Rookie Lagasse Wins Thrilling ASA Kentucky Debut SPARTA, Ky. (May 7, 2004) - It was 1034 days since the last time the American Speed Association National Tour cars ran on a speedway, but the May 7 running of the BFGoodrdich Tires 125 at Kentucky...
Rookie Lagasse Wins Thrilling ASA Kentucky Debut
SPARTA, Ky. (May 7, 2004) - It was 1034 days since the last time the American Speed Association National Tour cars ran on a speedway, but the May 7 running of the BFGoodrdich Tires 125 at Kentucky Speedway was well worth the wait as the rookie drivers put on one of the most thrilling races in recent memory.
Fans couldn't ask for better weather for racing, temperatures were in low 80s with clear skies. The sun was setting, casting shadows across the beautiful 1.5-mile facility, and as the track lighting took over the cars sparkled with a blur of colors.
Jay Middleton started on the front pole after winning his first Jani-King pole award earlier in the day thanks to his lap of 171.265-mph, establishing a new track record for the ASA National Tour cars. He was flanked by fellow youngster Stephen Leicht on the outside position.
But it was the rookies who would put on the show of the night. Scott Lagasse, Jr. and Wade Day stole the show, and the win, from Day's perspective.
With as few as 25 laps left in the 125-lap feature, Day had what seemed like an insurmountable lead of more than five seconds. In fact, nearly everyone but Lagasse felt that the race may be over.
At the time Lagasse was slicing through the field making up positions lost when he had come in for a late fuel splash. Like a man driven, he steadily picked off positions until the while flag flew, and even then it looked like Day had the race in his control.
Lagasse came on strong and the two cars came out of the Turn 4 exit together, Lagasse on the inside, Day taking the outside line. The pair came across the finish line in a near- dead heat to the naked eye, but video replays shows Lagasse ahead by just a foot.
The finish was so close that both drivers thought they had won, Day even taking the step of making the now traditional burnout under the flag stand. Lagasee stopped his car and stepped out to congratulate Day, but learned he was the winner as his crew raced across the grass and showered him with water.
"This is awesome, we've been waiting on this a long time," Lagasee said when he finally made it to the winner's circle. "We've been fast everywhere but just had dumb luck. Great job in the pits. We had a flat right rear and came in and (the crew) was looking out for us tonight as we needed those tires. There is nothing left of them now, I can promise you that."
"We won the race, regardless of what everyone says," Day proclaimed. "How could the 20 car (Lagasse) win? He never passed me," Day claimed.
The first career ASA National Tour win came in Lagasee's ninth career start. He was followed across the line by Day, Glen Allen, Reffner and Mike Garvey.
The Cool Shirt "Cool Move of the Race" award was given to Lagasee for a daring move on lap 81 to take the lead for the first time. He used Dominic Vara as a pick, put his left tires on the infield grass and slammed the door in front of Bryan Reffner to take the lead, going four wide at the time. There was slight contact between Reffner and
Lagasee but all cars continued. Reffner picked up the BFGoodrich Tires Halfway Leader award.
Due a scoring malfunction, official results and statistics were unavailable at the time of this writing.
The ASA National Tour is next in action at Lake Erie Speedway in Erie, Pa., on Saturday, May 29. The American Speed Association is based in Pendleton, Ind., and has offered stock car racing programs since 1968, including the ASA National Tour, ASA Late Model Series, several regional touring series and the ASA Member Track programs. For additional information, visit asaracing.com.
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