ALLSTAR: Texas Friday Prelim report

'The King' wins United States Air Force Showdown Preliminary. FORT WORTH, TX (March 28) -- Everyone in the near-capacity crowd at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track Friday expected a battle between Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser. Considering...

'The King' wins United States Air Force Showdown Preliminary.

FORT WORTH, TX (March 28) -- Everyone in the near-capacity crowd at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track Friday expected a battle between Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser. Considering they rank 1-2 in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series point standings, have won two of the last three series championships and three of the first five main events at the 4/10-mile oval, why wouldn't they?

Kinser passed Lasoski early in the opening lap and led throughout as he won the Preliminary Feature as the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series opened the United States Air Force Showdown. The $5,000 victory pushed "The King of the Outlaws" to within four points of Lasoski in the standings.

"The track was nice tonight," Kinser said following his second Preliminary Feature victory of the year. "You could really pass on it because it had two grooves. Any time you have a track with two grooves, you like it.

Speaking to the members of the United States Air Force in attendance, Kinser said, "I know you guys are going through some tough times now, but we are all for you."

Opening night of the $112,145 event honoring the United States Air Force was all Kinser and Lasoski. "The Dude" set quick time for the fifth time this season, then received the luxury of starting the First Dash Race on the pole when he picked the #0 inversion pill. Lasoski and Kinser, the second-fastest qualifier, earned the right to start the 30-lap feature on the front row by winning the dash races.

"We made a stagger change after the heat race," Kinser said. "We didn't change much for the feature, just the tire compound."

Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past "The Dude" on the front straightaway as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Kinser was building a comfortable advantage when Third Heat Race winner Jeff Shepard stopped in turn two early in the second lap, bringing out the caution flag.

"The King of the Outlaws" controlled the ensuing restart and opened a four-car-length advantage within two laps as defending All-Stars champion Chad Kemenah challenged Lasoski for second place. Kinser was three car-lengths ahead when he entered lapped traffic during lap eight.

Kinser was racing through lapped traffic when Dean Jacobs spun in turn four the next time around. "The King of the Outlaws" raced away from Lasoski and Kemenah as the green flag replaced the yellow, opening a two-second advantage within four laps.

P.J. Chesson, making his 2003 debut with the O'Reilly World of Outlaws" Series, spun in the fourth corner midway through the race just a split-second after Kinser caught the back-markers again. Kemenah, who moved his top wing back before the feature started to allow his #15K Underground Utilities Eagle to handle better in the low groove, passed Lasoski deep in the first corner two laps after the race resumed.

Kemenah, who started outside the third row, cut into Kinser's advantage in dense lapped traffic with 10 laps remaining, but several daring moves past slower cars enabled "The King of the Outlaws" to open an insurmountable lead. Kinser was four seconds ahead of Kemenah when he took the checkered flag.

"This takes a lot of pressure off for tomorrow (Saturday) night," Kemenah said. "This is my best-ever World of Outlaws finish. I thought Lasoski would stay low, but we had two lanes of racing. The fans really got to see a good sprint car show tonight."

Lasoski, who has won two main events at the Texas Motor Speedway Dirt Track, maintained the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points lead by finishing in third place. Daryn Pittman finished fourth, ahead of Shane Stewart, Tim Shaffer, Craig Dollansky, Paul McMahan, Brooke Tatnell and 15th-starting Jason Johnson.

Pittman's fourth-place run pushed him into a tie for eighth place with Stewart in the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series point standings.

Jac Haudenschild used a provisional to start the Preliminary Feature and drove the MPD Hand Controls/Wirtgen America Maxim past 10 cars to finish 15th. Donny Schatz raced into 12th place from inside the 11th row.

"The Dude" paced the 40-car qualifying session with a 13.368-second, 107.720 M.P.H., lap around the semi-banked, 4/10-mile oval.

-WoO

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About this article
Series Sprint , World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Dean Jacobs , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , P.J. Chesson , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Jason Johnson