February 17, 2014 — race report by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman– Chris Seelman photo — BARBERVILLE, FL — The King is back on his throne.
Steve Kinser withstood a furious charge by defending World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Daryn Pittman Sunday night to notch his eighth career Volusia Speedway Park victory and his record-extending 577th career World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series A-main victory.
Kinser had to endure a late race restart with eight laps remaining after a caution flew for the Christopher Bell machine, which stopped on the backstraightaway and set up the dash to the finish.
On the restart, Kinser elected the high side in his Tony Stewart Racing Bad Boy Buggies #11 while Pittman plowed the bottom lane in his Kasey Kahne Racing Great Clips #9. Pittman reclaimed the lead as Kinser dove to the bottom in turn one and tried to pull off the slide job off the corner. The two traded maneuvers over the lap and a half war, but King Kinser would not be denied and at lap 24 he was back in front for good.
“I didn’t know where to go on the restart and I decided to take the top line and just carry some speed and just have it,” said the Indiana native in victory lane. “He beat me out of there and it was a good race. You hate to lose one on the restart. I didn’t think anyone could pass me when I had a clear track. It doesn’t matter, we got the win that’s all that counts.”
“It felt good, we got her rolling out there and she was a pleasure to drive,” the King of the Outlaws added about his race machine. “I could hit the choppy stuff and get through it, and that’s where I’ve been struggling. A bump in turn four bounced us around quite a bit, but it was keeping the car in the right spot. It would get bouncing then jumping out of there. It was a solid weekend and we had a bad run the first night. This is just one night, things change around this stuff real quick.”
The win broke a drought stretching back to August 13th of last season when Kinser grabbed his last WoO victory at Junction Motor Speedway in Nebraska, a 22-race streak during which his teammate Donny Schatz scored 10 checkered flags.
Pittman held onto the runner-up spot at the finish, and Schatz rounded out the podium in third. Opening night winner Brad Sweet and KSE Hard Charger Tim Kaeding completed the top five after starting in 12th.
“That was a hell of a race, I had fun, hats off to the king,” said Pittman, who dominated last year’s DIRTcar Nationals. “You know he’s hungry, he always is. He’s not going to give me an inch and he doesn’t expect you to give him one either. I’ll run this through my head probably a hundred times before I go to sleep. This car is too good not to win a race.”
Paul McMahan, who came home in seventh, claimed the overall DIRTcar Nationals points title and the “Big Gator” on the strength of three top-seven finishes. He also sits tied atop the World of Outlaws points standings with Pittman going into the first “Western Swing” of the 2014 season.
“You know this is pretty cool, all weekend long all I wanted is to get me a gator and I’m taking daddy home,” said McMahan, originally from California but residing now in Nashville, Tennessee. “It’s a big confidence booster leaving here running well all week. This is a big wild card coming down here because you can be really good or really bad real easy. We’ll take home another top-10 and head to the next race in Vegas.”
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series will be back in action on March 5th with the FVP Outlaw Showdown from the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
RESULTS: World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.; Feb. 16, 2014
A-Main – (30 Laps) 1. 11-Steve Kinser[$10,000]; 2. 9-Daryn Pittman[$5,500]; 3. 15-Donny Schatz[$3,200]; 4. 49-Brad Sweet[$2,800]; 5. 83-Tim Kaeding[$2,500]; 6. 29-Kerry Madsen[$2,300]; 7. 51-Paul McMahan[$2,200]; 8. 71M-Joey Saldana[$2,100]; 9. 11K-Kraig Kinser[$2,050]; 10. 10H-Danny Holtgraver[$2,000]; 11. 1-Sammy Swindell[$1,500]; 12. 83X-Christopher Bell[$1,200]; 13. 24A-Rico Abreu[$1,100]; 14. 98H-Dave Blaney[$1,050]; 15. 24-Terry McCarl[$1,000]; 16. 7S-Jason Sides[$900]; 17. 9W-Jac Haudenschild[$800]; 18. 33-Danny Lasoski[$800]; 19. 77X-Wayne Johnson[$800]; 20. 63-Chad Kemenah[$800]; 21. 1Z-Lucas Wolfe[$800]; 22. 27-Greg Hodnett[$800]; 23. 4-Cody Darrah[$800]; 24. 96-Bronson Maeschen[$800] Lap Leaders:Daryn Pittman 1-4, 23; Steve Kinser 5-22, 24-30 KSE Hard Charger Award: 83-Tim Kaeding[+7]