1998: Lasoski Finally Breaks Through


    Less than two car- lengths separated the leaders as they raced in lapped traffic during the next three laps. Tim Shaffer stopped the No. 11h Vivarin Eagle in the fourth corner late in the 16th lap, giving the leaders a clear track and tightening the field.

    Lasoski stayed in the low groove to control the restart while Swindell returned to the high line. Lasoski and Swindell raced wheel- to-wheel for much of the next five laps, and caught the backmarkers again during lap 22.

    Swindell almost hit the outside wall in the fourth corner three laps later, but managed to catch Lasoski within a lap in traffic. Sammy regained the lead with a high move through turn two as Lasoski had problems passing Gary Wright early in the 28th lap.

    Only four car lengths separated Swindell, Lasoski and Haudenschild as the white flag was waved. Lasoski executed the winning pass in turn two when Swindell was unable to keep the No. 1 in the low groove.

    “Sammy got by me, but I think he got into one a little heated,” Lasoski said. “If you missed the bottom, you slid out, and we got by him.

    “When he got by me, it was all I could do to keep from getting excited and blowing it all. I didn’t know how many laps were left and I saw the white (flag) and I said, ‘Oh my, what are we going to do now?’ He went too high in two and I slipped under him and made sure I covered the last lap.

    “I owe this all to my crew — Jimmy Carr, Mark Ellis and Brian Brown.”

    Haudenschild passed Swindell in the fourth corner to claim second place and was .752 seconds behind Lasoski at the checkered flag.

    Donny Schatz used a similar move in turn four to pass 11- time Nationals champion Steve Kinser for fourth. Completing the top 10 in the 38th annual Amoco Knoxville Nationals championship feature were Andy Hillenburg, “B” Feature winner Mark Kinser, 24th-starting Stevie Smith, Johnny Herrera and Kenny Jacobs.