Delta Bowl: Preliminary race report

Greg Hodnett dominates Delta Bowl Preliminary. TUNICA, MS (October 17) -- Greg Hodnett, a Tennesseean who has become the leader of the Pennsylvania Posse, dominated the Preliminary Feature Friday when the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series opened...

Greg Hodnett dominates Delta Bowl Preliminary.

TUNICA, MS (October 17) -- Greg Hodnett, a Tennesseean who has become the leader of the Pennsylvania Posse, dominated the Preliminary Feature Friday when the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series opened its inaugural event at Delta Bowl Speedway.

Hodnett, the series' Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year in 1993, led all 25 laps from the pole to win his first O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series feature race of the season. Ten drivers have won Preliminary Features this year.

"It's tough to race in Pennsylvania and have a family in Bartlett, (TN)" Hodnett said. "There are times that I cannot come home during the summer because we race so much during the week. From mid-March until mid-August, I was home 15 days total.

"This really feels good. I haven't been able to race around here in five, six, maybe even seven years, and to win in front of my friends and family here in the stands is great. I have to thank Apple Motorsports, Cars by Dealers Magazine and, of course, the Kele guys from Bartlett. This car has been awesome all year."

Hodnett, the ninth-fastest qualifier in the 42-car field, won his third Dash Race of the season for the privilege of starting the Preliminary Feature on the pole. He drove the #12 Apple Motorsports Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event and lapped 15 of the 24 cars in the race.

Hodnett surged ahead of fellow Tennesseean Sammy Swindell to take the lead early in the opening lap, but Donny Schatz hit the retaining wall and stopped in turn two before the leaders crossed the finish line.

Swindell drove the #1 Ore-Cal J&J into the lead as the green flag replaced the yellow, only to have Hodnett pass him deep in the second corner. Hodnett was 12 car-lengths ahead of Swindell when he entered lapped traffic four laps into the race.

O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser, whose #11 Quaker State Maxim was smoking early in the race, took the low line through turns three and four to pass Second Heat Race winner Paul McMahan and Jason Sides for fourth place late in lap 11. Kinser's second cousin, Mark, passeded He

Sides for fifth place with an inside move between the first and second corners 1½ laps later.

Danny Lasoski, who set Delta Bowl Speedway's single-lap record with a 103.252-M.P.H. lap around the high-banked, 1/3-mile oval, passed Swindell for the runner-up spot deep in turn one early the 14th lap.

Jac Haudenschild took the leaders out lapped traffic and tightened the field three laps later when mechanical problems forced him to stop on the front straightaway. Mark Kinser challenged his cousin for fourth place as the race resumed, but was unable to surge ahead.

The Kinser cousins pulled off similar slide moves between the first and second corners to pass Swindell for third and fourth place during laps 19 and 21.

Hodnett was a straightaway ahead of "The Dude" when he caught the back-markers with 2½ laps remaining, and coasted to the $5,000 victory.

"I had no idea how far ahead I was at the end," Hodnett said. "I didn't feel very good in traffic, especially when the car would get down on the left front, so I was just trying to take care to not make any mistakes. Being locked in for tomorrow is everything in this series when you have the caliber of competition that runs day in and day out. We'll just have to come back tomorrow and try it again. My guys have worked hard all year long, and they deserve a good weekend."

Lasoski's runner-up run marked the first time he finished ahead of Steve Kinser since the Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway in early September. Mark Kinser finished fourth, ahead of Swindell, Jason Meyers, McMahan, Sides, 14th-starting Kelly Kinser and Third Heat Race winner Brian Brown.

Meyers was leading the Third Heat Race when the engine in the #7 VMAC Maxim lost power. With a new engine, the 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series Rookie of the Year raced past 13 cars to finish sixth in the Preliminary Feature.

Jeff Shepard finished 16th in his debut with C&W Motorsports. Mechanical problems kept Danny Wood from qualifying for the evening's main event as he drove the #66 Trop Artic Eagle for the first time.

Daron Clayton hit the wall and flipped over the turn-two guardrail early in the First Dash Race. He was uninjured, but his #92 sprinter was too severely damaged to start the Preliminary Feature. Mike Ward replaced Clayton at the rear of the field and finished 23rd in the evening's main event.

-WoO- k

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Brian Brown , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Paul McMahan , Daron Clayton , Jac Haudenschild