'Dude' Tightens Points Race at State Fair By Richard Day SEDALIA, MO (June 27) -- Danny Lasoski, always the center of attention at State Fair Motor Speedway, gave his friends, sponsors and car owner plenty to cheer about Wednesday. "The...
'Dude' Tightens Points Race at State Fair
By Richard Day
SEDALIA, MO (June 27) -- Danny Lasoski, always the center of attention at State Fair Motor Speedway, gave his friends, sponsors and car owner plenty to cheer about Wednesday.
"The Dude," whose Fourth Annual Michael Ross Foundation Golf Tournament raised $50,000 for the treatment of tay sachs disease Tuesday, dominated the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' 27th event of the season. He won every race he entered -- the Second O'Reilly Heat Race, the CHANNELLOCK Dash and the "A" Feature. His third main event victory of the season tightened the points race, pushing him to within seven points of leader Mark Kinser.
"What a great place to win -- in front of my hometown fans, Tony Ross from American Compressed Steel, Verne Massey, and everyone who helps us keep this deal going. I had my car owner in the pits tonight; I wish he could come to every race. Tony (Stewart) brings a different kind of motivation to me and the whole team, and I thank him for everything he's done for us."
Stewart, who won Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Dodge/Save Mart 350 at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, CA, is pleased with his first-year team.
"Danny doesn't need me here at the track to provide motivation -- he's a great sprint car driver," Stewart said. "Jimmy Carr is a great crew chief, too. Those guys have taught me a lot about winged sprint car racing. One of the reasons I put this deal together with Danny was because I knew I wouldn't have to be there watching over everything. These guys are the ultimate professionals, and they flat out get the job done."
Lasoski, the eighth-fastest qualifier in the 31-car field, won is first CHANNELLOCK Dash of the season for the privilege of starting the 30-lap feature on the pole. Craig Dollansky was leading the dash when the engine in Karavan Racing's #7 Polydome Maxim lost power. "The Dude" passed Danny Wood when the race resumed and held off fast- qualifier Steve Kinser for the victory.
Lasoski drove Stewart's #20L J.D. Byrider Eagle into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. He was five car-lengths ahead of "The King of the Outlaws" when he entered lapped traffic seven laps later.
Daryn Pittman opened the track ahead of the leaders when he stopped on the front straightaway with a mechanical malfunction early in the 10th lap. The U.S. Print/MBNA/Mopar crew replaced Dale Blaney's flat left rear tire during the caution period and he rejoined Pittman at the back of the pack.
Sammy Swindell, who won a pair of "A" Features at State Fair Motor Speedway in the early 1980s, steered his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth into the high groove between the first and second corners to pass Stevie Smith right before the caution flag fell. The series' three-time champion rode the rim around Wood within a lap after the green flag replaced the yellow. A flat right rear tire caused Swindell to lose third place two laps later, however.
Andy Hillenburg and Joey Saldana, who started on the seventh and sixth rows, respectively, raced past Wood in the low groove in turn four late in the 18th lap.
Lasoski was 12 car-lengths ahead of Kinser when he caught the back-markers again three laps later. Skip Jackson stopped in the fourth corner with a packed right rear wheel late in the 22nd lap.
Smith and 15th-starting Tim Shaffer passed Saldana in the high groove as the race resumed. Mark Kinser, whose outstanding run from outside the ninth row allowed him to maintain the points lead, passed Shaffer for fifth with an inside move in turn four late in lap 29.
The leaders were racing toward the checkered flag when Mike Goodman spun in front of them in the fourth corner, setting up a two- lap dash to the checkered flag. Kinser steered the #5M Mopar Maxim to the lowest point between turns one and two on the ensuing restart to pass Smith for fourth place. Shaffer won a back-stretch drag race with Smith midway through the final lap to finish fifth.
"The Dude" was six car-lengths ahead of Steve Kinser when he took the checkered flag.
"I was really disappointed to see those late caution flags," Lasoski admitted. "I knew I was doing the best I could, and if Steve or Andy drove around me they just had the better car."
Hillenburg finished third, ahead of Mark Kinser, Shaffer, Smith, Saldana, Paul McMahan, Brad Furr and 22nd-starting Donny Schatz.
McMahan, who won the March 23rd "A" Feature at State Fair Motor Speedway, spun and collided with Kevin Whitworth early in the opening lap of the "B" Feature. He raced past five cars, but was unable to qualify for the main event. McMahan used a provisional, started at the rear of the rear of the field and passed 16 cars in the "A" Feature.
Mark Kinser battled through adversity throughout the event. Although ignition problems caused him to start at the rear of the Third O'Reilly Heat Race, he raced into qualifying position before the problem recurred, forcing him to race in the "B" Feature for only the second time this season.