Kinser To Drive USAC For Kahne

MOORESVILLE, N.C. - NASCAR Rookie of the Year Kasey Kahne announced that the driver for his No. 19 Dodge/Kahne Racing USAC Silver Crown machine will be 20-year old Kraig Kinser. Kinser, who finished seventh in his inaugural World of Outlaws season, is the 2004 World of Outlaws Rookie of the Year and son of 19-time World of Outlaws champion Steve “The King” Kinser. The 2005 USAC Silver Crown season will be young Kinser’s first time competing on pavement in a non-winged open wheel machine.

"I’ve known Kraig for years and he’s an excellent driver,” said Kasey, who’s Silver Crown team took three first place finishes in the 2004 USAC season. “I believe he’ll make the transition to pavement and non-winged open wheel cars without a problem. After all, Kraig has had training from one of the best drivers in the world and one of my racing idols, his father Steve. It’s a dream come true for me to be associated with the Kinser family."

Willie Kahne, Kasey’s cousin and crew chief of the No. 19, is also excited to have Kraig driving for Kasey Kahne Racing in 2005. “When I saw Kraig compete in Terre Haute when he was 16, I knew he would carry the Kinser name to victory lane for many more years,” he said. “After he took the Rookie of the Year honors in the 2004, Kasey and I figured he was ready to broaden his horizons and figure out if he could be successful on pavement. I prefer to work with drivers that have experience with winged cars, because after one full season, with more than 100 shows coast to coast, a driver can do just about anything.”

Kraig will begin an intensive testing program next week in order to get himself acclimated to the No. 19 Silver Crown machine. “I can’t wait to start testing the No. 19,” said Kraig, who will also drive a partial season in the 2005 World of Outlaws tour as well as other Kasey Kahne Racing machines. “I cannot imagine making the transition to non-winged and pavement cars without the professionalism of Kasey Kahne and his operation. My father and I consider Kasey and Willie good friends, and we trust them completely."

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