Kinser looks to LVMS as springboard for 19th championship 

Passing Steve Kinser may be the most difficult task faced by drivers in the 2004 World of Outlaws Series.

As Kinser and the rest of the world¿s fastest sprint-car drivers get ready for the March 4-5 Las Vegas Outlaw Nationals Presented by J.D. Byrider, the 18-time series champion is ready to chase No. 19.

"Las Vegas has been so good to me," Kinser said. "We have won some big races there and celebrated a few championships there too. It¿s a great track and a great city. I think everyone associated with the World of Outlaws enjoys coming to Las Vegas."

Kinser, last year¿s champion, already has gotten off on the right foot having won the "Down Under" at the Parramatta City Raceway in Australia on Jan. 10. The victory earned Kinser $20,000 and was the 497th first-place finish of his remarkable career as a Sprint Car driver.

"This is a great win," the ecstatic Kinser said. "After spending so much of this weekend searching for the right setup on this car, we dialed it in nicely tonight.

The victory is a good indication that Kinser and his crew are picking up right where they left off at the end of last season. Kinser won a total of 25 feature races in 2003, and was awarded 2003 "Driver of the Year" honors from the National 410 Sprint Car Poll voting panel of media members, promoters, sanctioning officials and manufacturers. Kinser¿s team was also honored as they were named 2003 "Team of the Year."

The championship was Kinser¿s 18th as a driver and fourth as a car owner. His stellar career has also earned him the title of sprint car¿s greatest driver, and he is not showing any intention of slowing down.

"I watched my father race and I¿ve had a love for racing my whole life," Kinser said. "Growing up, I knew I was going to race cars, and I¿ve been fortunate enough to be able to make a living doing it. I¿m having as much fun now as I have in my whole career. It¿s been a lot of fun all year. I don¿t want to quit. I¿d just as soon go ahead and keep racing."

Kinser has been questioned numerous times throughout his 26-year career as to why he has chosen to stay with sprint cars rather than moving up to NASCAR or the IRL.

"I¿ve had opportunities to drive other kinds of cars ¿ Indy cars and stock cars ¿ and opportunities to fly with the Blue Angles jets," Kinser said. "But there¿s nothing more exciting and fun than fighting a sprint car around a little bullring, a half-mile or a mile track, with a wing or without a wing. A sprint car is an animal all its own that has given me a lot of pleasure over the years. Second to having my family, my wife and kids, it¿s been the biggest love of my life."

After finishing 13th in last spring¿s feature race, Kinser will try his luck again at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on March 4 and 5 of NASCAR Weekend.

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