Hometown Proud: Dollansky sweeps Polydome Princeton National Craig Dollansky, driver of the ...
Hometown Proud: Dollansky sweeps Polydome Princeton National
Craig Dollansky, driver of the #7 VMAC Maxim in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series, came home this past weekend and brought the rest of the Outlaws with him. Returning to Minnesota for the first time in 16 years, the Outlaws thrilled a jam-packed Princeton Speedway in Princeton, Minnesota, on both May 21 and 22.
Regardless of rainy weather and cool temperatures, brave Minnesotans lined up at the ticket window beginning on Friday for a glimpse of the "Greatest Show on Dirt." Dollansky not only timed fast, but also eclipsed the track record at Princeton with a lap of 10.138, over two seconds faster than the previous lap time at the ¼ mile bullring. Dollansky lined up 6th in the first heat race of the night and edged the 5 of Tyler Walker on a last lap duel to qualify for the A Main feature. The Dash 1 second place finish set the VMAC 7 on the inside row 2 for the feature race.
The A Main started with a collision between the 11 of Steve Kinser and 20 of Danny Lasoski in Turn 4 on the first lap. Dollansky stated, "The track crew did as best they could to prepare the racetrack for the night after receiving a lot of rain prior to the race. Water was standing on the bottom and holes developed at the entrance of each turn." Dollansky suffered the same fate as Kinser when he hit grease at the bottom of the track in Turn 2 and collected the 11H of Paul McMahan in the process. "I went into Turn 1 low, caught the grease on the bottom of the track, pushed the front end across the rough part of the track and unintentionally got into Paul. The next day I apologized to Paul. This was short track racing on track conditions that were different than we were accustomed to dealing with."
After the incident with McMahan, Dollansky charged to the front and powered past the 35 of Jonathan Allard on Lap 17 for the lead down the backstretch. "The Crowd Pleaser" automatically advanced to the finale for Saturday night based on the win as the crowd roared with approval.
The Polydome Princeton National was still cool and rainy going into the main event on Saturday, but the action was hot on the track. The festive atmosphere including a band playing, old time sprints pacing, and fireworks launching led to a storybook ending for the hometown boy. Much like that of any Saturday night shootouts at the local speedway, this didn't come without controversy. Dollansky, already set for the feature due to Friday night's win, started and finished first in the fast dash, setting up pole position for the feature.
Dollansky stormed to the lead right out of the gate and quickly caught up to the slower cars at the tail end of the field. As he was in position to lap another driver, Craig bobbled going into Turn 2, giving the lead to the 11K of Kraig Kinser. Flag to flag action and bobbing and weaving through traffic continued until the 18 of Brian Carlson slowed on the backstretch of the track bringing out the yellow flag. On the restart Dollansky took advantage of a hole left open by the 11K and stormed past him for the lead going into Turn 4. The pass, seen as controversial by some drivers, set off tempers after the race was over. Dollansky said, "I've been in that same situation many times and gave way to the guy who had a run on me going into the corner. I think my fans and competitors know I am a clean racer, and that after seeing the tape of the pass on Kraig, most would agree it was a good pass on a short track."
Dollansky's advantage held up as the VMAC 7 crossed the checkers in first, securing a hometown weekend sweep.
Fireworks set off after the race in more ways than pyrotechnics. Upon further review by Boundless Motorsports Racing, owners of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series, an objection was lodged by David Helm, owner of the #11H car driven by Paul McMahan against Craig Dollansky, driver of the #7 car owned by Karavan Dollansky Racing. After reviewing the evidence, Helm's objection was upheld and Dollansky was fined due to the incident from Friday. He was put on probation for the next six races starting with Tuesday evening's Lernerville race.
Other objections were tossed out including the pass of the 11K of Kraig Kinser on Saturday. The 11 of Steve Kinser was fined an undetermined amount for a post race confrontation with Dollansky that left for some bad feelings between the two that have since been reconciled. "I wish it would not have happened, but it did. I had Steve Kinser in my cockpit, which prompted the statements that I made," Dollansky said. "I take nothing away from Steve's accomplishments, nor do I compare myself to him. I only want to be a successful race car driver. Steve is the King of the World of Outlaws, there is no doubt about it. I have a lot of respect for what he has done and the good he has done for the sport, and I have told him that."
Tempers and high-flying action put the Polydome Princeton National on the map with the hometown hero, Craig Dollansky, on top. Dollansky and the Karavan Motorsports team look to continue their run on the 2004 championship with the momentum of this past weekend's dominance fueling the fire.