Phoenix race report 2006-03-03

Danny Lasoski Captures World of Outlaws Sprint Series Cactus Classic Phoenix -- March 3, 2006 -- Danny Lasoski and Donny Schatz battled side-by-side, exchanging the lead back and forth, before Lasoski powered to the bottom in Turn 1 and weaved...

Danny Lasoski Captures World of Outlaws Sprint Series Cactus Classic

Phoenix -- March 3, 2006 -- Danny Lasoski and Donny Schatz battled side-by-side, exchanging the lead back and forth, before Lasoski powered to the bottom in Turn 1 and weaved through traffic to pick up a victory Friday night in the Cactus Classic at Manzanita Speedway.

With 43 cars going through time trials, Brooke Tatnell started on the pole and led the first five laps at the high-speed, half-mile oval before a caution bunched the leaders. Lasoski and Schatz charged to the lead on the restart before Schatz's machine suffered some mechanical trouble.

Tatnell, in the Garlic Jim's Pizza/Castrol Eagle, and Terry McCarl, in the Big Game Treestands Eagle, then gave chase through traffic but Lasoski, in the Dennis Roth Motorsports Eagle, was able to pull away to the checkered flag in front of filled grandstands.

Sammy Swindell in the Volcano Joe's Coffee/Wirgten Maxim and Randy Hannagan in the Terry Hannagan Racing Maxim rounded out the top five.

Craig Dollansky motored his Karavan Trailers J&J from the back of the grid to an impressive sixth-place run, with Joey Saldana in the Mopar-powered Central Merchant Services/Dodge JEI, Paul McMahan in the Bass Pro Shops Eagle, Daryn Pittman in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim and Kevin Swindell in the York Excavating Maxim completing the top 10.

Tatnell and Lasoski started side-by-side for the 30-lap main event, with Tatnell quickly jumping out front. A caution with five laps down bunched the field and on the restart, Lasoski and Schatz raced to the front with Tatnell, McCarl and Saldana pulling in behind.

Lasoski stayed on the bottom, Schatz found a line right through the middle and the two went wheel-to-wheel. First Lasoski edged in front, then Schatz darted back to lead Lap 9. Lasoski swiped the lead back on Lap 10 before Schatz's ParkerStore J&J slowed in Turn 4, giving Tatnell and McCarl a chance to take a run at Lasoski.

"The racetrack for me went from the top in the first part to the middle to the bottom," said Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion who reunited with car owner Dennis Roth this season. "Schatz got by me and showed me there was a little bit quicker way. I passed him back and didn't see him, he must have had trouble, then we got into lapped cars at the end."

While Schatz's crew quickly fixed the problem, he was forced to restart from the rear as Dollansky had done earlier in the feature. With the rest of the event running under the green flag, Dollansky picked off car after car as he mounted a charge toward the leaders. Schatz did the same, but ran out of laps and had to settle for a 13th-place finish.

Three-time World of Outlaws champion Sammy Swindell, who started third, held his ground for much of the event and wound up with a fourth-place run as Hannagan earned his first top-five this season.

Saldana, the World of Outlaws top rookie in 1996 and a winner on Feb. 10 at Volusia Speedway Park, put his Kasey Kahne-owned car into the championship lead for the first time this season. Saldana leads McCarl by 25 points heading into Saturday night's race at United Sports Arizona Race Park in Tucson.

Afterward, Tatnell was satisfied with his run, but still was disappointed for allowing Schatz and Lasoski a chance to sneak past him on the restart with five laps complete.

"I made a mistake," said Tatnell, a native of San Souci, NSW, Australia, who captured the Australia Sprintcar Championship and the World Series Sprintcars titles during the winter in his native country. "I hit a hole on the restart and got a little bit loose and it gave Donny and Danny a run. My dad once said to me, you have to be slow in to be fast out. Tonight I was too slow in and too slow out, but we got back behind Danny and in clear traffic we ran him down a bit after he gapped us. I thought we were going to get him back but he got to a lapped car and changed his line to pass and found the line I was running and he pulled away.

"All in all, it's a pleasing result. You're never satisfied with second. It hurts a lot more in pride and ego and the bank account, but it's a lot better than what we had at the start of the year."

McCarl's third-place finish has him now sitting second in the championship standings, only 25 points behind Saldana.

"I was really bad at the beginning and I made a lot of cockpit adjustments, I was dialing knobs everywhere," said McCarl, a native of Altoona, Iowa, and a six-time Knoxville Raceway champion. "I had the wing back and forth and everywhere. I went with a little harder than most guys. Once I got some heat in that we really started coming on strong at the end.

"This was actually pretty racy. It was great to see a great a turnout of cars and fans. To me it was a great night of racing."

But it was Lasoski who had enough horsepower to build a lead, and enough balance to work through traffic on the big half-mile oval.

"I'm very proud of this whole Roth Motorsports team," Lasoski said. "Dennis took me back and we built this team from scratch, virtually, so I'm very happy about that. With Kistler engines and everybody doing their job, we're happy to be here."

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series invades The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals, two single-day events on back-to-back nights March 9-10 in conjunction with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series weekend. The Mean 15 racers will sign autographs at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 10, in the midway near the LVMS 1.5-mile oval. After leaving Las Vegas, the Outlaws will roll March 31 into Batesville Speedway in Batesville, Ark., and April 1 into I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., just south of St. Louis.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is brought to the fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire and The Outdoor Channel. Promotional Partners include AMB i.t., Choice Hotels and The University of Northwestern Ohio. Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions, and Wrisco Industries.

CACTUS CLASSIC NOTEBOOK

* FAST QUALIFIER: Brooke Tatnell paced the 43 cars that went through time trials in the Garlic Jim's Pizza/Castrol/Steel Dreams Eagle with an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the half-mile oval in 15.573 seconds at 114.833 mph. Mean 15 racer Jac Haudenschild owns the track record for an Outlaws event after posting a 15.340-second lap on Jan. 30, 1997. By being the fastest qualifier, Tatnell earned five bonus points in the championship standings. Danny Lasoski, Sammy Swindell, Terry McCarl and Justin Henderson also earned points for being in the top five in time trials.

"These bonus points are going to make it more interesting," Tatnell said. "It throws a bit of mixture in it. It's more of an incentive for a guy to really try to pull out that little extra. It used to be that if you were sixth or seventh, you were in the sweet spot. Now the sweet spot is the pole."

* VICTORY PARADE: Danny Lasoski's victory Friday night was his first World of Outlaws feature victory of the 2006 season. He joins Chad Kemenah and Joey Saldana as the three winners this season on the World of Outlaws Sprint Series tour.

* HALF-MILE WINNERS: Manzanita Speedway is a big half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has raced three times this season on half-mile ovals. Winners include Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Joey Saldana (Volusia) and Danny Lasoski (Manzanita).

* QUALIFYING EVENTS: Brooke Tatnell earned his first pole of the season by dominating the first dash. Danny Lasoski fought off Terry McCarl in the second dash to earn a spot on the front row. -- Heat race winners included Rob Chaney, who is driving for injured Mean 15 racer Jason Martin; Greg Wilson, who will team up with Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a promotion at next week's Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals; Donny Schatz, who spent Wednesday flying with the Blue Angels; and Kaley Gharst, who is 12th in the Outlaws championship standings. -- Jeremy Campnell, Becca Anderson, Toni Lutar and Shawn Sander transferred to the feature from the B-main. -- Josh Grady and Robert Gomez transferred from the C-main to the B-main.

* SOARING SCHATZ: On Wednesday, Mean 15 racer Donny Schatz went for the ride of his life in a U.S. Navy Blue Angels F/A-18B Hornet with pilot Lt. Kevin Davis. After putting both feet back on the ground at the Naval Air Facility in El Centro, Calif., Schatz said, "It was a great honor to be a part of it and I'm glad I got to experience it because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity." Highlights of his ride will air on The Outdoor Channel during coverage of the Cactus Classic at 8 p.m. Eastern on March 8.

* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on March 8 all the action from the World of Outlaws Cactus Classic at Manzanita Speedway, as well as the coverage from Donny Schatz's ride with the Blue Angels. On March 15, The Outdoor Channel will air the event from USA Race Park in Tucson. The first show from the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals will air on March 22 followed March 29 by the second event. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).

* UP NEXT: The World of Outlaws Sprint Series invades The Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for a the Las Vegas World of Outlaws Nationals, two single-day events on back-to-back nights March 9-10 in conjunction with the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series weekend. The Mean 15 racers will sign autographs at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, March 10, in the midway near the LVMS 1.5-mile oval.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Kasey Kahne , Donny Schatz , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Toni Lutar , Becca Anderson , Greg Wil , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah