Hi guys. My name's Mitch and these series of blogs that I'll be writing is dedicated to dirt track racing. The main focus is sprintcar racing, both American and abroad, but midgets, late models, street stocks, etc. will all get a run in this blog. I'll be posting previews and reviews (speaking of which, I'll be previewing the World of Outlaws World Finals sometime this week), sharing opinions on hot topics and try to highlight drivers to watch in the future. So, for my first blog, I ask myself this question: is Steve Kinser underrated when it comes to determining the greatest drivers in the history of motorsport?
In my opinion, yes. Completely disregard his Cup career of 5 races, because he wasn't ready for that level of competition as teams were trying to find the next Jeff Gordon. However, you look at his World of Outlaws stats, and some of the numbers are just mind-boggling: 20 World of Outlaws championships, including one period between 1978 and 1994 where he won the championship every year except 1981, 1982, where he was 3rd and 2nd in points respectively, and 1989 when he didn't compete in the series, 550 A-Main wins, including 46 wins in 1987, which had a streak of 12 in a row and ended that season winning 24 of 26 A-Mains, not to mention that he had a 36 win season in 1991 and a 31 win season in 1992 (and that's not including his 5 wins in the 2006 National Sprint Tour), 12 Knoxville Nationals (which is sprintcar racing's equivalent of the Daytona 500), including 5 in a row between 1991 and 1995 and an IROC win at Talladega in 1994, in what could possibly be the biggest upset in IROC history. And at the age of 53, Steve is still winning races, having won A-Mains at Tri-State Speedway and Limaland Motorsports Park in 2009. His competition were no slouches either: guys like Brad Doty, Sammy Swindell, Doug Wolfgang, brother Mark Kinser, Danny Lasoski, Bobby Allen, Dave Blaney, Stevie Smith, Donny Schatz, the list goes on and on, and he's beaten them for an extremely long period of time in what I believe to be the toughest form of motorsport in the world. I say this because the cars have a high power-to-weight ratio and are on the ragged edge every lap, not to mention that the amount of races that one has to compete in (upwards of 80 races) every season to have a chance at the title.
Is he the greatest of all time? Hell no. Personally, I feel that either Ayrton Senna or Michael Schumacher is the greatest of all time. But he is definitely the greatest sprintcar driver of all time, and when you have guys like Tony Stewart (who was a great midget racer himself) saying so, I think that's all that needs to be said on that matter. However, I believe that he is one of the greatest 10 drivers I have ever seen (and I've been watching motorsport since 1998, as an 8-year-old), basically because of the domination he had over guys who were very good drivers themselves for that period of time. Sprintcar racing will never be the same once the green Quaker State #11 isn't running around dirt tracks anymore.
Also, just to finish off, if there's anything that you guys want me to blog about (i.e. drivers, tracks, other dirt organisations, etc.) feel free to leave a comment on this site and I'll get onto it in the coming weeks.
Happy dirt trackin' folks!
Opinions expressed in blogs are those of the individual bloggers and do not necessarily represent the views of racing-reference.info.