Hillenburg Wins Battle, 'Dude' the War in Las Vegas Finale LAS VEGAS, NV (November 3) -- Andy Hillenburg started and ended the season the way everybody would have liked, but Danny Lasoski enjoyed the championship season all Pennzoil World of ...
Hillenburg Wins Battle, 'Dude' the War in Las Vegas Finale
LAS VEGAS, NV (November 3) -- Andy Hillenburg started and ended the season the way everybody would have liked, but Danny Lasoski enjoyed the championship season all Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series drivers crave.
Hillenburg, who won the season opener at Kings Speedway, passed Brad Furr during the 10th lap on his way to winning the season finale -- the Mopar Parts World Finals -- Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. "The Dude" finished in ninth place to claim his first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series title.
"Vegas has been pretty good to me this year; I guess we'll have to come back and try to win some more here," Hillenburg said. "I have to thank Don Ott Engines, J&J Chassis, John Christner Trucking, Rush Truck Centers, Hoosier Tires -- everyone that's been with me all year long."
Lasoski, who won seven Knoxville Raceway championships, was emotional as he spoke about his monumental accomplishment.
"This is about as choked up as I've been in a long time," Lasoski said. "I owe this all to Tony Stewart. He believed in me enough to help me put this team together, and people like Tony Ross at American Compressed Steel, Stu Murray at Hamm, Massey Motorsports, Jim England at J.D. Byrider, Eagle Chassis, Hoosier Tires and Paul Kistler at Kistler motors have just made a dream come true. This team never gave up, and worked their tails off to get me here. We flipped that car at Charlotte, and they tuned a DNF into a 14th and kept me in it. I learned something from 'The King' (Steve Kinser) a couple of years ago. He won a championship when he only won four or five features, and the consistency is what we tried for all year long."
Hillenburg, who won the First Preliminary Feature at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March, was the sixth-fastest qualifier in the 44-car field. He raced into sixth place from the rear of the Channellock Dash to claim the third-row outside starting position in the 30-lap main event.
Brad Furr, who won both Channellock Dash races and Preliminary Feature during the Mopar Parts World Finals, drove his family's #2F Sanmina Eagle into the lead from the pole as the green flag fell in the "A" Feature.
Mark Kinser, who was in first place for most of the season before finishing 30 points behind Lasoski, exchanged third place with cousin and defending series champion Steve Kinser twice during the first three laps.
Hillenburg steered his #2 Luxaire J&J into the low groove between the third and fourth corners to pass Mark Kinser for fourth place late in lap four. Lasoski, who started inside the ninth row, raced past P.J. Chesson and Dale Blaney between turns one and two to take over 13th place two laps later.
Furr was .6 seconds ahead of outside pole-sitter Joey Saldana when they entered lapped traffic during the eighth lap.
Hillenburg found the fast line around Las Vegas' semi-banked, ½-mile oval during the 10th lap, passing Saldana in the high groove as they entered turn four and racing past Furr for the lead heading out of the corner.
Jason Meyers took the leaders out of lapped traffic four laps later when he spun in turn one. Shane Stewart and Saldana exchanged fourth place twice within a lap after the green flag replaced the yellow.
Hillenburg enjoyed a 5.6-second advantage when he caught the back-markers with 13 laps remaining. Steve Kinser passed Furr for second place high between the first and second corners early in lap 19 and was within 2.6 seconds of Hillenburg two laps later.
Kinser and Furr exchanged the runner-up spot during the 24th lap. Kinser's #11 Quaker State Maxim slid over the cushion in turn one, allowing Furr to race past. "The King of the Outlaws" cut sharply across the second corner, however, to regain the position.
Stewart and Sammy Swindell collided in turn one while battling for fifth place early in lap 26, causing Stewart to spin. Danny Wood drove the #21W Pepsi Avenger past both Swindell and Jeff Shepard deep in the third corner on the ensuing restart. Wood was battling Saldana for fourth place on the back straightaway one lap later when they tangled, allowing Swindell and Shepard to regain fifth and sixth place, respectively.
Hillenburg took the checkered flag with 10.8 seconds to spare in his seventh "A" Feature victory of the year.
"We talked before the race about just going out there and following those guys around, and 'Diesel' (Keith Carlson) didn't want to do that," Hillenburg admitted. "We put our slick track set-up on it and figured if we were too tight to get around, then that's just the way it was going to be. We're still a little uncertain about next year, but hopefully we'll be back out here winning more races."
Lasoski was relieved to finish ninth and win the championship after qualifying just 13th quick.
"We had our backs against the wall starting 17th tonight, but Jimmy Carr gave me a great car and we came forward pretty fast," Lasoski said. "Then, when I saw Mark (Kinser) right in front of me, I decided to be safe, and not throw a whole year away for just one spot."
Steve Kinser finished in third place, ahead of Saldana, 15th-starting Swindell, Shepard, Mark Kinser, Wood, Lasoski and World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion Daryn Pittman.