Along the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Trail By Richard Day The Third Annual Duel in the Dakotas was one of the most entertaining Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series events in recent years. Many ...
Along the Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series Trail
By Richard Day
The Third Annual Duel in the Dakotas was one of the most entertaining Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series events in recent years. Many surprising, ironic twists of fate characterized the triple-program event at Red River Valley Speedway. Craig Dollansky appeared to be on his way to recording the first Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series "A" Feature victory for the Gumout Series when he discovered a hole in his right rear tire during a 24th-
lap red period. Unfortunately for the support series points leader, his crew's frantic efforts to repair the tire went for naught as the tire lost all its air pressure with 2 1/2 laps remaining in the race televised live on TNN. Ironically, members of the CHANNELLOCK crew were the first on the scene to help Dollansky's team change the shredded tire on the #7 Polydome Maxim as Sammy Swindell took Craig's place ahead of the 26-car field. Swindell suffered through a similar ordeal at Bristol Motor Speedway a month ago as TNN's cameras taped highlights of the preliminary program at the Inaugural CHANNELLOCK Challenge. Sammy, who was almost 1 1/3 seconds faster than NASCAR's track record at the lightning-fast, high-banked, .533-mile oval, led laps 3-15 before fellow Tennesseean Greg Hodnett spun in front of him on the back straightaway. The Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series' three-time champion hit the wall and spun to avoid Hodnett. He kept his Gaerte engine fired as the caution flag fell, but the damage was done, and Sammy lost the lead quickly as his right tire lost air pressure. Paul McMahan, who ranks third in the Gumout Series point standings, also fell victim to tire woes. A flat left rear tire took him out of third place with two laps remaining in the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race. The transplanted California racer who now lives in Indiana, finished third in the "B" Feature and 19th in the main event. Red River Valley Speedway's racing surface changed about as often as the teams changed tires. Swindell's record-setting 120.369-m.p.h. lap was 1.325 seconds faster than Mark Kinser's Vivarin Fast-Time Award winning lap on opening night. While Johnny Herrera raced around the high-banked, 1/2-mile oval in the high 15-second range to win the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash, Mark Kinser was almost 1 1/2 seconds slower while winning the "B" Feature. The increased humidity in West Fargo made for a good racing surface, but was tough on the teams' 800-horsepower power plants. Engine problems in the #5M Mopar Maxim cost Mark Kinser a victory in the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race and a starting position in the Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. More engine woes in the main event put Mark in the pits early in the 17th lap. His 25th-place finish allowed Swindell to pass him for second place in the point standings. Other drivers replacing engines during Saturday's feature program included Herrera, Jac Haudenschild and Brad Furr. Brian Paulus borrowed an engine from Brooke Tatnell and a hood from Furr. Pennzoil World of Outlaws Series points leader Steve Kinser crashed with Donny Schatz early in the first lap of Saturday's Second CHANNELLOCK Dash. Both sprinters were towed from the track. Kinser's crew, which had already changed engines in the #11 Quaker State Maxim after "The King of the Outlaws" won the First NAPA AUTO PARTS Heat Race, went to work on the car immediately. Schatz and his skeleton crew repaired the #15 ParkerStores Maxim while Donny's mother, Diane, smiled widely as TNN's cameras panned the packed grandstands. Kinser's and Schatz' crews received some much needed extra time when a crash forced a restart in the "B" Feature. They received Luxaire's Cool Move of the Race Award. Kinser and Schatz raced as if they were in new cars in the "A" Feature, finishing fourth and ninth, respectively. Expect more high-speed drama when TNN televises the Eldora Clash and the $50,000-to-win Kings Royal from Eldora Speedway Friday and Saturday. Live coverage begins at 9 p.m. EDT each night. WoO