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Texas Two-step for Steve Kinser?

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Texas Motor Speedway Media Relations, (817) 215-8520


CONTACT: Sarona Winfrey


Gary Guehler




-- For Immediate Release





FORT WORTH-DALLAS (March 31, 2004) - Steve Kinser has the look in his eye. You can hear it in his voice. The 18-time champion of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series has just reached the 500-win plateau of his WoO sprint car career.


Just as he has been since the World of Outlaws was formed in 1978, Kinser has to be considered a favorite to win Saturday night’s $10,000 top prize in the NGK Spark Plug Shootout for World of Outlaws sprint cars at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track.


But even more pressing for "King Kinser" is a victory in Friday night’s Crown Royal International Race of Champions. Texas will be the second of four IROC rounds with quite a carrot awaiting the series point champion - a cool $1 million check.


Kinser arrived at Texas Motor Speedway Sunday evening to participate in an entire week of testing the Crown Royal IROC cars at "The Great American Speedway." Despite driving, and winning, at the Dirt Track since 2000, the test was Kinser’s first opportunity to tackle the 1.5-mile superspeedway.


Kinser is craving every second of track time in his preparation to battle 11 other of the world’s best drivers Friday night. The "King of the Outlaws" literally had to be coaxed out of the Crown Royal IROC machine to participate in a national, live television interview at the speedway.


"The car feels really good, especially after the sun goes down," commented the Indiana native. "I can really dive the car into the corners and it sticks. This is going to be a lot of fun."


Kinser has one previous IROC race triumph to his credit, at Talladega Superspeedway in 1994.


"Al Unser Jr. really helped me win that race. He sat right on my bumper and helped push me while I was leading. Even when we fell back into the pack, he was right behind me and we worked our way back to the front."


Kinser will not be without stiff challenges in the Crown Royal IROC Texas debut. Daytona IROC victor Ryan Newman will be seeking to stretch his point lead at Texas. Meanwhile, defending series titlewinner Kurt Busch will attempt to improve on his Daytona runnerup finish to Newman by just inches.


Also on Friday night’s program is the Fire 911 ROMCO Super Late Model Series 100-miler at 6 p.m. The Crown Royal IROC Series 100-mile event will get the green flag at 8 p.m.


Fans can receive a $10 discount on Friday night Crown Royal International Race of Champions tickets by showing an O’Reilly Qualifying Day ticket at the speedway ticket office or race night at the gate.


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