2002: Number 12 For Steve Kinser
Lasoski drove NASCAR Winston Cup star Tony Stewart’s #20 J.D. Byrider Eagle into the lead as the green flag fell in the main event. Kinser raced wheel-to-wheel with him through turn four and surged ahead at the finish line, however, and was on his way to victory.
Schatz, who won the Second Preliminary Feature and started inside the fourth row, passed Craig Dollansky, Tyler Walker and Tim Shaffer during the first 11⁄2 laps as Kinser and Lasoski exchanged the lead in almost every corner.
Kinser, who opened a .6-second lead during the first five laps, saw “The Dude” trying to sneak by him entering turn one early in lap six turned sharply to cut him off, setting the tone for the fast-paced battle. Kinser entered lapped traffic two laps later and started to extend his advantage.
Three-time Nationals champion Mark Kinser lost 11th place late in the 12th lap when the No. 5m Mopar Maxim spun in the fourth corner. Flagman Doug Clark waved the yellow flag, opening the track ahead of the leaders while tightening the field.
Lasoski kept pace with S. Kinser as the race resumed and the leaders took turns passing each other with daring slide moves throughout lap 13. Kinser caught the back-markers again six laps later with Lasoski only a car length behind.
Schatz passed Lasoski for the runner-up spot early in the 26th lap and started tracking down Kinser soon thereafter. Schatz narrowed the gap to one car- length before Kinser charged between Paul McMahan and Jason Sides in the fourth corner with 124 laps remaining. Schatz almost passed Kinser as the leaders raced to the checkered flag, but was unable to surge ahead.
“We ran second to Donny last week (in The Historical Big One at Eldora Speedway), but he’s going to have a little better payday for second than I did,” Kinser said.
Schatz thought he had a chance to win for the second straight week during the white-flag lap.
“I saw Steve turn sideways on the last lap and I thought I could get a good run on him, but he got himself out of trouble,” Schatz said. “I used to come out here and cheer for this guy. Now I wish he could retire. He’s the best ever, so I can’t hang my head running second to him.”
Dollansky finished in third place, ahead of Lasoski, Walker, 12th-starting Greg Hodnett, Shaffer, Jac Haudenschild, Johnny Herrera and Joey Saldana.