Sammy Swindell Takes Duel in the Dakotas Finale By Richard Day WEST FARGO, ND (July 8) -- Sammy Swindell can relate to Craig Dollansky's dejection concerning a flat tire costing him the lead -- and a...
Sammy Swindell Takes Duel in the Dakotas Finale
By Richard Day
WEST FARGO, ND (July 8) -- Sammy Swindell can relate to Craig Dollansky's dejection concerning a flat tire costing him the lead -- and a possible Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series victory. Dollansky was leading Saturday's Duel in the Dakotas "A" Feature at Red River Valley Speedway with six laps remaining when he discovered his right rear tire was punctured. Despite his crew's efforts to repair the tire, Dollansky was unable to hold off Swindell. The series' three-time champion passed Dollansky during a 27th-lap restart en route to the $20,000 victory. "I was hoping we might be able to run him down again in traffic, and then he had that tire go down," Swindell said following his fourth main event victory of the season. "I know exactly how it feels. We had that happen at Bristol, and it probably cost us a race there. I've won races that way and I've lost races that way." Dollansky appeared to have the second Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature victory of his career in his grasp until the red flag fell with four laps remaining. "We were able to get some air and plug the tire on the first red flag," Craig said. "If it hadn't been for the second red, we'd have been OK. Then we had to stop and they closed the red flag, so we didn't have a chance to fill it up again. I knew it was going down, but you don't want to give up. The Maxim car and Fisher engine were running good. We were right there. It should have been our race, but we came up short, unfortunately." Dollansky, the World of Outlaws Gumout Series points leader, scored the most points in the preliminary programs. He earned the right to starting the main event outside the front row by following Johnny Herrera across the finish line in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. Herrera, whose crew changed the engine in the #20 Networks Eagle following the NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Races, raced wheel-to-wheel with Dollansky down the front straightaway and through turn one as the green flag fell in the 30-lap main event. Herrera surged ahead in the second corner to take the lead and was 1.3 seconds ahead when he entered lapped traffic during the fifth lap. Dollansky narrowed the gap to .4 seconds within two laps, and caught Herrera early in lap nine. Swindell challenged Dollansky in turn four several seconds later, but couldn't complete the pass. Dollansky battled Herrera for three more laps before taking the lead with an inside move in the fourth corner. Swindell steered his #1 CHANNELLOCK Stealth deep in turn one to pass Herrera for second place early in the 16th lap. Swindell was only .6 seconds behind Dollansky with seven laps remaining. Craig increased his advantage two laps later by threading the #7 Polydome Maxim between Dean Jacobs and Tim Shaffer in the first corner. Jacobs hit the retaining wall and flipped in front of Swindell a split-second later. Dollansky's crew filled his right rear tire with air and plugged it before the race resumed. "With the open track, it's going to be tough to catch him," Sammy said during the 24th-lap red period. "I think the CHANNELLOCK car is a little bit better. He found that lane and got up there quickly. I was trying to save my tires and run the second half of the race. It's time to go now or it's going to be too late." Dollansky raced away from Swindell as the green flag replaced the red. He was comfortably ahead when a broken part on the right front of the #21W Pepsi Avenger caused Danny Wood to flip over the turn-one retaining wall two laps later. Dollansky's right rear tire lost most of its air pressure during the closed red period. Swindell blew by him low in the first corner to take the lead as the race resumed. Dollansky's tire was completely shreaded when he stopped in turn four the next time around. With a new right rear tire, Craig raced into 14th place during the final laps. A lapped car restarting between him and Herrera gave Swindell all the advantage he needed to win the 248th "A" Feature of his career. He took over second place in the point standings when engine problems in the #5M Mopar Maxim caused Mark Kinser to finish 25th. Dale Blaney held off Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series point standings leader Steve Kinser for third place. Jac Haudenschild crossed the finish line fifth, ahead of Third NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race winner Andy Hillenburg, Danny Lasoski, 14th-starting Stevie Smith, local favorite Donny Schatz and Brooke Tatnell. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series will run a $47,490 event at Cedar Lake Speedway Monday before heading to Eldora Speedway for a single-program event, the Eldora Clash and the Kings Royal Thursday through Saturday. TNN will televise the Thursday and Friday races live, starting at 9 p.m. EDT. WoO