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Salute to the King (Kinser) to kick off July 3-4 fun PDF Print E-mail
Written by Holyoke Enterprise   

A salute to the king and plenty of fireworks accompany three IMCA series for Thursday, July 3, and Friday, July 4, shows at Phillips County Raceway in Holyoke.

PCR hosts the Salute to the King farewell tour with Steve Kinser in Holyoke on opening night. A fireworks show by the Holyoke Volunteer Fire Department will follow the Independence Day program.

Racing on both days will feature BST sprint cars, late models, mods, stocks, sport mods and hobbies. Dwarfs will be added on July 4.

All applicable IMCA points will be awarded in all divisions both days.

Pit gates and the grandstand open at 3 p.m. both days. Racing starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday and at 5 p.m. on Friday.

More information is available by calling 720-404-0400 and at www.phillipscountyrace way.com and www.bstracing.com websites.

 

Kinser in finale year

Icon. Champion. Winner. Motivator. Fierce competitor. Friend. Family man. Being characterized by any one of those descriptions would make most people proud, but to be defined by all of them would certainly result in royalty status. That’s precisely the altitude from which Steve Kinser presides.

Kinser is a legend in motorsports. Tabbed “The King of the Outlaws,” 20-time World of Outlaws STP Sprint Car Series champion Kinser has been described as the best driver ever on dirt ovals. His results back up those claims, with more than 800 career victories during his illustrious career.

It’s high praise for a man who started out as a Southern Indiana boy simply wanting to follow in his father’s footsteps as a racer. His dream became reality.

Today, 36 seasons after competing in the first-ever WoO race in 1978, Kinser, 60, still intimidates the competition he battles on dirt tracks across the country. The same man still thrills the hundreds of thousands of fans who come to see him perform magic.

The 2013 WoO season was one of the more challenging ones of his career, but “The King” still has proven he has plenty of magic up his sleeve.

In his fourth season driving for Tony Stewart Racing, Bloomington, Ind., native Kinser won a pair of WoO STP Sprint Car Series events first in April at El Paso (Texas) Speedway and later at Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Kan., behind the wheel of the No. 11 Bad Boy Buggies/J.D. Byrider/Chevrolet Performance machine owned by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion and fellow Hoosier Tony Stewart.

Kinser ended up finishing eighth in the championship standings in 2013, and the 2014 “Salute to the King” campaign will mark Kinser’s final run at his 21st WoO title.

There is great pride for Kinser about being from Indiana. The third child of parents Bob and Cora Kinser grew up watching his father manhandle open-wheel cars around dirt tracks throughout his home state. His passion for racing matched that of his father.

Toughness always has been part of Kinser’s DNA, surfacing early in his competitive days. He grew up active in athletics and flourished in the sport of wrestling.

His days at Bloomington High School included consecutive trips to the Indiana High School Wrestling State Championships. A second-place finish his junior year was followed by being crowned state champion of the 132-pound class as a senior.

Following high school glory, he traded his wrestling singlet for a helmet and driver’s uniform and began racing at the same venues where his dad learned the craft. Like his father, he also earned a living bricklaying. His days were filled with hard labor on job sites, and weekends were filled with slinging dirt and grit at the track.

“The King’s” ascent to greatness began when America was celebrating its bicentennial. Kinser spent the 1976 season competing primarily on weekends at Indiana dirt ovals. He won 17 times, beginning with his first triumph June 11, 1976, at his hometown track, Bloomington Speedway.


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Holyoke Enterprise June 26, 2014