INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 4, 2014) – It seems only appropriate that World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series icon Steve Kinser will close his 34th and final full season competing with “The Greatest Show on Dirt” at an event that shares sponsorship with his famous No. 11 racecar. Kinser, the all-time winningest driver in WoO history with 577 career A-Feature wins, hopes to close the Outlaws’ “Salute the King Tour” this weekend with a victory at The Dirt Track @ Charlotte Motor Speedway behind the wheel of Tony Stewart Racing’s (TSR) No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim in the Bad Boy Buggies World of Outlaws World Finals.
Kinser embarked on this season as his final run at a 21st WoO title and, after scoring a victory in the final night of the season’s opening event in Florida in February, he’d like nothing more than to bookend his campaign with a victory during the season’s final event. The Bloomington, Indiana native has twice come out victorious at the 4/10-mile, clay oval, scoring his 450th career WoO A-Feature win October 2001 and the inaugural World Finals event back in 2007.
This weekend’s season finale will mark the end of an era in the sport as Kinser, who has plans to race in 2015 but not as a full-time Outlaw. Kinser competed in the Outlaws’ first-ever event back in March 1978 at Devil’s Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas and concluded that first season by claiming the first WoO title. His incredible career blossomed as he teamed with his cousin Karl Kinser, and the duo won the biggest races annually and championships throughout the 1980s and into the mid-1990s before Kinser established Steve Kinser Racing following a stint with NASCAR’s top division in 1995. When “The King of the Outlaws” returned, it didn’t take long for the former Indiana High School Wrestling State Champion to reclaim his position as the driver to beat at dirt tracks all across North America. The championships continued through the early 2000s and, for the last decade, Kinser has continued to push the next generation of Outlaw stars. In 2010, he joined Tony Stewart Racing and has had a productive five-year run driving for the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion.
Kinser has had numerous highlights during his illustrious career and several have come in Charlotte. He’s competed in 35 of the 36 WoO A-Features contested at the facility. In addition to his two victories, Kinser has picked up 20 top-five finishes and 29 top-10s. In last year’s season finale, Kinser earned the pole position for the 30-lap A-Feature and finished fifth.
Through 86 nights of racing in 2014, Kinser holds the eighth position in the championship standings. His victory at Volusia was a highlight and he’s earned a total of 11 top-fives and 40 top-10s this seas.
After having been honored from coast to coast throughout 2014, Kinser will participate in another pair of special ceremonies Friday at The Dirt Track. First, Kinser will be part of a presentation by the track at 2:45 p.m. EST, which will include a special dedication ceremony by Charlotte Motor Speedway president and general manager Marcus Smith. Later Friday, Kinser will be joined by Eric Bondy, vice president, consumer for Textron Specialized Vehicles, a division of Textron Inc., which manufactures Bad Boy Buggies. They’ll hand over the keys to a one-of-a-kind Salute to the King-themed Ambush iS to Dolly Bickel, who was the grand prize winner of the recent Bad Boy Buggies Salute to the King promotion.
World Finals competition begins with a pair of qualifying sessions Thursday night to set the lineups for Friday’s and Saturday’s complete race programs. Each night of action includes heat races and a dash, and will conclude with a 30-lap feature.
On Thursday, the pit gates will open at 11 a.m. with the grandstands opening at 4 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. For the programs Friday and Saturday, the pit gates will open at noon with the grandstands opening at 3 p.m. Hot laps are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Contact Charlotte Motor Speedway at (800) 455-3267 or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com to learn more about the Bad Boy Buggies World Finals.
Race fans unable to attend this weekend’s events can catch all of the action on DIRTVision.com. Fans can listen live as Johnny Gibson, “Voice of the Outlaws,” calls the action as he does at all WoO STP Sprint Car Series events on the DIRTVision.com cybercast, as well as on the DIRT Radio Network. Go to www.DIRTVision.com for more information on all the site features, including live results from the track.
Steve Kinser, Driver of the No. 11 TSR/Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance Maxim:
So much of this year’s “Salute to the King Tour” has been focused on this being your last time at particular tracks. How much have you enjoyed the outpouring from the fans and tracks that you’ve received?
“It’s been incredibly humbling, that’s for sure. Last year, Dana, Tony and I sat down and talked about what we thought the year might be like, and I honestly had no idea that it would be as great as it has. The fans have been incredible. I had so many people come up this year and thank me for what I’ve done and a lot of them had different favorite drivers. It’s hard to think about everything you’ve done when you are in the moment, but I know we’ll all appreciate this season more and more as time goes on. It’s going to be bittersweet at Charlotte. The place will be buzzing with energy and we’re going to try and take it all in.”
The World Finals has traditionally been a very competitive event. What’s the key for you to have a successful final weekend?
“We’re going to have to be a little better than we have been at times this year. There have been some moments where we’ve been competitive, but, with the quality of competition, it’s going to be really important to get qualified in a good position. You have to be able to get into that dash so you can start relatively close to the front. It’s a big, fast track where we’ve had some decent runs. The Bad Boy Buggies guys (Scott Gerkin, Gary DuBois and Mark Angerett Jr.) have spent the past couple weeks at the shop getting us ready. I’ve tried to put in some time in the gym to help me be ready, too. We’d really like to be in a good position on Friday and Saturday to have a chance.”
- Tom Jensen
NASCAR Editor at FOXSports.com & RACER Magazine