Lasoski Harvests Calistoga Preliminary Feature Win Calistoga, CA-September 2, 2006 -- Danny Lasoski loves big half-mile ovals like Calistoga Speedway and it showed on Saturday night. He executed a perfect move to swipe the lead and then kept ...
Lasoski Harvests Calistoga Preliminary Feature Win
Calistoga, CA-September 2, 2006 -- Danny Lasoski loves big half-mile ovals like Calistoga Speedway and it showed on Saturday night. He executed a perfect move to swipe the lead and then kept his Hoosier tires cool during a green-white-checkered finish to capture the World of Outlaws Harvest Classic preliminary feature.
Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion, started on the outside of Row 2 in the Roth Motorsports Eagle and quickly surged to the front, sliding under Paul McMahan in Turn 1 on Lap 7 and charging down the backstretch to extend his advantage.
McMahan hung on to finish second in the Bass Pro Shops Eagle while Craig Dollansky's Karavan Trailers/Team Race Chic Maxim and Joey Saldana's Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI earned the remaining positions to be locked into the main event on Sunday night. Randy Hannagan's Penthouse Racing Maxim rounded out the top-five.
"This car has been working real good," Lasoski said. "Dennis Roth gave us a great opportunity to capitalize on it this race. I took off real hard, and looked down at my tires and it was going on the left, so I knew my right rear was going too. I was at half throttle the last few laps, just so I would make it."
McMahan left nothing on the table on the last restart with just two laps to go. He pulled along side Lasoski a couple times and nearly made the pass for the lead in the first turn. While he came up one position short on Saturday night, it added motivation for Sunday night in front of many fans that have seen him come up through ranks. Before moving to Nashville, Tenn., the Golden State was home for him.
"I gave it my one shot and didn't make it," McMahan said. "We're going to come back tomorrow as strong as ever and try to pull one off."
Dollansky, who always strives to be standing in RacinSoles Victory Lane at the end of the night, was happy with a solid third place run, as he looked ahead to Sunday night. He secured for himself a spot in the second row of the dash of the finale. He lined up sixth for the preliminary feature and used a combination of patience and a fast race-car to work his way to the front.
"It's definitely good to be locked in for tomorrow night," Dollansky said. "Considering we qualified 12th and had to start in the back of the dash and work our way up throughout the night, it was a good run for the Karavan car."
Lasoski who started fourth in the 25-lap event, passed a car on each of the first two laps to move into the runner-up spot. He then set his sights on McMahan, and caught him in traffic on the sixth circuit, and made the pass for lead and ultimately the win on lap 7.
"It looked like he slid a little bit and I had a good run on him," said Lasoski. "The car was running flawlessly. This track was very abrasive."
For Lasoski who enjoys every win he gets, the victory had added meaning, because his car owner Dennis Roth who hails from California was in attendance and greeted him in RacinSoles Victory Lane.
"I am elated that we can win for Dennis," said Lasoski. "He is a great supporter of sprint car racing, and a fantastic owner."
With the win in the preliminary feature, Lasoski locked himself into the top starting spot in Sunday night?s dash, which will determine the top-10 starting spots for the finale of the Harvest Classic, an event he has won three times in the past. With his win on Saturday night, the native of Dover, Mo., now has eight wins on the half-mile situated in the beautiful win country of Northern California.
"It really does take the pressure off (being locked in)," said Lasoski. "We'll just keep an eye on the race track and work from there."
While most of the other drivers including the leader were sweating out the last few laps to see if they had enough tires left, Paul McMahan had no such worries. He knew his team went with a little different choice of tires than most of the other teams and he was confident with that decision. He led the first seven laps en route to a very solid finish on the always demanding track that can be tough on even the most seasoned of veterans.
"We had plenty of tire left," said McMahan. "We put a little bit harder tire on than everybody else. I've been here so many times, that I know exactly what this place does. Jimmy Carr and the crew gave me a great race car all night long from hot laps on. We'll just come back and try again tomorrow."
After qualifying eighth on Saturday night, the native of Nashville, Tenn., will not have to worry about that on Sunday, as he will not have to take part in time trials or heat race action.
"It kind of takes the pressure off, but also adds some pressure to you, since you don?t get many laps on the race track before the start of the night," McMahan said. "We'll come in relaxed and try to stay as relaxed as possible. Hopefully we get a good jump on the start (of the dash). I don't care if I start on the inside or outside of the front row. We?ll just come back as strong as ever. The Bass Pro Shops car was really good. I really want to win one here at home. We have been really good, and we had the best car tonight."
Dollansky had one of the fastest cars on the track at the end of the race, as he closed on Lasoski and McMahan coming to the checkers. While he knew that tires would come into play and possibly be a concern, he put that to the back of his mind and just focused on getting everything he could out of his car. He staged a good battle with Saldana in the closing laps.
"You always have to worry about that (tires) at Calistoga," said Dollansky. "It's something that happens here and everybody knows it, and you just hope for the best."
Dollansky, who has finished third in the last four races he has taken part in, gained valuable information that his team can use on Sunday night as they prepare for the A-Feature.
"It was a good race car and I was very happy with it," said Dollansky. "The track changed and rubbered up, and it is unfortunate when a track does that, but that's just part of it. All in all, these guys made a good tire choice. We'll just have to watch the race track tomorrow and see what we have, and hopefully improve a couple spots."
Saldana nursed a car with a right rear tire going down home after a restart with two laps to go on the demanding half-mile. Showing his skill and years of experience, the winner of the 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award Presented by Maxim Racing and ButlerBuilt, skillfully wheeled his way into a solid starting spot on Sunday night in the dash. When he climbed from his car, he knew the tired probably would not have made too many more laps.
"It had a little bit in it," said Saldana. "When I gassed it up, it felt like it was getting something in it. Once I went into the corner, it would just fall on the wheel. I'm glad it was only two laps (to go) and not three."
The plan is simple for Sunday night, as Saldana who drives for NASCAR star Kasey Kahne, looks for his eighth win of the season.
"The key tomorrow night is get by one or two cars and to keep advancing your starting spot," Saldana said.
Randy Hannagan, who hails from San Jose, turned in a very solid run in front of his home state fans. He lined up 10th for the 25-lap preliminary feature and was just one spot short of being locked in for Sunday night by coming home fifth. His countless laps at the track came in handy during qualifying, as he turned in the second quickest time.
Dion Hindi who won the dash to earn his second pole position of the season came home in sixth. He ran in the top-five for a majority of the event in the Realtruck.com J&J.
Daryn Pittman finished a very strong seventh after losing an engine in his heat race. After his team put in a great effort of changing the engine, he finished third in the B-Main to race his way into the preliminary feature. He brought the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim home in seventh.
The rest of the top-10 was Terry McCarl in eighth in the Big Game Treestands Eagle, Jac Haudenschild in ninth in the Wright One Construction Maxim, and Jeremy Campbell was 10th in the Americas Best Value Inn Maxim.
CALISTOGA SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK NIGHT #1
* FAST QUALIFIER: Joey Saldana paced the 29 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 1/2-mile semi-banked oval at 16.480 seconds at 109.223 mph. Because the event is a multi-day show with varying championship point totals on each night, no qualifying bonus points are awarded.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Jac Haudenschild, Steve Kent, and Tony Bruce Jr. Becca Anderson won the B-Main. Dion Hindi picked up the win in the dash.