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Texan Kebin Kinsley has become Top Fuel racing's newest favorite rent-a-driver

Texas Top Fuel fans have another driver to root for the next two weekends in Kebin Kinsley, the Arlington, Texas-based drag racer/boat racer who will be driving Dexter Tuttle’s dragster this weekend before hopping back into the Worsham Racing dragster in Houston and Las Vegas.
18 Oct 2020
Phil Burgess, NHRA National Dragster Editor
Feature
Kebin Kinsley

Texas Top Fuel fans have another driver to root for the next two weekends in Kebin Kinsley, the Arlington, Texas-based drag racer/boat racer who will be driving Dexter Tuttle’s dragster this weekend before hopping back into the Worsham Racing dragster he drove two weeks ago at the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Midwest Nationals in St. Louis.

Until he saddled up two weekends ago for Del and Chuck Worsham, Kinsley had not driven in Top Fuel since this event last year after team owner Roger Hennen had to park the operation.

After getting the call from the Worshams to drive their car in St. Louis, Tuttle, came calling for this weekend. Tuttle and Kinsley have shops just 20 miles apart and Kinsley, a two-time national event Funny Car winner back in the 1990s and a successful drag boat racer, also worked on the Tuttle car at the end of last year for what was Cory McClenathan’s supposed three-race swan song.

Cory Mac’s last three races of 2019 didn’t go as well as hoped, and as a tribute to his long-time driver, Tuttle has left McClenathan’s paint scheme- – which banners McClenathan’s sponsors, Nordic Boats and Rev Chem –- on the car for this weekend.

There are a lot more familiar faces in the Tuttle pit this weekend, including veteran tuner Tony Shortall and Mike Guger, best remembered as being legendary crew chief Dale Armstrong’s right-hand man and a member of the world championship-winning Budweiser King team of Kenny Bernstein, plus veteran crewman Chris McNicol.

Before hopping back into the seat in St. Louis, Kinsley has been driving and working on drag boats for friends and customers, but always itching to get back onto the tarmac.

“Roger still has his equipment, but his business took a pretty big hit in the pandemic, so it’s just still sitting there,” he said. “I hope we can get back together again at some points, but I’m having fun driving for Del and Dexter.

Kinsley faces No. 4 qualifier Shawn Langdon  in Sunday's opening round.