HEADLINES: Kraig Kinser Dominates Talladega

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HEADLINES: Kraig Kinser
Kraig Kinser in victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway in 2005. (ISC Images & Archives photo)

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Did you know that sprint car mainstay Kraig Kinser won an ARCA Menards Series event back in 2005? We look back at that race in this week’s edition of Torn From The Headlines.

TALLADEGA, Ala. — He may be the son of soon-to-be 20-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion Steve Kinser, but Kraig Kinser left his mark on the stock car world Saturday at Talladega Superspeedway.

The MB2 Motorsports development driver and second-generation racer dominated the Food World 300, leading 83 of 113 laps en route to his first ARCA ME/MAX Series victory.

After winning the pole in qualifying on Thursday and leading final practice on Friday, Kinser asserted his dominance during the 300-mile race despite a miscue that forced him to rally back mid-race.

“We were definitely strong,” said Kinser. “I think we had to prove that when we made a mistake coming out of the pits. I didn’t use the blend line, so I had to go to the tail end of the longest line. It definitely was a lot more experience, going through the field and feeling the draft a little bit more.”

Kraig Kinser leads the field at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. (ARCA photo)

Kinser led all but two of the first 51 laps, then came charging through the field after his penalty to win in just his second ARCA start. His previous appearance came at Michigan Int’l Speedway back in August.

The second-generation driver retook the lead from Erin Crocker on lap 80 and never gave up command again after that. He beat Kyle Krisiloff to the checkered flag by .168 seconds.

Kinser’s crew chief, Doug Randolph, collected the SK Hand Tool Crew Chief of the Race Award.

Krisiloff, who finished second, piloted a No. 7 Chevrolet for NASCAR owner Rick Hendrick on Saturday.

Bobby Gerhart led 23 laps on the day and was the dominant driver for much of the middle stages of the event, following Kinser’s penalty. He came home third, but Gerhart’s chances of victory were dashed by overheating problems.

“Certainly, the plan was obvious,” said Gerhart, a three-time winner at Daytona (Fla.) Int’l Speedway. “He (Krisiloff) was going to the front and I pushed him up past as many cars as I could before I had to drop down and get some clean air. Conditions were hot. No matter what, restrictor plate racing puts tremendous heat on the floor. I guarantee I’ve got blisters everywhere.”

Crocker crossed the line in fourth after being out front for seven laps, with Frank Kimmel rounding out the top five and securing his sixth straight ARCA RE/MAX Series championship.

Kimmel’s seventh title overall broke a tie with Iggy Katona for the most crowns in ARCA history.

Joey Miller, who finished 38th after he was involved in a multi-car crash on the second lap, was named the 2005 ARCA Rookie of the Year. He finished second in points to Kimmel.

The finish:

Kraig Kinser, Kyle Krisiloff, Bobby Gerhart, Erin Crocker, Frank Kimmel, Burney Lamar, Michael Guerity, David Ragan, Christi Passmore, Dexter Bean, Craig Butts, Brian Tyler, Erik Darnell, Ken Weaver, Brandon Knupp, Mike Harmon, Darrell Basham, Todd Bowsher, D.J. Richardson, Norm Benning, Justin Marks, Jason Jarrett, Jeremy Clements, Steve Bramley, Tim Mitchell, Jason Hedlesky, Mark Gibson, Billy Venturini, Johnny Leonard, Robert Richardson Jr., Keith Murt, Walt Brannen, Andy Belmont, Tim Turner, Brack Maggard, Bobby East, Aric Almirola, Joey Miller, Roger Williams, Brad Smith, Chad McCumbee.