Southern Bleacher Classic Opener Report 2000-03-30

Hodnett Wins Southern Bleacher Classic Opener By Richard Day FORT WORTH, TX (March 30) -- Greg Hodnett was unsure about where to park his new motor home when he arrived at Texas Motor Speedway. If he ...

Hodnett Wins Southern Bleacher Classic Opener By Richard Day FORT WORTH, TX (March 30) -- Greg Hodnett was unsure about where to park his new motor home when he arrived at Texas Motor Speedway. If he continues racing like he did Thursday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Inaugural Southern Bleacher Classic, he'll be able to afford one of the high-rise condominiums at the nearby superspeedway. Hodnett drove Millennium Racing's #V12 Wirtgen Maxim to victory in every race he competed - the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race, the First CHANNELLOCK Dash and the 30-lap Preliminary Feature - as TNN televised the action live. TNN will also televise Friday's program. "This facility is beautiful," Hodnett said. "It's a first-class operation all the way. Racing here really helps the World of Outlaws because Dallas-Fort Worth is becoming such a good racing community. "The track was very fast all night long. It was tight in traffic. The racing line is fairly narrow, even though the track is wide. It allowed a lot of the guys to bump up high, giving more of us a chance to go under. That really helped me." Hodnett, the fifth-fastest qualifier in the 56-car field, didn't need much help after bursting into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. He raced away from the field as Fourth NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Jac Haudenschild passed Steve Kinser and outside pole-sitter Paul McMahan during the opening lap. Hodnett was two car-lengths ahead of "The Wild Child" when he entered lapped traffic six laps into the race. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Danny Lasoski, who followed Hodnett under the checkered flag in the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race, started inside the third row. He passed "The King of the Outlaws" early, then drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle past McMahan, Mark Kinser and Haudenschild on successive laps to move into second place by the eighth lap. Hodnett extended his advantage to a half-straightaway during the race's middle stages as the fast line around the semi-banked, 4/10- mile moved higher on the racing surface. The 1993 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year raced through lapped traffic with ease as Mark Kinser challenged "The Dude" for second place. The backmarkers dropped into the low groove later in the race, allowing Hodnett to race comfortably toward the $5,000 first prize. "Everybody started moving to the bottom," Hodnett explained. "The top side was getting a little rough. It was pretty tight down low, and I just couldn't follow those guys around. "Guy (Forbrook, his car owner and crew chief) and I talked about it and he said, 'Don't take too many chances, even if we lose.' We have to take a few chances and we did. I ran up high in the rough stuff and got a good run off the bottom. It really propelled us through lapped traffic." Lasoski was racing through turn four when Hodnett took the checkered flag in the caution-free Preliminary Feature. "We actually came out of the box and ran fifth (at Kings Speedway)," Greg said. "Then we broke a few parts and had some motor problems. I think we've all been pretty confident this day would come. Every day we just come out and do our best. It's definitely an uplifting victory for us." Lasoski was happy to get through lapped traffic and finish second. "I ran the best I could tonight," Danny said. "I was in traffic for most of the race and couldn't maneuver. The lapped cars held us up for a bit, but they were just doing their jobs." Mark Kinser and Paul McMahan earned the final two automatic positions in Friday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash by finishing third and fourth, respectively. Stevie Smith finished in fifth place, ahead of Steve Kinser, Haudenschild, 13th-starting Sammy Swindell, Randy Hannagan and Lance Blevins. Swindell received his first Vivarin Fast-Time Award of the season for pacing the qualifying session with a 13.397-second, 107.487 m.p.h- lap. His #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth suffered a blown engine in the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race, however. He won the "B" Feature and raced past five cars in the evening's main event. WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Steve Kinser , Sammy Swindell , Paul McMahan , Jac Haudenschild
Teams Millennium Racing