Danny "The Dude" Lasoski makes a heroic return to cockpit at Knoxville; WoO champion captures pole for Nationals in return from accident. CONCORD, NC (August 16, 2002) -- After several trying weeks of sitting on the sidelines while his ...
Danny "The Dude" Lasoski makes a heroic return to cockpit at Knoxville; WoO champion captures pole for Nationals in return from accident.
CONCORD, NC (August 16, 2002) -- After several trying weeks of sitting on the sidelines while his #20 J.D. Byrider / Tony Stewart Motorsports sprinter was racing on the track, defending Pennzoil World of Outlaws Champion Danny "The Dude" Lasoski made a successful return to the cockpit at Knoxville Raceway (IA) last week. Racing at his home track, a place where he has won seven track championships, Lasoski captured the pole for the 42nd Annual Mopar Parts Knoxville Nationals and battled eventual winner Steve Kinser heroically before finishing fourth.
"I am really disappointed because I thought we had a car that could have won here tonight, and I wanted this win so bad," said Lasoski. "Jimmy Carr and all the guys really stuck together through my injuries and kept everything on this car top notch, so it was ready for me when I came back to the seat. I think that showed this weekend, and people know that we are still here and a threat to win each and every week.
"There's only one big one and this is it," said Lasoski. "I wasn't about to miss this race. I knew I was ready for it, and we came up just a little short. I have to thank my sponsors Massey Motorsports, American Compressed Steel, Eagle Chassis, Hoosier Tires, and Kistler Engines for sticking behind me and this team when I was on the sidelines. I also have to thank Johnny Herrera for doing a great job to keep this team moving forward. It was hard to sit on the sidelines and watch, but we weren't going to put anyone out there on the track in danger if I wasn't ready."
Lasoski holds the distinction of being the winningest driver in the history of the half-mile dirt oval. "The Dude" has won at Knoxville more than anyone, winning over 73 career features. His third-place run is his fifth top-three finish in the last five years, including two wins in the Nationals in 1998 and 2001. Lasoski has nine top-five finishes in the last 12 Knoxville Nationals championship features.
When Lasoski returned to racing on Thursday night, he set quick time and eventually finished third. That was enough to show his competitors, and all in the WoO community, that he was ready to be back in the cockpit.
"I wouldn't have been there if I didn't think I could race. I wasn't fooling around. I was serious about this race. Knoxville is my second home," said Lasoski. "We really were prepared to go to Knoxville and win the race. Once I got out of the race car after that first race, I knew we could win the Nationals."
On Tuesday night, Lasoski qualified and finished fourth in the evening's "A" main at MetraPark Raceway in Billings (MT).
The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series hit the west coast for the next week, with two nights of action at Grays Harbor Raceway Park in Elma (WA) followed by events at Skagit Speedway and Central State Fair Speedway, both in Washington.
Fans can follow the action this weekend via the internet at www.sprintcarnet.com and look for results at www.dannylasoski.com
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