GREENWOOD, NE (September 21) -- Mark Kinser and Danny Lasoski have been battling for the lead in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings since early March. Friday's second preliminary program in the Inaugural Great Plains Shootout at...
GREENWOOD, NE (September 21) -- Mark Kinser and Danny Lasoski have been battling for the lead in the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings since early March. Friday's second preliminary program in the Inaugural Great Plains Shootout at Nebraska Raceway Park epitomized that long, tough war.
Kinser and Lasoski, the two fastest qualifiers in the 44-car field, started side-by-side in the Channellock Dash and the Preliminary Feature and finished first and second in each race. They exchanged first place twice in the race -- compared to 11 times in the standings -- as Lasoski gave the series points leader all he could handle.
"My plan was just to stay ahead of Danny Lasoski," Kinser said following his fourth Preliminary Feature victory of the season. "Danny's one of the cleanest drivers out here. I know I can race side-by-side with him any time. It's a pleasure racing with him."
Lasoski, who fell 28 points out of first place in the standings, also enjoys racing with Kinser.
"That 5M car is pretty tough," Danny said. "We got along side him a couple of times, but just couldn't get by. Then, once the track took rubber, it was pretty much all over. I know Mark will back me up on this: when we get to the race track and unload these cars, our teams give 110 percent no matter if we're racing for the points lead or for 21st."
TNN: The National Network taped the race for a Sunday afternoon telecast.
Kinser and "The Dude" earned the right to start the 30-lap feature on the front row by racing into first and second place from the third row in the Channellock Dash. "Mopar Mark" started on the pole after winning his seventh Channellock Dash of the year.
Kinser drove the #5M Mopar Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event.
Andy Hillenburg passed fellow Oklahoman Mike Goodman for third place late in the second lap, only to have Third O'Reilly Heat Race winner Joey Saldana pass them both deep in turn four a split-second later. Sammy Swindell and Paul McMahan crashed in the second corner the next time around, bringing out the caution flag.
"The Dude" steered NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle to the lowest point in turn two to pass Kinser as the race resumed. Kinser regained the lead several seconds later, however, riding the rim around Lasoski between the third and fourth corners. The leaders exchanged first place in similar fashion two laps later.
Kinser was 1.2 seconds ahead of Lasoski when they entered lapped traffic during the eighth lap. "Mopar Mark" executed a daring move between Jeremy Campbell and Paul McMahan in dense traffic to increase his advantage to two seconds during lap 10.
"The Dude" narrowed the gap to .8 seconds within eight laps and was only .4 seconds behind as the leaders raced in dense lapped traffic with 101/2 laps remaining.
Second O'Reilly Heat Race winner Jason Meyers and 15th-starting Danny Wood passed Goodman for fifth and sixth place during the 22nd and 24th laps.
Kinser was 2.1 seconds ahead of Lasoski with five laps remaining and took the checkered flag with 1.7 seconds to spare.
"I'd like to come back and win this thing tomorrow night for Phil Durst," Kinser said. "He's been one of my sponsors for a long time, and he's from right here in Lincoln, NE. I won a bunch of races here at this track when they first opened it, but I haven't won here in a long time (since 1997)."
Hillenburg finished in third place, ahead of Saldana, Meyers, Wood, Goodman, 13th-starting Donny Schatz, Johnny Herrera and P.J. Chesson.
Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year points leader Jeff Shepard was running third in the "B" Feature when a mechanical malfunction in the #5 Wirtgen Maxim forced him into the pits. Shepard used a provisional to start the Preliminary Feature and finished in 25th place.