Bloomington, Ind. — April 11, 2012 — While Kraig Kinser enjoys racing at just about any dirt track, the facilities in the Midwest, where he cut his teeth in sprint car racing, will always be near and dear to him. A couple of those venues are Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Missouri, and he will get a chance to compete at each this weekend as the World of Outlaws return to action and begin a nine-race stretch in the Midwest.
The weekend will open for Kinser in the Hendrickcars.com Maxim on Friday, April 13 at Paducah International Raceway, followed by a visit to Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (formerly I-55 Raceway) in Pevely, Mo. on Saturday, April 14.
“I can’t wait to get to the track this weekend,” said Kinser. “It will be our first race with Hendrickcars.com onboard and I’m excited. With how well we have been running, I kind of didn’t want to see the off weekend last week, but it gave us time to get the car and the trailer lettered up and ready.”
Kinser raced at Paducah with the World of Outlaws for the first time in 2001 and has competed at the high-banked 3/8-mile four times with the series. He earned his best World of Outlaws finish at the track in 2008 when he came home 10th. In his last start at Paducah in 2010, the third-generation driver finished 15th. Last year’s event at Paducah was cancelled due to flooding in the area.
“Paducah is a very quick track,” shared Kinser. “It can be a little treacherous off (turn) two and actually all around the track for that matter. Hopefully we’ll be quick from the get-go and not have to do much adjusting on the car. Qualifying up front and making it into the dash will be important there, as it seems to be every race night nowadays.”
The 2004 World of Outlaws Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year competed with the series for the first time at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in 2001. He was victorious at the high-banked 1/3-mile bullring in 2005. In 15 career starts with the World of Outlaws at Pevely, Kinser has six Top-10 finishes, with three of those being Top-Five performances. He finished sixth last season in the Ironman 55 at the track and was fourth in the finale of that event in 2010.
“I’ve had a lot of success at Pevely and it always helps your confidence when you go a place like that,” noted the 2005 Knoxville Nationals winner. “We’ve been quick this year and have confidence as a team, so being able to add to that is great. I ran pretty well at Pevely last year, and have always enjoyed racing there.”
Kinser has been one of the fastest and most consistent drivers in time trials this season with the World of Outlaws. He has set fast time in each of the last two races for the series at Silver Dollar Speedway in Chico, Calif. on March 23 and Merced (Calif.) Speedway on March 30. He has been among the Top-Five in qualifying in each of the last six races, which has earned him 20 bonus points in the World of Outlaws championship standings.
“You have to have a quick car and the driver has to be there every night,” explained Kinser, when asked about the key to being fast in time trials. “We’re working hard to get to that level every single night and we’ve put together a good stretch of qualifying efforts here lately.”
Kinser heads into the pair of events this weekend fifth in the World of Outlaws championship standings, just 14 markers out of the top spot. He leads the series with seven Top-10 finishes in the first eight races of the 2012 campaign.
“This is the time of the year you start to get in the swing of things,” shared Kinser. “We still are mainly racing on weekends right now, but have a lot of weekends in a row, so hopefully the weather holds up. We are looking for consistency every night and to be quick every time we hit the track. We definitely want to be up front and contend for wins.”