Pevely - Hannagan claims first "A" feature victory

I-55 Raceway, Saturday, March 24th PEVELY, MO (March 24) -- Randy Hannagan has come a long way in a very short time. He moved his racing operation from California to Indiana early in the year and, less than three months later, won his first...

I-55 Raceway, Saturday, March 24th PEVELY, MO (March 24) -- Randy Hannagan has come a long way in a very short time. He moved his racing operation from California to Indiana early in the year and, less than three months later, won his first "A" Feature of his Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series career. "The Hurricane" exchanged first place with Stevie Smith twice and led the final five laps at I-55 Raceway Saturday to claim the $10,000 first prize and bring his career full circle. "I can't say enough about my entire operation -- my crew, Chris Luck and everyone at K&C Drywall, my brother Terry, just everyone," Randy said proudly. "We moved into our shop in Pittsboro, IN, on January 2nd with no cars, no parts -- almost nothing at all -- and six weeks later we were ready to get on the road for a full Pennzoil World of Outlaws season. I think this is a sign of good things to come." Hannagan, who won a Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Feature during the 1993 Gold Cup Race of Champions, was .102 seconds off Steve Kinser's pace-setting lap in the qualifying session. The 1995 Rookie of the Year won the Second O'Reilly Heat Race and earned the right to start the "A" Feature outside the front row by following Jac Haudenschild across the finish line in the CHANNELLOCK Dash. "The Wild Child" had won the series' last two main events at I-55 Raceway. Hannagan raced around "The Wild Child" in the fourth corner to take the lead as the green flag fell in the 40-lap main event. Smith and Jason Meyers also passed Haudenschild during the opening lap. Craig Dollansky, who entered the event as the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader, collided with Haudenschild on the back straightaway midway through lap two. The #83 Beef Packers Eagle spun into Kinser, who suffered a flat right rear tire. Haudenschild joined "The King of the Outlaws" at the back of the pack for the restart. Hannagan raced away from Meyers as the race resumed, and was six car-lengths ahead when he entered lapped traffic three laps later. Smith started making his way toward the front during the eighth lap, passing Meyers for second place deep in turn two and taking the inside line through the fourth corner for the lead five laps later. Dollansky took the leaders out of lapped traffic late in the 17th lap when he stopped on the back stretch with a broken right front wheel. Smith drove his #19 Ingersoll-Rand Maxim away from Hannagan as the green flag replaced the yellow. He was three car-lengths ahead of his closest pursuers when he caught the backmarkers midway through the race. Donny Schatz, who started outside the 10th row, steered the #15 Parker Stores J&J into the high groove between the first and second corners to pass Joey Saldana and Daryn Pittman for eighth place following a 29th-lap caution. Smith was eight car-lengths ahead when he entered lapped traffic again with seven laps remaining. He surrendered the lead when he joined Mark Kinser (fourth place) and Brooke Tatnell (sixth place) in the pits to change right rear tires during a 35th-lap caution period. Schatz took over fifth place with a high move around Paul McMahan between turns one and two on the ensuing restart. Danny Wood duplicated Schatz' move to pass Daryn Pittman for eighth place. Hannagan raced away from the field on the final restart and was 10-car-lengths ahead of Meyers when he took the checkered flag. "Racing with the Pennzoil World of Outlaws teaches you to be patient," Hannagan said in victory lane. "I read an article about Jan Opperman a long time ago, and he said that you have to be 'patiently aggressive' in sprint car racing. That's what I tried to do tonight. "We made the right choice with tires, and I knew that it was my job to go out there and conserve my tires as much as I could. I missed the groove there and Stevie got by me, but I tried to stay calm and look for a place to get by him in traffic like he got by me. Unfortunately for him, his tire went down, and we got the win." Meyers, the 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series Rookie the Year, was glad to drive the #20 Eagle Raceway Eagle into second place. "It's been a wild year for me already with my own car and Junior Holbrook's car," Meyers said. "Now Craig and Linda Cormack have given me a chance to run this car, and this is my best Outlaw finish. These Hoosier tires worked great, and the Wesmar motor and Eagle chassis were exactly what we needed to stay up front. We're still looking for a sponsor for this car, and finishing up front like this is what it takes to get one." Danny Lasoski regained the points lead by racing into third place from outside the seventh row. Dale Blaney finished fourth, ahead of Schatz, McMahan, Wood, 23rd-starting Tim Shaffer, Pittman and Saldana. Mark Kinser was leading the CHANNELLOCK Dash when an ignition problem in the #5M Mopar Maxim put him out of the 10-lap race. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will sanction the $112,145 Southern Bleacher Classic at Texas Motor Speedway Thursday and Friday. TNN: The National Network will televise Friday's race live, beginning at 9 p.m. eastern time.

-WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild