WEST MEMPHIS, AR – An unexpected one-off race appearance for Kraig Kinser’s crew chief may have played a part in the team’s recent string of constructive finishes.
Before Kinser’s crew chief Mike Kuemper ran the team’s back-up car at Arizona Speedway in April, Kinser had missed a Feature and finished no better than 15th. After, he scored two top-10s in a row – one a top-five finish – went Quick Time, won a DIRTVision Fast Pass Dash and led laps at Devil’s Bowl Speedway.
Kuemper – who has experience racing with the World of Outlaws – only ran five laps of the Feature at Arizona Speedway, but he said it was enough to gather newfound knowledge that could help Kinser.
“I learned some stuff in the way the car is driving and handling a little bit, trying to get it better for him with me being in it for those short amount of laps,” Kuemper said. “It helped out, because I went back to his car and did a little bit to his.”
What he deduced was their shock package needed to be adjusted and some bars of the chassis needed to be changed around.
“After we got done running that (race at Arizona Speedway), we changed the car around,” Kuemper said.
Their string of good finishes has currently propelled Kinser into the top-10 in points – 132 points behind ninth-place Sheldon Haudenschild.
He and Kinser are looking to continue their recent run of positive finishes into the doubleheader race weekend Friday, May 3, at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark. and Saturday, May 4, at Tri-State Speedway in Kinser’s home state of Indiana.
“I love getting back home, running close to family,” said Kinser, of Bloomington, Ind. “We don’t get too many chances in Indiana so try to make those count. Then, West Memphis, just looking forward to the whole weekend.”
Both tracks are quarter-mile speedways, but produced varying results for Kinser last year. He found the top-10 at Riverside International Speedway, while finishing 15th at Tri-State Speedway – a track Kinser acknowledged he is usually “hit or miss” at.
Even though the Arkansas track favored him last year, Kinser has his eye on racing back home in front of friends and family.
“Being from southern Indiana, my family’s been to Haubstadt for a long, long time,” Kinser said. “I grew up watching and racing there. Got to see a lot of good non-wing races, a lot of good winged races there, too. It’s a good track not too far from home.”
His father, 20-time World of Outlaws champion Steve Kinser, won at Tri-State Speedway seven times. Kraig Kinser is still looking for his first victory at the speedway – and his first since 2017. So, a home state win at the Haubstadt, Ind. Speedway would definitely be mean a lot to him, he said.
In general, he, Kuemper and the Steve Kinser Racing team are looking to just keep their streak of good finishes rolling into doubleheader races.
“We’re trying to take the positives into that weekend,” Kinser said. “We’re hoping for the best and doing what we can do.”
Kuemper said the teams has been putting a lot of work into the car, which has been showcased by the team’s finishes the past couple of weeks. He said they just need to keep that going.
THIS WEEK AT A GLANCE
WHEN & WHERE
Friday, May 3, at Riverside International Speedway in West Memphis, Ark.
-Grandstand gates are scheduled to open at 5 p.m. with Hot Laps at 6 p.m. and Racing at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind.
-Hot Laps are scheduled to start at 6 p.m. and Racing at 7:30 p.m.
ABOUT THE TRACK
Riverside International Speedway is a quarter-mile, high-banked track. The track record is 11.060 sec. set by Jason Solwold on May 5, 2007.
Online – RiversideInternationalSpeedway.com
Phone – (901) 840-1970
Tri-State Speedway is a quarter-mile, high-banked track. The track record is 11.110 sec. set by Sammy Swindell on Oct. 8, 2004.
Online – TriStateSpeedway.com
Phone – (812) 768-5995
Tickets can be purchased by going to WorldofOutlaws.com/tix or by calling 844-DIRT-TIX.
There has been one race on a 1/4-mile track so far this year. Carson Macedo won at Silver Dollar Speedway on March 15.
RIVERSIDE INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2018 – Daryn Pittman on April 20
2009 – Tim Kaeding on April 24
2008- Donny Schatz on July 5
2007- Daryn Pittman on May 5
1981 – Steve Kinser on March 28, Sammy Swindell on August 1
1980 – Tim Green on April 5, Terry Gray on September 16
1979 – Ron Shuman on April 7, Steve Kinser on August 26
TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY PREVIOUS WINNERS
2018 – David Gravel on May 13
2017 – Parker Price-Miller on May 14
2016 – David Gravel on May 14
2015 – Paul McMahan on May 3
2014 – Paul McMahan on May 10
2013 – Tim Kaeding on April 20
2012 – Craig Dollansky on April 21
2011 – Sammy Swindell on May 30
2010 – Craig Dollansky on Oct. 16
2009 – Steve Kinser on June 25
2008 – Craig Dollansky on July 6
2007 – Steve Kinser on April 21
2006 – Craig Dollansky on April 15
2005 – Steve Kinser on April 16
2004 – Tim Kaeding on Oct. 8
1999 – Mark Kinser on May 16
1998 – Mark Kinser on May 10, Sammy Swindell on June 21
1997 – Steve Kinser on May 11, Sammy Swindell on June 22
1996 – Mark Kinser on May 12
1995 – Stevie Smith on May 14, Steve Kinser on July 16
1994 – Andy Hillenburg on May 15, Dave Blaney on July 17
1993 – Dave Blaney on May 16, Andy Hillenburg on July 18
1992 – Gary Wright on May 10, Sammy Swindell on July 26
1991 – Doug Wolfgang on May 12, Steve Kinser on July 14
1990 – Doug Wolfgang on May 13
1989 – Steve Kinser on May 14
1988 – Bobby Davis, Jr. and Sammy Swindell on May 15 (co-winners)
1980 – Steve Kinser on May 11
1979 – Lee James on May 13, Larry Gates on Aug. 19
ON THE INTERNET
World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series – Woosprint.com
Twitter – Twitter.com/WorldofOutlaws – @WorldofOutlaws
Instagram – Instagram.com/WoOSprint – @woosprint
Facebook – Facebook.com/WorldofOutlaws
YouTube – YouTube.com/WorldofOutlaws
DIRTVision – Dirtvision.com – Get your Fast Pass to watch all races LIVE for only $39/month
Twitter – Twitter.com/DIRTVision – @DIRTVision
Facebook – Facebook.com/WatchDIRTVision