Calistoga: First Preliminary race report

Kinser leads every lap in Harvest Classic Opener CALISTOGA, CA (August 30) -- Although visits to victory lane have been few and far between for Mark Kinser this season, one can never count him out of a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series race. The ...

Calistoga: First Preliminary race report
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Kinser leads every lap in Harvest Classic Opener

CALISTOGA, CA (August 30) -- Although visits to victory lane have been few and far between for Mark Kinser this season, one can never count him out of a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series race. The two-time series champion took a big first step toward claiming his first Harvest Classic title Friday by winning the First Preliminary Feature at Calistoga Speedway.

Kinser started outside the front row and held off his cousin, series points leader Steve Kinser, throughout the 25-lap race for his fourth Preliminary Feature victory of the year.

"We sure can use a win," Kinser said. "We've had a year I'd rather forget. One of the guys who has stuck with me through the whole thing is Dennis Kohler. He's stuck with me, and along with Cale (Kahne), Willie (Kahne), and of course my father, Karl, they gave me an awesome race car tonight.

"You can never fall asleep with these guys. If it's not Steve (Kinser), it's Brad Furr, Joey Saldana or Danny Wood. There's always someone coming after you. Last year, we got the win at the Gold Cup (at Silver Dollar Speedway), and that was a race I've never won before. Then a buddy of mine in Sacramento told me this week I've never won this race before, so we'll have to try to win this one."

Mark, who set Calistoga's qualifying standard two years ago, started rather slowly Friday. He qualified eighth quick, .252 seconds off Tim Shaffer's fastest qualifying time. After finishing fifth in the Second Heat Race, he earned the right to start the Preliminary Feature outside the front row by winning the Second O'Reilly Auto Part Dash.

Pole-sitter Daryn Pittman burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the feature, only to have Kinser drive the #5M Mopar Maxim past him in the high groove between the first and second corners. The leaders completed the first lap just seconds before Second Heat Race winner Sammy Swindell spun in turn two.

Danny Lasoski, who started a string of three straight $20,000 victories in the 2000 Harvest Classic, won a back-straightaway drag race with Joey Saldana for sixth place on the ensuing restart. Steve Kinser passed Pittman for the runner-up spot deep in the fourth corner a split-second later.

Jac Haudenschild, a winner at Calistoga Speedway on September 10, 1989, drove Guy Forbrook's #5 Wirtgen Maxim past Shaffer and Pittman during the fourth and fifth laps to take over third place.

Mark Kinser was 15 car-lengths ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" when he entered lapped traffic seven laps into the race. Shaffer steered the #11H Vivarin Maxim into the low groove in turn four to pass Pittman for fourth place late in the seventh lap. The 1999 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year raced around Haudenschild high in turn one seven laps later, but stopped in the fourth corner with a blown engine late in lap 16.

Steve Kinser, who has made a career of taking the lead on restarts, raced wheel-to-wheel with Mark through turns one and two as the green flag replaced the yellow. "The King of the Outlaws" challenged his cousin in the third and fourth corners the next time around, but was unable to drive his #11 Quaker State Maxim into first place.

Third Heat Race winner Craig Dollansky started inside the seventh row. The 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion drove Karavan Racing's #7 V-Mac/Polydome Maxim past seven cars during the first 19 laps, then passed Lasoski in the low groove between the third and fourth corners for fifth place late in lap 20.

Mechanical problems in the #15 Parker Stores J&J forced Donny Schatz to coast into the infield during the final lap. Mark Kinser took the checkered flag eight car-lengths ahead of cousin Steve.

Haudenschild finished in third place, ahead of Pittman, Dollansky, Lasoski, Furr and Saldana.

Swindell, who won all three feature races in the 1997 Harvest Classic, raced through the field to finish in ninth place, while Randy Hannagan completed the top 10.

Furr's seventh-place finish pushed him past Stevie Smith into eighth place in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings.

Mike Goodman, who replaced Tim Kaeding in the California-based #35 sprinter earlier in the week, battled fuel line problems throughout the opening-night racing program.

Shaffer paced the qualifying session for the seventh time this season, driving the #83 Beef Packers Eagle around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval in 16.156 seconds, an average speed of 111.438 M.P.H.


Calistoga: First Preliminary results
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Standings 2002-08-30

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