Knoxville: Friday Spring Classic Prelim report

Lasoski takes Spring Classic Preliminary. KNOXVILLE, IA (April 25) -- Danny Lasoski opened a 50-point lead on defending and 17-time O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser Friday while winning the Preliminary Feature on opening ...

Lasoski takes Spring Classic Preliminary.

KNOXVILLE, IA (April 25) -- Danny Lasoski opened a 50-point lead on defending and 17-time O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series champion Steve Kinser Friday while winning the Preliminary Feature on opening night of the Spring Classic at Knoxville Raceway.

"The Dude," who has won seven track championships at Knoxville Raceway, drove NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle past pole-sitter Kerry Madsen early in the second lap and overcame engine trouble to win his first Preliminary Feature of the season.

"That motor was done before the last caution (with two laps remaining)," Lasoski said following the 79th victory of his career at the legendary half-mile oval. "We got very lucky here tonight. I half-expected it to lay down when the green came back out, but we were able to hang on to one tonight.

"It's great to win on American Compressed Steel night here at Knoxville. Tony Ross and his whole crew have been just like family to me, and they're a big part of this J.D. Byrider team. We're just glad to win, and it couldn't come at a better place than the sprint car capital of the world."

Lasoski, who leads the O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series with seven fast times, was the seventh-fastest qualifier in the 56-car field. He followed Tim Shaffer and Madsen across the finish line in the Second Heat Race and earned the right to start the 25-lap feature outside the front row by winning the Second Dash Race.

Madsen burst into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. "The Dude," who is famous for racing in the low groove, took the inside line past Madsen between the first and second corners the next time around and led the final 23 2/3 laps for the $5,000 victory.

Donny Schatz, who won Preliminary Features during the Knoxville Nationals the last two years, used a similar move to pass Madsen for second place early in lap three.

Kinser, who won his 12th Knoxville Nationals championship last August, passed Brooke Tatnell and Madsen during the fifth and sixth laps to take over third place.

Lasoski was 1.4 seconds ahead of Schatz when he entered lapped traffic seven laps into the race. Shaffer steered Dennis Roth's #83 Beef Packers Eagle into the low groove to pass Tatnell and Madsen later in the seventh lap.

First Heat Race winner Craig Dollansky, a former regular in Knoxville's weekly racing program, passed Tatnell for fifth place deep in turn two early in lap 16.

Tyler Walker, who started inside the 10th row, drove the #35 C&W Motorsports Maxim into the low groove between the third and fourth corners to pass Tatnell for sixth place four laps later.

Walker, Dollansky and Madsen were battling for fifth place late in the 23rd lap when Dollansky and Madsen collided. Walker spun in turn four to avoid crashing, bringing out the caution flag. The 2002 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion came back to finish 11th.

"The Dude" controlled the restart and was 3.8 seconds ahead of Schatz' #15 Parker Stores J&J when he took the checkered flag. Lasoski's engine lost power during his victory lap, forcing him to stop in the third corner.

Kinser finished in third place, ahead of Shaffer, Tatnell, 12th-starting Travis Cram, Craig Dollansky, Madsen, Johnny Herrera and P.J. Chesson.

Mark Kinser, who won Knoxville Nationals championships in 1996, 1999 and 2000, raced into 12th place from inside the 11th row.

Schatz paced the qualifying session with a 114.935-M.P.H. lap around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval.

Joey Saldana, who won the "A" Feature at The Raceway at Powercom Park Tuesday, was the second-fastest qualifier. Engine problems in his #17 Eagle Raceway MCI kept him from starting the Second Heat Race. The 1996 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year won the "B" Feature and passed four cars to finish 13th in the evening's main event.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Brooke Tatnell , Joey Saldana , Kerry Madsen , P.J. Chesson , Johnny Herrera