Calistoga: Harvest Classic finale report

Lasoski takes points lead with Harvest Classic sweep. CALISTOGA, CA (August 31) -- Danny Lasoski regained the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points lead Sunday when he led all 30 laps to complete his sweep of the 11th Annual Harvest Classic at...

Lasoski takes points lead with Harvest Classic sweep.

CALISTOGA, CA (August 31) -- Danny Lasoski regained the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points lead Sunday when he led all 30 laps to complete his sweep of the 11th Annual Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway.

Lasoski, who won both Preliminary Features, received $20,000 for winning his 10th main event victory of the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series' Silver Anniversary Season. "The Dude" passed Steve Kinser in the standings, and takes a 16-point advantage into Tuesday's race at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, CA.

"I've never had a weekend like this," said Lasoski, who also won the 2000 Harvest Classic. "My hat's off to the entire J.D. Byrider crew, with Jimmy Carr leading the way. I get a little excited sometimes, and he calms me down. I rely on him 100%. He's not only my crew chief, but my best friend as well. I have to thank Paul Kistler, Jerry Russell from Eagle Chassis and Hoosier Tires. They make it possible for me to be out here.

"That 11 (Kinser) team works hard, just like my team works hard. They had some misfortune this week, and we have other times this year. The bottom line is that it's going to be exciting the rest of the year, and hopefully when it's all said and done we'll be out front. Tony (Stewart, his car owner) had a long day today, so I'll call him at home and let him know we got the sweep at his favorite California track."

Lasoski burst into the lead from the pole as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Paul McMahan took the low line into the second corner to pass Donny Schatz for third place several seconds later.

Joey Saldana, who started outside the front row, lost the muffler off his family's #17 Eagle Raceway Maxim early in the second lap. McMahan ran over the muffler, which cut his right rear tire and sent him into the retaining wall in turn one. Saldana was scored 24th for losing his muffler, while the front-end damage to the #11H Vivarin Maxim kept McMahan from continuing.

Lasoski raced way from Schatz as the race resumed, and was approaching lapped traffic when Sparky Howard spun in the fourth corner three laps later. Sammy Swindell, who swept the 1997 Harvest Classic, was challenging Schatz for second place when Third Heat Race winner Brad Furr stopped on the back stretch with a blow engine late in the 10th lap.

Kinser, who started inside the 10th row, drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Second Heat Race winner Daryn Pittman for eighth place deep in the second corner as the green flag replaced the yellow. Pittman passed Kinser, then took seventh place when Tim Kaeding jumped the cushion in turn four late in lap 11.

Brent Kaeding spun into the wall in the first corner two laps later, bringing out the caution flag. Tim Shaffer, who won the "B" Feature and started outside the sixth row in the main event, took the high line around Jason Meyers and Beef Packers teammate Sammy Swindell to take over fourth place during the 14th lap.

"The Dude" was a straightaway ahead of Schatz when he entered lapped traffic 19 laps into the race. Schatz, whose crew replaced the engine in his #15 Parker Stores J&J before the Dash Race, cut Lasoski's advantage in half in dense lapped traffic two laps later, then lined up behind the leader after Andy Forsberg stopped in turn four late in lap 22.

Shaffer and Pittman passed Herrera for third and fourth place during the 23rd and 24th laps, before Swindell surrendered the eighth position when he lost his right rear wheel. At the same time, a mechanical malfunction caused Tim Kaeding to hit the wall in the fourth corner and flip.

Lasoski controlled the final restart, and took the checkered flag half a straightaway ahead of Schatz.

"This weekend is the best run I have ever had at Calistoga," Schatz said. "I'm really pleased to come away with a strong, second-place finish. I had to fend off challenges from some really strong cars the whole race. My crew gave me superb cars all weekend. The track kept changing, so I had to adjust quickly in the car. The deal with these cars is you don't get pit stops to make changes once the race starts, so you have to just put your mind to driving what you have underneath you. I had a great car and we got a good finish."

Shaffer raced past nine cars to claim third place. Pittman finished in fourth place, ahead of Herrera, Meyers, Kinser, Randy Hannagan, 15th-starting Dennis Moore, Jr. and Jason Sides.

Following Tuesday's $51,600 event at Thunderbowl Raceway, the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series will sanction the 50th Annual Gold Cup Race of Champions Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Tim Kaeding , Andy Forsberg