Lasoski wins opener of the Evergreen State Sprint Challenge in Elma ELMA, Wash. -- All week Danny Lasoski knew he had a car capable of winning races. Lasoski finally did just that Friday night in the opening night of the Evergreen State...
Lasoski wins opener of the Evergreen State Sprint Challenge in Elma
ELMA, Wash. -- All week Danny Lasoski knew he had a car capable of winning races.
Lasoski finally did just that Friday night in the opening night of the Evergreen State Sprint Challenge at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma.
Lasoski drew the top starting spot and led every lap, stretching his advantage to nearly a half-lap before a late yellow erased the margin. Lasoski kept a comfortable distance on Jason Solwold at the end to claim victory. Rounding out the top five were Roger Crockett, Jay Cole and Jared Ridge.
The event wraps up Saturday night, and concludes the 2008 Northwest Speedweek. The week features six straight nights of racing, and is being sanctioned by the ASCS (American Sprint Car Series) Northwest Region.
"We've had that good of a car all week, we've just had bad circumstances," Lasoski said of his Doyle's Harley-Davidson ride.
Lasoski feels he had a car that could have been top-two to start the week at Medford on Monday, had it not been for a mechanical problem.
"We had the car to beat at Cottage Grove and Willamette (Tuesday and Wednesday)," Lasoski said. "Roger had the best car last night (in Banks, Ore.)."
On Friday night, Lasoski had the car to beat. Lasoski got collected in a spin on the first lap of his heat race, but roared back to take the win.
Once the green flew for the 30-lap feature at GHR, Lasoski took the lead as Solwold and Crockett started moving up from their starting positions of 10th and eighth, respectively.
After Jayme Barnes flipped while running second on lap 6, Crockett blew past Cole and Jeff Hodgson on the restart to claim fourth. By lap 14 Crockett had moved to second while Solwold was up to fourth.
Solwold took third on lap 18 from Brock Lemley, and soon was engaged in a great battle with Crockett for second.
Solwold and Crockett exchanged numerous slide jobs, despite Crockett running with a damaged front wing.
"The nose wing fell off again," Crockett said. "I'm tired of that happening. It happened at Dirt Cup, too. But it was cool to race Jason like that. It was pretty darn fun."
Solwold enjoyed the battle as well, though it came at a cost.
"That was a good race," the former World of Outlaws regular said. "But I used up my left rear racing Crockett. I tried to pass too early, and was sliding around the track. Anytime you slide around, it's hard on the tires."
Crockett noted he had a front wing mount break during hot laps Wednesday at Willamette, and had the same thing happen early in Friday's feature. Crockett said it was impossible to know if the outcome would have been different in Elma if not for the mishap.
"On lap 5 the mounts broke again," he said. "That happened so early, who knows what could have happened. You don't know."
While those two engaged in a tight battle, Lasoski simply motored away. It was the type of night Lasoski was hoping to have after disappointments such as being pinned into the wall while battling Crockett for the lead Wednesday night.
"We didn't know for sure we'd have a night like that, but we were hoping," Lasoski said.
Casey Adams coasted to a stop on lap 28 to bring out the yellow. That gave Solwold one more chance to make a move.
Then again, maybe not. "Not with (Lasoski) in open track like that," Solwold said.
Once the green fell for the last time, Lasoski comfortably stayed in front to take the win, his third at the Elma track.
Many figured Crockett and Solwold would move up once the race started. But that didn't concern Lasoski.
"They're always tough," said Lasoski, who is running for the Knoxville Raceway 410 track title in Iowa and may be in Elma Saturday, depending on the weather in Iowa. "I really didn't think about it. I knew (crew chief) Paul Silva would have the car very good. And he did."
Friday's four heat races were won by Crockett, Lemley, Seth Bergman and Lasoski. The top 16 in points after the heat races transferred to the 20-car feature, with the top two finishers in both of the B-Main events filling out the field. Transferring from the B-Mains were Casey Adams, Kyle Hirst, Jared Peterson, and Robby Vaughn. There were 37 cars signed in on the night.
Crockett heads into Saturday in good shape to win his second Speedweek crown, something he previously did in 2003. Crockett, who won the ESSC in 2005, has 732 points in Speedweek 2008. Kyle Hirst is second with 686 points.
"We're in good shape there," Crockett said. "As long as we do nothing silly Saturday, we should be alright."
Hot laps will begin Saturday at approximately 6 p.m., with racing at 7.
For more on the ASCS Northwest Region, please visit www.ascsnorthwest.com.