Victory Karavan: Craig Dollansky Dominates Second Night of Summer Nationals Mechanicsburg, PA -- July 21, 2006 -- Mother Nature tried her best on Friday night to slow down Craig Dollansky on the second night of the Summer Nationals at Williams...
Victory Karavan: Craig Dollansky Dominates Second Night of Summer Nationals
Mechanicsburg, PA -- July 21, 2006 -- Mother Nature tried her best on Friday night to slow down Craig Dollansky on the second night of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway, but she could not.
Just as the cars were rolling out for the 25-lap preliminary feature, rain began to fall and that led to a delay, as the track crew worked diligently to get the racing surface ready for the 24 car starting field.
When the race did get under way, Dollansky wasted little time, as he started on the pole and looked to pull away from the rest of the field. Brooke Tatnell started on the outside of the front row and kept pace with Dollansky in the early going.
Dollansky continued to pace the field and built some pretty sizeable leads that were negated with a couple of cautions. One of those cautions came with one lap remaining, and by way of World of Outlaws rules, the race had to finish under two laps of green flag racing, and thus a shootout was set up, with Daryn Pittman and Tatnell behind Dollansky.
A strong restart propelled Dollansky to a sizeable advantage over the last two laps, and he found himself in RacinSoles Victory Lane, for the first time this season in a preliminary feature. For his efforts, he pocketed $5,000.
Pittman driving the Hop-n-Sack Convenience Stores Maxim made a last lap pass of Brooke Tatnell in the Race Outfitters/Castrol Eagle to come home second, as the pair traded slide jobs at least three times over a lap and a half period.
Jac Haudenschild stated the preliminary feature in the 11th spot and charged into the top-five and was fourth in the Wright One Construction Maxim. He used a late power move to get around Donny Schatz.
Schatz in the ParkerStore J&J rounded out the top-five, and locked himself into the dash on Saturday night by accumulating the third most qualifying points over the first two nights of the Summer Nationals.
Dollansky who finished third on Thursday night, was quick right off the bat, as he turned in the 5th fastest qualifying lap of the 46 cars present. He backed that up with a solid run in his heat race, and that put him on the outside front row of the dash. He took the lead early in the dash and never looked back, earning his second pole position of the season.
"We a good race car," said Dollansky. "Before the rain, it was feeling very good. It's unfortunate that it rained, but my hat is off to Williams Grove and the World of Outlaws officials for getting this event in. That's exactly what you should do in a situation like that if you can. Everybody worked through it and it was great win for the Karavan team. Hopefully that puts us in a good position for tomorrow."
The Elk River, Minn. native was setting a blistering pace and had a healthy advantage, as he worked lapped traffic late in the race, when the yellow flag waved on the final lap. He knew he would be strong on the restart, as he had been the rest of the night.
"I was lapping some cars and wasn't exactly sure where everyone was," Dollansky said. "I felt pretty decent, but my tires were going away a little bit and I was getting loose. We originally had set the car up a different way but after the rain, we had to change it. I wasn't sure where anybody was at. I was just trying to pace myself and maintain the lead."
Despite having some down time during the rain delay, Dollansky was extremely focused when the green flag flew, and knew he had a good car for the preliminary feature.
"We've been there before (with rain delays)," said Dollansky. "It's just something you have to work through. When you get through an entire event like that and up to the A-Main, the fans, and competitors and everyone involved expects you to get it in. The forecast is looking a little tougher tomorrow, but hopefully things work out there."
Though he is pleased with his win, Dollansky knows that the bragging right and big money are on the line Saturday night, and feels very confident heading into that event. He will start on the outside front row of the dash, having earned the second most qualifying points during the first two days of the Summer Nationals.
"You can pass here," Dollansky said. "Last night we started seventh and finished third. I was pretty happy with the car and where I was able to maneuver it, and make my way to the front. Hopefully we can end up in the dash tomorrow night and get a good starting spot in the A-Main. It's going to be a lot of laps, so we'll have to see what happens."
Daryn Pittman was the runner-up for the second night in a row, as he staged a thrilling battle with Brooke Tatnell over the last couple laps of the race. Tatnell lined up for the final restart in the second position with Pittman in third. Once the green flag waved, Pittman closed in on Tatnell and then poked the nose of his car to the side, and that is when they started trading slide jobs, and that continued for the final lap and a half of the race.
"We ran him down there at the end," said Pittman. "We were running the bottom. We thought we had him and he moved to the top. I obviously found the racetrack at the end of the race. On the restart, I just tried something there in the middle and couldn't even believe it stuck."
Tatnell was not very pleased to see the final yellow flag, but got everything he could out of his car coming down for the checkered flag.
"If the yellow had not come out, we would have had second," Tatnell said. "Daryn slid us in turns one and two, we slid him in three and four, and he slid us back again in one and two. There wasn't much between us as we came across the line."
Pittman feels very good heading into the finale on Saturday night, which will pay $20,000 to the winner. He earned his first fast qualifying honor on Friday night, as he bested the 46 car field.
On Saturday, he will start on the pole position in the dash, having racked up the most qualifying points the last two evenings.
"We were a little disappointed to run second last night," said Pittman. "We felt like we had the car to beat. Tonight I am happy with second. I don't think we were the best car on the race track, but we were a very good car. I've missed so many shows at Williams Grove that I should not even complain about running second. We should be high point and that will put us on the pole for the dash tomorrow. It doesn't get much better than that."
The native of Owasso, Okla., was pleased that the track crew worked so hard to make sure the preliminary feature got in. He knows that his last lap battle with Tatnell was well worth the price of admission for the fans.
"The race ended up being really good," said Pittman. "The track was different, but it would have been tough to pass the way the track was before the rain. All in all, it was a great effort. Thanks for the track and the fans. We are glad we were able to get it in."
Though he strives to win every time he is on the track, Tatnell was happy with the performance of his team on Friday night as they finished third, backing up a solid sixth place run he had on Thursday night.
"We've made major inroads from where we usually are at here," said Tatnell. "I think this is the first time that I have made all the shows on a weekend. We did the best we could qualifying for each race and running in the Top-10. I feel like maybe I let the boys down a little bit, but Craig did a great job."
Jac Haudenschild had a tough start to his night, as he came up just short in his heat race and had to make his way into the Preliminary feature by way of the B-Main. He lined up 11th in the feature, and put on a show for the fans as he rode around the high side of the track powering his way into the top-five. He would gain one more spot and finish in the fourth position.
"The car felt real good there late in the race," said Haudenschild. "We got going pretty good. We struggled last night, but we got the car in the show tonight. We were going to the front."
After missing the preliminary feature on Thursday night, the native of Wooster, Ohio was motivated to show that the team could rebound from a tough night.
"We definitely needed a top-five tonight," Haudenschld said. "That will at least put us in the hunt for tomorrow night. We have our work cut out for us tomorrow night. It's going to be a tough one. We're not going to start in the first five rows. We're going to have to be really good."
Donny Schatz had a very solid night, which started out with him turning the third fastest lap in qualifying, and finish fifth in the preliminary feature. He qualified for the dash and ran strong in that. During the preliminary feature, he made it up to the fourth spot, after shadowing Joey Saldana for a couple of laps. Schatz ran fourth for most of the night until Haudenschild used his late move to snatch that spot.
Doug Esh in the Kinard Trucking J&J passed more cars than anyone on the night as he finished 6th after lining up 22nd. Kenny Jacobs was seventh in the JEI Performance JEI. Joey Saldana was eighth in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI. Mike Erdley came home ninth in the Lisi Shell Maxim. Steve Smith rounded out the top-10 in the Race Against the Abuse of Children Everywhere J&J.
On Saturday night, it will be the finale of the Williams Grove Summer Nationals. The Mean 15 will battle the Pennsylvania Posse for bragging rights and a $20,000 first prize.
WILLIAMS GROVE SUMMER NATIONALS NOTEBOOK NIGHT #2
* A LEGEND AT THE GROVE: National Sprint Car Hall of Fame inductee Ray Tilley was on-hand at Williams Grove Speedway on Friday night. The legendary former driver who has won many races at Williams Grove and all around the state of Pennsylvania, helped start the evening for the 46 drivers on hand, by leading the invocation at the World of Outlaws driver meeting.
* FAST QUALIFIER: Daryn Pittman paced the 46 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 1/2-mile semi-banked oval at 17.054 seconds at 105.547 mph. Brian Paulus holds the track record of 16.140 seconds set on April 26. 2002.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Mean 15 drivers Brooke Tatnell, and Terry McCarl, as well as Mike Erdley and Kenny Jacobs. ... Chad Layton won the C-Main. ... Jeff Shepard won the B-Main. ... Craig Dollansky picked up the win in the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: There have been 14 different winners in 34 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway, June 30 at 81 Speedway, and July 18 at Lernerville Speedway), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia, June 4 at Terre Haute, June 23 at Knoxville Raceway, July 1 at Dodge City Raceway Park, July 13 at Limaland Motorsports Park, and July 15 at Eldora Speedway), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway, June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park, and July 7 at Lawrenceburg Speedway), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway, June 4 at Eldora Speedway, and July 14 at Eldora Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway) and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway), and Terry McCarl (July 3 at Huset's Speedway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There have been six preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list included: Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim night on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9, Terry McCarl who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 20, and Craig Dollansky who won the prelim night at Williams Grove on July 21.
* HALF-MILE WINNERS: Williams Grove Speedway is a semi-banked, half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has now raced 16 times this season on half-mile ovals, including preliminary features. Winners include: Joey Saldana (Volusia, Terre Haute, Knoxville, and Eldora), Donny Schatz (Las Vegas and twice at Red River Valley), Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Danny Lasoski (Manzanita), Craig Dollansky (Twice at Eldora and Williams Grove), Sammy Swindell (Las Vegas and twice at Eldora Speedway), and Terry McCarl (Williams Grove).
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 26 the Knight Before the Kings Royal from Eldora Speedway. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).
* UP NEXT: On Saturday, the finale of the Summer Nationals at Williams Grove Speedway that will pay the winner $20,000. On Sunday, the Mean 15 roll into the Empire State for a pair of races. On July 23 they make their only appearance of the season at Lebanon Valley Speedway and then it's on to Fulton Speedway on July 25.