’t involved in a caution or didn’t pull into the pits.
“I was up front where I could be a little bit easier on tires,” Kinser said. “I nursed mine as much as I could. We just barely made it ourselves.
“It’s a bad feeling when you’re sitting there leading the race and you’re seeing half the field change tires and put new tires on ….”
Kraig Kinser was one of the catastrophes as a tire issue on the final lap dropped him from the runner-up position to 15th. That allowed Swindell to gain a few positions in the final laps to salvage a second-place finish and keep himself tied for the points lead.
“When we took off I could see that guys were just slipping the tires way too much,” Swindell said. “This place is real abrasive, so I just sat back there and rode for half the race. I just wanted to make sure I had tires at the end.”
Frank Cozze earned the KSE Hard Charger Award after maneuvering from last – 24th – to place third.
“Well we got a little bit of luck out there with the guys with the tires,” he said. “Plus I’ve probably raced here about 35 or 36 years, so I kinda know the place. You’ve gotta kind of cool it at the beginning and get lucky. And we got lucky. If it had run straight through we would have run 15th.
“It feels pretty good to get a podium finish with anybody. I don’t care if it was Mickey Mouse at this point.”
Daryn Pittman rebounded from causing a caution on a restart of lap 22 because of a tire issue. He restarted 19th and finished fourth. David Gravel rounded out the top five after facing a similar fate because of a flat tire with three laps remaining.
Joey Saldana was sixth, Fred Rahmer seventh, Paul McMahan eighth, Craig Dollansky ninth and Lucas Wolfe placed 10th. All went to the work area at some point during those final five laps to fix a flat tire.
Logan Schuchart set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 17.336 seconds, which was more than four-tenths quicker than anyone else. Swindell outlasted Steve Kinser to win the first heat race and Kraig Kinser and McMahan also claimed a heat race. Davey Franek won the Last Chance Showdown.