Home State Race on the Horizon for Lasoski at Lake Ozark Speedway Lake Ozark Speedway is not quite Danny Lasoski's home track, but for all intents and purposes the facility will seem like home this weekend for the 2001 World of Outlaws...
Home State Race on the Horizon for Lasoski at Lake Ozark Speedway
Lake Ozark Speedway is not quite Danny Lasoski's home track, but for all intents and purposes the facility will seem like home this weekend for the 2001 World of Outlaws Champion, as the series returns to the 1/3-mile on Saturday, May 12 for the first time since 2005. This will be the first of two stops by the World of Outlaws to the track this season.
With an event on Friday, May 11 at U.S. 36 Raceway in Osborn, Missouri, Lasoski will have two chances this weekend to race in front of his many loyal fans in the Show-Me State. With an earlier event this season in his home state postponed by weather, Lasoski is ready to take to the track in front of many of the fans that saw him climb the sprint car racing ladder.
"We're really excited to head to Lake Ozark," said Lasoski, driver of the Roth Motorsports Eagle. "Anytime we can race in the Missouri area is good for us, because it is not very often we get to do that. When we do get to race there, we certainly want to put on a good show for the fans."
Lasoski is excited to see the track under the guidance of former late model star Kevin Gundaker and his family. Gundaker and his staff have put in countless hours preparing for the event at the state-of-the-art facility. In the series inaugural visit to the 1/3-mile Lasoski set fast time with a very solid field of car in attendance.
"Kevin Gundaker has done a great job there with the track, and we are excited to get a chance to run in front of our home state fans," said Lasoski, a seven-time Knoxville Raceway Champion. "I've only been there one time, so we'll have to see what we have when we get there."
With Mother Nature interrupting the early portion of the World of Outlaws schedule a bit, Lasoski is ready for the next few weeks that will take the series from the Midwest to the East Coast for the first time this season. After this weekend, the drivers and teams will make an 800-mile trip east to Pennsylvania, as they embark on a very demanding stretch of five races in six days at four different tracks beginning next Tuesday.
"It does make it a little tougher early in the season to get into a rhythm racing only once a week, but the guys had better hold back, because soon we will be running every day," said a smiling Lasoski. "We had better enjoy the extra time off while we can."
With a number of races in the Midwest over the last month, Lasoski and his team have been able to work out of their shop in Missouri as they continue to prepare for the bulk of the season. Knowing they will be away from the shop for the next number of weeks, the teams has been steadily preparing to face the challenges that always seem to present themselves while on the road.
"It's a big key to have the ability to work out of our own shop early in the season," Lasoski explained. "We can build our inventory up, and be prepared for the year to come when the schedule really picks up."
With the weather heating up and the schedule picking up, Lasoski knows that every team following the series will be tested night in and night out. He thrives on the competition and welcomes the added challenges that present themselves and the pressure that come with racing the best sprint car drivers in the world night in and night out.
"A key to staying fresh all season is that the harder the crew works at the shop, the easier it will be during the season, because you are prepared," he commented. "Everyone just has to understand that sometimes we will have good days and sometimes we will have bad days, and you just have to take the good with the good and the bad with the bad."
Lasoski won his first race of the season on a brutally cold night at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky on April 6, charging from the 15th starting spot to pick up the win. He patiently worked his way to the front and took the lead with just three laps remaining. The victory was the 75 A-Feature triumph of his World of Outlaws career.
"Getting that first win of the year is the hardest one of the year," admitted Lasoski, who has won the Knoxville Nationals four times. "Getting that out of the way takes some pressure off. We have been pretty close to winning a couple more, we just have to capitalize from some of our mistakes."
With 27 teams currently following the series full-time, the level of competition is at an all time high. Whether he takes to the track for hot laps or lines up for the A-Feature, Lasoski knows that every time he hits the track is important, and he would not want it any other way.
"This is by far the toughest season out here that I have seen in the number of years that I have been out here," he deadpanned. "That is credit to all the guys at DIRT MotorSports doing a good job and putting a good organization together."
With the first of 20 televised events coming up on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. Eastern on SPEED, Lasoski is excited to showcase his team before millions of race fans from coast-to-coast and around the world. Many fans that will be tuning in saw Lasoski win an International Race of Champions event at Texas Motor Speedway in 2004, over a star-studded field.
"It is really exciting with the TV races coming up," said the always popular driver. "It is a great package they put together, and our hats are off to the whole DIRT organization, because they know that television is very important to our sponsors."
With three more events in his home state later in the season, Lasoski will have plenty of opportunities to visit victory lane. He enters this weekend's event a very solid fifth in the championship standings. To go along with his win, he has racked up 11 Top-10 finishes in the first 17 events of the season. He also won his first Crane Cams Dash of the season at Tri-State (Ind.) Speedway on April 21 to earn his first pole position of the campaign. With seven Top-10 finishes in the last 10 races, he looks to keep this momentum going this weekend in his home state.
"It does add a little pressure returning to race in Missouri," he admitted. "We have the two races this weekend and then we race in Sedalia in a few weeks, so I am really looking forward to it."
On Saturday, May 12, at Lake Ozark Speedway reserved tickets in the Top Five rows of each section will be $32, with general admission tickets $30. Children ages 12-under will be admitted free of charge.