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Keeping Pace

Lasoski Claims World of Outlaws Sprint Car Season Opener

Danny Lasoski rocketed to the lead on the start until the race's lone caution on lap four bunched the field together again. He chose the bottom line in the double-file restart and again drove to a big advantage before entering lapped traffic on lap 11.


Courtesy: WoO Media Relations

 

BARBERVILLE, Fla. - Feb. 18, 2012 - With a sweat-drenched brow and a childlike grin, Danny Lasoski exhaled a sigh of relief in Victory Lane.

For the first time in hours he was able to relax his shoulders and catch his breath after a whirlwind evening at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the World of Outlaws season opener. Lasoski's win was also his second of the week at the 41st annual UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment.

“We had our work cut out for us,” he said. “We only got to run one lap in qualifying. We broke a U-joint hot lapping and didn't have time to change it. So I ran as quick a lap as I could with it shaking around.”

After timing in 12th quickest, a four-car invert placed Lasoski outside the front row in his heat race. Lasoski - whose team changed the engine before the heat - got the jump over polesitter Jason Meyers and led all eight laps to win, which locked Lasoski into the dash.

He then started on the pole by way of the No. 6 being drawn for the dash invert. Lasoski led all six laps to earn the pole for the 30-lap feature, which paid $10,000 to win.

Lasoski rocketed to the lead on the start until the race's lone caution on lap four bunched the field together again. He chose the bottom line in the double-file restart and again drove to a big advantage before entering lapped traffic on lap 11.

Second-place running Brad Sweet closed to within a car length of Lasoski near the midpoint before a miscue in turn two allowed Lasoski to escape and Sammy Swindell to create a battle for second place.

“I was kind of biding my time,” Lasoski said. “I heard somebody getting close and I just dropped the hammer.”

Sweet and Swindell put on a thrilling show for several laps while Lasoski pulled away to a half-straightaway lead in the final 10 laps.

“I got to the outside of Danny and then he moved to the top,” Sweet said after finishing third. “I definitely cooked my right rear tire and we got a little free at the end and ended up giving up second as well.”

Meyers, who started seventh, maneuvered past Swindell with 10 laps remaining and then passed Sweet for second on lap 24.

“I was just waiting for the fuel to come off and the car got really good there toward the end,” Meyers said. “Danny's been really good here all week. Danny had some trouble tonight and they overcame that and won the race. So congrats to him and his guys.”

Donny Schatz picked up the Hard Charger Award after driving from 15th to fourth and Swindell, who qualified fastest with a lap of 12.942 seconds, rounded out the top five.

“I wish (the feature) would have been 40 laps,” Schatz said. “I'd have had something for the leaders.”

Sam Hafertepe Jr. finished sixth, Aaron Ott was seventh, Brian Ellenberger eighth, Steve Kinser ninth and Cody Darrah placed 10th.

Meyers, who has claimed the past two World of Outlaws titles, was awarded his championship ring during Opening Ceremonies. He and the other 34 drivers on hand will return tomorrow - Sunday - morning for a doubleheader.

“Hopefully we can get a little sleep here tonight and come back for two shows tomorrow and see if we can finish one spot better,” he said.

It will begin with the front gate opening at 11 a.m. and racing at 12:30 p.m. for Friday's rain-delayed event. Sunday's scheduled race will follow in the evening.


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Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.

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