BARBERVILLE, Fla. – Lost in the shuffle of Wednesday night’s season opener for the World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series was the addition of a 12th full-time, platinum driver this year.
Third-generation driver Kraig Kinser, the son of 20-time World of Outlaws sprint car champion and all-time series wins leader Steve Kinser, has returned to the tour full time after a one-year hiatus.
However, unlike for the majority of his career, the 39-year-old Kinser will not drive his family-owned No. 11k with the Outlaws. Instead, he’ll wheel the Premier Motorsports No. 70 for car owner Pete Grove.
Kinser’s addition to the full-time roster was first teased by the World of Outlaws’ social media team during Tuesday’s practice night festivities. His platinum status was later confirmed to Motorsports Hotspot by multiple outlet sources in attendance at Volusia Speedway Park.
The bright blue, Premier Motorsports No. 70 has featured a myriad of drivers in recent years, including young guns Spencer Bayston, Sye Lynch, and Justin Peck, as well as Midwest veteran Scotty Thiel.
But Kinser becomes, perhaps, the most notable driver to take the reins of Grove’s car since National Sprint Car Hall of Famer Kenny Jacobs finished third in the 2003 Knoxville Nationals with the No. 70.
Kinser won the 2005 edition of The Grandaddy Of Them All in his family car, on a strange and rain-delayed Knoxville Nationals night where Kevin Huntley ran ninth in the D-main for Grove.
In all, Kinser boasts 18 career Outlaws victories across 1,171 feature starts. He debuted with the tour on May 11, 2000, at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway in Calvert Lake, Ky., but didn’t make his first Outlaws feature until June 17 of that year on a temporary dirt track at Heartland Park Topeka in Kansas.
Since finishing 26th in that race, Kinser has gone on to accrue 151 top-five and 435 top-10 finishes in World of Outlaws competition. His career-best mark in the point standings was fifth in 2005, the same year he won his lone Knoxville Nationals title.
While this year will mark the 18th full-time Outlaws season Kinser has attempted in his 25-year career with The Greatest Show on Dirt, it will be the first time Grove and Premier Motorsports have attempted a full World of Outlaws season.
Prior to High Limit Racing’s acquisition of the All Star Circuit of Champions following the 2023 season, Grove’s familiar blue cars were consistently seen on the All Star trail, becoming familiar to fans throughout the Midwest and Pennsylvania sprint car hotbeds.
Now, however, Grove will head on the road on a national scale, with Kinser hoping to return to victory lane with the Outlaws for the first time since July 6, 2017, at Deer Creek (Minn.) Speedway.
Grove and Kinser began working together during the Ironman 55 weekend at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo., last August, earning a 13th-place finish in the Saturday finale.
They later paired up for the Knoxville Nationals as well, marking the first of Kinser’s 20 career Nationals appearances that he hadn’t driven his family-owned No. 11k. Kinser ran 20th in the Saturday C-main.
After failing to make the feature during Wednesday’s season opener, Kinser will look to get his World of Outlaws NOS Energy Drink Sprint Car Series campaign on track during Thursday’s continuation of the 53rd Federated Auto Parts DIRTcar Nationals.
For those unable to attend at Volusia Speedway Park, every lap can be streamed live through DIRTvision.
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