2008 World of Outlaws Season Review: Craig Dollansky Concord, NC-- December 3, 2008-- The 2008 could not have started out any better for Craig Dollansky and the Larry Woodward team as they won on opening night at Volusia Speedway Park in ...
2008 World of Outlaws Season Review: Craig Dollansky
Concord, NC-- December 3, 2008-- The 2008 could not have started out any better for Craig Dollansky and the Larry Woodward team as they won on opening night at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida and left the Sunshine State atop the World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship standings and with the championship from the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals. Unfortunately the season ended early for Dollansky, as he suffered a compound fracture to his right arm at Eldora Speedway in September that required surgery and sidelined him for the rest of the season.
At the time of his injury, Dollansky was third in points on the strength of 44 Top-10 finishes. He wound up seventh, with the team finishing fourth in owner points, after Brooke Tatnell filled in for him after the injury. Dollansky finished the year as one of just three drivers that led more than 300 laps of feature racing competition. He also was quickest in time trials on seven occasions and was tied for the series lead with six wins in the Crane Cams Dash to earn pole positions in A-Feature events.
"To start out with a new team, with Larry Woodward, I was very happy with how things were going," shared Dollansky. "It's unfortunate that I ended up getting hurt, but there's not much you can do about that. I had to miss the latter part of the season and it hurt us in the point deal. We had some good wins this year and were close in some of the big races. All in all, outside of getting hurt, we were pretty happy with it."
Helping the team get up to speed even quick was the fact that, Dollansky was again paired with crew chief Mike Woodring this season, along with Lester Groves who were part of his team in 2007. They also welcomed crew member Rob Beattie to the fold in 2008 to help turn the wrenches on the Snap-on Tools/Aggressive Hydraulics Maxim.
"Those guys work hard every night," said the former Gumout Series champion. "It's a total team effort out here. I have three great guys there and I enjoy racing with them and really enjoyed racing with Larry and Lori. I would have liked to have finished the season out without getting injured, but that's behind us now. I definitely enjoyed my time with them."
After his win at Volusia Speedway Park to open the season, Dollansky finished sixth or better in each of the first nine races of the seasons, and he was the early season point leader. He picked up his second win of the season at Eldora Speedway in early April and followed that up with a couple of wins at Huset's Speedway in South Dakota, as well as Tri-State Speedway in Indiana, Eagle Raceway in Nebraska and Paducah International Raceway in Kentucky. He also picked up a preliminary feature win on the opening night of the Gold Cup Race of Champions at Silver Dollar Speedway in California.
"We had some real good races on all different types of race tracks and won on all different types of tracks," noted the native of Elk River, Minnesota. "We ran third at the (Knoxville) Nationals, second at the Gold Cup and second at the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove. We couldn't quite get it done at the big races, but we were close and I am looking forward to next year. All of my focus and efforts right now are going toward 2009 and starting the year off strong. We're looking forward to it."
Along with his wife Julie, Craig helped promote two very successful World of Outlaws events at Princeton Speedway in his home state of Minnesota, along with Clay County Fair Speedway in Iowa. The event at Clay County saw a standing room only crowd for the second consecutive year. For their efforts, the couple earned the 2008 World of Outlaws Promoter of the Year Award at the series annual Night of Champions back in November in Charlotte, North Carolina.
"Promoting races is a lot of work and we do enjoy it, but it's definitely demanding on our time and my wife's time," Craig explained. "Both races went off without any weather interruptions and anytime that you can do that is a good thing. The fans enjoyed the shows at both places which is always the most important thing."
During the finale of the second annual VAULT World Finals at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway live on SPEED in an interview with Dave Despain, Dollansky announced that he had joined Kasey Kahne Racing and will be a teammate to Joey Saldana in 2009.
"We're real excited," said Dollansky. "I'm really looking forward to driving for Kasey Kahne Racing. We have Mike (Woodring) Rob (Beattie) and Lester (Groves) going along with me. Keeping the chemistry of the race team together was very important to me. Working together with the crew from the (No.) 9 car, we'll have two very strong race teams."
For the third consecutive off-season, Dollansky will head to New Zealand to compete in a number of races for the always potent Salter Motorsports team, along with Saldana and Paul McMahan. Dollansky had three career wins in New Zealand at Springs Speedway.
"We'll be leaving for New Zealand in December and Joey (Saldana) and Paul McMahan will be going as well," shared Dollansky. "I'll run about five or six races over there and it's always good to race there. That will help us get ready for the upcoming season here."
The 2009 World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series seasons kicks off February 6-8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.