Kraig Kinser Finishes on the Podium at Knoxville on Thursday: Locked into Top-10 for Saturday

Kraig Kinser. - Photo Courtesy of Gene Marderness

By Kraig Kinser Racing PR

Knoxville, Iowa.—August 10, 2012— With a new Friday format this year in the 52nd Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals, many drivers will be faced with a tough choice, whether to give up event points for Saturday and start from a clean slate on Friday. One driver that won’t have to make that choice is Kraig Kinser. The 2005 winner of the Knoxville Nationals used a podium finish on Thursday night in the Maxim to lock himself into the ninth starting spot heading into Saturday night’s 50-lapper.

“It feels good to finish up front,” said Kinser. “After the heat race, I feel pretty fortunate to be on the podium. It could have been bad for us, and it turned out to be fortunate and we had a good solid run. It feels good to be in the field and not have to make a decision on whether to run on Friday night.”

Kinser lined up fourth for the 25-lap preliminary feature on Thursday night, and ran among the Top-six for the duration of the contest, which was slowed by a pair of cautions and a red flag. At the drop of the green, he battled Sammy Swindell for the fourth position. Following a restart on the seventh circuit, the third-generation driver was able to move into third. He battled veteran Stevie Smith for that position for several laps, before falling back a couple of spots.

Kinser was running fifth as the laps wound down, and took the fourth position with six circuits to-go. He then got around Smith for third with just three laps remaining to secure the final spot on the podium.

The native of Bloomington, Ind., began the night as the 12th-fastest driver in time trials of the 48 entrants that took to the track. He lined up sixth in the second heat race and finished third to earn a spot in the preliminary feature. Following the heat race, his crew changed engines after having some trouble with the powerplant during the heat.

“I have to thank everyone that helped get the engine turned around,” said Kinser. “There were a lot of hands in there. Hopefully we have all our engines troubles out of the way now.”

Kinser will start on the inside of the fifth row on Saturday night in the 50-lap $150,000-to-win 52nd Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals main event, which will be taped for broadcast on SPEED on Saturday, August 25 at Noon Eastern.