Talladega, AL (March 31, 2003) The True Value IROC Series turned the first of many practice laps today at Talladega Superspeedway in preparation for race two this Saturday, April 5. O'Reilly World of Outlaws participant, Danny Lasoski was once...
Talladega, AL (March 31, 2003) The True Value IROC Series turned the first of many practice laps today at Talladega Superspeedway in preparation for race two this Saturday, April 5.
O'Reilly World of Outlaws participant, Danny Lasoski was once again pacing the garage area as True Value IROC test drivers, Dave Marcis, Jim Sauter, Dick Trickle and Andy Hillenburg took the cars out for an initial shakedown run.
With the cars up to speed Marcis, Sauter and Hillenburg put Lasoski through the paces of a four-car simulated race run. The four-car, 38-lap session consisted of three-wide passing, numerous lead changes and swapping of drafting partners.
Lasoski was leading with two laps to go when the three veterans mounted their charge relegating Lasoski to the back of the four-car field. Hillenburg nosed ahead of Sauter at the stripe to take the practice race win.
"I've got to thank these four guys (Marcis, Sauter, Trickle and Hillenburg), they're four of the best in the business and I've never stop learning from them. I got taken to school on that deal, getting shuffled to the back, but I can guarantee I'm not going to let that happen again. That's why I won't ever miss a practice or a practice day because you can run dirt tracks all across the country but it doesn't prepare you for what happens in this type of racing. There isn't a time I go out and run that I don't learn something that will improve my performance -- it's priceless to me."
On the last two laps.:
"Lasoski was leading with two laps two go. I was running second and Marcis drafted up behind me. Lasoski blocked me to the right so I took it hard to the left going into (Turn) three, Marcis followed me and it was all over until the last lap when Hillenburg squeezed by me at the finish line."
About the IROC cars and race strategy at Talladega:
"The cars are deluxe -- you can run them anywhere on the racetrack. We know it's going to be a very tight race so you could wind up a sitting duck if you're running out front at the end."
On Lasoski and the importance of practice:
"We really appreciate the fact that Danny works as hard as he does in IROC. He's brought a great amount of enthusiasm to the series and what he's doing here is what it's all about. You've got to learn each individual racetrack and Talladega is certainly a lot different than Daytona. The drafting situation here (at Talladega) you have to move around a lot more to make things happen. You don't sit in line and be as patient here as you would at Daytona. Danny's picking up on those things and like Jim Sauter said, Danny was leading with two laps to go and wound up dead last, so he learned something out there - what to do, who to go with and what lines to change.
"We're going to have one fantastic race here come this weekend -- the fans don't want to miss this one."
On the lesson learned by Lasoski today:
"Three cars working together can beat the car in the lead because of the draft situation. Danny is doing a great job here and he really didn't do anything wrong, it's just the three of them (Marcis, Sauter and Hillenburg) teamed up on him and I don't care who you are, at Talladega, with the draft as it is, you're going to get beat in that situation."
"Like Dave said earlier, Danny's to be admired -- we tutor him, and along with the other drivers that don't run stock cars, they become like your students and you cheer them on. We tutor them on and off the racetrack and when they do well, which they have, you feel like you've accomplished your job (as an IROC test driver). It's the same feeling a teacher gets when their students score high grades on tests."
True Value IROC practice will continue Tuesday with IRL IndyCar Series driver Felipe Giaffone expected to join Lasoski.