Bloomington, Ind. — June 6, 2012 — Kraig Kinser definitely knows the way to Victory Lane at Kokomo Speedway in Indiana. After winning in his most recent start at the track with the World of Outlaws in 2005, the native of Bloomington, Ind., repeated at the quarter-mile bullring on Tuesday night, earning his first win of 2012 aboard the Hendrickcars.com Maxim, leading 39 of the 40 laps in the main event.
“This feels good,” said Kinser after his third career win at Kokomo. “I love being in Indiana. Kokomo has so much history with my family and it always brings a smile to my face when I come here to race. To get to Victory Lane here again is unbelievable. We’ve had a car that’s been capable of winning all year and tonight was our night.”
Kinser started the 40-lap main event in the third position and following two complete restarts dove under Brad Sweet for the second spot. The caution flag flew again on the second lap, setting up a double-file restart, with leader Joey Saldana choosing the high side of the track, with Kinser restarting down low. Kinser would use the low side of the quarter-mile to his advantage, taking the lead from Saldana in turns one and two on the restart.
Kinser began to pull away, before encountering lapped traffic on the 15th circuit, giving Craig Dollansky a chance to close in. After clearing a couple of lapped cars, Kinser again opened a slight lead near the halfway point of the 40-lap contest. Late in the race, he was held up by a couple of lapped cars, allowing Dollansky to make a late bid for the top spot. Kinser would hold his line and take the checkered flag first to become the 12th driver to win with the World of Outlaws this season.
“The track got cleaned off around the top and that’s where you had to be running,” said Kinser. “I was fortunate that I made the right choices in traffic. I knew second-place was getting close to me at the end. I just tried to stay in line and I was happy when I saw the white flag come out.”
Kinser opened the night by turning the third-fastest lap in time trials of the 31 drivers in attendance. He lined up fourth in the third 10-lap heat race and finished in that same position to earn a position in the dash. The 2005 Knoxville National winner started fourth in the dash and finished in third, which lined him up on the inside of the second row of the feature. Following the dash, Kinser and his team quickly changed engines, before taking to the track for the 40-lap main event.
“I can’t thank everyone enough for helping change the engine before the feature,” said Kinser. “Thanks to Mikey (Kuemper), Stevie (Kinser), my dad’s crew and Chuck. It feels great to win and everyone did an amazing job tonight.”
Kinser returns to action on Friday, June 8, at Clay County Fair Speedway in Spencer, Iowa, where he finished second in 2008, followed by a trip to Knoxville Raceway in Iowa on Saturday, June 9, where he has two career wins.