In the midst of it, Kebin Kinsley could sense something special was in the air, but he knew there was still work to be done.
Kinsley and his team — along with the absolutely badass “War Wagon” Fuel Altered – made sure to take care of that deep into the Texas night last weekend at Xtreme Raceway Park, sending shockwaves through the crowd and social media with a monumental blast of 3.44-seconds at 230.77 mph.
It gave Kinsley the victory in the wild Pro Mod vs. Fuel Altered event at the track, as he chased down Frankie Taylor at the finish line en route to the quickest and fastest run in track and AA/Fuel Altered history. It also gave the Texas native one of the most satisfying wins and weekends of his racing career.
“That’s what you work your butt off to do, and when the ducks line up right and something like that happens, it’s amazing,” Kinsley said. “It was just a good night and I was very blessed to be there. The guys on this team did an awesome job and when you’re around great people, you get great results. The car, the team, the race, it got a lot of exposure and I just love to stand on the gas.”
Kinsley joked he thought he would “break the gas pedal, I was pushing so hard” in the final round against Taylor, who nearly buried him on the starting line.
Taylor, who went an impressive 3.65 at 203.80, led at half-track before Kinsley rocketed past him in time, turning in a historic performance in the “War Wagon,” which is owned by Shane and Howard Farris. With David Kirkland as crew chief, the car was nearly impeccable in eliminations.
He went a crushing 3.50 at 226 in the semifinals, which brought the huge crowd to its feet, and Kinsley left everyone speechless in the final.
With the COVID-19 pandemic likely shutting down fan events like that — at least in Texas – for the near future, Kinsley and the team left everyone with an indelible memory.
“The car just fits me so good and it’s just a really nice car,” Kinsley said. “Every run, it just went faster and faster and before the final round, they asked me, ‘Do you think you can stop this thing if it runs a .40?’
“It was just amazing. I’ve never been that fired up before I went to the starting line. The car just drives so phenomenal and it’s just a blast to drive. We went faster every run and we just kept breaking our record. I was a little tardy on the start, and I didn’t know if I caught him. I honestly didn’t know I had won until someone told me I did and we set the record again.”
Kinsley praised the Clyde Scott and the team at Xtreme Raceway Park for a stellar track and setting, adding to the magnitude of the moment.
Pairing up against Taylor was also a thrill, as it was the first time the standouts had ever raced against each other. They’ve been longtime friends, though, which made the final round that much more special, noting the talent level in both Pro Mod and Fuel Altered in the area.
“We changed some things in the car over the winter to keep up with everyone in the class,” Kinsley said. “Overall, there was a lot of great quality cars there. There’s a lot of badass Pro Mods and Fuel Altered in this area, and when you combine them together it gives fans something different to watch. It was just good, close racing and a heck of a fun night.”
Kinsley hopes he gets to relive it soon, but he’s unsure of what’s next. Barring race cancelations, he is planning to be back in the car shortly and he’s also got his sights on racing Top Fuel at the back-to-back NHRA races in Texas later this fall.
Whether that happens or not due to the public health crisis remains to be seen, but Kinsley is thankful his business continues to thrive. He’s backed up finishing cars in Top Dragster, Pro Street, Funny Car Chaos and more, thankful that drag racing seems poised to persevere through the next several months.
And if he needed any more confirmation, he could simply look back to last weekend.
“There were all types of people out there just having a good time,” Kinsley said. “It was just a good night and I was very blessed to be there.”