'The Dude' edges Schatz to win Duel in the Dakotas WEST FARGO, ND (June 14) -- O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski inherited first place after Wade Nygaard flipped into early leader Steve Kinser and held off Donny...
'The Dude' edges Schatz to win Duel in the Dakotas
WEST FARGO, ND (June 14) -- O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski inherited first place after Wade Nygaard flipped into early leader Steve Kinser and held off Donny Schatz by inches to win the Sixth Annual Duel in the Dakotas Saturday.
Lasoski, who was 10 car-lengths behind when "The King of the Outlaws" was taken out of the race, withstood several late attempts by Schatz win a second straight Duel in the Dakotas title and claimed his sixth "A" Feature victory of the season. The 2001 O'Reilly World of Outlaws champion opened a 67-point advantage over Kinser with the $20,000 victory.
"First of all, I feel terrible for Steve and the Quaker State team," Lasoski told the capacity crowd at Red River Valley Speedway. "They had a strong car all weekend long. I know this is Donny's home town and he won here last year, but you have to spread the wealth around a little, too."
Lasoski ranked fourth in the preliminary point standings behind Kinser, Schatz and Jason Meyers, but gained two positions in the Dash Race for the right to start the 30-lap main event outside the front row. Schatz challenged "The Dude" throughout the final seven laps, but was unable to drive his #15 Parker Stores J&J into the lead.
"I gave it everything I had," Schatz said. "The car was as close to perfect as you can get one of these things. We had a good weekend here at home getting the win on Friday, but came up just a little short tonight. "If Steve hadn't been in that early crash, he was going to be tough for both Danny and me to catch, much less pass. None of us come to finish second -- we're here to win. Second is second and just not the same as a victory."
Kinser won his 14th Dash Race of the year for the privilege of starting the "A" Feature on the pole. He drove his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. "The King of the Outlaws" was 10 car-lengths ahead of Lasoski when he entered lapped traffic five laps into the race.
Nygaard collided with John Bickford in the third corner and flipped two laps later, however. Kinser was unable to steer clear of Nygaard and was unable to continue racing after the crash.
Lasoski drove NASCAR Winston Cup champion Tony Stewart's #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle away from the field as the green flag replaced the red, and Schatz passed Second Heat Race winner Tim Shaffer for the runner-up spot the next time around. "The Dude" opened a half-straightaway advantage during the 10th lap.
Kraig Kinser and Third Heat Race winner Sammy Swindell passed Meyers for fifth and sixth place during the race's middle stages.
Schatz caught Lasoski in dense lapped traffic during lap 24, and raced wheel-to-wheel with him through the third and fourth corners four laps later. The 1997 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year used a similar move in an attempt to steal the victory late in the final lap, but was unable to surge ahead. "The Dude" took the checkered flag by less than half a car-length.
"My crew chief, Jimmy Carr, told me to bide my time at the start," Lasoski said following his first victory at Red River Valley Speedway. "He thought Steve would probably get the jump on me. I saw Donny down there in three and four, and I had no idea that run could run the bottom that good here -- that's usually where I am. I probably should have tried to run the bottom a little sooner, but when you're leading and running in traffic, you just have to try to go where the other cars aren't.
"This is J.D. Byrider country, and there are a lot of representatives up there in the stands. It's great to win it for them and for all these people from North Dakota. We love coming here."
Shaffer finished in third place, ahead of First Heat Race winner Mark Kinser, ninth-starting Kraig Kinser, Swindell, Meyers, Joey Saldana, Daryn Pittman and Paul McMahan.
Young Jeremy Campbell raced into 15th place from outside the 10th row. Mark Dobmeier passed 10 cars to finish 16th.
The O'Reilly World of Outlaws Series will run $51,600 events at Huset's Speedway Wednesday, Joplin 66 Speedway Friday and Lakeside Speedway Saturday.