Heartland Park: Postponed feature report

'Dude' completes 97 Country Outlaws Nationals sweep. TOPEKA, KS (June 24) -- Danny Lasoski ignored the disappointment of crashing and losing the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead in the Eagle Nationals finale, and rebounded in a big...

'Dude' completes 97 Country Outlaws Nationals sweep.

TOPEKA, KS (June 24) -- Danny Lasoski ignored the disappointment of crashing and losing the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead in the Eagle Nationals finale, and rebounded in a big way Monday.

"The Dude" led all 35 laps in the main event to complete his sweep of the 97 Country Outlaws Nationals at O'Reilly Auto Parts Motor Speedway. The feature program was originally scheduled for June 15th, but was postponed by rain.

Lasoski's eighth "A" Feature victory of the season was threatened with 11 1/3 laps, when he hit an infield marker, which bent the drag link on the #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle. "The Dude" doubled his advantage, however, and beat Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser under the checkered flag by 2.8 seconds.

"Jay Lendrum and his whole staff have done a great job with this race track," Lasoski "said in victory lane. "It's wide enough that you can run the top or the bottom. I hope all these fans enjoyed the show.

"The J.D. Byrider, American Compressed Steel, Massey Motorsports Eagle chassis with Hoosier tires and a Kistler engine was great tonight. I had to go and hit that tire down there, and for the last 10 laps I could barely hang onto the thing. I'm just glad we could get a win here close to my hometown."

Lasoski, who won the preliminary feature when the 97 Country Outlaws Nationals opened June 14th, earned the right to start the main event on the pole by winning his 10th O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash of the year. He burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature and was 1.4 seconds ahead of his closest pursuers when he entered lapped traffic seven laps into the race.

Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim past Craig Dollansky deep in the fourth corner late in lap 10 to take over third place. Stevie Smith passed Dollansky in the low groove between turns one and two several seconds later.

Bob Bennett took the leaders out of lapped traffic midway through the 11th lap when he spun on the back straightaway. Three lapped cars separated "The Dude" and second-place Donny Schatz when the race resumed.

"The King of the Outlaws" continued his run toward the front five laps after the race resumed, passing Schatz for the runner-up spot deep in turn two. Kinser was 3.9 seconds behind when Lasoski caught the back-markers a second time during lap 17.

Kinser narrowed the gap to 2.8 seconds within three laps and was only 1.4 seconds behind when Lasoski hit the large tractor tire marking the infield in turn three late in the 24th lap.

Joey Saldana, who lowered the qualifying standard by .296 seconds with a 117.391-M.P.H. lap around the semi-banked 3/8-mile oval, exchanged fourth place with Smith during the 27th and 28th laps. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year award winner passed Smith in the low groove between turns three and four, only to have the 1990 Rookie of the Year take the high line around him in the same spot one lap later. Dollansky and Daryn Pittman passed Saldana for fifth and sixth place during laps 29 and 34 as Lasoski coasted to victory.

"We have our golf tournament tomorrow to benefit the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation," Lasoski said. "My car owner, Tony Stewart, and Gary Scelzi, Ralph Sheheen -- all my buddies -- flew in here today. I'm glad I could get a win for them. Tony doesn't get to see me race a whole lot, so this means a lot to me.

"We'll go out and have some fun tomorrow. We'll help raise some money, and it just seems like no matter what's going on, my golf game seems to come together at this time of year." Lasoski's team has won the tournament each year since its inception in 1998.

Schatz finished in third place, ahead of Smith, Dollansky, Pittman, Saldana, 13th-starting Mark Kinser, Tim Shaffer and Jac Haudenschild. Schatz' 11th top-five finish of the season pushed him into a sixth-place tie with Smith in the point standings.

Steve Kinser's son, Kraig, was leading the "B" Feature when Brian Carlson slowed ahead of him abruptly. Kraig was unable to steer clear of the #18, collided with Carlson and flipped. The 17-year-old racer was uninjured, but the damage to his #11K Franklin Power Products Maxim kept him from restarting the race.

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Joey Saldana , Jac Haudenschild