Wednesday, April 17, 2013

All Hail "The King" - Steve Kinser wins at El Paso Speedway Park

Photo courtesy of Tony Stewart Racing
“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renewed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of The Rings.

In the world of racing the unknowns can bite you fast. The unknown variables often decide the race and turn a good night into a bad night. For multiple time champion Steve Kinser, there are not too many unknowns. After 20 World of Outlaws championships and 575 A Main victories, "The King" has seen about everything including the track at El Paso Speedway Park. 

Last night was the inaugural race for the World of Outlaws at the 3/8-mile semi banked clay oval. For most it was their first look and first taste of Texas clay. But Steve Kinser had raced here before, as a matter of fact, he was the only driver in the field that had ever raced a 410 sprint car at El Paso Speedway Park. By the way, he won that time too. 

Qualifying was fast paced with only 21 cars in the field. Quick Time and the new track record were set by David Gravel with a lap of 13.453 seconds or 120.149 mph. Daryn Pittman, Steve Kinser Donny Schatz and Chad Kemenah were the five quickest.

The heat race winners were Craig Dollansky, Kraig Kinser and Joey Saldana. Bill Rose would scratch from the final heat. The top two would transfer to the Dash along with the four fastest qualifiers.

With only 21 cars, there was no Last Chance Showdown.

The dash inversion draw was a four for the first time this year which put Steve Kinser on the pole for the dash. Starting to his outside was his team mate Donny Schatz. The Dash barely went green when Jason Sides and Chad Kemenah made contact sending Chad Kemenah flipping wildly into the catch fence just a few feet past the start finish line. Kemenah was uninjured and climbed from the car under his own power but the Hampshire Engines Mobile Hospital No. 63 had too much damage to continue. Jason Sides re-fired the No. 7S in the work area but went straight back to the trailer. The complete restart would see Steve Kinser jump out to the lead and pull away from team mate Donny Schatz who was under attack from outlaws points leader Daryn Pittman. Schatz would lose second to Pittman briefly but regain it at the other end of the track to come home second. Pittman would hold on to third with hard charging David Gravel coming fast. 

The A Main was 30 laps of hard old school racing consisting of slide jobs for position throughout the field. From the drop of the green flag the team mates of Kinser and Schatz did battle for the top spot. Craig Dollansky would challenge Schatz for second and come away with it when on Lap 20. Schatz would bicycle the STP/TSR No. 15 and nearly flip the car, allowing Dollansky and Pittman to get around him. Schatz would sink in the field and come home in eighth with something obviously amiss on the left side of the car. Dollansky and Pittman would battle for the second spot with Pittman finally able to get around and stay around Dollansky for second on Lap 25.

The A Main had its scariest moment of the race on Lap 22 when Cody Darrah flipped violently over the banking on the back stretch and ended up on his side. Darrah climbed from the car to the cheers of the crowd but was done for the evening. Steve Kinser would pull away in the final laps of the race to finish with a 1.4 second lead on second place Daryn Pittman. "The King" would lead from green flag to checkers in one of the most dominating and exciting performances we have seen this year. 

It was Steve Kinser’s first win of the season, his second win at this track and his 575th A Main win with the World of Outlaws. We don’t call him "The King" for nothing. He has faced stuggles this year with a car that was just a little bit off and has been on his top wing twice. He has heard the rhetoric of his detractors and has suffered with an ailing car that just was fickle as a purchased mistress. But like every champion and like only "The King of the Outlaws" can do - he soldiered on. He never lost faith in himself, his team or their mission.

Last night, that perseverance paid off. Last night, "The King" put another notch on his top wing and added 575 to his win column. It was an inspiration to watch. It was a memory that those in attendance will not soon forget. It was the night that "The King" showed them why he wears the crown. 

Qualifying Results: 1) David Gravel 13.453 120.149 mph 2) Daryn Pittman 3) Steve Kinser 4) Donny Schatz 5) Chad Kemenah 6) Paul McMahan 7) Craig Dollansky 8) Jason Sides 9) Sammy Swindell 10) Cody Darrah 11) Kraig Kinser 12) Joey Saldana 13) Sam Hafertepe Jr. 14) Kerry Madsen 15) John Carney II 16) Josh Hodges 17) Greg Wilson 18) Josh Baughman 19) Royal Jones 20) Rick Ziehl 21) Bill Rose.

First Heat Race Results: 1) Craig Dollansky 2) David Gravel 3) Cody Darrah 4) Donny Schatz 5) Sam Hafertepe Jr. 6) Josh Hodges 7) Royal Jones.

Second Heat Race Results: 1) Kraig Kinser 2) Jason Sides 3) Chad Kemenah 4) Daryn Pittman 5) Kerry Madsen 6) Rick Ziehl 7) Greg Wilson

Third Heat Race Results: 1) Joey Saldana 2) Paul McMahan 3) Sammy Swindell 4) Steve Kinser 5) John Carney 6) Josh Baughman

Dash Results: 1) Steve Kinser 2) Donny Schatz 3) Daryn Pittman 4) David Gravel 5) Paul McMahan 6) Craig Dollansky 7) Kraig Kinser 8) Joey Saldana 9) Jason Sides 10) Chad Kemenah

A Main Results: 1) Steve Kinser 2) Daryn Pittman 3) Craig Dollansky 4) David Gravel 5) Kraig Kinser 6) Joey Saldana 7) Kerry Madsen 8) Donny Schatz 9) Jason Sides 10) Sammy Swindell 11) Sam Hafertepe Jr. 12) John Carney II 13) Rick Ziehl 14) Royal Jones 15) Cody Darrah 16) Paul McMahan 17) Josh Hodges 18) Josh Baughman 19) Greg Wilson 20) Chad Kemenah 21) Bill Rose

KSE Hard Charger: Kerry Madsen started 14th finished seventh.

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