Bloomington, Ind.— The first time Kraig Kinser visited Kings Speedway in Hanford, Calif., in 2011 he and his fellow World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series competitors battled Mother Nature right up to the feature event, with rain claiming the win that night. This time around, rain was the furthest thing from anyone’s mind, as temperatures nearing 90-degrees greeted competitors, along with one of the raciest tracks they had seen thus far in 2013. When the final checkered flag flew, Kinser crossed the line fifth to earn his second top-five finish of the young season.
The 35-lap A-Feature at Kings Speedway on Friday, April 12 saw seven official lead changes and countless passes throughout the 24-car field. A number of cautions provided plenty of opportunities on double-file restarts to gain spots, which is exactly what Kinser did. The final yellow flag of the night flew with six laps remaining and Kinser lined up eighth and would pass four more cars as the laps wound down aboard the Casey’s General Store/Mesilla Valley Transportation Maxim.
“I had always heard that Hanford gets pretty racy and it sure did on Friday night,” said Kinser. “Our car really came on late in the race and we were able to pick up quite a few spots, especially on a couple of those restarts. That was one of those races where you really didn’t want to see the checkered flag come out we were having so much fun out there and running so well.”
Kinser opened the night at Kings Speedway by turning the 11th-fastest lap in time trials, which put him on the pole of the second eight-lap heat race. He would finish third in the heat, just missing a spot in the dash by one position. When the 35-lap main event took to the track, Kinser found himself starting on the outside of the sixth row.
On Saturday, April 13 in the SoCal Showdown at Perris Auto Speedway in Southern California, Kinser battled a lightning fast surface that was very challenging to pass on. He picked up a couple of spots in the 30-lap main event and wound up finishing 16th. The A-Feature ran non-stop green-to-checkers without a single caution. Kinser began the night by turning the 18th-fastest lap in time trials. He started sixth in the third eight-lap heat race and gained a spot to finish fifth. He lined up 18th for the main event.
“Perris was fast, there’s no doubt about it,” he shared. “We’ve had a number of tracks this year where it’s been so fast and everyone is pretty equal that it makes it pretty difficult to pass. It probably would have helped to have gotten a caution or two, and a couple of restarts to pick off a few spots, but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Kinser, who is currently 10th in the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series championship standings, will return to action on Tuesday, April 16 in the inaugural event for the series at El Paso Speedway Park in Texas, followed by a stop at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky on Friday, April 19 and Tri-State Speedway in his home state of Indiana on Saturday, April 20.
“It will definitely be good to get back to get back the Midwest this week,” Kinser noted. “We’ve been out west for well over a month and had some great weather to race in and had some huge crowds as well and put on some good races. There’s just something about getting back to the Midwest and racing on tracks we know pretty well. It will be nice to get back to the shop and catch up on things as well.”
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.
|Photo courtesy of Paul Arch|