Bloomington, Ind. — June 4, 2012 — Kraig Kinser races on the tracks from coast-to-coast with the World of Outlaws, as well as in Canada, and while he enjoys racing at all the tracks, there is just something about the venues in the Midwest that resonate with the native of Bloomington, Ind. Kinser will have a chance to compete at three tracks in the Midwest this week that have a very rich history in sprint car racing.
Kinser opens the trio of races in his Hendrickcars.com Maxim on Tuesday, June 5, at Kokomo Speedway in his home state of Indiana. The World of Outlaws will then make their first of two trips this season to the historic Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa on Friday, June 8, followed by their second stop of the season at the legendary Knoxville Raceway in Iowa on Saturday, June 9.
Kinser was victorious at Kokomo Speedway with the World of Outlaws in 2005, taking the top spot from fellow Hoosier Joey Saldana on the sixth lap and leading the remainder of the 40-lap contest, edging a hard-charging Jason Meyers in the late going. The 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner was also victorious at the quarter-mile in his home state in 2002 with the Great Lakes Outlaw Sprint Series (GLOSS), as an 18-year-old, picking up the victory over veteran Danny Smith. The event this week serves as the third round of the Kasey Kahne Challenge and marks the World of Outlaws first visit to the track since 2007.
“Kokomo is always a very racy track,” said Kinser. “They’ve added some banking since the last time we were there, so it will be interesting to see how it looks. It always boosts your confidence when you to a track like that, where you’ve had success at and won at in the past. It’s always fun to get to race in Indiana and see a lot of the people that I only get to see a time or two each year.”
Kinser made his debut at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, in 2008, leading the first 26 laps of the 30-lap main event, before finishing second to four-time series champion Donny Schatz. The third-generation driver won the dash in that event to earn the pole position, after opening the night by winning the first heat race. Kinser has made four starts at the three-eighths-mile in his career, picking up three Top-10 finishes along the way. He finished fourth at Clay County last season to record the second Top-Five finish of his career at the venue.
“I’ve had some good runs at Clay County and almost won there in my first race there,” noted Kinser. “It’s like everywhere else, you have to put a complete night together to be in contention and that all starts with a good lap in time trials. You always want to be quick when you unload and not have to make too many adjustments throughout the night.”
The event at Knoxville will provide one final tune-up for the 52nd Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals in August. Kinser competed at the famed half-mile in April, finishing 18th in the 25-lap A-Feature. In his career at the track, the 2005 winner of the Knoxville Nationals has made a total of 25 main event starts, including preliminary features. Both of his wins at the half-mile came in 2005. Kinser has picked up nine career Top-10 finishes at Knoxville, where he raced for the first time in 2001.
“We learned what not to do last time at Knoxville,” said Kinser with a smile. “We had a tough night there back in April and will use a little bit different of a set-up this time. We’ve been pretty good on the bigger tracks over the last few weeks, so I’m really looking forward to going to Knoxville and trying some of the things we’ve learned here recently.”
Kinser is currently sixth in the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of 16 Top-10 finishes, with seven Top-Five showings. He has finished among the Top-10 in four straight races and five of the last six.
Kraig Kinser By the Numbers: Kokomo Speedway, Clay County Fair Speedway & Knoxville Raceway
0.25- Miles around Kokomo Speedway
0.366- Margin of victory over Jason Meyers at Kokomo in 2005
0.375- Miles around Clay County Fair Speedway
0.5- Miles around Knoxville Raceway
2- Career wins at Knoxville Raceway; Career wins at Kokomo Speedway
3- Career Top-10 finishes at Clay County Fair Speedway
4- Career starts at Clay County
6- Total nights of racing this season for the World of Outlaws at Knoxville Raceway
6.5- Average finish in four feature events starts at Clay County Fair Speedway
11.461- Track record at Kokomo Speedway
13.345- Track record at Clay County Fair Speedway
13.5- Average finish at Knoxville Raceway in 25 main event starts
14.407- Track record at Knoxville Raceway
16- Top-10 finishes this season
24- Main events contested by the World of Outlaws through June 2
25- Career main event starts at Knoxville, including preliminary features
26- Laps led at Clay County in 2008
35- Laps led en route to winning at Kokomo in 2005
227- Miles from Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa where the World of Outlaws compete on June 8 to Knoxville Raceway in Iowa
638- Miles from Kokomo Speedway in Indiana where the World of Outlaws compete on June 5 to Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa
2002- Year of first win at Kokomo Speedway
2005- Year of win in the Knoxville Nationals
2008- Year of first start at Clay County Fair Speedway
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