Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Drivers Run Strong on Second Night of Alltel DIRTcar Nationals With just two days remaining before the 2008 season opener for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series,...
Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series Drivers Run Strong on Second Night of Alltel DIRTcar Nationals
With just two days remaining before the 2008 season opener for the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series, several drivers took the opportunity to compete in the second night of the 37th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals for the All Star Circuit of Champions on Wednesday at Volusia Speedway Park.
Danny Lasoski, the 2001 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion lined up second and took the initial lead from Mark Smith. Lasoski opened comfortable leads a couple of times, only to have the yellow flag wave, thus negating his advantage.
Sam Hafertepe Jr. charged from the 12th starting spot to track down Lasoski and passed him for the lead on the high side of turn four on the 18th lap. Lasoski would get back around Hafertepe on the next lap to reassume the point. As the pair continued to battle for the top spot, Wayne Johnson dove under them both in the second turn to make the pass for the lead and ultimately the win.
Hafertepe wound up second to earn his third consecutive Top-10 finish with the All Stars to open the 2008 season. He won with the series last Friday night and was 10th on Tuesday night at Volusia Speedway Park. The second year driver was second fastest in time trials to start the night.
"We're doing exactly what we wanted to do this year and that is to show the guys that we can run up front," said the native of Sunnyvale, Texas. "We want to run up front every night and we seem to be doing a pretty good job of that lately."
Lasoski, who has been under the weather all week, gave it everything he had, as he looked to add to his impressive win total at the half-mile. He led a number of laps and came home third. It was his third Top-Four finish of 2008, as he kicked off his year with a win and a fourth-place effort in Australia last month.
"I woke up yesterday with a 102 degree fever and was not feeling much better today," he noted. "That's no excuse for getting beat though. I am proud of the team and all the hard work that we put in."
Craig Dollansky turned in a very impressive run, after starting 24th in the field. He methodically worked his way to the front and was fourth in just his second race behind the wheel for the Larry Woodward Racing team.
"We drew a late number qualifying and qualified 42nd," said Dollansky. "We had to fight to make it out of our heat, which we did. We came from 11th to finish fourth. We then started the A-Feature in a hole, but we climbed out of it. It was a great team effort for us. A Top-four is a good run."
Tires were a big concern on Wednesday night, as a couple of drivers had flats during the 25-lap event. After climbing from his car on the front straightaway, Hafertepe shook his head as he looked at his right rear tire. After a very warm and windy afternoon, the track crew at Volusia reworked the track prior to the feature, which provided breathtaking action in the A-Feature, with a number of drivers charging from the back of the field to the front.
"Another half a lap and we probably would have blown the tire," admitted Hafertepe. "We did what we could and I can't ask for much more than that. My guys did a great job and we'll go out and try to get them again tomorrow night."
Donny Schatz, the two-time defending Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series champion thrilled the fans with a fifth-place finish after lining up 19th. The North Dakota native was victorious on Tuesday night at Volusia in his debut for the Tony Stewart Racing team.
Steve Kinser finished seventh on Wednesday night. The 20-time series champion was the fastest of the 52 cars that took a lap in time trials.
Tony Bruce Jr. had a strong run in the second of three nights of racing for the All Stars at the half-mile, as he came home eighth.
Jason Sides making his first 410-sprint car start of the season on North America soil was 10th.
Other Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series driver in action on Wednesday night included: Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award contender Lucas Wolfe, Chad Hillier, Shane Stewart, Joey Saldana, Daryn Pittman, Chad Kemenah, Jac Haudenschild, Jason Meyers, Kraig Kinser and Terry McCarl.
The finale of the three nights of racing for the All Star Circuit of Champions portion of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals will be on Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park.