'King of Outlaws' Kinser a Motorsports Hall of Famer

  • Sprint car driver Steve Kinser has been selected for the Motorsports Hall of Fame.
  • The "King of the Outlaws" has won 78 sprint car races in the local dirt track circuit.
  • He has 577 World of Outlaw feature victories and 20 World of Outlaw championships.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — A driver who has won more than 75 sprint car races on the local dirt track circuit has been selected for the Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Longtime World of Outlaws standout Steve Kinser, 62, was among seven people selected for induction on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway. The class will be inducted June 28 in Daytona Beach.

Steve Kinser has won 78 sprint car races on the local dirt track circuit, including 39 at Williams Grove Speedway and 16 at Lincoln Speedway.

Kinser, nicknamed the “King of the Outlaws,” is one of the most successful sprint car drivers in history. He has 577 World of Outlaw feature victories, 20 World of Outlaw championships and 12 Knoxville Nationals championships. In five decades, Kinser has 876 sprint car feature victories.

Locally, Kinser has raced hundreds of times and captured 78 sprint car victories, including 39 at Williams Grove Speedway and 16 at Lincoln Speedway.

He raced once in the region last year at Grandview Speedway. Just three days later, he drove the pace car at Lincoln for an All Star Circuit of Champions race there. The All Star circuit is owned by longtime NASCAR star Tony Stewart, who was also Kinser's car owner for the last few years of his career. Kinser, a native of Bloomington, Indiana, is now thought to be retired.

The other inductees into the Hall of Fame are:

— Five-time Rolex 24 at Daytona champion Scott Pruett. He shares the record for Rolex 24 championships with Hurley Haywood. Pruett is racing in this year’s sports car classic that starts Saturday afternoon, driving a new Lexus entry in the production-based GT Daytona class. Pruett has 11 major sports car titles. He also was the 1989 Indianapolis 500 co-rookie of the year and won two Indy Car races. He had six top 10s in 40 NASCAR starts. Pruett dominated the Rolex Series with 41 wins in 132 starts. His record-tying five Rolex 24 victories came in 1994, 2007, ‘08, ‘11 and ‘13.

​— Three-time Daytona 200 motorcycle champion Dick Klamfoth burst onto the motorcycle racing scene in March 1949 at age 20 when he rode to a surprise victory in the Daytona 200 on his first attempt. Klamfoth won the beach-road classic again in 1951 and ‘52 to become the first three-time winner of America’s most prestigious motorcycle race.

— Two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Terry Labonte finished in the top five in the Cup Series standings seven times in 25 full seasons — including championships in 1984 and ‘96. He broke Richard Petty’s record of 513 consecutive starts in 1996 and continued his “Iron Man” streak until Aug. 5, 2000.

— Drag racing and land-speed record pioneer Paula Murphy played a pivotal role in drag racing’s formative years, becoming the first woman licensed to drive a Funny Car. In 1963, “Miss STP” set the women’s land-speed record (161 mph) in a Studebaker Avanti. She later boosted her record to 243.44 mph in Walt Arfons’ “Avenger” jet car.

— Herb Thomas was NASCAR’s first two-time champion (1951 and ‘53) and has the highest career winning percentage in NASCAR’s top series (21.053 percent). Thomas, who died in 2000, was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013.

— Commentator Brock Yates was the longtime executive editor of Car and Driver magazine. He also established the cross-continental road race known as the Cannonball Run. He also was a pit reporter for CBS and a commentator on TNN and the Speed Channel.