Lasoski Back in IROC Car At Atlanta Motor Speedway Test
Tuesday, April 6, 2004
Danny Lasoski could barely contain his excitement as he stood in the garage at Atlanta Motor Speedway Tuesday watching the Crown Royal International Race of Champions (IROC) series test drivers as they prepare the cars for their Oct. 30 season finale.
Fresh off a stunning upset victory last Friday over the other household names in the IROC series ¿ Harvick, Newman, Johnson, Kenseth ¿ Lasoski led the entire race to become just the second World of Outlaws Sprint Car racer to win an IROC race. The first was Kinser, who won at Talladega in 1994.
¿Winning that race was probably the single best thing that¿s ever happened to me,¿ Lasoski said. ¿And that¿s saying a lot. I¿ve won the Knoxville Nationals three times, which is like the Daytona 500 or the Indy 500 for us in the World of Outlaws, but winning the IROC race, I¿ve gotten more response than anything else. I¿m still elated ¿ I probably still haven¿t slept more than three hours a night since the win.¿
Part of Lasoski¿s elation comes from his determination to succeed at all levels of racing, much like his World of Outlaws owner Tony Stewart.
Lasoski is present at every IROC test, often beating the IROC officials to the track, according to test driver and NASCAR veteran Dave Marcis.
¿He puts more effort into winning races than anyone I¿ve ever seen, and I¿ve been testing these cars for 28 years,¿ Marcis said. ¿He¿s very determined, and it¿s nice to see somebody invited to this series with such dedication. It makes me proud to work with him. And with $1 million on the line, I think it also shows how smart he is.¿
The IROC drivers are competing this year for a record purse of $1 million to the champion, which will be crowned at the Oct. 30 race in Atlanta. Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman are currently tied for first with 33 points, while Lasoski and Jimmie Johnson are tied for second with 32 points.
For a dirt car racer, sitting that high in the points isn¿t bad. Of course, he¿s not quite satisfied yet.
¿I want to win this championship, I want to figure these cars out ¿ it¿s a challenge,¿ Lasoski said. ¿There¿s nothing similar about these cars and the cars I regularly drive, except that they both have four tires and an engine. I¿m just a hillbilly from Missouri, and the only time I drive on pavement is to get to the race. I¿ve just wanted this so badly, and now no one can take it away from me ¿ I¿m an IROC winner.¿
Lasoski and the IROC test drivers ¿ Marcis, Jim Sauter and Jay Sauter ¿ will continue their test at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Wednesday.