WEST FARGO, N.D. — August 16, 2018 — The size and configuration of the track at Red River Valley Speedway may have changed over the years, but the end result has remained the same for Kraig Kinser. And that is putting together consistent runs and solid finishes. The native of Bloomington, Ind., has always been strong at the fairground ovals, dating back to the early days of his career and time on the road with the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series.
Kinser and his fellow World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series competitors hit the track at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., this weekend on Saturday, August 18 for the Gerdau Recycling Duel in the Dakotas.
Last season, Kinser finished fourth in the 30-lap main event at Red River Valley Speedway. He opened the night as the fourth-fastest driver in time trials and followed that up with a win in the first heat race, which put him in the dash. Kinser was victorious in the dash to earn the pole position for the main event. The 2005 World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year is quick to point out how important being fast early in the night is.
“You have to time trial well and then go from there,” said Kinser. “We have a pretty good notebook for Fargo, so we’ll look back at our notes and make adjustments as needed. We were pretty quick right out of the box last year and hopefully will be the same this year.”
This year’s event will mark the second consecutive race for the Outlaws on the re-configured three-eighths-mile at Red River Valley Speedway. Earlier in his career, Kinser made several starts on the original, sprawling half-mile. Kinser finished a career-best third in Fargo in 2005. He finished fourth last year on the three-eighths-mile, which marked his second straight top-five run on that configuration. In his career, Kinser has nine top-10 finishes in 13 starts at Red River Valley Speedway.
“It’s two totally different tracks,” he noted. “There are a few similarities, but the old track was so big and you carried a lot of speed. With the new track, you are dealing with tighter turns and a smaller configuration. It’s a little more rounded coming off (turn) two than it used to be. I always enjoyed racing on the half-mile and like the new track a well.”
Kinser who entered this season with 17 career World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series feature wins, is still chasing his first victory of the 2018 campaign. He finished a season-best fourth at Ransomville Speedway in New York on July 30. Kinser led 20 laps in the opener of the Ironman 55 Weekend at I-55 Raceway in Missouri on August 3. He is currently 10th in the series standings.
“We are obviously still looking for wins,” shared Kinser. “The goal is to get the consistency up and get in the winner’s circle. That’s what the goal is every year. This year is no different.”
The 2018 season for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series has been plagued by inclement weather. That trend began on the West Coast early in the season and continued into the spring in the Midwest and on the East Coast. Being a veteran of the series, Kinser has dealt with similar seasons in the past.
“For someone who has been around a while, like me, it’s a little easier,” he said of the rainouts. “We’ve been through different stretches in my career, where we’ve had a bunch of rainouts like this year. The guys who haven’t run much with the Outlaws, it definitely is tougher for them to deal with. ‘Do you want to be watching it rain all the time? No.’ We want to be at the race track every day, but we can’t control what the weather does.”
Oftentimes drivers point to the stretch after the Knoxville Nationals as being a more relaxed time of the season as they head to the West Coast. Kinser looks at every race the same way, with each holding the utmost importance and the one they are trying their hardest to win.
“Once Knoxville is over, yes it’s not the high-stress it was the week before, but there are still races to run and wins to try to get,” said Kinser. “We treat every race the same and all of them are important, so nothing gets easier, no matter what time of the season it is.”
Tickets for the Gerdau Recycling Duel in the Dakotas, featuring the World of Outlaws Craftsman Sprint Car Series and NLRA Late Models at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, N.D., on Saturday, August 18 can be purchased in advance online https://slspromotions.ticketforce.com or by calling 815-344-2023 and at the track on race day.
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