Lasoski back in the cockpit and loving it; he couldn't miss his favorite race -- The Knoxville Nationals. CONCORD, NC (August 9, 2002) -- When it comes to racing at the legendary half-mile Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, few people know...
Lasoski back in the cockpit and loving it; he couldn't miss his favorite race -- The Knoxville Nationals.
CONCORD, NC (August 9, 2002) -- When it comes to racing at the legendary half-mile Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, few people know how to do it better than Danny "The Dude" Lasoski, the defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Champion. So what better place than Knoxville for the driver of the #20 J.D. Byrider / Tony Stewart Motorsports sprinter to return to the cockpit than in the biggest race of the year, the Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals.
One of the biggest accidents of his career, which came at Williams Grove Speedway (PA) a couple of weeks ago, sidelined Lasoski for just less than two weeks of action. Lasoski suffered a broken ankle and a concussion in the wild wreck.
On Wednesday night, Lasoski returned to the seat of his World of Outlaws sprint car and on Thursday night he showed he hadn't lost a thing. "The Dude," as he is affectionately called, set quick-time and then ran second in his heat race. In the "A-Main", Danny showed what he was made of, leading a lap and eventually finishing third behind winner Donny Schatz and second-place Tyler Walker.
"It was great to race that well the first time back," said Lasoski, who was leading the WoO points standing before he was injured. "Jimmy Carr and this entire team made it easy for me; I just wish I could have won the thing for them."
Lasoski holds the distinction of being the winningest driver in the history of the dirt-oval, home to the Knoxville Nationals, sprint car racing's biggest event, for the last 42 years. Danny is a seven-time Knoxville Raceway track champion, his last coming in 1996, just before his big move to the World of Outlaws Series full-time. "The Dude" has won more races at Knoxville than any other driver, with 78 career feature victories.
The success that Lasoski experienced as a regular runner at Knoxville carried over to the Pennzoil World of Outlaws and the Knoxville Nationals. He captured the Knoxville Nationals Championship in 1998 and last year, and was the runner up in the Nationals in 1992 & 1999. In 2000, Lasoski captured a 3rd-place finish.
Lasoski has eight top-five finishes in the last 11 Knoxville Nationals championship features.
"I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could race. I'm not fooling around. I'm serious about this race. This is my second home. I may be from Missouri (Dover), but this is my second home. I want another Knoxville Nationals crown," stated Lasoski.
This year, in three races at Knoxville, Lasoski has one "A" feature win and two more top-five finishes.
"This place has been good to me, so it only feels natural to return to racing here," added Lasoski. "When I got back in the car, it was as if I had never left, although it could be because I was knocked out and don't remember anything. This is going to be a hard, but fun, weekend and I think we have a good shot at getting another Knoxville Nationals win."
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws 42nd Annual Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals will run Saturday night. SPEED Channel will tape the action for September 26th and October 24th telecasts. All Speed Channel telecasts are scheduled to start at 11 p.m. Eastern Time. The American Forces Network will carry the radio broadcast in 177 countries, including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, plus 400 ships at sea.