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Lasoski, Kinser at Daytona for IROC test

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.

The testing season at Daytona International Speedway kicked off this week with the True Value IROC Series. World of Outlaws competitors Danny Lasoski and Steve Kinser participated in testing on Tuesday with test drivers , and . IROC matches 12 drivers from different forms of auto racing in equally prepared cars. Each driver is awarded points after each race with the champion crowned after the four 100-mile races. Lasoski and Kinser will represent the World of Outlaws and will compete in Round 1 of IROC during Speedweeks 2003 on Friday, Feb. 14. On the same day as Round 1 of IROC is the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series will kick off their season with the Florida Dodge Dealers 250. Lasoski, who competed in the IROC in 2002, finished second to Kinser in World of Outlaws despite missing five events due to injuries. He also missed the final round of IROC at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but is thrilled to be invited back by IROC for 2003. "To get invited back is such a dream come true," Lasoski said. "Now we got two sprint car guys here. How neat is that?" Lasoski drew the outside pole for last year's IROC event at Daytona, which was his first race on pavement. But he wasn't able to stay up front for long as he was unable to find drafting partners. He hopes 2003 will be different. "You have to have a friend when you're down here at Daytona," said Lasoski, who finished sixth. "If you don't have somebody working with you, you're in trouble. Being the rookie on the block, nobody really wanted to work with me. (Tony) Stewart worked with me the best. "Everything I learned through practice pertained at one point or another there in the race. This year, knowing what I know, maybe the guys will trust me just a little bit and we'll work together and stay up front more often." While participating in the test session on Tuesday, Lasoski couldn't resist thinking back to last weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway where his World of Outlaws car owner and good friend was crowned the 2002 NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion. Lasoski watched the Ford 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series finale from Stewart's pit box. "How about my driver Tony? He's awesome," Lasoski said. "The guy can drive anything. He's not only my owner, but he is my good friend. I think he is one of the best ever." Expected to join Lasoski and Kinser on Wednesday at the Speedway is NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion . IROC testing, which will continue through Thursday, is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

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