Red River Valley second prelim

'Dude' Out-Duels Schatz in Red River Valley Prelim By Richard Day WEST FARGO, ND (July 7) -- With the untimely death of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kenny Irwin hanging like a dark cloud over the Duel in...

'Dude' Out-Duels Schatz in Red River Valley Prelim
By Richard Day WEST FARGO, ND (July 7) -- With the untimely death of NASCAR Winston Cup driver Kenny Irwin hanging like a dark cloud over the Duel in the Dakotas and the rest of the racing world Thursday, Danny Lasoski and Donny Schatz knew they still had a job to do. "The Dude" and "The Kid" started outside the first two rows of the Second Preliminary Feature and quickly turned the 20-lap race into their own private duel. Lasoski never let the 1997 Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Rookie of the Year pass the #83 Beef Packers Eagle and beat him under the checkered flag by half a second. "The Beef Packers car was excellent," Lasoski said. "I just hope everyone remembers Kenny Irwin's family in their prayers tonight. I know we're all thinking about them." Schatz, who lives in nearby Minot, ND, appreciated the fans' support. "It was a good race," Donny said. "The track was really fast. We have a lot of great people helping us out like ParkerStores, Blue Beacon, Featherlite and Dick Belerud. But tonight, it was everyone up in the stands who helped us the most." The Red River Valley Fairgrounds' high-banked, 1/2-mile oval was faster than ever. First Preliminary Feature winner Sammy Swindell sliced .023 seconds off the single-lap record Mark Kinser set a year ago with a 120.369-m.p.h. lap. His 10 Vivarin Fast-Time Awards tie him with Kinser for the series lead through 31 events. Lasoski and Schatz atoned for their disappointing qualifying efforts by winning the Fourth and Second NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Races, respectively. Finishing 1-2 in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash gave them the outside starting positions on the first and second rows in the Preliminary Feature. "The Dude" raced wheel-to-wheel down the front straightaway with Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Lasoski surged ahead in the first corner and Schatz passed "The King of the Outlaws" deep in turn two for second place. Craig Dollansky, who leads the World of Outlaws Gumout Series standings, exchanged sixth place with Stevie Smith twice during the first two laps. Schatz challenged Lasoski with an inside move through the fourth corner late in lap eight, but was unable to surge ahead. The front bumper on the #15 Parker Stores Maxim was just inches from Lasoski when the leaders entered lapped traffic the next time around. "The Dude" and "The Kid" raced side-by-side down the back stretch three laps later, but Lasoski maintained the lead in turn three. Schatz was threatening to take over first place when Brad Furr stopped the #2F Sanmina Eagle on the back straightaway with a broken rear end late in the 14th lap. "I don't think the yellow there helped us," Schatz said. "I think the old man (Lasoski) might have been falling out of the seat." Jac Haudenschild, who led the first nine laps in last year's Duel in the Dakotas championship feature, steered the #22 Maxim deep in turn four as the green flag replaced the yellow, but was unable to pass Dollansky for fifth place. Schatz made several runs at "The Dude" during the final six laps, but was .5 seconds behind as Lasoski won his second Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Preliminary Feature of the season. "To be honest, we were getting a little loose there toward the end of the race," Lasoski said. "On that last caution, we were able to get up there in the loose stuff and cool the tires off a little bit, and we were able to cruise from there." Steve Kinser finished in third place, ahead of Johnny Herrera, Dollansky, Haudenschild, Smith, Dale Blaney, Swindell and Andy Hillenburg. Swindell slammed on the brakes in the first corner to avoid colliding with several other cars battling for the lead in the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race. His seventh-place finish kept him out of the First CHANNELLOCK Dash. He won the "B" Feature, then drove his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth past four cars to finish ninth in the evening's main event. Daryn Pittman took his second provisional of the year after finishing fifth in the "B" Feature. Schatz passed him for 11th place in the point standings as Pittman raced into 18th place from the rear of the field. WoO

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Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Daryn Pittman , Jac Haudenschild , Johnny Herrera