The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

February 26, 2012

CORY ISENBERG| Lasky part of Daytona victory


JOHNSTOWN — Johnstown native Justin Lasky removed a major item from his personal bucket list this past Saturday.

The Bishop McCort graduate was part of the winning team in the DRIVE4COPD 300-lap NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Daytona International Speedway.

The 29-year-old University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown graduate watched from the pits as rookie James Buescher, a part-time competitor in the Nationwide Series, scored a storybook win at the 2½ mile tri-oval after race leader Kurt Busch crashed coming off of Turn 4, eliminating the top six front-runners.

Buescher, a former ARCA Daytona winner, who was running in the 11th position when the accident occurred, maneuvered his way through the melee to capture the win.

Lasky, who works as a road mechanic for Turner Motorsports of Mooresville, N.C., is the grandson of the late Stanley “Piney” Lasky, former owner of Jennerstown Speedway, and the son of current Motordrome Speedway promoter Stan Lasky.

A district driver also fared well in the Nationwide race, as Benny Gordon of DuBois came home 12th in the contest.

Gordon was a former champion in the Hooters Pro Cup series, which competed regularly at the Jennerstown Speedway.

One item that seems to have gone unnoticed in the Nationwide race was the fact that while Danica Patrick did finish a disappointing 38th, she was not the highest-placing female competitor.

That honor went to 19-year-old rookie driver Johanna Long of Pensacola, Fla., the youngest female to ever compete in the Nationwide Series, who was 21st.

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Pat on the back: District 6 basketball chairman T.J. Kakabar is to be commended for the scheduling for this year’s playoffs.

The district has taken great pains to try to keep boys and girls teams together. Teams have either been scheduled at the same venue or close enough that the crowds following a certain school can easily move down the road.

Also, with the price of gas skyrocketing, the actual site selections have been very reasonable and I have heard very few rumblings regarding that issue.

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On the run: After having seen several of the teams involved in this week’s basketball playoffs, some of the contests could end up looking more like track meets thanhoops classics.

The Greater Johnstown and Somerset boys will play for the District 6 AAA title on Thursday at Richland and the big floor should be conducive for both teams’ offensive escapades.

The Class AA boys semifinal between defending champion Bishop McCort and top-seeded Tyrone will feature another group of talented athletes that can be expected to keep heads swiveling as the teams get up and down the court.