Bloomington, Ind.—Sept. 26, 2012— World of Outlaws drivers usually have the National Open at the famed Williams Grove Speedway circled on their calendar for a variety of reasons. For some it’s because of the high-paying nature and prestige of the event. While for others it’s to see how they stack up against the Pennsylvania Posse, after another year spent competing at tracks from coast-to-coast against the best sprint car drivers in the world night in and night out. Kraig Kinser, who finished a career-best fourth at “The Grove” back in July, has been looking forward to the National Open, because he is seeking to move up a few more spots at the history-laden venue and contend for his first win at the fabled track.
The 50th Annual Morgan Hughes National Open at Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa., kicks off for Kinser aboard the Hendrickcars.com Maxim on Friday, Sept. 28, with a full night of racing beginning with time trials and heat races. The event concludes on Saturday, Sept. 29, with the running of the 40-lap $50,000 to-win Morgan Hughes National Open, which will be another complete racing program.
“The National Open is definitely one of the biggest races of the year, money-wise and prestige-wise,” said Kinser. “Williams Grove is one of the toughest, if not the toughest place we go all year when looking at the local cars that are present. It’s two separate nights of racing, so you have to certainly be on your game each night.”
Kinser finished fourth in his most recent start during the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove in July. He lined up third for that 30-lap event, which was slowed by a total of seven yellow and red flags. Kinser would run among the Top-Five for the entire duration of the race. He was 10th-fastest in time trials of the 45 driver in attendance to open the night. The third-generation driver won the second heat race to earn a spot in the dash, where he both started and finished third.
“We had a good run back in the summer at Williams Grove, and hopefully we can carry some that momentum into this weekend,” he stated. “Time trials are so important at Williams Grove, and can really make or break your whole night. The first order of business each night is to try and put down two good laps in qualifying and then try to race our way into the feature through the heat race. If you can make it into the dash at Williams Grove, that puts you in a good position for the feature, as track position is always very important.”
The World of Outlaws made their first visit of the season to Williams Grove in May. Kinser finished 14th and 19th in that two-night event. The 2004 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award winner has made 26 feature event starts in his career at Williams Grove dating back to 2003, including preliminary features. He has seven Top-10 finishes at the historic half-mile in Central Pennsylvania.
Kinser made his debut in the National Open in 2004, finishing a very solid 11th. The following season he finished ninth in the 40-lap finale, which to-date is his best-career finish in the event. Kinser has raced his way into the A-Feature of the National Open on six occasions. The 2005 winner of the Knoxville Nationals has competed at Williams Grove in seven different seasons in his career with the World of Outlaws.
“Williams Grove is definitely a track that take some time to learn,” noted Kinser. “I’ve been going there for a number of years and continue to learn new things each and every time I go there. We had a pretty good set-up in the summer, so hopefully some of what worked then will work now in the fall, even though it will be quite a bit cooler out.”
Kinser heads into the National Open sixth in the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of four wins, 41 Top-10 and 18 Top-Five finishes. He has stopped the clocks first in time trials on six occasions this season year, in addition to leading 101 laps in feature events.
Kraig Kinser By the Numbers: Williams Grove Speedway
0.5- Miles around Williams Grove Speedway
4- Finishing position in the Summer Nationals at the half-mile this season to mark a career-best at the track
5- Nights of racing this season for the World of Outlaws at Williams Grove
6- Current position in points
7- Career Top-10 finishes at Williams Grove
16.140- Track record at Williams Grove Speedway
22- Events on half-mile tracks to-date for the World of Outlaws
26- Career feature event starts at Williams Grove, including preliminary features
40- Laps in the main event on Saturday, Sept. 29
41- Top-10 finishes this season through Sept. 22
100- Laps in the first National Open in 1963
101- Laps led in A-Feature events this season
211- Miles from Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa., where the World of Outlaws compete on Sept. 22 to Williams Grove Speedway in Mechanicsburg, Pa.
1963- Year of the first National Open at Williams Grove Speedway
2003- Year of first start at Williams Grove
8502- Points earned through Sept. 22
50,000- Dollars to win the finale of the National Open on Sept. 29
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