Dirt Track Star Lasoski Captures Crown Royal IROC Win
FT. WORTH, Texas (April 2, 2004) -- Danny "The Dude" Lasoski called it a "dream come true" after pulling off a stunning victory Friday night in the Crown Royal International Race of Champions event at Texas Motor Speedway.
Lasoski led the field of 12 drivers from flag to flag and in the process became the second World of Outlaws Sprint Car racer to win a Crown Royal IROC race. The first was Steve Kinser, who won at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in April of 1994.
"When you're mentioned in the same breath with Steve Kinser it's an honor," said Lasoski. "It's important to me to represent the World of Outlaws."
Lasoski's average speed in the 67-lap, 100.5-mile race was 116.983 miles per hour.
Lasoski, who started from the pole by virtue of his last place finish at the Crown Royal IROC season opener in Daytona, was followed to the checkered flag by three NASCAR Nextel Cup stalwarts -- Kevin Harvick (second), Jimmie Johnson (third) and Ryan Newman (fourth). Lasoski's margin of victory over Harvick was .333 seconds.
"With five laps to go I told myself if Harvick is going to beat me he will have to run right through me," explained Lasoski. "The Knoxville Nationals (Sprint Car Super Bowl) is very dear to me and I won that race three times. This victory ranks right up there."
Following his victory a jubilant Lasoski imitated NASCAR winners by doing smoky burnouts on the Texas grass. As he drove into winner's circle the first person to congratulate him was his World of Outlaws team owner and NASCAR champion Tony Stewart.
"He (Tony) talked to me before the race and kept preaching to save my right front tire and go after it in the final 10 laps," said Lasoski. "Winning this race was the toughest thing I've ever had to do and I am the happiest guy in the world right now."
Kurt Busch, the reigningCrown Royal IROC champion,was involved in an incident on the third lapwith Matt Kenseth and Newman.Kenseth spun out, hit the wall and was forced to retire from the race while Busch and Newman were able to continue. However, Busch's car suffered extensive body damage, resulting in an 11th-place finish.
In the Crown Royal IROC point standings, which will pay $1 million to the season champion, Harvick andNewman are tied for first with 33 points while Lasoski andJohnson aretied for second with 32 points.
"A million dollars is unbelievable, but I would probably pay to drive these cars," offered Lasoski.
The final two Crown Royal IROC races are scheduled for Richmond (Va.) International Raceway (May 2) and Atlanta Motor Speedway (Oct. 30).
The race was the 110th in IROC's history and the first to be contested at Texas Motor Speedway.
Speed Channel: Will televise the Crown Royal IROC Race Two from Texas Motor Speedway live.
Next Race: The Crown Royal International Race of Champions will resume, Sept. 9 at Richmond International Raceway, Richmond, VA.