Bloomington, Ind.—Feb. 13, 2013— Kraig Kinser and his team used 2012 as a learning year, as they brought the family-owned No. 11K back on the road with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series. Along the way, the third-generation driver picked up four wins en route to a solid sixth-place finish in points, setting a good foundation for this year. After spending countless hours in the shop during the off-season, Kinser and his team, led by his brother-in-law and crew chief Mike Kuemper are ready to open the 2013 World of Outlaws season this week at Volusia Speedway Park.
Kinser is set to take to the track in the 42nd Annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals presented by Summit at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., aboard the Casey’s General Store Maxim for five consecutive nights of racing, beginning tonight. The first pair of races on Wednesday, Feb. 13 and Thursday, Feb. 14 will be sanctioned by the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series will follow with three straight nights of competition, Friday, Feb. 15, Saturday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 17.
“I can’t wait to get started this week at Volusia,” said Kinser. “It’s been a long off-season for sure. We ran pretty well at Volusia last year and it’s a place I’ve always enjoyed racing at. Obviously this year we have new tires, so there will be a little bit of a learning curve, but having the practice session last night certainly helped. It will take a few races to see what different things we need to do to the car to agree with the new tires, but we should be okay.”
Last season in five starts at Volusia, Kinser picked up three top-10 finishes, of which two were top-five showings, including coming home second in the All Stars opener. He started on the pole and led the first 18 laps in that race. Kinser finished eighth and then fourth in the final two World of Outlaws races at the half-mile, which were contested as a day/night doubleheader.
In his career at Volusia Speedway Park, Kinser has one win, with that coming with the All Stars in 2005. With the World of Outlaws, he has had made a total of 16 starts at the track, picking up eight top-10 finishes, with four of those being top-five performances.
“Racing five straight nights at Volusia is great,” he noted. “For me, I think it really suits my style racing night after night. You have to make sure you are prepared for that many races in a row, because if you do have some bad luck, you don’t have a week to be ready for the next race, so it can be a grind if things aren’t going your way. I’m definitely ready and I think as a team we are ready as well, so it should be a fun week.”
Kinser, the 2005 Knoxville Nationals champion, opens the 2013 season with 14 career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins, with 11 of those triumphs coming aboard the No. 11K. He has finished in the top-10 in the World of Outlaws standings in each of the four full seasons he has competed in the family-owned car, including a career-best fifth-place showing in 2005. Nearly 90 races are currently on the World of Outlaws schedule that will see Kinser race at over 50 tracks in 25 states and three Canadian provinces.
“I’ve always enjoyed the seasons with the longer schedules,” Kinser stated. “If it was up to me, I’d race every single night if I could. The more time you have on the track, the more sharp you’ll be as a driver and the better you’ll be. It takes a lot of work in the off-season to be prepared for that many races and it takes some luck as well. Everything has to be in place, especially running against the level of competition that’s out on the road with the World of Outlaws right now.”
Kinser competed twice last weekend in a pair of events with the All Stars at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla. He also took part in an open practice session at Volusia on Tuesday, Feb. 12 in preparation for the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit.
“Having the All Stars races first, you can try a few things that normally you wouldn’t do when you are battling for points with the Outlaws,” shared Kinser. “At the same time though, we want to win them. We were close last year in the All Stars race at Volusia and getting a win in one of those two races, certainly gives you some momentum going in the Outlaws opener on Friday.”
Kinser wrapped up the 2012 World of Outlaws campaign with four victories and 46 top-10 finishes, of which 22 were top-fives. He was tied for the fifth-most wins in the series, was fourth in fast time honors with seven, earned the fourth-most bonus points in qualifying for being among the top-five in time trials and was seventh in laps led in feature events over the course of the season. Kinser ended the year sixth in points, which was his third straight top-10 showing in the standings and the sixth time in his career he has been among the top-10.
“We obviously want to back up what we did last season,” shared Kinser. “Being in contention night in and night out like we were in the first half of last year, that’s our main goal to start the season. We showed what we could do early in the year last year and if do that again this year and maintain that pace all season, it should be a good year for us.”
Kraig Kinser Racing would like to thank Casey’s General Stores, Mesilla Valley Transportation, Maxim, Aerodine Composites, Sander Engineering, Integra Shocks, All Star Performance, FK Rod Ends, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bell, KSE Racing Products, ButlerBuilt, Schoenfeld Headers, Donovan Engineering, Fel-Pro, Brodix, Wilwood, Dyer’s, Barnes Systems, Ringer Gloves, Jakes Custom Golf Carts, and Ben Cook Racing Limited for their continued support.
Kraig Kinser By the Numbers: Volusia Speedway Park:
0.5- Miles around Volusia Speedway Park
1- Career win at Volusia, coming in 2005 with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions
2- Nights of racing at the half-mile sanctioned by the All Stars
3- Top-10 finishes last season at Volusia; Nights of racing for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at the half-mile
4- Wins with the World of Outlaws last season
5- Consecutive nights of sprint car racing on tap during the DIRTcar Nationals
6- Different seasons competing at the half-mile in Florida
8- Career top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws at Volusia
11.3- Average finish in 16 main event starts with the World of Outlaws at Volusia
12.569- Track record at Volusia established in 2011
14- Career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins heading into the 2013 season
16- Main event starts with the World of Outlaws at the half-mile
18- Laps led last year in the season-opener for the All Star Circuit of Champions at Volusia
24- Races contested on half-mile tracks in 2012 by the World of Outlaws
46- Top-10 finishes last season with the series
101- Laps led in feature races in 2012
143.209- Track record at Volusia in miles per hour set in 2011
908- Miles from the Steve Kinser Racing shop in Bloomington, Ind., to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.
2005- Year of first start at Volusia
Photo courtesy of Kraig Kinser Racing