Lasoski Wins Second Nationals Title in Four Years KNOXVILLE, IA (August 11) -- Although it required plenty of soul searching, Danny Lasoski knew he was making the correct decision when he joined NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's new sprint...
Lasoski Wins Second Nationals Title in Four Years
KNOXVILLE, IA (August 11) -- Although it required plenty of soul searching, Danny Lasoski knew he was making the correct decision when he joined NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's new sprint car team and reunited with Jimmy Carr last November.
Lasoski was especially thankful to his car owner and his longtime crew chief Saturday after winning the Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals for the second time in four years.
"This one's for you, Tony," Lasoski yelled from victory lane after leading all 30 laps to claim the $125,000 first prize at Knoxville Raceway. "I'm so thankful Tony had faith in us. I couldn't have done this without my man Jimmy Carr. He's one fine crew chief.
"The car was perfect. I could go anywhere I wanted to go. I went to the bottom -- you know where 'The Catfish' likes to run."
Carr was also a member of Lasoski's crew when he drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle to victory in sprint car racing's premier race in 1998. Joey Saldana, who joined the Beef Packers team in May, followed "The Dude" and three-time Nationals champion Mark Kinser under the checkered flag in Saturday's championship feature.
TNN: The National Network taped all the action for a Sunday afternoon telecast.
The race was only a few seconds old when disaster struck pole-sitter Donny Schatz, who dominated the Thursday and Friday programs. Schatz, the runner-up in the 2000 Nationals, spun, flipped and crashed with Brad Furr in the first and corner after the left rear tire on the #15 Parker Stores J&J was peeled from its rim. The stunned Schatz was transported to Knoxville Area Community Hospital and was released an hour later.
Mark Kinser restarted in the pole position, and drove the #5M Mopar Maxim into the lead as the green flag replaced the red. Another turn-one crash -- this one involving Craig Dollansky -- forced a third double-file start.
Kinser burst into the lead again, only to have Lasoski drive the #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle around him high in the third corner late in the opening lap. "The Dude," who surprisingly raced around the rim of the legendary half-mile oval early, opened a 1.5-second advantage within four laps.
Kinser was catching Lasoski when they entered lapped traffic during the ninth lap, but moving into the low groove during the race's middle stages enabled "The Dude" to build a comfortable lead again.
Kinser, who passed Schatz for the lead following a 25th-lap red period a year ago, appeared to have the break he needed when Kerry Madsen stopped on the front stretch late in the 20th lap. Four lapped cars lined up between "Mopar Mark" and Lasoski when the race resumed, however, providing "The Dude" with an invaluable buffer.
Lasoski was unaffected when a 25th-lap caution for the mechanical problems in Sammy Swindell's #1 Channellock Stealth cost him a 6.5-second advantage. He opened a 3.3-second lead within two laps after the race resumed and coasted to glory.
Lasoski's victory on Hoosier tires snapped Goodyear's 15-year winning streak at the Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals.
"I didn't know how close Mark was," Lasoski said. "I never saw anybody or heard anybody; I just ran my own race."
Stevie Smith finished in fourth place, ahead of Terry McCarl, 13th-starting Tim Shaffer, Paul McMahan, Jason Meyers, Randy Hannagan and Sean Michael.
Eleven-time Nationals champion Steve Kinser drove his #11 Quaker State/NAPA Auto Parts Maxim through the field after being involved in the first-lap crash with Schatz, Furr and Dollansky to finish 11th.
World of Outlaws Gumout Series regular Mike Goodman was leading the Channellock "B" Feature when he lost his left rear wheel and crashed with Kasey Kahne on the back straightaway. Johnny Herrera, who crashed with Ed Lynch, Jr., as they steered clear of Goodman and Kahne, suffered a broken left shoulder.
Furr, a Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series, made quite a splash before racing started, receiving the Best Appearing Crew Award. His #2F Sanmina Eagle painted like a green circuit board received the Best Appearing Car award.
Jason Sides, who ranks second in the World of Outlaws Gumout Series standings, finished seventh in the "B" Feature and received the Rookie of the Nationals award.
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will open its annual Wild, Wild Northwest Tour at MetraPark Raceway in Billings, MT, Tuesday, then run a double-feature event at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma, WA, Friday and Saturday.