A Champion's Return: Lasoski Looks to Add to Win Total at Knoxville Knoxville, IA--May 1, 2009--Knoxville Raceway may be over 200 miles from his home in Missouri, but for Danny Lasoski, the famed half-mile always has been and always will be his...
A Champion's Return: Lasoski Looks to Add to Win Total at Knoxville
Knoxville, IA--May 1, 2009--Knoxville Raceway may be over 200 miles from his home in Missouri, but for Danny Lasoski, the famed half-mile always has been and always will be his home track. He made his first start at Knoxville in 1983 and earned his first victory at the track the following season.
The native of Dover, Missouri picked up his record eighth Knoxville Raceway track champion last season and added three more wins to his career total at track which now stands at 92. Lasoski returned to the road full-time with the World of Outlaws this season and thus will not defend his track championship, but he will have a couple of opportunities to race at Knoxville, including this week on Saturday, May 2 as the series helps open the 2009 campaign at the hallowed half-mile.
"We're always excited to go back to Knoxville and I'm really looking forward to it this year," said Lasoski. "Our goal has never changed and winning at Knoxville and winning the Knoxville Nationals is our top priority. Going back for an Outlaws race, it would make it even sweeter if we could win that one."
Lasoski won three times last season en route to claiming the track championship and finished fourth or better in each of the last six races at the track last season. Stats like that normally would put the bulls-eye on his back for this weekend, but he is cautious when asked if he is the favorite when the World of Outlaws roll through the pit gate.
"I sure would like to think so, but anytime you have that (No.) 15 car (Donny Schatz) there, you have someone to beat," Lasoski quipped. "He has won three straight (Knoxville) Nationals in a row, so he will probably be the favorite."
The race this weekend will mark Lasoski's first at Knoxville driving for the Parsons Motorsports team in the No. 6 Casey's General Store JEI, which is owned by longtime car owner and Iowa native Lonnie Parsons. With all of the laps he has at Knoxville over the years, Lasoski looks to start the night strong in time trials with a very stellar field of cars expected for the event.
"I think as soon as we roll it out of the trailer, you'll see the (No.) 6 car going pretty good there," he noted.
Lasoski, who won the 2001 World of Outlaws championship, began the 2009 season with 81 career A-Feature wins with the series which is sixth best all-time. He has been close to winning a couple of times this season as he and crew chief Barry Jackson of JEI Chassis continue to gel in their first year together and Jackson's first full year on the road.
"We've changed a lot of things and we brought in Barry (Jackson)," explained Lasoski. "Paul Kistler has worked very hard on our engines and we feel like we are close to getting that consistency. Once you get that consistency, then you'll win your fair share of races."
Lasoski has won 12 times over the years with the World of Outlaws at Knoxville in preliminary and A-Feature events and has nearly 70 Top-10 finishes with the series at the half-mile. He finished ninth or better in all three events for the series at the track last season and has not finished outside of the Top-10 in a World of Outlaws event at the track since 1996, which is a span of 38 races. His last win in a World of Outlaws event at Knoxville came in 2004. Driving for a team with numerous Iowa connections would make a win this weekend extra special for Lasoski, as he and his team also use the event as a tune-up for the Knoxville Nationals this summer.
"There is nothing I would like more than to bring Don Lamberti and Lonnie Parsons a win there, especially the Knoxville Nationals if we could do it," he said. "Both of those guys definitely deserve it."
Lasoski enters this weekend's event 10th in the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of seven Top-10 finishes. He is just 12 points out of the eighth spot and 78 markers out of the Top-Five. He has three Top-Five finishes on half-mile track this season and continues to climb in the series championship standings after having some bad luck in the first few races of the year.
"We dug ourselves a hole in Florida and we have a ways to dig ourselves out, but I like the way the team is going and I like how everyone is working together," shared Lasoski. "We are real positive going into the summer."
With 15 drivers currently following the series full-time, the level of competition is at an all-time high. In the first 14 events this season, seven drivers have visited Victory lane and 15 have led laps in feature racing competition. Lasoski has six Top-Five finishes, including a runner-up finish in the Mini Gold Cup at Silver Dollar Speedway in California as he closes in on his first win of the season.
"I've been out here for many years and this is the toughest field I have ever seen," he said. "You have to be on your game every night to run up front."
On Saturday, May 2 at Knoxville Raceway, adult general admission tickets will be $27 with general admission tickets for children just $13.50. Reserved tickets for adults will be $30, with reserved tickets for children $15. For tickets visit www.knoxvilleraceway.com or call the track at 641-842-5431.