“He’s great,” Bob Kinser said of his grandson. “He’s done a hell of a job. He drove a perfect race. He put it right where he needed to put it and left it there. Once or twice he drove down, but he was trying to pass cars. You can’t follow a car and pass it. He did a heck of a job.
“I’m so happy I just can’t explain how good it feels.”
Neither could Kraig, who still is racing with a bandaged left hand to protect it from infection after it was burned last month at Williams Grove Speedway when the fuel nozzle broke off on the final lap of a heat race, igniting a fire that injured not only his hand but also his left leg.
“The cautions helped me a little bit. I opened up a lead,” Kinser said. “I didn’t hear anyone back there, so I knew I was pretty good. I was getting around the track really good the whole race, so I knew we were going. On that first long run, I got spinning a little bit on the end of it and I was worried about blistering my left rear, which it ended up doing, but it worked out fine. Every time a flag came out, the tires got cool and we were able to go again real good for about five or six laps and then we’d fall off a little bit. But it was just racing. Your tires are going to fall off a little bit.”
For Schatz, another second-place run with his ParkerStores machine in the Nationals, this one worth $70,000, is an accomplishment in itself even if he sees otherwise.
“The thrill of second is really gone, I guess,” said Schatz. “We really need to get that one extra spot. I drove as hard as I could. I can’t feel bad, I can’t be upset. I did everything I could, Kraig was just better. He did 30 great laps. If the race would have been a little different, it may have been a different outcome. If we had lapped traffic or not as many yellows, we may have been there, or Danny may have been there.
“We definitely needed to not have the yellows and we needed lapped traffic. We did have the lapped car of Jac Haudenschild in there the one time. He actually told me on the yellow he was going to go to the bottom and he went to the top. Maybe his computer is backwards tonight. That’s just the way it goes. It’s not his fault. We pushed as hard as we could and couldn’t get it done.”
“I want to thank all of Tony Stewart Motorsports for putting out the effort they did,” said Lasoski. “Paul Kistler and all the Mopar engineers worked a lot of overtime for this Bass Pro Shops team. We think we’re gaining on it. We ran third tonight, but we were a third-place car. I tried a couple of dumb moves to try to get something with Donny and we just hurt ourselves by trying to race and Kraig got away from us. Our hat is off to Kraig Kinser. He’s a hell of a race-car driver and he needs to hold his head high.”