Gibsonton, FL -- "I was running the low line in open track, but here at East Bay, lapped traffic usually dictates who the winner will be," a happy Craig Dollansky related after he won the opener of the 27th annual East Bay Winternationals...
Gibsonton, FL -- "I was running the low line in open track, but here at East Bay, lapped traffic usually dictates who the winner will be," a happy Craig Dollansky related after he won the opener of the 27th annual East Bay Winternationals Wednesday night. He also credited Maxim Chassis, Hoosier Tires and his Charlie Fisher engine from victory lane. Dollansky's main sponsor is Vmac with associate sponsor from FattFro Motorsports.
The first of four nights of racing at the East Bay Raceway Park for the All Star Circuit of Champions saw 42 cars packed into the pit area. Many of the heavy hitters in the sport of sprint car racing where on hand such as, Danny "The Dude" Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Chad Kemenah, Greg Hodnett, and Dollansky.
On the pole of the Haulmark 25 lap A-Main event was the 2002 All Star champ Chad Kemenah and on the outside of front row was, "The Crowd Pleaser", Craig Dollansky. When the green flag flew Kemenah jumped out to the early lead with Dollansky in second and Joey Saldana in third. Dollansky closed in on the rear bumper of Kemenah after Kemenah got held up in lapped traffic on lap five. The driver now on the move was the 24T of Terry McCarl. He started fifth and was closing in on the leaders quickly on lap seven after passing Saldana for third. The first yellow of the night came out for the 72B of Dale Blaney after he stopped on the bottom of turn three on lap 12. On lap 16 Joey Saldana in the Red Stauffer owned 2s was able to move past the 24T of McCarl to put Saldana in third. On lap 18, Kemenah was getting held up by lapped traffic and Dollansky was right on his tail to capitalize on his misfortune to take over the lead. Also on the 18th lap, Jason Johnson got over the right rear of the fourth place car, Terry McCarl, sending Johnson into the front stretch fence. Johnson flipped close to the flag stand but after everything was over with nobody was injured. When racing resumed, nobody could touch the Karavan Motorsports 7 as Craig Dollansky picked up the A-Main victory. Second was Chad Kemenah, third was Joey Saldana, fourth was Jeff Shepard after starting 12th, fifth was Tim Shaffer, sixth was Danny Lasoski, seventh went to Dean Jacobs, eighth was Brian Paulus, ninth was Fred Rahmer, and rounding out the top ten was Byron Reed.
All four heats went non-stop with the Crown Battery heat to Jeff Shepard, the B&B Products heat to Brian Paulus, the Engler Machine and Tool heat was won by Chad Kemenah and the TP Wings heat fell to Greg Hodnett. Fred Rahmer won the United Aluminum Window Sales & Consulting B Main. Dean Jacobs was the Huggins Cams Fast Time qualifier.
"America's Series, The All Star Circuit of Champions" will present a slate of 80 sprint car race dates in 2003 from February to October in action at 31 speedways in 17 states. America's favorite dirt track series is in its' 23rd year and has presented fans with the largest average car count and greatest number of different race winners in the United States over the past two decades.