Mark Kinser Dominates Las Vegas Preliminary

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LAS VEGAS, NV (November 8) – While 2002 has definitely not been what Mark Kinser envisioned since he last raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he showed he can still win races Friday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened its season-ending event.

The two-time series champion dominated the preliminary racing program, winning every race he entered – the Fourth Heat Race, the First O’Reilly Auto Parts Dash and the 25-lap feature.

“We’ve had a pretty dry year, but this track’s been good to us,” Kinser said. “I just want to thank all the fans for coming out here tonight and braving the cold. I really didn’t think we’d get this race in, and I don’t think a lot of other people did either.

“I don’t want to brag because Steve (Kinser) has been so tough all year long, and guys like Craig Dollansky and the Beef Packers cars. Danny Lasoski’s running a Mopar motor now, and he’s going to be even tougher. They’re all so tough, so I don’t want to make any predictions for tomorrow night.”

Kinser, who won three of the series’ first five main events at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, capped his 1996 championship season with a $12,000 victory at the semi-banked, ½-mile oval.

“I think it’s been about 85 races (actually 21) since we won one, so it’s been a long time coming,” Karl Kinser, Mark’s car owner, crew chief and father, said. “We were pretty good tonight, but tomorrow’s another night, and it should be a great one.”

Mark drove the #5M Mopar Maxim into the lead from the pole as the green flag fell in the Preliminary Feature. Tim Shaffer passed him in the low groove between the first and second corners, however, only to have Roger Crockett spin in turn two. The caution flag flew, bringing back the original start. Kinser burst into the lead when the green flag replaced the yellow.

Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser exchanged second place with Craig Dollansky during the first and fourth laps. Dollansky passed Shaffer late in the opening lap, but “The King of the Outlaws” passed him a lap later. The 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion regained second place with an inside move between turns one and two 2½ laps later.

Mark Kinser raced away from his closest pursuers, and was 20 car-lengths ahead when he entered lapped traffic during lap six.

Sammy Swindell, who started outside the fourth row, challenged Jason Meyers for two laps before passing the 2000 Gumout Series Rookie of the Year for sixth place deep in the second corner early in the 14th lap. Swindell steered the #83JR Beef Packers Eagle to the deepest point in turn four to pass First Heat Race winner Jac Haudenschild 2½ laps later.

Steve Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Dollansky on the back stretch to claim the runner-up spot with 6½ laps remaining, but was 15 car-lengths behind when his second cousin took the checkered flag.

Dollansky finished in third place, ahead of Shaffer, Swindell, 14th-starting Danny Lasoski, Haudenschild, Meyers, Joey Saldana and Daryn Pittman.

Pittman exchanged 11th place in the point standings with Danny Wood for the third straight race by finishing in 10th place. Wood, whose crew replaced the engine in the #6 Casey’s General Stores Maxim after the qualifying session, raced into 18th place from outside the 11th row.

Donny Schatz, who won the 1999 season finale in Las Vegas, drove his #15 Parker Stores J&J past 12 cars to finish in 11th place.

Ricky Logan’s 23rd-place finish pushed him past Paul McMahan into 18th place in the standings.

Randy Hannagan sliced .027 seconds off the single-lap record Steve Kinser set a year ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a 129.357 M.P.H. lap.

Shane Stewart collided with Steve Kinser in turn two early in the opening lap of the Third Heat Race, causing him to hit the retaining wall and flip. Although the 2002 Gumout Series runner-up was uninjured in the crash, his crew was unable to repair the #4M in time for him to start the “B” Feature.

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