KINSER CHECKS OFF FIRST WIN AT RIVER CITIES; SALDANA TAKES DUEL IN DAKOTA
GRAND FORKS, ND (June 20, 2010) Steve Kinser won a wild race Saturday before a huge crowd at River Cities Speedway in Grand Forks, ND while Joey Saldana edged Jac Haudenschild at the line by a scant 0.164 seconds to score his sixth win of the season and the second of his career at the track on Sunday . For Kinser, it was his third World of Outlaws Sprint Car win of the season and the 555 th of his legendary career, but first ever at River Cities’ high-banked ¼-mile bullring. With both drivers powered by VP’s M1 Methanol, each pocketed $10,000 in winnings.
Kinser dedicated his triumph to his wife Dana, who is recovering from heart surgery that she recently underwent. “It’s special to win a race for Dana,” shared Kinser. “She had an aorta put in and had been through a heck of a week with her. She’s doing good and wants to thank everybody for their prayers and she’ll be healed up and back pretty soon.”
Kinser led the first 20 laps of the 40-lap contest after beating pole sitter Donny Schatz into turn one on the initial start. The native of Bloomington, IN was out front during a couple of caution periods, choosing the low line for the double file restarts each time. He wound up leading a total of 24 circuits en route to the victory.
“I just had to go where nobody else went,” Kinser noted of the final restart. “I had a tire that was getting a little bit low and had a small leak in it. The car was pretty good on the start and then got tighter and tighter. We finally just took the bleeders out there at the end and it was still going low and we were still having a little trouble. They gave me all the changes in the world there and it all worked out well.” On Sunday night, Saldana and Haudenschild went at it tooth and nail down the back straightaway on the white flag lap, touching wheels at one point, with Saldana staying ahead by just mere inches as the pair charged into turns three and four. For Saldana it was the 65 th A-Feature win of his World of Outlaws career, as he was crowned the overall champion of the Duel in the Dakota which was comprised of both nights of racing this weekend, following a fourth-place performance in the opener on Saturday.
Saldana started on the pole and battled Steve Kinser on the opening lap, with Kinser powering down the back straightaway to lead the opening circuit. Saldana used a textbook slide job on the 20 th lap in turns one and two to take the top spot from the 20-time series champion.
Saldana chose the high side of the track on a double file restart with seven laps remaining with Haudenschild lining up to his inside. Haudenschild kept pace with him on the restart and was all over him over the last couple of laps nearly taking the lead on the back straightaway on the final go-around, as well as with two laps to go coming off turn four.
“We definitely touched,” stated Saldana, who is a second generation driver. “I went around the outside of the lap cars and that’s the way it goes. That’s just racing I guess.”
“It’s always good to win,” said Saldana. “I thought we had a shot at it last night (Saturday) and just never got to restart on the bottom, so I’m glad to win tonight. The crew did a great job and we just kept working on things all night. It feels good to be running up front for Budweiser and Kasey Kahne Racing.”