'Dude' Wins NAPA Classic Finale at Knoxville KNOXVILLE, IA (June 29) - If home is where the heart is, Danny Lasoski's home is definitely Knoxville Raceway. "The Dude" won the 75th feature race of his career at "The Home of the Nationals" ...
'Dude' Wins NAPA Classic Finale at Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, IA (June 29) - If home is where the heart is, Danny Lasoski's home is definitely Knoxville Raceway.
"The Dude" won the 75th feature race of his career at "The Home of the Nationals" Saturday, passing Stevie Smith late in the ninth lap and leading the final 31 ¼ to win the NAPA Classic. Lasoski's 10th "A" Feature victory of the season pushed him into a tie with Steve Kinser for the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead.
"I'd just like to thank J.D. Byrider and everyone involved with Tony Stewart Motorsports for sticking with me," Lasoskil said. "Jimmy Carr runs a great operation - I trust him with my life. Massey Motorsports, American Compressed Steel, Eagle Chassis, Hoosier Tires, Kistler Engines - all these people make it possible for me, and it just feels great to get back and win at the track that I consider my home."
Lasoski, who failed to qualify for one of the first four positions in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash in a double-feature event for the first time this year, paced the 47-car qualifying session. "The Dude" won the First Heat Race and earned the privilege of starting the 40-lap main event on the front row by finishing second in the dash.
Smith, the two-time defending NAPA Classic champion, drove the #11H Vivarin Maxim into the lead from the pole as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Kinser, who has won the Mopar Knoxville Nationals a record 11 times, passed Danny Wood for sixth place late in the first lap.
Smith was .3 seconds ahead of Lasoski when the leaders entered lapped traffic eight laps into the race. "The Dude" took the lead with an inside move deep in the fourth corner one lap later.
Craig Dollansky and Randy Hannagan passed James Chesson during the third and ninth laps. Chesson stopped in turn three with engine problems late in lap 14. Dollansky was on the move as the race resumed, passing Daryn Pittman for third place in the high groove between the first and second corners.
Lasoski was 4.3 seconds ahead of Smith when he caught the back-markers midway through the race. Jac Haudenschild, who started inside the ninth row, drove seven-time Knoxville Raceway champion Guy Forbrook's #5 Maxim into the low groove between turns three and four to pass Hannagan for seventh place three laps later.
Pittman regained third place late in the 25th lap, passing Dollansky in the third corner and sliding in front of him in turn four. Fourth Heat Race winner Madsen took the leaders out of lapped traffic the next time around when he flipped in the fourth corner.
Kinser and 11th-starting Ricky Logan took the low line through turns one and two to pass Dollansky for fourth and fifth place as the green flag replaced the red. Dollansky and "The Wild Child" used high moves to pass Logan during the 28th and 30th laps.
Brad Furr passed Haudenschild deep in turn three to take over seventh place late in lap 31. Mark Kinser, who started inside the 12th row, drove the #5M Mopar Maxim into ninth place as "The Wild Child" jumped the cushion in the second corner two laps later.
"The Dude" was 1.5 seconds ahead of Smith when he entered lapped traffic during lap 35. Smith steadily cut into Lasoski's advantage, however, and was only .5 seconds behind with two laps remaining. Smith's problems with the cushion in the first corner gave Lasoski some breathing room, and allowed him to take the checkered flag with .8 seconds to spare.
"I didn't know Stevie was there at all," Lasoski said following the $20,000 victory. "I was kind of experimenting, running the top getting into the corner and then coming down across the middle. It would've been a big surprise to see him get by me there at the end."
Steve Kinser passed Pittman in the low groove between turns three and four late in lap 39 to claim third place. Dollansky finished fifth, ahead of Logan, Furr, Preliminary Feature winner Joey Saldana, Mark Kinser and Haudenschild.
Lasoski set quick time for the 10th time this season, circling Knoxville's legendary semi-banked, ½-mile oval in 15.425 seconds, an average speed of 116.694 M.P.H.
Saldana and Dollansky were battling for the runner-up spot in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash when they collided and flipped into Steve Kinser.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run a $51,600 event at Huset's Speedway in Sioux Falls, SD, Tuesday, then sanction the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, ND, Thursday through Saturday.