Eldora race notes 2006-06-03

Craig Dollansky Dominates World of Outlaws Sprint Series Feature At Famed Eldora Rossburg, Ohio -- June 3, 2006 -- Dominating was the only way to describe Craig Dollansky's performance on Saturday night in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series ...

Craig Dollansky Dominates World of Outlaws Sprint Series Feature At Famed Eldora

Rossburg, Ohio -- June 3, 2006 -- Dominating was the only way to describe Craig Dollansky's performance on Saturday night in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series feature at Eldora Speedway. The driver of the Karavan Trailers Maxim won the dash in convincing form to earn the pole for the 30-lap A-Main, after turning the third-fastest qualifying lap.

At the outset of the feature, Dollansky jumped out to the lead but was hounded by Joey Saldana in the Dodge/Curb Records JEI. Saldana went high and low, lap after lap. The Brownsburg, Ind., native looked for any opening he could, but Dollansky held him at bay. Saldana was the second-fastest qualifier of the night in addition to winning a heat, but he had a tire go down during a Lap 10 caution and was forced to the work area for a new Hoosier tire, also forcing him to restart at the back of the field.

Dollansky withstood a couple of late cautions and pulled away from second-place finisher Jason Solwold's in the City Wide Insulation Maxim. When the checkered flag fell on Dollansky's second win of the season, he had led all 30 laps. A native of Elk River, Minn., Dollansky now has 14 career World of Outlaws feature wins. It was his second win at Eldora, as he scored a win at the legendary track in 2002. The win was worth $10,000 for the driver known as "The Crowd Pleaser."

Dollansky's first win of the season came on April 15 at the tight quarter-mile at Tri-State Speedway in Haubstadt, Ind. After driving a smooth race, Dollansky felt relieved to be back in the winner's circle.

"It was a total team effort," Dollansky said. "It's great to get a win for the Karavan team. After Lernerville, we started on the front row and I got turned around on the first lap and really didn't know what happened there. I felt like we had a really good opportunity to win that one as well and I kind of gave it away. It's good to get a win finally. It's been over a month since we won, so it's nice."

Dollansky entered the race in fifth in points and not only won the lion's share of points on the night but also received three bonus points for being the evenings third fastest qualifier.

"It was kind of a race of survival, since Turn 2 was getting a little treacherous," Dollansky said. "I felt pretty good. We were running above the cushion there and I was diamonding the corner off a bit. We got into that stuff a little ourselves and got through it."

With the grueling Eastern swing wrapping up Sunday at Terre Haute, another half-mile track, Dollansky and his team carry a lot of momentum into the event, and more importantly, he looks to stay unbeaten this year in the Hoosier state.

"I definitely enjoy the half-mile tracks as much as the little tracks," Dollansky said. "I like them both right now. Hopefully we'll win some more races soon."

Solwold made another long trip from Washington worth it again as he came home second for the second consecutive time in a World of Outlaws event. He also finished in the runner-up spot in his heat race and fifth in the dash.

"We had a good race car all night," said Solwold, a native of Mt. Vernon, Wash. "Everything is clicking for us right now, and one of these days we're going to start winning some races."

Solwold knows how tough Eldora is on cars as well as drivers, and despite being disappointed that he did not win he knew he gained more valuable experience and precious seat-time at the intimidating track. Though the weather was cool, it was still a very physically demanding race on the drivers.

"It was tough," Solwold said. "Every time you get a caution or a red like that, you are pumped up and ready to go with your momentum, and the next thing you know there is a flashing light and a flag. It takes a couple of laps to get your rhythm back."

Donny Schatz continued his impressive streak of top-five finishes, as it now stands at seven races in a row. He also continues to build his lead in the series standings. On Saturday night, he came from the seventh starting spot to finish third in the ParkerStore J&J while Danny Lasoski in the Roth Motorsports Eagle was fourth.

For Schatz, the night started out on an ominous note as the team found a leak in the right rear tire after his qualifying run. World of Outlaws rules state that you must use the same right rear tire in the heat race and dash if you advance to it. Schatz abided by these rules with an assist from his father, Danny, who did a masterful job of patching the tire to make sure it would last through the heat and dash similar to the way he patched Donny's tire that carried him to victory last fall in the Harvest Classic at Calistoga Speedway.

"In the heat and the dash, the tire was going down," said Schatz, of Fargo, N.D. "I was just glad it held together and did not too low and blow. I guess sometimes you have to get lucky. Sometimes you have to race smart and tonight was one of those nights."

In the feature, Schatz put on another driving clinic, slicing high and low, and seemingly putting his car anywhere on the track. A couple of cautions helped him as they bunched the field and gave him a shot to gain a few more positions. Late in the race, he was giving it all he had to catch Jason Solwold but simply ran out of laps.

Though it is still early in the season, Schatz acknowledged that is was a good points night for the team and a good note to head into Terre Haute on.

"That's a big positive for us tonight," Schatz said. "We have not been as good as we have wanted to be at Eldora. We tried a lot of things with the racecar tonight and found a lot we are happy with. We got that hole in the tire in qualifying and I got it through the heat and the dash. The team just dug down deep and figured out how to overcome our problems. Every time we come here, we get a little better."

Jac Haudenschild in the Wright One Construction Maxim passed more cars than anyone on the track, coming all the way from 22nd to finish 5th. He advanced by way of gaining the final transfer spot in the B-main.

A native of Wooster, Ohio, Haudenschild passed cars seemingly at will in the 30-lap event. The fans were on their feet cheering for their home-state driver as he marched toward the front of the field and set his sights on the top four.

"We just needed one more restart and we would have gotten up there and fought for the top position," Haudenschild said.

A steady stream of well-wishers stopped by his trailer after the race to congratulate the always affable driver on a job well done. Rather than take the credit, he passed it off to his team and the job they did in preparing his car for him.

"The car is working real well," Haudenschild said. "Rick Wright has a good car. Bonzai and Paul have the car going real fast this year. We're just happy to be driving it, and try to keep it up front."

With the finish, Haudenschild now has 11 top-five finishes, second only to Schatz. In addition, he has wins at U.S. 36 Raceway and at Sharon Speedway.

"The Rick Wright car was going pretty good tonight," Haudenschild said. "We started pretty far back we got going there and got up there at the end of the race. It was just too late, but we got a top-five and that's what we wanted to do."

The rest of the top-10 included Dale Blaney and Randy Hannagan, Jason Meyers, Kevin Swindell and Paul McMahan.

For Hannagan, it was his first race since a third place run at Sharon Speedway on May 20. He stepped out of the car before the race at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway to tend to his ailing mother in his native California. Upon returning to the cockpit, it appeared "The Hurricane" had not missed a beat. He now has six top-10 finishes this season.

The Eastern swing wraps up on Sunday night for the Mean 15 drivers at the always tough and fast Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track. That will be the seventh race in a 12-day period that has taken the World of Outlaws to six different tracks in five states.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is brought to the fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire and The Outdoor Channel. Promotional Partners include AMB i.t. and The University of Northwestern Ohio. Associate sponsors are ButlerBuilt Motorsports Equipment, Maxim Racing, RacinSoles and Snap-on. Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions and Wrisco Industries.

ELDORA SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK

^Õ FAST QUALIFIER: Chad Kemenah paced the 39-cars that took time with an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the 1/2-mile oval at 13.280 seconds at 135.542 mph. For his qualifying effort, Kemenah earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Joey Saldana (4), Craig Dollansky (3), Danny Lasoski (2), and Dean Jacobs (1). Eldora Speedway is a high-banked 1/2-mile oval where Dollansky holds the track record at 12.707 seconds.

^Õ QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Joey Saldana, Donny Schatz, Jason Meyers and Tim Kaeding won the four heat races. -- Craig Dollansky powered his way to victory in the dash. -- Dean Jacobs captured the B-main.

^Õ MAIN EVENT WINNERS: Craig Dollansky's win Saturday night at Eldora Speedway was his second World of Outlaws A-feature victory of the season. There have been 12 different winners in 22 race nights to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway and May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway and May 20 at Sharon Speedway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as well as a preliminary victory April 7 at Eldora), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway and May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove, as well as a preliminary victory May 26 at Williams Grove), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway and June 3 at Eldora Speedway), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia) Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway), and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway).

^Õ PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: Fred Rahmer's win on May 26 was his first preliminary feature win of the World of Outlaws season, joining Sammy Swindell, who won the preliminary feature on April 7 at Eldora Speedway.

^Õ HALF-MILE WINNERS: Eldora Speedway is a high-speed, half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has now raced eight times this season on half-mile ovals, including preliminary features. Winners include Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Joey Saldana (Volusia), Danny Lasoski (Manzanita), Donny Schatz (Las Vegas), Sammy Swindell (Las Vegas and twice at Eldora Speedway), and Craig Dollansky (Eldora).

^Õ BACK IN THE SADDLE: Randy Hannagan climbed back into the cockpit of the Terry Hannagan Racing Maxim at Eldora after returning from California where he was tending to family matters. Hannagan has four top-five finishes this season.

"It's definitely good to be back," Hannagan said. "Everything has smoothed out a little on the homefront and I was able to come back. If need be, I will go back home and be with my family. This is what I do and how I make my living. This is what I need to do right now. I have to thank my guys, as well as Rob Chaney, Gary Wright and Sean Michael for stepping in at a time of need. I have to thank everybody for stepping up when I needed them."

^Õ ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on June 7 the preliminary night from Williams Grove Speedway. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).

^Õ UP NEXT: The cars and stars of the Mean 15 wrap up the Eastern swing by making their first visit to the Terre Haute (Ind.) Action Track since 2003 on Sunday. Then it's time to head West for the Eagle Nationals on June 9-10 at Eagle Raceway in Nebraska. On June 14 the series makes a stop at The Raceway @ Powercom Park in Beaver Dam, Wis. The trip west continues with a day-day event at Red River Valley Speedway in West Fargo, North Dakota, June 15-16. June 23-24 will find the World of Outlaws at the legendary Knoxville Raceway in Iowa.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Kevin Swindell , Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brooke Tatnell , Dean Jacobs , Jason Meyers , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Randy Hannagan , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah , Tim Kaeding
Teams Williams