NST: Knoxville Nationals finale report

Lasoski center of attention after eventful night at Knoxville KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- Danny Lasoski didn't win Saturday night's 46th annual Super Clean Knoxville Nationals, but he still created quite the buzz. Lasoski, a four-time winner of the ...

Lasoski center of attention after eventful night at Knoxville

KNOXVILLE, Iowa -- Danny Lasoski didn't win Saturday night's 46th annual Super Clean Knoxville Nationals, but he still created quite the buzz.

Lasoski, a four-time winner of the event, steadily marched through the 24-car field after starting shotgun for the 30-lap event.

But that isn't half the story.

The real story, the one that led to a scuffle with his own dad in the pits, was Lasoski's moves to grab the fourth and final transfer spot out of the B-main.

Lasoski was set to start 20th in the B-main, but had to start last in that race after jumping the initial start. The winner of 88 feature events at the famed Iowa half-mile made a furious charge through the field.

In the closing laps, he made others furious.

With six laps to go, Lasoski closed on Kerry Madsen, who himself was reeling in Brian Brown for the final transfer spot.

In turn 3, Lasoski bumped Madsen in the left rear. The contact sent Madsen over the turn 4 berm, at which point the patriotic-themed Selma Shell car flipped.

"I just got taken out," said Madsen, who was uninjured. "There were six laps to go, and I was catching Brian (Brown). The guy behind me had the opportunity to take me out, and he did.

"It's a big disappointment we didn't make the main event," Madsen added. "It's disappointing being taken out of our chance at the biggest race of the year. Oh well, there's next year."

Lasoski, who was not penalized for the contact, had more to come.

On the restart, Lasoski and Brown -- his nephew -- made contact in turn 3, which sent Lasoski spinning. Under yellow, Lasoski and Brown repeated made gestures and tried hitting each other.

Lasoksi maintained fifth -- much to the displeasure of the already upset crowd -- and got by Brown on the next restart to grab the final transfer spot behind Jeff Shepard, Shane Stewart and Terry McCarl.

"It was just good, fun family racing," Brown said. "I agree I turned down on him. I admit it 150 percent. I was trying to make the Knoxville Nationals. I was fading, and he was coming on. I was trying to slow his charge and protect my ground."

Lasoski wasn't exactly apologetic after the incidents, and was yelled at by his irate father George in the pits as plenty of pushing and shoving ensued.

While Donny Schatz and Joey Saldana battled up front for the $140,000 top prize, Lasoski and Steve Kinser rolled through the A-main field from the back.

The initial start was brought back after Jason Solwold came to a stop in turn 3. It appeared Solwold slowed slightly before being hit by Kaley Gharst.

"He hit me," a disgusted Solwold fumed. "It was his inexperience, especially in a big race. We were way better than (Friday) night. I was just snake bit by some kid."

On the restart, Tim Kaeding spun in turn 4 after avoiding contact with another car.

"I just screwed up," Kaeding said. "I tried to turn back across the track and spun. That's all she wrote. I spun and spun and spun. We just keep making mistakes, one after another. I just wanted to finish decent. I made the show, that's all that matters."

Jason Meyers ran third a good portion of the race as Saldana and Schatz battled up front. Schatz ended up finally taking his first Nationals win after four runner-up finishes. Behind Schatz were Saldana, Jason Johnson, Lasoski, Meyers and Kinser.

"I've been working a lot on my patience," Schatz said. "Joey set a real good pace there. It's awesome to be able to race with him. This is the biggest chapter of my life right here."

While Schatz was jubilant in victory lane, Lasoski quickly talked with his crew before trying to take off.

"I don't want to talk," snapped Lasoski, who had a heated exchange with another family member before leaving.

Lasoski's crew was in good spirits after gaining 20 spots each in the B- and A-mains.

"We just needed more laps," crew member Steven Tiner said. "We came up as far as we could go. We were expecting to win the deal (after the B-main). We knew we could win with Danny. He runs this place so well. We wouldn't have been as confident elsewhere."

Meyers was hoping for more than fifth.

"It's disappointing," he said. "We kind of got tight. I made a couple of mistakes and it cost us. Everyone on the crew did a great job. We had a third place car. I made two little mistakes. When you get to dicing with people, it takes away your momentum. Since my car was tight, that screwed me up."

Meyers wasn't surprised when one of the mistakes let Lasoski slip by late.

"You can always look for Danny on the bottom," Meyers said. "It's nothing new."

Kinser, the 12-time Nationals winner, moved up well early before ending up sixth.

"I caught the middle and got up through the field, but I killed the tires doing it," Kinser said. "I should of went to the bottom and stayed there. I could have been third, but that happens. I got in the wrong place."

Stewart finished 17th after his strong performance in the B-main.

"We had a way better car than (17th), I tell you," he said. "I messed up on the second lap going into turn 3, and that killed my momentum. After that, I was trying to keep from getting lapped. We had a better car, but we didn't have anything to show for it."

Other NST finishers in the main event were Paul McMahan (11th), Kaeding (14th), and Brian Paulus (23rd). Solwold was credited with 24th.

Paulus was okay after slamming the wall on the frontstretch.

"I broke the axle off turn 4, and spun around," he said. "We lost our brakes a couple of laps before, but they started to come back."

-credit: nst

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About this article
Series Sprint
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Brian Brown , Brian Paulus , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Tim Kaeding , Jason Johnson