BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Feb. 12, 2014— Every new season begins with a great amount of excitement and optimism for Kraig Kinser. After returning from Australia, where he won twice and finished in the top-10 in all eight of his starts during the off-season, the 2014 World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series season can't open soon enough for the third-generation driver.
Kinser is set to open the World of Outlaws campaign with a trio of races this weekend at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida, following a pair of starts with the UNOH All Star Circuit at the half-mile on Wednesday, Feb. 12 and Thursday, Feb. 13.
The World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series portion of the DIRTCar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment begins on Friday, Feb. 14, continues on Saturday, February 15 and concludes Sunday, Feb. 16. Each night will feature a 30-lap, $10,000-to-win main event. The three races at Volusia open an 85-plus race World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series schedule for Kinser aboard the Mesilla Valley Transportation/Casey's General Store/King Racing Products Maxim.
"It's always good to get a new season underway," said Kinser. "I was honestly ready to get the season going when I got back from Australia. It was great to get some seat time down there and to pick up a couple wins and run near the front just about every night down there. That certainly boosts the confidence heading into the season and we feel like we like made some good gains in the off-season at the shop."
Kinser finished ninth on opening night at Volusia last year. He followed that up with a third-place performance on the second night and was 11th in the finale. The native of Bloomington, Ind., was third in time trials on opening night, 10th on night two and was fifth on the speed charts in the finale, with a stout field of nearly 40 cars from coast-to-coast in attendance each night. Kinser left the Sunshine State fourth in points in 2013.
The 2005 winner of the Knoxville Nationals was victorious at Volusia Speedway Park in 2005 with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions. Kinser has made 19 feature event starts with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at Volusia, earning 10 top-10 finishes in those races, with five of those being top-five performances. Kinser's third-place showing on the second night of last year's DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment marked his best finish with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at the half-mile located about a half hour west of Daytona Beach.
"I've always run pretty well at Volusia," noted Kinser. "It's a unique track for sure, with the complexion of the surface, having a sandy base to it. It takes a lot of horsepower and the way the air is down there, you usually are putting out plenty of power. Last year we qualified well each night and that will definitely be a key again this year, with how the Outlaws format is. It will be good to have a couple of nights to try some things in the All Stars races."
Last season, Kinser was victorious with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at Orange County Fair Speedway in New York, aboard his familiar No. 11K. He picked up 34 top-10 finishes on the year, with 10 of those being top-five showings, en route to finishing 11th in points. Kinser was fastest in time trials at Cottage Grove Speedway in Oregon, during the annual Gold Rush Tour and earned bonus points for qualifying among the top-five on 10 occasions. Kinser picked up the KSE Racing Products Hard Charger Award three times in 2013. Over the course of the season he won five heat races and raced his way into the dash 22 times.
Kinser opens the 2014 season with 15 career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins, with 12 of those triumphs coming aboard the No. 11K. Nearly 90 races are currently on the World of Outlaws schedule that will see Kinser compete at over 54 tracks in 24 states and three Canadian provinces.
"We have quite the schedule this year," said Kinser. "This is very reminiscent of the first couple of years I was on the road when there were 90-plus races a year. We have a good mix of tracks that we traditionally visit and a couple new ones as well this year, which is always fun. Starting the year off on the right foot at Volusia is always the goal, and to carry some momentum west for all the races out there. The off-season went by pretty quick and we are certainly ready to get back racing."
The 2014 campaign will mark the final time that Kinser's father and team owner, Steve, the 20-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion, competes for a series title.
Kraig Kinser Racing would like to thank Casey's General Stores, Mesilla Valley Transportation, King Racing Products, Maxim, Aerodine Composites, Sander Engineering, Integra Shocks, All Star Performance, FK Rod Ends, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Bell, KSE Racing Products, ButlerBuilt, Schoenfeld Headers, Donovan Engineering, Fel-Pro, Brodix, Wilwood, Dyer's, Barnes Systems, Ringer Gloves, Jakes Custom Golf Carts, and Ben Cook Racing Limited for their continued support.
Kraig Kinser By the Numbers: Volusia Speedway Park:
0.5- Miles around Volusia Speedway Park
1- Career win at Volusia, coming in 2005 with the UNOH All Star Circuit of Champions
3- Nights of racing at the half-mile for the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series
5- Consecutive nights of sprint car racing scheduled during the DIRTcar Nationals in 2014
7- Different seasons competing at the half-mile in Florida
10- Career Top-10 finishes with the World of Outlaws at Volusia
10.7- Average finish in 19 main event starts with the World of Outlaws at Volusia
12.569- Track record at Volusia established in 2011
15- Career World of Outlaws A-Feature wins heading into the 2014 season
19- Main event starts with the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series at Volusia
34- Top-10 finishes last season with the series
143.209- Track record at Volusia in miles per hour set in 2011
908- Miles from the Steve Kinser Racing shop in Bloomington, Ind. to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.
2005- Year of first start at Volusia
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Listen live to each and every World of Outlaws event on DIRTVision.com with "The Voice of the World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series" Johnny Gibson on the call. Visit http://cts.vresp.com/c/?ShortTrackRacingPR/155c7bfc41/573ed91d45/a66edf4308 for live audio of each and every World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series event.