Tough-guy Lasoski takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin' "The Dude" makes a trip to the hospital in Charlotte but still races. CONCORD, NC (October 18, 2002) -- It was supposed to be a big weekend for Danny "The Dude" Lasoski and the ...
Tough-guy Lasoski takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'
"The Dude" makes a trip to the hospital in Charlotte but still races.
CONCORD, NC (October 18, 2002) -- It was supposed to be a big weekend for Danny "The Dude" Lasoski and the #20 J.D. Byrider / Tony Stewart Motorsports team. After all, the Pennzoil World of Outlaws was visiting The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway (just outside Charlotte, NC) in the shadows of the big track just next door. The mile-and-a-half track is where Lasoski's team owner, Tony Stewart, was racing his Winston Cup car, but at night Stewart was with Lasoski's team at The Dirt Track. Unfortunately for Stewart and Lasoski, the weekend took a wild turn of events on Friday night during the preliminary night of action.
On Friday night, at the Charlotte Outlaw Championship, Lasoski suffered a freakish accident during the fourth heat race. As Lasoski came into turns one and two, a piece of debris, believed to be a big clump of dirt, came into the car and struck Lasoski's right leg, making it numb instantly. Lasoski pulled to a stop in turns three and four, and was helped into the ambulance. He was suffering from a lot of pain and a loss of feeling in the lower part of his leg.
"(Friday) night was such a shock when that debris came up in the car," said Lasoski, who suffered serious injuries earlier in the year in a separate accident. "It made my leg totally numb. I didn't know if it was broken or what. I had to climb into the ambulance as a precaution, but they have a rule here that if you get in the ambulance, you have to go to the hospital."
Lasoski was transferred to the local hospital, where he was checked out and given the green light to continue racing. The only problem was that Lasoski was at the hospital and his team and car were at the Dirt Track @ Lowe's Motor Speedway with not much time to spare to make the feature.
"When I walked in (the hospital), it was nine minutes 'til 10," said Lasoski. "I told them 'you have 'til 10 or I am walking.' They sent a car from the racetrack to pick me up. I told the driver (Lowe's Motor Speedway's Jerry Gappens) one of two things is happening here. Either you are going to drive the way I say, or I am driving."
Lasoski got to the track just minutes before the feature began. He started 25th and finished ninth.
"It didn't give me the chance to run the "B" (main), so I took a provisional and had to come all the way from the back of the field. My guys never gave up and I am proud of them. But man, for a while, it just made me uncomfortable in the car. "
Lasoski came back on Saturday night to finish second in the "A" feature, which rounded out a dramatic weekend for "The Dude." The second place finish moved Danny back into second in the WoO standings.
"The points race is very important for us and our sponsors. I'll tell you, though, after you have won this thing once--second sucks," exclaimed Lasoski after Saturday night's feature. "It just took the air out of our balloon when we got hurt. It is like the saying goes, 'If you run second, you are the first loser.' We are just hoping to win every race."
Ironically, Saturday night's event wasn't without incident for Lasoski. In the O'Riley Auto Parts Dash, he was hit in the arm after a piece of dirt hit his arm guard. "The arm guard came up and hit my funny bone. These things (cars) beat me up," joked Lasoski.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will sanction the 29th Annual Winter Nationals at Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, TX, Saturday and run a $51,600 event at State Fair Speedway in Oklahoma City, OK, Sunday.
Fans can follow the action this weekend via the internet at www.sprintcarnet.com and look for results at www.dannylasoski.com