2007 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Season Review: Danny Lasoski
Any time that Danny Lasoski is paired with the Roth Motorsports team, it's a potent combination. That was evident again this season, as he racked up six A-Feature wins.
He reached victory lane for the first time in 2007 at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky on a cold wintry like evening in early April. A very consistent spring saw him continue to rise in the championship standings.
Lasoski wound up the 2007 season with 48 Top-10 finishes, propelling him to a third-place finish in the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship points. It marked the eighth Top-Five showing in points for him during his career.
"We're never happy with third," said Lasoski. "We were consistent at times and terrible at times. Overall though we can't complain. This was the toughest field of cars that I have seen in some time. We'll see if we can come back next year and better that."
The 2001 World of Outlaws champion won one of the most thrilling events of the season on May 23, edging Donny Schatz by 0.036 seconds at Grandview Speedway in Pennsylvania, in a race that was reminiscent of the event just days before at New Egypt Speedway in which Steve Kinser inched out Jason Sides. This would begin a string of nine consecutive Top-10 finishes for the native of Dover, Missouri, including a victory at the reconfigured Tri-City Speedway in Illinois after a switch to a different chassis.
"Those are absolutely fun races," he said of the thrilling battles with Schatz. "Any time you can run side-by-side with someone that you trust and you know will not turn left and wreck you is good. He is one of the few guys that you know you can race and we won't wreck you and you can race side-by-side with."
A top-five finish on the final night of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway in July led to a string of seven straight Top-10 finishes, capped by a third-place run in the finale of the "SuperClean Summer of Money" on ESPN2 at Charter Raceway Park in Wisconsin. A dominating performance on both nights of the Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway brought two more wins to the Roth Motorsports team, which is owned by California natives Dennis Roth and his wife Teressa, who were on-hand to celebrate both victories.
In the series first event in Canada in over 25 years, Lasoski turned in a very solid fifth-place performance at Ohsweken Speedway in July. He followed that up with another Top-10 when the series visited Castrol Raceway in Edmonton in August. He also signed countless autographs to the extremely appreciative fans north of the border, who braved persistent rain on the second night of the event and stayed to meet their favorite drivers, even after the event was postponed a day.
"It was a good experience going to Canada," noted the winningest driver in Knoxville Raceway history. "I had not seen fans that excited in a real long time, and that was very refreshing to see. I can't wait to go back there."
Lasoski also enjoyed the exposure he and the rest of the series received this season from the World of Outlaws television package that consisted of 18 total events split between SPEED and ESPN2.
"It was a great thing having all of those races on television," he said. "I hope they have that many on again next year."
Away from the track, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion helped again this season promote the event at Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia, along with hosting the annual Michael Ross Memorial Foundation Golf Tournament, helping raise over $190,000 for the Bay Cliff Health Camp in Big Bay, Michigan and bringing the total amount of money earned in the 10-year history of the event to over $1 Million which has been donated to the charity.
"It's always great to put that event on," smiled Lasoski as he talked about his involvement with the race and the golf outing. "We have to thank all of the competitors that participated as well as the sponsors. It's a very good cause for Tony Ross with American Compressed Steel and myself, as well as the Michael Ross Foundation. It means a lot to me and to have all of these competitors support it makes it even more special."
Despite having a few races slip away due to things out of his control, Lasoski was always focused on the next race on the schedule and what it would take to again run up front. Throughout the season, he won the Crane Cams Dash five times to earn the same number of pole positions, in addition to being quickest in time trials on three occasions.
"We probably would have had about 12 (wins) if it wasn't for flat tires and certain things that happened," he said. "You can't look back though. You just have to keep looking forward."
Lasoski wrapped up the 2007 season by winning the inaugural Turkey Open Wheel Classic at the ¼-mile bullring at Springfield Raceway in his home state of Missouri, holding off his nephew Brian Brown. On the docket next is the famed Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma in early January and a return to Australia to compete at Parramatta City Raceway.
"I don't want to rest," the veteran driver quipped. "I want to keep going."
The 30th anniversary Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series season begins on February 8, 2008 with the 37th Annual Florida DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park.
Up Next: 2007 World of Outlaws Season Review: Joey Saldana