Back in the Saddle: Kraig Kinser Heads to Nebraska & North Dakota
By Kraig Kinser Racing PR
BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— Aug. 12, 2013— With the biggest week of the year in sprint car racing — the FVP Knoxville Nationals — now in the books, it’s often said that the season begins to slow down. That’s not the case for Kraig Kinser and his fellow World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series competitors as they’ll return to the track this week for three races in a six-day stretch, beginning in Nebraska and concluding with a pair of races in North Dakota.
The trio of races for Kinser this week starts on Tuesday, Aug. 13, with the running of the NAPA Auto Parts Outlaw Shootout at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb. The native of Bloomington, Ind., will then head north for the final two legs of the Gerdau Ameristeel Northern Tour. Kinser will hit the track at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, N.D., on Friday, Aug. 16, and wraps up the weekend in the Magic City Showdown at Nodak Speedway in Minot, N.D., on Sunday, Aug. 18.
Kinser, who pilots the Mesilla Valley Transportation/Casey’s General Store/King Racing Products Maxim, has made two starts in his career at Junction Motor Speedway, including last season when he finished 14th. Kinser made his debut at the semi-banked, three-eighths-mile in 2010, which was also was the World of Outlaws first-ever stop at the venue in southeastern Nebraska. The event at Junction Motor Speedway will mark the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series only race of the season in Nebraska, after a rainout at I-80 Speedway in June.
“Junction (Motor Speedway) is one of those places that everyone is still kind of learning,” said Kinser. “With the new tires this year, the set-up will obviously be a little different than last year and that should equalize the playing field a bit. That’s a great facility and we don’t race out that way very much anymore, so I imagine they’ll have a very good crowd and hopefully we put on a good show for them.”
Earlier this season at River Cities Speedway, Kinser finished fifth to earn his second top-five finish in his last three starts at the track. He was the third-fastest driver in time trials of the 36 entrants and came home third in the third 10-lap heat race to earn a spot in the dash where he finished fifth. Kinser lined up on the inside of the third row for the 40-lap main event at the always racy bullring.
“We had a pretty good car earlier in the year at Grand Forks (River Cities Speedway),” he noted. “That’s a track that I always feel comfortable at and it reminds me so much of the tracks I grew up on back home. Don Mack and everyone does such a great job up there and always provide us with a super racy surface with multiple grooves. In the driver’s seat it’s an ‘elbows up’ type of place to race and I know for the fans it’s an exciting track to watch at.”
Kinser made his debut at River Cities Speedway in 2000, with the former Gumout Series finishing fourth and fifth in two starts. In four Gumout Series starts at the track, Kinser finished in the top-five each and every time. With the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series, the third-generation driver has made 11 starts, recording six top-10 finishes in the process.
The third-generation driver raced for the first time at the three-eighths-mile Nodak Speedway in 2008 and finished a career-best third in that event. He has made a total of five starts at the oval, which is located on the grounds of the North Dakota State Fairgrounds, recording top-10 finishes in four of those races. Last season, Kinser finished ninth at Nodak Speedway, in the series return to the oval, after the 2011 event was forced to be cancelled due to flooding.
“Minot (Nodak Speedway) has a lot of racing room,” said Kinser. “It’s a smaller track that races like a much bigger one. We’ve been pretty consistent over the years there and just need to gain a little bit to be battling up front. That’s a place where you can make up some ground if you start further back, but the goal is to always start as far forward as possible and begins in qualifying.”
Last week at the 53rd Annual FVP Knoxville Nationals at Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, Kinser battled more than his fair share of bad luck. After losing an engine in time trials on Wednesday, Aug. 7, during the first preliminary night, he used a second-place finish in the fifth heat race to earn a spot in the preliminary feature. He was running among the top-five in the late going of that 25-lap contest when he lost another engine and finished 22nd. On Friday, Aug. 9, he was battling for a spot in the 25-lap feature when he had steering problems during the first B-main, which forced him to the work area. He was able to return and charge back through the field to finish seventh, missing a transfer spot by four positions. On Saturday, Aug. 10, Kinser finished fifth in the C-main, coming up just one spot shy of moving to the B-main.
Kinser begins this week 13th in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series standings. He has one victory this season to go along with 23 top-10 finishes and eight top-five showings.