Tri-State race report 2006-04-15

Craig Dollansky Earns First 2006 World of Outlaws Win After Dominating Tri-State Speedway Haubstadt, IN -- April 15, 2006 -- Craig Dollansky has been one of the strong racers on the World of Outlaws Sprint Series circuit during the past three ...

Craig Dollansky Earns First 2006 World of Outlaws Win After Dominating Tri-State Speedway

Haubstadt, IN -- April 15, 2006 -- Craig Dollansky has been one of the strong racers on the World of Outlaws Sprint Series circuit during the past three weeks, surging through the ranks and back into contention for a championship.

On Saturday night, he took another major leap toward a title when he dominated the feature at Tri-State Speedway and powered his Karavan Trailers Maxim into the RacinSoles Victory Lane for his first win this season and the 13th A-feature victory of his career.

After surviving a contact-filled start to win his Dash, Dollansky took the green flag for the 40-lap main event from the outside of the front row in front of packed grandstands on both sides of the paper-clip quarter-mile oval.

But as hooked up as Dollansky was, Rob Chaney got the initial jump and led the first nine laps in the NOS Energy Drink/Mafia Motorsports Maxim. Dollansky caught and passed Chaney, who is most likely making his final start in the Martin Motorsports machine, on Lap 10 and extended his advantage in heavy traffic during a green flag run that lasted until a caution with two laps remaining.

Dollansky charged hard into the first corner on the final restart and powered his way down the backstretch to win.

Terry McCarl slid into second in the Big Game Treestands Eagle with Chaney holding on for third. Fast qualifier Jac Haudenschild worked through the traffic to finish fourth in the Wright One Construction Maxim and Brooke Tatnell rounded out the top five in the Garlic Jim's Pizza/Castrol Eagle. Tatnell was in second with a couple of laps remaining but after tangling with a lapped car he spun in Turns 3 and 4 and restarted at the end of the lead lap.

Kaley Gharst turned in one of the most impressive performances of his career. After racing to victory in the B-main and starting 20th in the feature, Gharst motored all the way to sixth in a Maxim-sponsored machine. Jeremy Campbell, who one night earlier turned in an impressive non-wing top-three finish, was seventh in the Americas Best Value Inn Maxim with Daryn Pittman in the Titan Garages & Carports Maxim, Becca Anderson in the Upstate Kenworth JEI and Donny Schatz in the ParkerStore J&J rounding out the top 10.

"We made a change of race cars about five races ago and things have been getting progressively better for us," said Dollansky, of Elk River, Minn. "We didn't just change personnel, we changed some shock stuff. We got some stuff sorted out and the last five nights of racing, I have been pretty happy with the race car and we have been gaining on it, slowly but surely. We've had some good runs, and I definitely feel like we are moving in the right direction to build some momentum."

Lap traffic was a factor the entire night on the high-banked track perfectly manicured by Tom Helfrich and his staff. Dollansky lapped the field all the way up to fifth place due to an intense 33-lap green-flag run.

"Traffic definitely produces a lot of slicing and dicing, a lot of action for the race fans," Dollansky said. "That's what decides a lot of short track races, the traffic. I was happy how our car operated through traffic. I could run high and low, and the middle. We really could go wherever we needed at the times we got to lapped cars."

Dollansky and the rest of the Mean 15 will have to deal with traffic again this Friday as they continue their assault on quarter-mile tracks at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway near Cincinnati.

"I like the short tracks just as much as the big tracks," Dollansky said. "I really loved the big tracks a few years back, but the short tracks are a lot of fun to race, especially when you have race cars operating like that one here tonight. It definitely makes your job a while lot easier. It's a total team effort and we work hard at it."

With his runner-up finish, McCarl benefited nearly as much as Dollansky. With some of those ahead of him in the championship standings having trouble in the feature, he was able to tighten in the standings.

"We'll take the second place tonight and it's a long season of course, but you always want to do the best that you can," said McCarl, of Altoona, Iowa. "The bad luck caught up to a few of our competitors this week."

McCarl ran a smooth and steady race all night long, and was up to second on the last restart but could not get to Dollansky lapped cars lined up in front of him.

"At that point, I knew we didn't have a legitimate shot at winning, so I was trying to stay out of trouble," McCarl said. "The guys in front of us were really dicing it up and banging wheels, and that's what got Brooke spun out with a couple to go. My goal was to hold my own and not do anything stupid. We had a second place at Pevely (I-55 Raceway) and got crashed out late and a fourth place or better at Eldora and got crashed out, so the point deal has really hurt us the last couple of races, but we have been fast. It's a little easier to be optimistic when you fall out running top-four."

Chaney nearly picked up his first career World of Outlaws win and settled for third. The Wooster, Ohio, veteran has been filling in for injured Jason Martin, who is expected to return to the cockpit on Friday at Lawrenceburg. Chaney, won the first dash and sat on the pole for the main event, led the first nine laps with a sizeable lead after two cautions, before running into heavy traffic.

"We were pretty good, and then Donny Schatz got crossed up when we tried to lap him, and that let Dollansky slip by me," Chaney said. "It was tight then for awhile. I was trying to lap a car and it knocked my nose wing loose and that really hurt me as we tried to run the curb. We struggled a little bit and a couple of guys got by me. We were kind of just trying to hold on there at the end."

Chaney, and season-opening fill-in Brian Brown, helped keep Martin's car in the thick of the points battle, with it now sitting 12th in owner's points.

"Anytime you can run in the top three with these guys, regardless of the circumstances, it's great," Chaney said. "If it was easy out here, everyone would be doing it. It's definitely not."

Schatz salvaged what could have been a dreadful night to maintain his position atop the championship standings. After winning his heat and finishing second in his dash, Schatz lined up third in the feature. During a caution on Lap 3, he gave up the fourth so his crew could work on a wheel problem, dropping him to the tail of the lead lap.

The second half World of Outlaws Quarter-Mile Mania continues on Friday with the City of Lawrenceburg Sprint Nationals at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway near Cincinnati. The series closes out the month with races April 29 at legendary Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, and April 30 at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series is brought to the fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including series sponsors Hoosier Racing Tire and The Outdoor Channel. Promotional Partners include AMB i.t., Choice Hotels and The University of Northwestern Ohio. Contingency sponsors include DART Machinery, MSD Ignitions, Wrisco Industries and RacinSoles.

TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK

* HELPING HAND: In a collection taken up by World of Outlaws racers, the generous fans on Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway donated $4,550 for veteran Indiana racer Danny Smith, whose wife passed away on Saturday morning after a long battle with cancer. Included in the collection was a donation from Donny Schatz for $500.

* FAST QUALIFIER: Jac Haudenschild paced the 30-car field in the Wright One Construction Maxim with an AMB i.t.-timed lap around the 1/4-mile oval in 11.647 seconds at 77.273 mph. For his qualifying effort, Haudenschiled earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Brooke Tatnell (4), Donny Schatz (3), Becca Anderson (2) and Jeremy Campbell (1). Tri-State Speedway is a high-banked, paper-clip-shaped 1/4-mile oval. Sammy Swindell established the track record of 11.110 seconds on Oct. 8, 2004.

* MAIN-EVENT WINNERS: Craig Dollansky's win Saturday night at Tri-State Speedway was his first World of Outlaws A-feature victory this season. There have been seven different winners in 11 race nights to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list also includes Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, as well as a preliminary victory April 7 at Eldora), Donny Schatz (March 9 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway and April 1 at I-55 Raceway), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia) and Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia).

* QUARTER-MILE WINS: Saturday night's event at Tri-State Speedway was the World of Outlaws first event this season on a quarter-mile oval. Craig Dollansky will aim to repeat his quarter-mile success on Friday at Lawrenceburg Speedway.

* QUALIFYING EVENTS: Rob Chaney and Craig Dollansky were the Dash winners. -- Kaley Gharst geared up for his incredible A-main run with a victory in the B-main. -- Heat race winners included Chad Kemenah, Daryn Pittman and Donny Schatz.

* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on April 19 the World of Outlaws Saturday night event from Eldora Speedway. The Saturday night race from Tri-State Speedway will air on April 26. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).

* UP NEXT: The second half World of Outlaws Quarter-Mile Mania continues on Friday with the City of Lawrenceburg Sprint Nationals at Lawrenceburg (Ind.) Speedway near Cincinnati. The series closes out the month with races April 29 at legendary Knoxville Raceway in Knoxville, Iowa, and April 30 at Huset's Speedway in Brandon, S.D.

-woo-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Danny Lasoski , Donny Schatz , Sammy Swindell , Craig Dollansky , Brian Brown , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Joey Saldana , Paul McMahan , Becca Anderson , Jac Haudenschild , Chad Kemenah