Lasoski holds off Kinser to win opening night in Elma ELMA, Wash. -- Danny Lasoski had the perfect 61st birthday gift for car owner Dennis Roth. Lasoski took the opening night of the National Sprint Tour doubleheader Friday Aug. 25 at Grays...
Lasoski holds off Kinser to win opening night in Elma
ELMA, Wash. -- Danny Lasoski had the perfect 61st birthday gift for car owner Dennis Roth.
Lasoski took the opening night of the National Sprint Tour doubleheader Friday Aug. 25 at Grays Harbor Raceway in Elma, Wash.
Dennis and Teresa Roth were on hand to watch Lasoski's eighth NST victory of the year.
Lasoski grabbed the lead on lap 22 of 30 and led the rest of the way. Following Lasoski across the line were Steve Kinser, Roger Crockett, Paul McMahan and Jason Meyers.
Crockett took the initial lead, but it took the race a while to get going as multiple yellows slowed the action. One yellow between Jay Cole and Rick Fauver turned into a red when Fauver flipped on lap 5.
Paul McMahan took the lead in traffic on lap 8, while behind the front two Steve Kinser and Lasoski moved into position.
Crockett got back by McMahan on lap 15 in a battle between two drivers looking for their first NST win. Lasoski moved into second in traffic, while Kinser got by McMahan on lap 20 for third.
Up front, Crockett tried gamely to hold off Lasoski, as the two drivers nearly touched on lap 21. The next lap, Lasoski used traffic to get the lead.
Kinser got second on lap 24, but could not make a move on Lasoski.
A couple of late yellows gave Kinser two more chances, but Lasoski had enough to notch the win.
"I'm proud of this Roth Motorsports team," said Lasoski, who hugged his car owners upon climbing out of his ride. "It's pretty cool to have Dennis and Teresa here. They drove all the way up from Fresno."
Dennis Roth was extremely pleased with Lasoski's win.
"That's a wonderful gift," Roth said.
Lasoski and the other drivers stayed in close proximity and traded slide jobs throughout the race.
"It seemed like we were in lapped traffic from lap 5 on, Lasoski said. "I just went where they weren't."
On the final restarts, Lasoski was fully aware of who was in second.
"Anytime you've got 0x2858The King' behind you, you're concerned," Lasoski said. "I didn't know which lane he might be coming from."
Kinser came close to his fourth Elma win in his last five tries.
"We slid around a little bit," Kinser said. "We missed it just a little. We had a slight miss in the engine, and we missed the setup. I was a little bit off, high and low."
After Lasoski opened up a gap on the first restart near the end, Kinser knew the second restart offered him one last opportunity.
"I was going to try," Kinser said. "Everybody was pretty close to the same out there."
Crockett, a four-time Northern Sprint Tour champion, was trying to take a big impression and started off the night right by setting fast time with a lap of 11.933 seconds. He also won his trophy dash.
"We were pretty good," Crockett said. "Traffic got me the lead back, and it cost me the lead back. But you can't be disappointed to lose to Lasoski and Kinser."
Still, there was a tinge of disappointment in the Oregon driver's voice.
"It is a little bit disappointing," he acknowledged. "We led more laps than anyone else. I wanted to win. If someone had said at the beginning of the night we would have been third, we would have been thrilled. This run was huge. It definitely gives us a lot of confidence."
Crockett earned praise from Friday's race winner.
"Roger Crockett did a good job, and was doing his job right," Lasoski said. "Sometimes lapped traffic can bite you. Sometimes it's better to be second."
McMahan looked poised to collect his first win for a while.
"We were pretty good early," he said. "We got held up in lapped traffic. I didn't know which way to go. Obviously I didn't pick the right line. We had a great car the first 15 or 20 laps. We were all pretty equal out there. Danny just got through traffic better."
Trophy dashes were won by Crockett and McMahan, with Crockett choosing to start on the outside pole for the main event.
Heat races were won by Jason Sides, Brian Paulus, Tim Kaeding and Lasoski. Crockett was the fastest of 44 qualifiers. The B-main was won by Steve Kent, while the C-main was won by Randy Van Aagten.
The Elma doubleheader concludes Saturday evening at Grays Harbor Raceway. As usual with NST two-day shows, no spots are locked in from Friday. After Saturday, the series next races Aug. 29 at Cottage Grove Speedway in Cottage Grove, Ore.