(photo courtesy True Speed Communications)
A few years ago Steve Kinser all but disappeared off of the World of Outlaws radar scope. Oh he won a few races here and there, but his domination all but disappeared from the sprint car world. In fact some would say that he won a lot of races between 2006 and 2010. However, the 20 time World of Outlaws champion was not the domineering race car driver that he was in the previous 20 years. That, my friends, would represent a dropping off of the map by his standards.
Notwithstanding, if the 2011 season continues on the way it has started for Kinser, racing cartographers will be busy again, come the end of the current Outlaws season.
Race fans, “King Steve” has returned to the top of the sprint car podium!
Through the first seven races of the Outlaws schedule, the Bloomington, IN native who is known as “The King of the Outlaws” has won four times, has finished in the top-five six times, and has a 35-point lead over Joey Saldana.
“We’ve started off the season really well, maybe the best I ever have,” Kinser, who won the 20th of his championships in 2005, said. “We’ve only had a couple of bad nights, but the other nights have been really good. The Bass Pro Shops guys (crew chief Scott Gerkin, and crewmen Gary DuBois and Mikey Kuemper) have done a great job giving me a fast car every night. It seems like every time we’ve unloaded this year, the car has been on a rail.”
To say that the start of the season may be the best he has ever had is saying plenty. It used to be big news when Kinser did not win 20 times a year. Driving for cousin and Sprint Car Hall of Famer Karl Kinser, Steve won his first championship in 1978.
The following year he won again and picked up 23 wins in the process. Twelve times he would win 20 or more A-Mains. His top season was 1987 when he won 46 Outlaws races, which only seems like a lot because it is. Additionally, Kinser has won the Knoxville Nationals a record 14 times.
To fill you in on what has been happening for “The King of the Outlaws”, prior to the start of the 2010 season, Kinser signed on to drive for Tony Stewart, who, with Donny Schatz in one of his cars, was winning championships and races like crazy. Kinser and Schatz give Stewart two of the best ever in sprint cars.
After landing Kinser, Stewart said, “It makes me feel like Roger Penske on the IndyCar side and Chip Ganassi on the road race side and Rick Hendrick on the Cup side.
History shows that Kinser has a terrific shot at continuing his winning ways this coming weekend. The series heads to Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. for the Mini Gold Cup.
Kinser has won 22 times at the quarter-mile Silver Dollar track.
“Chico is a bit of a bullring, so it will be a challenge,” Kinser said. “It seems like we are either really good there or not quite so good. I’ve been fortunate to win a lot of races there in my career, but it’s been more than five years (September of 2005) since I won a race there.
It would seem a little bit foolish to bet against Kinser this weekend in Chico, after all, history seems to be on the side of “The King”!
For further emphasis, last week at The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Kinser led the Thursday night main event from green flag to checkered. (WOMR witnessed this fete!)
What are your views on Steve Kinser’s re-emergence in the Sprint Car world?
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!