Bloomington, Ind.—August 12, 2012— Qualifying for the main event at the Knoxville Nationals is often a victory in itself, as traditionally the biggest field of the year is present at the famed half-mile in Iowa. Being a former winner of sprint car racing’s marquee event, Kraig Kinser, always strives for a little bit more at the Nationals. He lived up to his own expectations again this year, as he finished fourth in the 50-lap finale, following a third-place showing on the second qualifying night aboard the Hendrickcars.com Maxim.
“It was a very good Nationals for us,” said Kinser. “The car felt good the whole time we were there, and I felt pretty comfortable as well. We moved forward just about every time we went on the track, and you have to be happy with that. When you are at Knoxville, finishing up front is a big key, especially earlier in the week to put yourself in a good position for Saturday. It was a fun week over there.”
Kinser lined up ninth on Saturday night and gained a spot at the drop of the green flag to move into the eighth position. He worked his way into seventh by the eighth circuit, and took the sixth spot on the 11th go-around. The 2005 Knoxville Nationals winner moved into the Top-Five on the 20th lap, getting around two-time and defending World of Outlaws champion Jason Meyers.
Just before the halfway point of the 50-lapper, Kinser began a spirited battle with Stevie Smith for the fourth spot, with the pair trading that position a couple of times. When the mandatory fuel stop took place on lap-26, Kinser found himself in fifth.
Following the restart, the third-generation driver fell back a couple of spots and was running seventh with 20 laps remaining. He battled Shane Stewart for a number of laps for sixth, taking that spot on Lap-34, just before the final caution flag of the night flew.
Kinser would drop one position on the restart as Stewart got back around him, and the pair would battle for the next five laps, also closing in on Smith, who was running fifth. That trio went three-wide on Lap-39, with Kinser moving up to fifth. With 10 laps to-go, he began to work on Meyers for fourth, as the leaders negotiated heavy traffic. On the final lap, Kinser was able to take the fourth spot, to record his second career Top-Five and third Top-10 finish in the main event of the Knoxville Nationals.
Kinser opened his Nationals on Thursday, August 9, finishing third in the 25-lap preliminary main event, which earned locked him into the ninth starting spot for Saturday night’s 50-lap main event. He began that night as the 12th-fastest driver in time trials of the 48 entrants that took to the track. He lined up sixth in the second heat race and finished third to earn a spot in the preliminary feature. Following the heat race, his crew changed engines, in preparation for the preliminary feature.
Kinser returns to action with the World of Outlaws on Tuesday, August 14, at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb. He is currently sixth in points, on the strength of four wins, 34 Top-10 and 18 Top-Five finishes.
“I’m very happy with how our cars are feeling right now and really looking forward to the next stretch of races,” he said. “We’ll work on a few little things to pick some speed up where we can. All in all we have a good program right now.”
The finale of the Knoxville Nationals will air on SPEED on Saturday, August 25 at Noon Eastern.
August 14: Junction Motor Speedway, McCool Junction, Neb.
August 17: River Cities Speedway, Grand Forks, N.D.
August 19: Nodak Speedway, Minot, N.D.
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For the latest news on Kraig Kinser, visit the recently redesigned http://www.kraigkinser.com, and follow Kraig on Twitter at http://twitter.com/kraigkinser11k and receive live updates from the track each and every race night.