'Dude' Regains Points Lead at Knoxville By Richard Day KNOXVILLE, IA (April 28) -- Knoxville Raceway has always brought out the best in Danny Lasoski. The seven-time Knoxville Raceway champion -- in search of his first Pennzoil World of...
'Dude' Regains Points Lead at Knoxville
By Richard Day
KNOXVILLE, IA (April 28) -- Knoxville Raceway has always brought out the best in Danny Lasoski.
The seven-time Knoxville Raceway champion -- in search of his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series title -- regained the points lead Saturday by winning the "A" Feature at his home track.
"It's great to be back at Knoxville!" Lasoski yelled to the capacity crowd from victory lane. "I have to thank my entire crew. Jimmy Carr's one great crew chief -- he works hard all day long -- Al Stevens, David Jones, my dad (George), and I can't thank Tony Stewart enough for helping me put this team together with J.D. Byrider, Massey Motorsports, Hamm America, American Compressed Steel, Hoosier Tires and Eagle Chassis."
Lasoski, who finished third in Friday's Preliminary Feature, earned the front row outside starting position in Saturday's main event by finishing second in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. He passed pole- sitter Craig Dollansky late in the fifth lap and beat him under the checkered flag by 4.3 seconds to claim the $12,000 first prize.
"Craig's been tough all year long, and I knew starting on the bottom he was probably going to take off with the lead," Lasoski said. "I just tried to stay with him in until we got to traffic, then see what happened."
Dollansky drove Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the 30-lap main event. Lasoski took the low line through turns one and two, but was unable to complete the pass.
Manny Rockhold's third-lap spin between the third and fourth corners tightened the field. "The Dude" tried to take over first place in every corner after the green flag replaced the yellow, but was unable to surge ahead.
Lasoski continued to pressure the defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion before driving NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle into the lead deep in turn four late in the fifth lap. "The Dude" entered lapped traffic with a 1.7-second advantage four laps later.
Danny Wood drove the #21W Pepsi Avenger past six cars during the first six laps. He passed fast-qualifier and First O'Reilly Heat Race winner Joey Saldana, then exchanged fourth place with Preliminary Feature runner-up Paul McMahan during the race's middle stages.
Andy Hillenburg, who started outside the ninth row, raced four- abreast down the back straightaway with Jeff Shepard, Wood and Saldana before 17th-starting Mark Kinser passed McMahan and Wood for sixth place deep in turn three during the 17th lap.
Lasoski increased his advantage to 4.6 seconds as Kinser -- the defending Amoco Knoxville Nationals champion -- continued his run toward the front. Kinser and Hillenburg passed Shepard in the high groove early in the 23rd and 25th laps to claim fourth and fifth place.
Dollansky was unable to gain on "The Dude" during the final 10 laps and was 4.3 seconds behind when the checkered flag fell. Lasoski's second "A" Feature victory of the season pushed him one point ahead of Kinser as the series headed to Huset's Speedway for a Sunday evening race.
Lasoski has won a record 74 "A" Features at Knoxville Raceway, including the 1998 Amoco Knoxville Nationals.
Third O'Reilly Heat Race winner Steve Kinser finished in third place, ahead of cousin Mark, Hillenburg, Shepard, Wood, Randy Hannagan, Saldana and McMahan.
Saldana paced the qualifying session with a 119.363-m.p.h. lap around the legendary semi-banked, 1/2-mile oval.
Dale Blaney, who suffered a blown engine during his final qualifying lap, was only 24th-quick in the 49-car field. He drove brother and NASCAR Winston Cup racer Dave Blaney's #10 U.S. Print/ MBNA/Mopar Maxim past 13 cars to finish 11th in the main event.