By Richard Day EAGLE, NE (June 22) -- The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has run two triple-program events this season and Danny Wood has won the Second Preliminary Feature both times. The 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner...
By Richard Day
EAGLE, NE (June 22) -- The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series has run two triple-program events this season and Danny Wood has won the Second Preliminary Feature both times.
The 2000 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner thrilled a national television audience Friday as TNN: The National Network televised the race live from the 18th Annual Eagle Nationals at Eagle Raceway.
Wood, who started outside the front row, didn't let losing two positions in the third lap bother him. He drove Sher-Don Motorsports' #21W Pepsi Avenger into the lead late in the 21st lap and held off Randy Hannagan by .6 seconds for his second victory of the year.
"This Avenger chassis was great, and my crew gave me a perfect car to run here tonight," Wood said. "We fell back there pretty quick there at the start. I wasn't sure we were going to stop going backwards, so I had to try something a little different."
Wood, only the 16th-fastest qualifier in the 37-car field, beat Sammy Swindell across the finish line by 1.32 seconds to win the Fourth O'Reilly Heat Race. He earned the right to start the 40-lap Preliminary Feature on the front row by following Jeff Shepard under the checkered flag in the CHANNELLOCK Dash.
"(Crew chief) Rob Hart worked some magic on that motor, and we were able to get a hole-shot on Sammy in our heat race," Wood said.
Shepard drove Guy Forbrook's #5 Wirtgen Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Craig Dollansky rode the rim around Hannagan between turns three and four to take over third place late in the opening lap.
Dollansky and Hannagan passed Wood during the third lap, just before Mike Goodman stopped in the second corner with a mechanical problem.
Hannagan, who set quick-time for the fourth time this year, drove his brother Terry's #1x K&C Drywall Eagle into the low groove in turn one to pass Dollansky for second place as the green flag replaced the yellow. He challenged Shepard throughout the fifth lap, then took the lead with an inside move into the second corner the next time around.
Wood raced wheel-to-wheel with Shepard and Dollansky through turn three late in the ninth lap, and passed the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion for third place deep in the fourth corner.
The leaders were approaching lapped traffic the next time around when Jason Meyers took DOCC Motorsports' #20 Eagle Raceway Eagle for a spin in turn two.
Wood took over second place on the 10th-lap restart, passing Shepard in the low groove between the first and second corners. Dollansky passed Shepard high in turn four several seconds later.
Wood rode the rim around the high-banked, 1/3-mile oval in pursuit of Hannagan for 11 laps before taking the lead in the fourth corner. He was 1.7 seconds ahead of Hannagan when he entered lapped traffic seven laps later. Wood slid out of low groove in turn one and almost hit wall as McMahan stopped in the second corner early in lap 30.
"I almost got on my head there up in (turns) one and two," Wood admitted. "I could hear some cars back there behind me, and I didn't really know how big a lead I had. I was trying to run in there pretty hard, and just about turned the thing over."
Wood raced away from the 24-car field when the race resumed, and was 1.9 seconds ahead when he caught the back-markers again seven laps later. Hannagan cut Wood's advantage in half in lapped traffic within two laps, but was unable to narrow the gap to less than a half-second.
"I knew traffic would be tough at a racy, little bull-ring like this," Wood said. "Those cautions probably helped us with an open track."
Mark Kinser passed Danny Lasoski for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead in impressive style, racing into third place from outside the ninth row.
"I think my job was on the line after qualifying as poorly as I did today (19th)," Kinser said. "I knew I had to step it up in the feature. I thought Sammy would give me some problems, but we got by him right away. Maybe we can come back here tomorrow and have another good run."
Swindell passed 10 cars to finish fourth, ahead of Lasoski, Dollansky, Andy Hillenburg, Shepard, Stevie Smith and Joey Saldana.