2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Danny Lasoski If it was up to Danny Lasoski, there would be no off-season in racing. He is ready to race anywhere, anytime. The 2001 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint...
2008 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Preview: Danny Lasoski
If it was up to Danny Lasoski, there would be no off-season in racing. He is ready to race anywhere, anytime. The 2001 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion showed this by competing in nearly 100 events in 2007, including a race just after Thanksgiving on a very chilly November day in his home state of Missouri, which he won. The native of Dover, Missouri is now ready to return to the track this season in just over a week's time to kick off another very aggressive schedule that he has planned.
Lasoski kicked off his 2008 campaign by competing in the famed Chili Bowl Midget Nationals in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before heading to Australia for a pair of events. He won at Tyrepower Parramatta City Raceway in his first start of the International Sprint Car season, besting a field that included 20-time Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car champion Steve Kinser, two-time defending series champion Donny Schatz, Joey Saldana, Jason Meyers, Craig Dollansky, Jason Sides, Kerry Madsen and Justin Henderson.
"It was pretty exciting to go down there," said Lasoski. "I owned the whole operation we ran there and had my own team."
Upon arriving back from Australia last week, Lasoski has been putting all of the final touches on his equipment for the 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park. He finished third or better twice last season in the opening three events at Volusia, including a runner-up performance on the second night of the season. He was sixth or better in all three events that the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series contested at the half-mile in 2007.
"We'll start the year off going to Florida with my own car," he said. "We'll team with Guy Forbrook and try to run the full World of Outlaws schedule. Neither one of us has any sponsorship and we hope that someone sees us in Florida and may want to jump on and be a part of a winning combination."
A strong start last season in Florida propelled Lasoski into the Top-Five of the championship standings, a spot he would remain in all season long. He finished 2007 third in points, on the strength of six A-Feature wins. Among his victories, was a sweep of the Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway in California. He also scored a win at Grandview Speedway in Pennsylvania in a thrilling battle with Donny Schatz, in one of the closest finishes of the season. Lasoski also picked up the checkered flag at Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky, where he charged from the 15th starting spot. He also was triumphant at Tri-City Speedway in Illinois and at Manzanita Speedway in Arizona.
"It's very important to start strong down there," noted Lasoski, of the season opening Alltel DIRTcar Nationals. "If you struggle in Florida, it's really hard to make it up in the middle of the year. Every point is so critical when you run with the World of Outlaws."
Lasoski spent countless hours in his shop in Missouri this off-season in preparation for the always grueling World of Outlaws schedule. He is ready to put all of that hard work to good use as he heads to Florida to compete in a number of events prior to the World of Outlaws opener.
"It has been a very busy off-season," said the native of Dover, Missouri. "Up until December 4, I thought I would be driving the (No.) 83 car. They informed me on that day that they were going to do something different. That kind of put me behind the eight-ball, because I was not expecting that."
Lasoski looks forward to every race on the calendar, whether it's at his home track of Knoxville Raceway in Iowa, where the series will contest three events this year, or at the tracks of his home state of Missouri. He is ready for the nearly 85 race campaign the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series will see in 2008.
"As drivers, we have the best job in the whole wide world," shared the seven-time Knoxville Raceway track champion. "Any driver out there will tell you that we are the luckiest people in the world, because we get to do what we love to do."
The Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series will compete a couple of times in the veteran driver's home state over the course of the season, including at Missouri State Fair Speedway in Sedalia on June 11. Lasoski will again help promote the race this year, which serves as a fundraiser for the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation. In the ten years that he has been helping out with the race and the accompanying golf outing, Lasoski has helped raise over $1 Million for the charity.
"Running the Michael Ross Memorial Foundation race at Sedalia is right up there each year," he said of the importance of the event. "Not only does it help benefit the kids, but it's a time to give back to the sport, which I think more drivers should do."
With over 20 drivers expected to compete full-time with the series in 2008, Lasoski expects the level of competition to be just as high as it was last year. He looks for the front runners from last season to be even stronger this year, in addition to a number of others drivers, who will be fast each and every night.
"Some how we have to figure out a way to beat Donny Schatz," explained Lasoski. "He was tough in Australia again and he has a good team this year and will have good backing with Tony Stewart. I see him to be fast, as well as Joey (Saldana), Steve (Kinser) and bunch of others. There will be a ton of fast cars this year, just like last year. It will be another one of the most competitive years yet."
In his career with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, Lasoski has finished sixth or better in championship points on 10 occasions. He enters the 2008 season fifth on the all-time winners list with 80 A-Feature wins. When asked what it will take to win his second title with the series, he quickly pointed out two vital aspects.
"It will take consistency and a lot of luck," he noted.