Knoxville Friday Prelim report 2005-04-29

Danny Lasoski Picks Up World of Outlaws Sprint Series Preliminary Win At Knoxville Raceway Knoxville, IA -- April 29, 2005 -- Danny Lasoski had been to Victory Lane at Knoxville Raceway an incredible 84 times in his career coming into the World...

Danny Lasoski Picks Up World of Outlaws Sprint Series Preliminary Win At Knoxville Raceway

Knoxville, IA -- April 29, 2005 -- Danny Lasoski had been to Victory Lane at Knoxville Raceway an incredible 84 times in his career coming into the World of Outlaws Sprint Series preliminary feature Friday night.

To pick up his 85th win at the historic half-mile speedway, Lasoski leaned on all his experience and put himself in position for a victory. Running second and gaining on leader Brooke Tatnell, Lasoski jumped in front when Tatnell, who had led from the start of the 20-lap feature, tangled with Jesse Hockett while trying to put Hockett a lap down on the final circuit.

Tatnell, who early on was leading by a full straightaway, went spinning into the outside wall in Turn 2. Lasoski took over the top spot and held off Steve Kinser, Kraig Kinser, six-time Knoxville champion Terry McCarl, and pole-sitter Jac Haudenschild during the green-white-checkered finish. Lasoski, the Steve Kinser Racing duo and McCarl are locked into the top four positions in the Stacker 2® Dash for Saturday night's main event.

"I just knew that he was better than we were in the rubber and I needed lapped traffic to slow him down," said Lasoski, a seven-time track champion at Knoxville who earned his second preliminary feature win of the season. "I just put myself in position to make something happen on that last lap. We were going to be side-by-side when we came off of Turn 2, but that's part of racing.

"[My experience] definitely helps because I knew where I needed to put myself to be in a position to beat him. I had to be with him off of [Turn 2] in order to beat him off of [Turn 4]. If I pushed him out of the rubber, he wasn't any good."

Tatnell knew he had the hard-charging Lasoski and Kinser behind him and was racing aggressively to stay in front.

"We ran in there, and in that deal when you're in front, you can't afford to back off running with those guys," said Tatnell, an Australia native who twice this year has finished second behind Steve Kinser. "[Hockett] got into it and it pushed up a little bit, and that was OK, but he sort of stood on the brakes to try to get himself out of it, and we were there. We said we were here to win and we're here to beat Steve Kinser and Danny Lasoski and tonight we showed people we can do it, but they also showed why they've got 20 championships between the two of them."

Until Tatnell's spin, Steve Kinser had been trying to catch Lasoski in an effort to guarantee a spot in the Stacker 2® Dash Saturday night while at the same time trying to fend off his son, Kraig. On the restart, Steve Kinser turned smooth laps to make certain he would finish in the top four.

"Danny was getting a little bit loose," Steve Kinser said. "I was running him back down a little bit but I wasn't good enough, I couldn't take off. It took me five or six laps to get going. He got me pulled off coming off the start and I couldn't do anything with him. We did the main thing, get both cars locked in. We're still struggling [at Knoxville] just a little bit. We haven't got it right yet, but we'll keep playing with it."

While Lasoski certainly stole the spotlight after Tatnell's spin, but the attention quickly turned to the battle for the final transfer positions into Saturday's Stacker 2® Dash. With two laps to go, McCarl tried to pass Kraig Kinser for third by diving to the bottom in Turns 3 and 4, but he couldn't hold the position and allowed not only Kinser back around but also brought Haudenschild into the mix.

That maneuvering left Kinser in third, and set up a thrilling race to the checkered flag for McCarl and Haudenschild.

"[Tatnell's spin] kind of gave us a little breather when it happened," said Kraig Kinser, who has two feature victories and a preliminary win this season. "I saw him spin and I was just trying to get slowed down enough to get underneath it to make sure I didn't get involved.

"It's just pretty big being locked in. It makes your crew a lot happier with you when you go home at night. They get to sleep in a little bit and can take their time tomorrow to make sure to do everything a little bit better than we would if we had to race earlier."

With the top three positions seemingly solidified, Haudenschild used some momentum on the final lap to swing slightly in front of McCarl coming off of Turn 2. But McCarl surged back ahead and reached the flagstand just inches ahead of Haudenschild.

"I slid Kraig there and I got third so I thought it would give us a little buffer, but he came right back on me and on the last lap I thought if I cruised around the bottom and held my own we would be OK," said McCarl, of nearby Altoona, Iowa. "Boy, Haud got a good run on top and got me off of Turn 2 and I thought, 'Oh, man, did we just give this up?' But he blew it in way too hard in Turn 3, and there was a little tiny bit of rubber coming off of Turn 4 and you had to catch it just right. That was pretty tough to do to not gas it too hard because if you hit it wrong, it made you push real bad so I had to run the throttle until right when I hit that spot and get a good run. I thought I had a shot at it if I could hit it right, and I did. I'm pretty excited about getting locked in."

But nobody was more excited than Lasoski. His Tony Stewart Motorsports team had big expectations entering this season, but finds itself sixth in points. With all his experience at Knoxville, Lasoski was hoping to turn around his luck.

"We knew if we came here and we struggled we had something really, really bad because if there's any place in the country we should be able to get around, it's this place," said Lasoski, the 2001 World of Outlaws champion. "We definitely feel a lot better for winning, but we need to get on a roll and be consistent. Paul Kistler, Jerry Russell, Jimmy Carr, Todd Splain, Mikey Kuemper, all these guys are working endless hours to get this thing figured out. We all hate to lose, and I'm the worst one of the bunch. We have a good race car and a good race team."

One of the hottest race teams continues to be the No. 83 Dennis Roth-owned car with rookie driver Tim Kaeding. A native of San Jose, Calif., Kaeding started the preliminary feature in 20th but managed to race his way to a sixth-place finish that was good enough to move him to ninth in the overall standings and take over the lead in the battle for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award.

With 60 cars going through time trials, qualifying well is crucial at Knoxville. In the Stacker 2® Dash, Haudenschild led from flag to flag while Lasoski tuned up his car for the feature with a second-place finish. In the second Dash, Tatnell and Steve Kinser waged a spirited battle with Brian Paulus making a strong run to edge out Kraig Kinser.

In the B-main, Billy Alley proved he could be competitive by pulling off the win ahead of track record holder Don Droud Jr.

In the C-main, Tim St. Arnold brought out a caution in Turn 3 with three laps to go. On the restart, Stevie Smith snuck past Skip Jackson for the lead and held on to win as Shane Stewart surged into second to pick up the final transfer spot to the B-main.

In the first heat race, Matt Moro grabbed the lead early and held on to win as Mean 15 racer Paul McMahan picked up the final transfer spot. In the second heat, Knoxville Raceway's weekly points leader Wayne Johnson ran away with the victory as Kevin Swindell held on to the final transfer spot. In the third heat, Sammy Swindell raced to the win as Paulus earned the final transfer position. In the fourth heat, Calvin Landis posted a victory as Kerry Madsen grabbed the final transfer spot.

Randy Hannagan and Michael Jones advanced from the D-main to the final two starting spots in the C-main.

Haudenschild paced the 60-car field with a lap around the 1/2-mile oval in 15.882 seconds at 113.357 mph. Don Droud Jr.'s 14.934-second run on Aug. 29, 1998, remains the track record in a World of Outlaws event.

"The car felt real good," Haudenschild said. "We got a good draw and a good starting position, and with these guys it means everything."

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series heads May 6 to Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., May 7 to Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., and May 9 to Tri-State Speedway in Pocola, Okla., before hitting K-C Raceway May 14 in Chillicothe, Ohio, for The Ohio Challenge.

All the action from Knoxville Raceway can be seen at 8 p.m. ET May 11 on The Outdoor Channel. At 8 p.m. on May 4, The Outdoor Channel will broadcast coverage of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series race from 81 Speedway in Wichita, Kan.

If fans can't get to a track to see the series, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series live on Dirtvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network. To listen to the audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo. Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. Companies interested in advertising on the new DIRT Radio Network should contact Mark Noble, DIRT MotorSports VP Sales and Marketing, at 719-884-2141. For technical support or questions, e-mail webmaster@dirtvision.com.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Brian Paulus , Brooke Tatnell , Kerry Madsen , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Shane Stewart , Jesse Hockett , Jac Haudenschild , Wayne Johnson , Tim Kaeding , Mike Jones