Series Huset spotlight - Craig Dollansky

Dollansky Looks to Continue Fast Start to 2008 Season at Huset's Speedway Not much has been able to slow Craig Dollansky down this season. Mother Nature has tried her best in the form of rain, cold, sleet and even snow, as have the other 18...

Dollansky Looks to Continue Fast Start to 2008 Season at Huset's Speedway

Not much has been able to slow Craig Dollansky down this season. Mother Nature has tried her best in the form of rain, cold, sleet and even snow, as have the other 18 full-time Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers, but he just keeps winning races and racking up Top-Five finishes.

Dollansky will look to continue his strong start to the 2008 season this weekend, as the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series takes to the track for two full nights of racing, beginning at the high-banked 3/8-mile Huset's Speedway in South Dakota on Friday, April 25.

"I have always enjoyed racing there," said the driver of the Auto Value Maxim. "It definitely is one of my favorite tracks to go to. Anytime people ask about my favorite tracks, I always mention Huset's."

Dollansky has had a great deal of success at Huset's Speedway over the years, as he has four wins, including the 2000 Gold Cup, which was sanctioned by the World of Outlaws Gumout Series. In that event, he bested a very strong field that included four fellow current Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series drivers.

The race this week will be the first of three visits by the series to Huset's Speedway in 2008. The last time that he competed more than twice in a season at the track located just outside of Sioux Falls was in 1999, when he had five Top-two finishes. He won two races at the track that season and was the runner-up in three others, and in total had six Top-10 finishes in the same number of starts. The event on Friday will mark the second short track event of the season for the series, to go along with a stop at I-55 Raceway in Missouri earlier this month.

"It's definitely is a high-banked race track," he noted of the configuration at Huset's Speedway. "When they have the track prepared well, you can run the top and the bottom. It really produces some great racing. I can't really compare it to anywhere else we go. It's a pretty unique track."

Dollansky and his crew led by veteran crew chief Mike Woodring, along with Rob Beattie and Lester Groves look to pay extra close attention to the racing surface on Friday night to see how it changes over the course of the evening, as they seek to gain additional information for the series two return visits to Huset's Speedway in the heat of the summer.

"This first time we go there this year, the track conditions will dictate what we do with our race car," explained the native of Elk River, Minnesota. "It's early in the year, so a lot will depend on how they prepare the track. We look to put on a good show for the fans."

Dollansky won the opening event of the 2008 season for the World of Outlaws during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida. He followed that up with a fifth-place run and a second-place performance, to earn his second consecutive Alltel DIRTcar Nationals championship. That came after he finished fourth, fifth and sixth in the opening three races of the six night event at the half-mile which were sanctioned by the All Star Circuit of Champions.

After a strong fifth-place run at the storied Manzanita Speedway in Arizona, Mother Nature interrupted the World of Outlaws schedule, but Dollansky and his team headed east and picked up a win at the famed Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania, where the World of Outlaws will compete on three separate occasions this season. He followed that up with a fourth-place performance at Lincoln Speedway against a very strong field that included several fellow World of Outlaws drivers.

Back in action with the series at I-55 Raceway in Missouri on April 5, he led a number of laps and finished a very strong second. In the most recent World of Outlaws event at Eldora Speedway in Ohio, he picked up his second A-Feature wins of the season, holding off two-time defending series champion Donny Schatz. Currently, Dollansky holds a 17 point advantage in the championship standings over Jason Meyers. He is the only driver that has finished in the Top-Five in all six races this season.

"We've had a great start to the season and we are focused on keeping it that way," said the 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion. "We'll just keep working hard with our program as we go. We're focused on winning races right now."

Dollansky has also been extremely strong in time trials this season, as he has stopped the clocks first or second in five of the six events this season. He set fast time on opening night back in February and was second-quick in the next four events. This has helped him build a commanding lead in the standings for the Qwik Liner Cup, which awards points to the Top-Five drivers in time trials each night during the first 13 events of the season. He also has raced his way into the Crane Cams Dash in each race this season, to earn a Top-10 starting spot in each A-Feature.

"Our qualifying has been strong all year and that definitely has helped," he stated. "At Eldora we had to start 10th in the dash (after being sixth in time trials), but qualifying can definitely dictate how your night goes. Qualifying has always been a strong point and I am glad to get back to that this year."

After joining the Larry Woodward Racing team in December, Dollansky and his crew had less than two full months to prepare for the always demanding World of Outlaws season. They worked night and day in the shop leading up to the events in Florida and all of that hard work paid off with their fast start and consistency.

"I was very happy with how our team performed in the six races we had at Volusia (Speedway Park)," he said. "I feel like we are ready for when we are racing every night. We've had some lulls in the schedule and each time we have gone back to racing, we have come out strong from the down time. I've seen what we can do when we are racing six nights in-a-row and I have seen how we can get back after things after having some time off. I'm really encouraged with how our team is working right now. The crew has done a great job and we are definitely chomping at the bit to go racing a lot more when the schedule picks up."

Last season at Huset's Speedway, Dollansky finished second to Schatz in the 35-lap event, after winning the fourth heat race and running third in the Crane Cams Dash. He has seven Top-10 finishes in his career with the series at the track, as he closes in on his first A-Feature win.

"We were close in that race last year," said Dollansky, who has 23 career A-Feature wins with the World of Outlaws. "I'm looking forward to hopefully getting this Larry Woodward/Auto Value car in Victory Lane up there in a World of Outlaws show. We are going to go in there with everything that we have and look to have a good night."

On Friday, April 25 at Huset's Speedway, Adult tickets will be $32, with tickets for Juniors (ages 8-14) $10, while children 7 & under will be admitted free of charge. All tickets will be general admission and will be on sale at the track ticket office the day of the race. For ticket information visit: www.husets-speedway.com or call (605) 582-3536.

-credit: woo

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Donny Schatz , Craig Dollansky , Jason Meyers
Teams Williams