World of Outlaws ...
World of Outlaws #20
Week 29 Performance Profile
Danny Lasoski - 2001 World of Outlaws Champion
Where They've Been..
Wed., Aug. 6 - Hartford Feature at Hartford Speedway Park in Hartford, Mich., (high-banked ½ mile oval)
Top-five: (1) Brian Paulus; (2) Donny Schatz; (3) Jason Meyers; (4) Joey Saldana; (5) Daryn Pittman
Danny Lasoski Finish: 8th (134 Points Earned)
Lasoski was the 28th fastest qualifier, lapping the ½ mile oval in 19.061 seconds.
Lasoski experienced ignition trouble during hot laps, whereupon his crew replaced ignition boxes. Nonetheless, Lasoski continued to experience problems during qualifying, resulting with the 28th place effort. The team changed engines before the heat races, and Lasoski responded in the 'A' feature by driving from 24th in the field to finish eighth.
Fri. Aug. 8 - Night Before the Big One at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (high-banked ½ mile oval)
Top-five: (1) Jason Meyers; (2) Jac Haudenschild; (3) Steve Kinser; (4) Stevie Smith; (5) Sammy Swindell
Danny Lasoski Finish: 9th (132 Points Earned)
Lasoski was the third-fastest qualifier, lapping the ½ mile oval in 13.275 seconds.
Where They're Going.
Wed., Aug. 13 - Knoxville Nationals Preliminary #1 at Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa (semi-banked ½ mile oval)
The single lap record at Knoxville is 14.934 seconds - held by Don Droud, Jr. (Aug. 29, 1998)
Thurs., Aug. 14 - Knoxville Nationals Preliminary #2
Fri., Aug. 15 - Knoxville Nationals Non-Qualifier/Scramble Program
Sat., Aug. 16 - Knoxville Nationals Finale
Lasoski is a two-time Knoxville Nationals champion (2001 and 1998).
Lasoski has scored a total of 81 victories at Knoxville. He is the winningest driver in Knoxville track history.
Lasoski has won a total of seven track championships at Knoxville (1996, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1990, 1989 & 1986).
Lasoski is two-for-two this season in WoO 'A' victories at Knoxville. He led all 30 laps from the pole in the April 26 Spring Classic before winning again at the July 5 NAPA Classic Feature.
Points as of 08/09/2003.
Lasoski is second in "A" Feature laps lead with a total of 317 laps. Steve Kinser is first in "A" Feature laps led with a total of 469 laps.
Lasoski leads the World of Outlaws in fast times with 22. His closest competitor in this category is Steve Kinser with five fast times.
Lasoski is second in Dash Wins with 10. Steve Kinser leads the World of Outlaws in Dash Wins with 21.
Lasoski led the points for 45 of the first 46 events in 2003.
Quote Log - Lasoski.
For those who don't follow the World of Outlaws, what makes the Knoxville Nationals such an important race?
"For someone who doesn't follow the World of Outlaws, the Knoxville Nationals would be the same as someone not following the Indy 500 or the Daytona 500. It is our granddaddy of them all as far as dirt open- wheel racing goes. It doesn't get any bigger than this. To win this race one time is phenomenal, and we've won it twice so it's double for us. Everybody shoots for this one race all year long. It's like every race prior to this is just a practice."
Is it safe to say Knoxville is where your career began?
"Absolutely. This is home for me. Growing up in the Midwest it was always Knoxville, Knoxville, Knoxville. I was just very fortunate to live only three hours from Knoxville and I traveled up here a bunch. We've got seven track championships and 81 wins here. I'm very proud to come up here. I call it home, and it's great to have the hometown crowd behind you."
Is there anything in particular that makes you so successful at Knoxville?
"I really couldn't put my finger on any one thing. I'm sure the amount of laps that I've run here doesn't hurt. But Knoxville is probably the single best racing surface and facility that we go to. At any given night, the track is three lanes - bottom, middle and top. We don't get that throughout the country. Knoxville is probably the only place where you get that, and I guess from running all those lines is what teaches you to be a really good racer."
Do you put more pressure on yourself going into the Knoxville Nationals than you would at other races?
"I'd like to say no, but I'm sure in some aspects I do. But the bottom line is that I'm not going to run this race any harder than I did the Fourth of July race (where Lasoski won - the NAPA Classic Feature). I'm going to come here and give 110 percent. Driving for Tony Stewart - my idol - means a lot, and I'd like to bring this thing home for him. And this year he's going to be able to be here, so there's nothing more that would make me happier than for him to experience this race."
Quote Log - Team Owner Tony Stewart.
In addition to running the NASCAR Busch Series and Winston Cup races at Michigan, you'll spend Saturday night in Knoxville to watch Danny compete for a third Knoxville Nationals championship. For those who don't follow the World of Outlaws, what makes the Knoxville Nationals such an important race?
"The Knoxville Nationals is our Daytona 500 or Indy car racing's Indy 500. It's the biggest sprint car race of the year. The best of the best come from all over the country. They even come from as far away as Australia to run at one venue for four straight nights. It's not like winning a weekly World of Outlaws event. You're racing in an all- star race with guys from all over the country. When you win the Knoxville Nationals, you've beaten the very best there is in winged sprint car racing."
As a car owner you won the 2001 Knoxville Nationals with Lasoski, then you went on to win the series championship.
"That was definitely my first big win as a car owner. I guess I was just more excited for our team more than anything because those guys had worked so hard to be competitive for that race. We had been competitive all year anyway, but to come out as a full-time Outlaw team and win the Knoxville Nationals in our first year together - that pretty much put us at a level not only in our minds, but in our competition's minds that we weren't there to mess around. We meant business. Everywhere we go we want to be a factor to win every race. After winning the Nationals as a rookie team, we proved that we had the right ingredients in place and that we made the right decisions in how our program was going to be built. Nobody doubted Danny's ability, Jimmy's (Carr, crew chief) ability or the crew's ability. It was just a matter of getting the right people and the right equipment in place."
With the bad luck that has found the race team as of late, could the Knoxville Nationals - a place where Danny and this race team have enjoyed so much success - come at any better time?
"Everybody knows Danny's success at Knoxville, so I don't think that even if Danny was having a terrible season coming into the Nationals that anyone would ever write this race team off. We're still right there in the points and we're still running well. When the stakes are high like they are at the Knoxville Nationals, this team rises to the occasion, and Danny normally goes out on the race track and does a really good job."
Is there anything in particular that you've seen that makes Danny so good at Knoxville?
"Danny used to run there every week, so he knows the track like the back of his hand. It's hard to beat experience at a race track. You take Danny's experience at Knoxville and the way he works with Jimmy (Carr, crew chief) on the car - Jimmy knows the track really well also - and with those experiences they can communicate with each other and Jimmy can always find a way to make the car do what Danny wants it to do. Then he lets Danny's experience around the race track take it from there. It's just a pretty potent combination."