Preliminary Victory Gives 'Dude' Share of Points Lead By Richard Day KNOXVILLE, IA (June 29) -- When Danny Lasoski visits Knoxville Raceway, good things usually happen. Lasoski, who took the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead with a...
Preliminary Victory Gives 'Dude' Share of Points Lead
By Richard Day
KNOXVILLE, IA (June 29) -- When Danny Lasoski visits Knoxville Raceway, good things usually happen.
Lasoski, who took the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points lead with a victory at "The Home of the Amoco Ultimate Knoxville Nationals" April 28th, tied Mark Kinser for first place Friday by winning the Preliminary Feature on Motorsports Transporters Night at the Iowa Classic.
"I'm not sure if we had a little rear end leak there or what, but I smelled it all race long," Lasoski said following his fourth Preliminary Feature victory of the year. "This is a brand new car and I had my car owner Tony Stewart up there, so I had to do something impressive to keep him from firing me."
It's doubtful "The Dude" will lose his job as long as he continues performing like he did Friday. After qualifying 10th-quick, he won the Second O'Reilly Heat Race and earned the right to start the 25-lap feature outside the front row by following Paul McMahan across the finish line in the CHANNELLOCK Dash.
Lasoski challenged McMahan for the lead during the opening lap, then drove Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle into the lead on the back straightaway the next time around.
Donny Schatz, who started outside the third row, passed Stevie Smith and O'Reilly Heat Race winners Skip Jackson and P.J. Chesson during the first two laps. He steered his family's #15 Parker Stores J&J to the rim in turn two to pass McMahan for second place early in lap three.
"The Dude" was .9 seconds ahead of Schatz when they entered lapped traffic five laps into the race. Schatz took the lead with an inside move in the second corner two laps later.
Smith and 11-time Nationals champion Steve Kinser passed fast- qualifier Joey Saldana during the 11th lap. Saldana regained sixth place the next time around, passing "The King of the Outlaws" in the low groove between turns three and four.
Lasoski took the lead again early in lap 13 with a low, second- corner pass of "The Minot Missile."
"Donny and I had a good race," Lasoski said. "I didn't know the bottom was that good, and when he went by me it definitely gave me a wake-up call. The bottom is usually my place here.
"The Dunkin family did a great job with the track. It's the middle of the summer and I can't believe how good this track is. We'll just have to come back here tomorrow and win another one with this Eagle car for J.D. Byrider, Hamm, Massey Incorporated and American Compressed Steel."
Kinser resumed his run toward the front two laps later, steering his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the high groove between the first and second corners to pass Saldana. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' defending and 16-time champion followed Smith past Skip Jackson in the same spot four laps later.
Schatz raced wheel-to-wheel with Lasoski down the back stretch midway through the 20th lap, but was unable to surge ahead.
Mark Kinser, who started outside the sixth row, steered the #5M Mopar Maxim to the lowest point between the first and second corners to pass Jackson for eighth place with 1 2/3 laps remaining.
Steve Kinser caught Smith in turn four as they headed for the checkered flag, but was unable to claim the final automatic qualifying position in Saturday's CHANNELLOCK Dash.
Schatz was two seconds behind when Lasoski claimed the 75th feature victory of his career at Knoxville Raceway.
"We had a pretty good car tonight," Schatz said. "I'm not sure if we were as good as Danny, but lapped traffic was the story. I had some lapped cars that really started racing me after I lapped them, but that's all part of it I guess. The main thing is that we got locked in for tomorrow night. My car was awesome on the top or the bottom of the track. Guess we just have to beat 'The Dude' tomorrow."
McMahan finished in third place, ahead of Smith, Steve Kinser, Don Droud, Jr., Saldana, Mark Kinser, Jackson and Jeff Shepard.
Andy Hillenburg won the "B" Feature, then drove his #2 Luxaire J&J past 11 cars to finish 11th.
Engine trouble in Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim gave defending World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion Craig Dollansky grief throughout the preliminary program. After changing engines following the hot-lap session, his power plant problems persisted, causing him to qualify 50th-quick in the 53-car field. Craig finished third in the "C" Feature, used a provisional to start the evening's main event and raced into 13th place from outside the 13th row.