Chico, Calif. — March 25, 2012 — It was déjà vu all over again for Kraig Kinser and the rest of the World of Outlaws this past weekend, as they battled Mother Nature on the first night of a scheduled two-day event for the second straight weekend, just slipping the opening show in, before inclement weather was victorious in the finale. This time it was at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. and the Mini Gold Cup.
With rain moving in and very tough track conditions on Friday, March 23, Kinser was able to record a sixth-place finish, which was his sixth Top-10 performance of the young season. Kinser is one of only two drivers that has finished in the Top-10 in six of the first seven races of 2012, along with four-time series champion and current point leader Donny Schatz.
“With the challenging track conditions and all things considered, to come out with a sixth-place finish was pretty good,” said the third-generation driver. “We want to be in the Top-Five and battling for wins, but on a night like that, just finishing the race and picking up a solid finish is the main thing.”
Kinser turned the fastest lap in time trials for the first time this season on Friday night, aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation Maxim, which extended his streak of Top-Five qualifying efforts to five straight races, earning him five bonus points in the World of Outlaws championship standings. He has earned a total of 15 bonus points thus far in 2012 for being among the Top-Five in qualifying.
“We were fast right out of the box and that sets a good tone for the night,” stated the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner. “We have a very good qualifying package right now and its showing. Mikey (Kuemper) is doing a great job and we are putting ourselves in a good position each night by qualifying up front.”
By virtue of setting fast time, Kinser started fourth in the first 10-lap heat race at Silver Dollar Speedway, finishing fifth to earn a spot in the dash. In the dash the native of Bloomington, Ind. lined up sixth and finished in that same position, which put him on the outside of the third row for the 35-lap main event, lining up next to his father Steve. Kraig closed in on Steve in the middle stages of the main event, but was not able to make a move, as passing was at a premium.
“Patience was definitely the key,” noted Kinser. “As much as you want to maybe try to pull out of line and try to make something happen, you have to be smart and maintain your position so that you don’t lose any spots. We’ll take the sixth-place run and get ready for Merced and Calistoga.”
The finale of the Mini Gold Cup on Saturday, March 24 was cancelled due to inclement weather and will not be make up. The World of Outlaws will return to Silver Dollar Speedway, September 6-8 for the Gold Cup Race of Champions.
“It’s certainly tough when you are battling the weather,” said the winner of the 2005 Knoxville Nationals. “We always want to get as many races in as we can, but there’s nothing you can do about the weather. Hopefully we get two good nights this coming weekend and can get both shows in.”
Kinser returns to action on Friday, March 30 at Merced (Calif.) Speedway followed by the final race of the West Coast swing on Saturday, March 31 at Calistoga (Calif.) Speedway. The third-generation driver is currently fifth in points, just nine markers out of third and 35 out of the lead, on the strength of six Top-10 finishes and five straight Top-Five qualifying performances.
“It’s hard to believe the month of March is just about over,” said Kinser “We want to finish the West Coast races on a good note, so that we have some momentum when we head back to the Midwest.”
Silver Dollar Speedway Results
|Dash Finish||Feature Start||Feature Finish||Points|
0.25- Miles around Silver Dollar Speedway
1- Position in time trials at Chico
4- Appearances in the World of Outlaws dash thus far in 2012
5- Position in the World of Outlaws championship standings
6- Top-10 finishes this season
7- Main events contested by the World of Outlaws through March 23
7.8- Average qualifying position this season in seven races
8.7- Average finish in seven feature events this season
12.458- Lap in time trials on Friday, March 23
12.6- Average finish in 14 feature starts with the World of Outlaws at Silver Dollar Speedway
15- Bonus points earned this season in time trials for being among the Top-Five
35- Laps in the main event on the opening night of the Mini Gold Cup
943- Points earned through March 23
14,150- Dollars earned through the first seven races this season
March 30: Merced Speedway, Merced, Calif.
March 31: Calistoga Speedway, Calistoga, Calif.
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