Williams Grove II: First prelim Thursday report

'Dude' dominates first Summer Nationals Preliminary. MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 25)-- For a driver who had never won a feature race at Williams Grove Speedway, Danny Lasoski definitely dominated the First Preliminary Program Thursday when the ...

'Dude' dominates first Summer Nationals Preliminary.

MECHANICSBURG, PA (July 25)-- For a driver who had never won a feature race at Williams Grove Speedway, Danny Lasoski definitely dominated the First Preliminary Program Thursday when the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series opened the Inaugural Cleveland Brothers Summer Nationals.

The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader won every race he entered-- the Third Heat Race, the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash and the Preliminary Feature. "The Dude" led all 25 laps while recording his series-leading fourth Preliminary Feature victory of the season and increasing his points lead to eight over 16-time champion Steve Kinser.

"This win ranks right up there with any of my career," Lasoski said. "I've wanted to win at Williams Grove for a long time, and to get it running the top is something special. Not only did I win tonight, my daughter's softball team won the Missouri state championship today and they're going to the World Series. I told her if they won today, I'd rent a tour bus to take them all to Akron, OH, so it'll probably take the $5,000 I won tonight. I'm really proud of her."

Lasoski hopes his car owner, NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart, is proud enough of him to attend Friday's second preliminary program of the second Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series triple-feature event in the history of legendary Williams Grove Speedway.

"Tony wasn't here tonight, but maybe when he hears we won he'll come down here tomorrow," Lasoski said. "He has put together a great team, and Jimmy Carr's the best crew chief in the world. I told all those guys before the race that if we're ever going to win here, we need to do it now. The main thing we're looking for is the championship, and we haven't been up front enough lately. We can get it done if we just stay consistent. The car was really good up on the top in the dash, so that's where I ran it, and I knew if someone was going to beat me they'd have to do it on the bottom. I just want to thank Kistler Engines, Eagle Chassis, Hoosier Tires and Penske Shocks, and everyone who's worked so hard to make this race team the best one in the world."

Lasoski drove the #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event. Tim Shaffer, whose crew replaced the engine in the #83 Beef Packers Eagle after the First O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash, raced past fellow Pennsylvanians Don Kreitz, Jr., and Stevie Smith to take over third place during the first two laps.

Craig Dollansky, Donny Schatz, Daryn Pittman, Mark Smith, Brad Furr and Brian Paulus were racing between the ninth and 18th positions when they crashed in the third corner late in lap six. All managed to restart at the rear of the field, except Schatz. The 2000 Williams Grove National Open champion had problems throughout the opening-night program; crew chief Kenny Woodruff had to replace the engine in his #15 Parker Stores Maxim during the hot-lap session.

Lasoski raced away from the field as the green flag replaced the red, and was a half-straightaway ahead of Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash winner Sean Michael when he entered lapped traffic six laps later. Pittman stopped on the back straight straightaway with a broken top wing late in lap 13, taking the leaders out of lapped traffic and tightening the field.

Kinser steered his #11 Quaker State Maxim into the low groove between turns three and four to pass fast-qualifier Joey Saldana for fifth place within a lap after the race resumed. Defending and two-time Williams Grove National Open champion Lance Dewease started inside the seventh row. He duplicated Kinser's move to pass Saldana for sixth place the next time around.

"The Dude" opened a ¾-lap lead as he caught the back-markers during lap 19. Dewease, finding the inside line between the third and fourth corners to his liking, passed Kinser for fifth place with 1 1/3 laps remaining. Michael was racing into turn three as "The Dude" took the checkered flag.

Shaffer finished in third place, ahead of Smith, Dewease, Kinser, Saldana, Kreitz, 23rd-starting Greg Hodnett and three-time National Open champion Mark Kinser.

Saldana tied Lasoski for the most fast-times on the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series tour with his 11th of the season. Saldana drove his family's #17 Eagle Raceway/HEM Saw Eagle around the semi-banked, ½-mile oval in 16.481 seconds, an average speed of 109.217 M.P.H.

P.J. Chesson, who won the Second Preliminary Feature during the Duel in the Dakotas at Red River Valley Speedway earlier this month, lost the pole position in the Second O'Reilly Auto Parts Dash when his #76 Automotive Service Centers Eagle blew an engine during the opening lap.

-WoO

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tony Stewart , Tim Shaffer , Brad Furr , Mark Kinser , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Craig Dollansky , Brian Paulus , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , P.J. Chesson
Teams Williams