"The Dude" just misses his first "Kings Royal" Crown, retakes point lead. Sprint Car star hopes to take command in annual "Month of Money". CONCORD, NC (July 25, 2002) -- It was an "oh, so close" feeling for defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws...
"The Dude" just misses his first "Kings Royal" Crown, retakes point lead.
Sprint Car star hopes to take command in annual "Month of Money".
CONCORD, NC (July 25, 2002) -- It was an "oh, so close" feeling for defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws champion Danny "The Dude" Lasoski, as he nearly pulled off his first Eldora Speedway sprint car win. And it would have been a big one; the $50,000-to-win "Kings Royal." After leading the opening 19 laps of Saturday night's feature, Lasoski was slowed by lapped traffic and passed by eventual winner Joey Saldana. The loss was bittersweet, though, as Lasoski finished second for the second straight time at Eldora and left the fast half-mile with the World of Outlaws points lead. "The Dude" has been the points leader six different times in 2002.
"It was a pretty good weekend, but I just hate to be that close and not be able to grab the victory," said Lasoski, who has admitted not liking the Eldora racetrack. "We have always struggled at this racetrack, but most of the time it has been just the driver's fault. Once again, this entire J.D. Byrider/Tony Stewart Motorsports team gave me a great car that could have won. Things just weren't in our favor this weekend, but we are keeping our heads up and moving down the road. We did come out of the weekend with the points lead again, but I know Steve (Kinser), he will be back and we will swap the points battle a couple more times this year, I am sure. I just hate being that close (to the win) for my guys; they deserved this win."
Lasoski and the J.D. Byrider/Tony Stewart Motorsports qualified 14th for the "Kings Royal," but more than made up for it in the qualifying races. He finished second in the heat race and first in their O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash and that gave them the outside pole for the feature. It was a big evening following a disappointing preliminary night, where Lasoski had to qualify for the Eldora Clash through his victory in the "B" main.
Lasoski jumped out in front of pole-sitter Kasey Kahne and led the first 19 laps before lapped traffic allowed Saldana to close and pass the Eagle Chassis sprinter. A late caution allowed "The Dude" to close up, but he was never able to get the run he needed and finished second in the "A-Main" again. Back in June, Lasoski just missed his first Eldora win by finishing second to Steve Kinser.
"Jimmy Carr-- what can I say-- he is the man that makes this machine work," Lasoski said about his crew chief. "Massey Motorsports, American Compressed Steel, Eagle Chassis, Hoosier Tires and Kistler Engines all give me the equipment that I need to win. We are gaining on this track and I am starting to let everyone know that there is no more intimidation there. Even though we didn't' win the top prize, to come out of here with another second-place finish and the points lead is pretty good and is a major accomplishment for this team. We never give up. We had a bad night on Friday, but we bounced right back. That is the look of a championship caliber team."
Lasoski scored another top-10 finish at Lernerville Speedway (PA) on Tuesday night. He and the rest of the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series continue its annual "Month of Money" tonight with a triple-program event at Williams Grove (PA) Speedway Thursday through Saturday.
Fans can follow the action this weekend via the internet at www.sprintcarnet.com and look for results at www.dannylasoski.com