SARVER, PA (September 25) -- Danny Wood joined the ranks of the first-time winners Tuesday at Lernerville Speedway. The 2001 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year joined Jeff Shepard, Paul McMahan, Jason Meyers and Randy Hannagan, who also won the...
SARVER, PA (September 25) -- Danny Wood joined the ranks of the first-time winners Tuesday at Lernerville Speedway. The 2001 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year joined Jeff Shepard, Paul McMahan, Jason Meyers and Randy Hannagan, who also won the first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series main event of their careers this season.
Wood drove Sher-Don Motorsports' #21W Pepsi Avenger past Johnny Herrera in the fourth corner to take the lead late in the 16th lap and held off hard-charging Danny Lasoski by less than a car-length for the $10,000 victory. Wood is the 16th driver to win a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature this year.
"This isn't normally my kind of track," Wood yelled to the crowd. "It was pretty sticky out there, but Rob (Hart) and Cathy (Barrows) put a great set-up on the car tonight. I was just kind of hanging on for the ride. This Avenger car was perfect, the Wesmar motor did a good job, and what can you say about those Hoosier tires?"
Like Shepard and Hannagan, "The Flying Fossil" won a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Feature before taking the checkered flag in a main event.
"Those preliminary races aren't easy; nobody gives up just because it's the first night, but I guess now we finally won a real World of Outlaws race," said Wood, who won Preliminary Features at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Eagle Raceway earlier this year.
The cold, rainy conditions at Lernerville Speedway couldn't dampen Wood's victory celebration.
"I'd just like to thank all these people for coming out and freezing their butts off in the stands," he said. "I hope we put on a good show for everyone."
Wood, the 10th-fastest qualifier in the 29-car field, won the First O'Reilly Heat Race and earned the right to start the 35-lap "A" Feature outside the front row by following Herrera across the finish line in the Channellock Dash.
Herrera, who won his second Channellock Dash of the year, fell behind Wood as the green flag fell in the main event. Gary Kriess, Jr., crashed on the back straightaway before the leaders completed the first lap, however, bringing back the start.
Herrera drove Lonny Parsons' #6 Casey's General Stores Maxim into the lead when the race resumed. The 1986 Rookie of the Year was six car-lengths ahead when he entered lapped traffic during the third lap, but Wood caught him in dense lapped traffic within two laps.
Mike Kaminski took the leaders out of lapped traffic early in lap seven when he stopped in the first corner. Herrera controlled the ensuing restart and opened a three-car-length advantage within five laps.
Herrera, Wood and Lasoski raced nose-to-tail in dense traffic throughout the 14th lap. Wood caught Herrera two laps later, trapped him behind Joey Saldana and took the lead deep in turn four.
Wood was racing away from the field when Steve Kinser stopped his #11 Quaker State Maxim in the second corner with a broken rear end. His crew was unable to replace the rear end in time for him to restart the race, so "The King of the Outlaws" had to settle for a 19th-place finish.
Wood, who led the first 21 laps at the Kings Royal and finished second at Watsonville Speedway earlier this season, quickly opened a comfortable advantage after the green flag replaced the yellow. The Norman, OK, racer was a half-straightaway ahead of Herrera by lap 23 despite pulling a huge wheelstand in turn two a lap earlier.
Herrera and "The Dude" caught Wood in dense lapped traffic during the 30th lap, however. Lasoski steered NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle into the low groove in the third corner to pass Herrera for the runner-up spot three laps later.
Lasoski, who was also trying to win the first race of his career at Lernerville Speedway, tried to pass Wood deep in turn four as they headed for the checkered flag, but was unable to surge ahead.
"I was getting through lapped traffic pretty good, but then I caught up to some of the faster guys," Wood explained. "Being out in front, you never know just how big a lead you have, so I was just driving as hard as I could every lap. I'd like to say that it (the pass for the lead) worked out just the way I planned it. I was hoping he (Saldana) would drift up like he did, and it worked out just right I guess."
Lasoski's sixth second-place finish of the season pushed him to within 24 points of Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Mark Kinser in the standings.
Herrera finished third, ahead of Kinser, Shepard, Tim Shaffer, Sammy Swindell, 15th-starting Brad Furr, Andy Hillenburg and Dale Blaney.
Shepard's 13th top-five run of the year pushed him past Stevie Smith into sixth place in the point standings. Shaffer moved into eighth place -- past Hillenburg and Saldana -- by finishing sixth.
Swindell, racing at Lernerville Speedway for the first time since suffering career-threatening injuries in a July 24th crash with a push truck, qualified fifth-quick and finished seventh in the main event.
Mark Kinser, who set the qualifying standard at Lernerville with a 145.001-m.p.h. lap last September 26th, paced time trials with a 13.026-second lap around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval. "Mopar Mark" has seven quick-times this season -- one behind Craig Dollansky and Saldana -- after leading the series in that department the last six seasons.