Bloomington, Ind. — Feb. 14, 2012 — In racing familiarity often breeds success. For Kraig Kinser, that has certainly been the case over the years, especially when he has been behind the wheel of the family-owned No. 11K. He claimed the 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award with the World of Outlaws in the car and won the Knoxville Nationals the following season, driving for his father Steve’s team.
The third generation driver will open the 2012 World of Outlaws season in the No. 11K for Steve Kinser Racing this week, with five consecutive nights of racing. Kinser began his career driving for his father in 2002, piloting the car through the 2005 campaign. He also drove the No. 11K on the World of Outlaws circuit in 2010. Mike Kuemper, who was Kinser’s crew chief in 2010, and has been a part of Steve Kinser Racing for a number of years, will be turning the wrenches this season. The team will utilize a Maxim chassis with power from Gerkin-Kinser Racing Engines.
“I always enjoy driving the family-owned car,” said Kinser. “I grew around the guys on my Dad’s crew and have been around them for almost 27 years. I feel right at home in that car and have a good time traveling with and working with my Dad and his crew.”
The 2012 season starts for Kinser in the 41st Annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. Feb. 15–19. The opening two nights of racing will be sanctioned by the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions, followed by the three nights of competition for the World of Outlaws.
“I’m pretty anxious to get going at Volusia,” said Kinser. “It feels like it’s been a while since I’ve had a steering wheel in my hand. You always start the year off with a smile and hopefully we can keep that all year. We’re looking to have a good start to the season, and I’ve had some good runs in the past at Volusia.”
Kinser was fast right out of the box last season at Volusia, turning the fourth quickest lap in time trials in the first of two events for the All Stars. He lined up on the front row and shot to the lead at the start and would pace the opening seven circuits. Kinser was running second in the late going when a mechanical problem ended his bid for a win. He rebounded the following night with a fifth-place finish in the final tune-up for the World of Outlaws season opener. Kinser would earn one more Top-Five finish at Volusia, with that coming on the second night of competition for the World of Outlaws.
“It’s good to have a couple of races in Florida before the Outlaws opener,” shared Kinser. “It gives you a couple of nights to kind of play around and see where you are at. You can try a few things that you normally wouldn’t do in an Outlaws show. Even though you do experiment some during the two All Stars shows, you still want to try and win them.”
Kinser, the 2005 Knoxville Nationals champion, opens the season with 10 career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins, with seven 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 three seasons he has competed in the family-owned car, including a career-best fifth-place showing in 2005.
“The competition is always tough, especially at the start of the year,” explained Kinser. “With the cars that are out there this season, it will be extremely competitive. When finish up front, you know you have really accomplished something, running against the best cars every night.”
The native of Bloomington, Ind. finished eighth in the World of Outlaws championship standings last season on the strength of a win at Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon, along with 23 Top-10 finishes, with six of those being Top-Five performances for the Parsons Motorsports team.
“As far as goals for the year, obviously we are looking for wins,” said Kinser. “We want to be a threat each and every night, and that’s where I want to be and where I want our team to be. If you are a threat every night, the wins will come.”
The 41st Annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida begin for Kinser on Tuesday, Feb. 14 with a practice session, followed by two nights of All Star Circuit of Champions competition, and the opening three nights of the World of Outlaws season.
Kraig Kinser By the Numbers: Volusia Speedway Park:
0.5- Miles around Volusia Speedway Park
1- Pole position earned last season at the half-mile
2- Top-Five finishes last season at Volusia
3- Appearances in the dash last season at the half-mile; Career Top-Five finishes at the track with the World of Outlaws
4- Best-career finish with the World of Outlaws at Volusia, coming in 2009
5- Different years competing at the half-mile; Scheduled nights of racing at the half-mile this season
6- Career Top-10 finishes with the series at Volusia
7- Laps led last year in the season-opener for the All Star Circuit of Champions at Volusia
8- Finishing position in points last season
11.4-Average starting spot in five starts in the DIRTcar Nationals in 2011
11.5- Average finish in 13 main event starts at Volusia with the World of Outlaws
12.569- Track record at Volusia established last year
13- Main event starts with the series at the half-mile
13.2-Average finish in five races at Volusia last year
23- Top-10 finishes last season with the World of Outlaws
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
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