Dollansky Pleases Home Crowd in Princeton Opener PRINCETON, MN (May 21) -- Craig Dollansky, who lives 10 minutes from Princeton Speedway, pleased the home crowd Friday when the World of Outlaws Sprint Series opened the Inaugural Polydome...
Dollansky Pleases Home Crowd in Princeton Opener
PRINCETON, MN (May 21) -- Craig Dollansky, who lives 10 minutes from Princeton Speedway, pleased the home crowd Friday when the World of Outlaws Sprint Series opened the Inaugural Polydome Princeton National, setting the qualifying standard and winning the Preliminary Feature.
"The Crowd Pleaser" persevered through some close calls, just as his career has over the last year. The 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion collided with Paul McMahan trying to pass him for second place early in the 14th lap and almost flipped during the First Heat Race, before winning his first Preliminary Feature since the 2002 Eagle Nationals opener.
"This feels awesome," Dollansky yelled to the partisan crowd. "I feel bad about that deal with Paulie, but this is a tight track and it was a little bumpy. I about lost this car in the Heat Race the way Steve (Kinser) did, and it happened again in the feature. There was just no way I could keep from getting into Paulie.
"I think we had the car to beat tonight anyway. This VMAC car was running right around the track all night long. This is great to come up here just a few miles down the road from where we live and be able to race. I want to thank all the people that worked so hard to make this happen: the Mille Lacs County Fair Board, SLS Promotions and all the people who chipped in and to make this event possible. I really want to thank the fans for coming out here on a cold night. I hope everyone saw some good racing."
Dollansky opened the World of Outlaws Sprint Series 16th event of the season by setting fast time with a 10.138-second lap around the high-banked, ¼-mile oval. He earned the right to start the 30-lap feature inside the second row by following Danny Lasoski across the finish line in the First Dash Race.
Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year candidate Jonathan Allard won the Second Dash Race, and drove the #35 PRT Travel Maxim into the lead as the green flag fell in the evening's main event.
World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader Steve Kinser was trying to pass Lasoski for second place late in the second lap when he flipped into "The Dude" in turn four. Third Heat Race winner Tim Shaffer collided with another car on the back straightaway and flipped as well. All three drivers' crews repaired their cars so they could restart at the rear of the field. Donny Schatz lost fifth place when his family's #15 Parker Store J&J slid over the bank in the second corner as the green flag replaced the red.
Allard was a car-length ahead of McMahan when the leaders entered lapped traffic four laps into the race. Jason Sides and Erin Crocker were battling for position the next time around when they collided and spun in the second corner, where Roger Rager slammed into Crocker's #16 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Maxim. Neither Rager nor "The First Lady" were able to restart the race.
Allard controlled the ensuing restart, and opened a six-car-length advantage within four laps. McMahan tried to pass Allard by steering the #11H Selma Shell Maxim into the low groove between turns three and four late in the 12th lap, but was unable to take the lead.
Dollansky was trying to maneuver into second place two laps later when his collision with McMahan sent the #11H flipping between the first and second corners. "The Crowd Pleaser" kept pace with Allard as the race resumed, and steered the #7 VMAC Maxim into the low groove between turns three and four to take the lead three laps later. Dollansky opened a 10-car-length advantage midway through the race.
Kraig Kinser and Brandon Wimmer raced wheel-to-wheel with Allard as they challenged him for fourth place during the 23rd lap. Kinser, who leads the Rookie of the Year points race, drove the #11K Delco-Remy Maxim around Allard in the high groove between the first and second corners two laps later.
Cautions for Sides and rookie Brian Brown during the 27th and 29th laps kept Dollansky out of lapped traffic. "The Crowd Pleaser" raced away from 14th-strarting Jason Meyers during the final restart, and took the checkered flag with seven car-lengths to spare.
Australian Brooke Tatnell won the Fourth Heat Race and drove the #66 Trop Artic Maxim past 12 cars to finish third in the Preliminary Feature. Kraig Kinser finished fourth, ahead of 13th-starting Daryn Pittman, Allard, Wimmer, "B" Feature winner Tyler Walker, Schatz and Joey Saldana.
Shaffer drove the #83 Beef Packers Eagle back through the field during the final 29 laps to finish in 11th place.