Story and photos by Phillip Prichard:
The “King of Outlaws” Steve Kinser, the 20-time World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series champion, announced that the upcoming 2014 WoO campaign will be his final season chasing the series championship. Steve Kinser is the driver of the No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance World of Outlaws STP Sprint Series Car owned by Tony Stewart Racing (TSR). Kinser won the series’ first championship during the WoO inaugural season in 1978. . His final season with the WoO, called “Salute to the King,” kicks off in February with the DIRTcar Nationals in Florida.
Kinser, who is an icon in short-track racing, has dominated the WoO series during his 36 seasons of competition. The Bloomington, Indiana, native has earned 576 career WoO A-Feature triumphs and has filled the record book with accomplishments that likely will not be matched. His goal for this 2014 season is to add to those records while battling for the title. Kinser has won WoO A-Features at 142 facilities, including 42 that will be part of the 2014 schedule. Kinser has experienced the enormous success at the most prestigious dirt tracks in the country.
Kinser will celebrate his 60th birthday on June 2. He stated racing with the Outlaws has been his life for almost 40 years. He has raced across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia with this series. Kinser stated that he feels like we have a great team here capable of winning a lot of races and challenging for the championship this year.
The “Salute to the King” campaign begins in Florida with the DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville as the WoO kicks off its 37th season. The complete schedule with more than 90 nights of racing at 53 tracks has been released by WoO, check the website for complete details.
Kinser won his first career WoO A-Feature at Eldora Speedway in May 1978 and, even though many things have changed since that first win, a number of constants remain. His competitive spirit has remained steady, and it’s what drives him to keep competing for victories night after night. That drive to win was one of the things that motivated another young Hoosier to follow his dream of becoming a racecar driver. WoO raced at Indiana dirt tracks in the 1980s were can’t-miss attractions for a kid from Columbus, Ind., named Tony Stewart. “The King of the Outlaws” was Stewart’s idol growing up and, for the past four seasons, Kinser has competed with the WoO in a car owned by Stewart. Having Kinser drive for TSR has fulfilled a dream for the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.
In addition to the World of Outlaws (WoO) STP Sprint Car Series, Kinser raced in the International Racing League (IROC), winning a race a Talladega Superspeedway in 1994 and finishing 6th in points. In 1995, he drove a few races in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series in #26 Quaker State Ford owned by drag racing legend, Kenny Bernstein. 1n 1997, Kinser qualified 20th in the Indianapolis 500 and finished 14th in a Dallara-Oldsmobile.
The “Salute to the King” season will include a number of special promotions. The first of several announcements to will be made in late January prior to the season-opening events in Florida. Details will be available at www.tonystewartracing.com, www.WorldofOutlaws.com, www.stevekinser.com and www.BadBoyBuggies.com and promoted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TonyStewartRacing and Twitter at @TonyStewart_rcg.