DYNAMIC DUO — Paul Kinney and Samantha Martin in the race shop in Durhamville. The Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint racing season will get started in two weeks at Outlaw Speedway in Dundee. (Clinton Record photo by John Clifford)

Kinney ready for seventh year of racing ESS

Published Apr 11, 2018 at 4:00pm

We continue our visits to local race teams with a stop at the race shop of Paul Kinney in Durhamville.

The Kinney race shop is phenomenal.

“We (Kinney and his girlfriend Samantha Martin) bought this place because of the garage,” quipped Kinney.

“And it happened to have a nice house with it. We spend 95 percent of our time out here.”

Kinney has been racing for 30 years, starting when he was just 4-years-old.

The shop has large images of every year Kinney has driven from go-karts to modifieds to sprint cars.

The 2018 season will mark his seventh year racing sprint cars with the Empire Super Sprints.

“I’ve been racing with ESS ever since I started with 360s,” stated Kinney.

What’s the plan this season?

“Chase every show we can get to as long as we have equipment and funds,” said Kinney. “We try not going into the poorhouse.”

To that end Kinney has Joe Felber Enterprises, Buell Fuels, Center State Propane, Wilbur Duck Chevrolet and Performance Premixes Dairy Feed & Seed Co. to name a few of his sponsors.

Last season Kinney finished third in ESS season point standings. He’s been close to the top spot and would like to win a championship this season.

Kinney is looking for “five wins this season.” He has won four ESS A-Mains in Canada but has yet to win on American soil. 

His driving style is smooth working the track where nobody else is.

“If there’s a bottom, I’m there,” stated the pilot of No. 19K.

Total minimum weight of the car with driver is 1,475 pounds. Add to that a 800 HP fire breathing pure methanol fueled motor —driving one of these things has to be like driving a missile with a wing.

This season a pair of Maxim chassis loaded up with Heffentrager Performance and Donath motors will tour the northeast and Canada in pursuit of the top spot. 

Kinney owns “The Sign Shop @ Kinney’s” and does many commercial vehicle wraps for clients like Freihofer’s and Thomas.

During the racing season Kinney works hard to balance his professional work with his racing. He gets help from Gary Barber, Zach Simchik and his dad, Ned Kinney.

The first race of the Lucas Oil Empire Super Sprint racing season for Kinney and his team will be at the Outlaw Speedway, Friday, April 20 in Dundee. The mighty Empire Super Sprints will be at Utica-Rome Speedway four times in 2018: Sunday, May 27; Sunday, July 8; Sunday, Sept. 2 and Tuesday, Oct. 2. Mark your calendars.

See you at the races...soon.

(If you would like to highlight your race team email me at jclifford@RNYmedia.com)