Dollansky Electrifying in World of Outlaws Sprint Series Win at Powercom Park A new car always energizes any driver, but Craig Dollansky's newest machine is electrifying. He led all 40 laps Wednesday night at The Raceway at Powercom Park for his...
Dollansky Electrifying in World of Outlaws Sprint Series Win at Powercom Park
A new car always energizes any driver, but Craig Dollansky's newest machine is electrifying. He led all 40 laps Wednesday night at The Raceway at Powercom Park for his second World of Outlaws Sprint Series A-feature victory of the season.
After his primary car was destroyed in a wreck last month at Missouri State Fair Speedway, Dollansky and his crew finally made it back to their shop in nearby Fox Lake, Wis. Crew chief D.J. Lindsey and the Karavan Motorsports team worked through the night to assemble a new car with a J&J Chassis and Charlie Garrett powerplant.
That combination worked to give Dollansky a victory in the second Dash that put him on the outside pole for the A-main alongside Paul McMahan. As the green flag waved, Dollansky and Shane Stewart, one of four drivers who beginning Friday will be racing for a newly opened spot in the Mean 15, charged to the cushion in Turn 1. Dollansky carried his momentum to the lead off of Turn 2 and from there he drove away from the field, eventually winning by more than 5 seconds on the 1/3-mile oval as the field sliced and diced behind him.
Championship points-leader Steve Kinser perfected the slide job to launch his car from 10th on the starting grid to second at the checkered flag. Jason Meyers finished third ahead of Stewart, Tim Shaffer, McMahan, Brian Paulus, Kraig Kinser, Donny Schatz and Tim Kaeding.
"We lost our good car in Sedalia and it was a long haul trying to get through the last week and a half, trying to get back to our shop where we could build a couple of new cars," said Dollansky, a Mean 15 racer and native of Elk River, Minn., who collected $10,000 for his effort Wednesday night. "My crew did a great job staying up all night last night building this car and getting it ready for today.
"You can never give up in this business. I think we're back on track. To get a win tonight is great. This is like a second home to me and to be able to win here in front of the hometown crowd is great."
Dollansky, who led the standings early in the season after winning in February in Bakersfield, Calif., had posted three consecutive top-five runs before his car was destroyed in a scary Turn 3 flip at Missouri State Fair Speedway. Since then, he struggled in a car the team had put back in the hauler earlier in the season.
"All we were doing was biding our time the last four races," Dollansky said. "It was a struggle. We knew we had a car that wasn't working for us. It was a car that we brought out toward the latter part of the first quarter of the year and it never worked so we parked it. Then I lost my good car at Sedalia and I had to bring that car back down because it was the only one I had."
His newest car could not have worked better. Whether he had clear track in front of him on restarts after any of the five cautions or was dodging and weaving lapped cars, Dollansky rarely had to get off the gas. Still, the unknown of who could be closing the gap was enough to keep him from letting up.
"You never know how hard you have to be pushing it through lapped traffic," he said. "I was pushing it pretty hard there. I got held up a couple of times behind a couple of cars and I didn't know if somebody was going to get a run on me or not. But we had a real good racecar. I hope we can put more cars like that one the racetrack.
"The one thing about these cars, there are no mirrors in them, so you have no clue where that second-place car is. You just run hard, that's all you can do. You try to run a patient race but at the same time you've got to be running hard so nobody gets by you."
Steve Kinser thrilled the huge crowd as he threw his Quaker State machine around the track trying and succeeding to make passes in every turn. Eventually he found himself in second after going back and forth with Meyers on Lap 25 and Stewart on Lap 27. Kinser then tried to lock onto Dollansky but his motor began to bobble.
"I got right behind Craig and then I dropped a cylinder," said Kinser, a Mean 15 racer from Bloomington, Ind., who has a 270-point lead in his quest for a 20th series championship. "I was basically running on six cylinders then and I was just trying to finish. I think I was good enough. If we wouldn't have dropped that cylinder I think I could have won the race, but you never know. Once it dropped the cylinder I was just hoping there wouldn't be any yellows. If there had been a yellow I was done. I never could have taken off. I just hung on for second."
While nearly every driver found the fastest way around the track was on the cushion, Kinser worked from hot laps through heats to find places he might be able to make moves during the A-main, especially knowing traffic would be a factor. His studies and experience is what propelled him to the front.
"I'm searching the racetrack all night," he said. "It's easy to find where the fast place to run is. It's hard to find a place to run when you get into traffic. You've got to search around on the racetrack some. If you get a little spot to check something out, you check it out because later on in the night you're going to have to do some moving around. I've always done that. Most people just stay on the fast part of the track and never even worry about when they get to the lapped traffic where to go and what to do. That's something I'm checking out all night to try to find some spots to pass when people get trapped behind cars."
Meyers, a Mean 15 racer from Clovis, Calif., who is second in points with four victories, pushed his Elite Racing Team car hard down the stretch to keep pace with Kinser. With 16 laps down, he was able to go under McMahan as they exited Turn 4 and slide into third going down the frontstretch. After sliding back and forth with Kinser, Meyers slipped to fourth but moved back to third by going around Stewart with eight to go.
"That's everything I had right there," said Meyers, whose most recent victory was last weekend in the Duel in the Dakotas. "My tongue was hanging out at the end of the race. That's all I had left. It was a good race tonight. I'm sure it was a good race for the fans.
"The preferred line tonight was the top groove. I think the only way you were going to pass anybody was to put a slide job on them. I know Steve made some great passes on the restarts. We were up there in the front and really didn't have any chances on the restarts. We had a great car tonight, everybody did a great job. We just came up a little short. I felt like I should have gotten Steve at the end, but that's just the way it goes some nights. We'll take another top-three finish for the team and roll on to the next race."
Heavy traffic through a wrench into Stewart's race, but his fourth-place run helps solidifying his lead in the chase for the Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year Award. Stewart, of Bixby, Okla., has his Rudeen Racing machine eighth in points with three top-five runs and 17 top-10s.
"I was tight to begin with, and then once our fuel-load got off our car got just a little bit tighter and that hurt us more than anything," Stewart said. "I was so tight I couldn't get down to the bottom if I needed to. I think that was our biggest dilemma. I think if I could have gotten around [Jason] Solwold on that last restart I would have been just fine. My hat's off to Dollansky, he did a good job. We'll take fourth and go on."
The series next rolls Friday into Route 66 Raceway, where it runs in conjunction with Chicagoland Speedway's annual NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race, and Saturday to I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., just south of St. Louis.
THE MARCH TO THE MEAN 15
The No. 35 Rick Wright-owned car, 18th in World of Outlaws Sprint Series owners' points, has dropped out of the Mean 15 and off the regular tour. That means four teams are now eligible for the March to the Mean 15, a race-off to grab the final spot in the elite group of sprint car teams: the Rush Racing No. 8 car driven by Brooke Tatnell (fifth in owner's points), the Rudeen Racing No. 26 car driven by Shane Stewart (ninth in owners' points), the No. 24 car driven by Terry McCarl (14th in owners' points) and the Lon Carnahan-owned No. R19 car driven by Jason Solwold (17th in owners' points).
The team that accumulates the most points during the next five full-points events beginning Friday at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., will determine which team moves into the Mean 15.
Even though the Brooke Tatnell and his Rush Racing team missed out on another top-10 finish, something they had accomplished in every A-feature since May 27 at Williams Grove, they still jumped into the top-five in owners' points for the first time this season.
The race Wednesday night at Powercom Park was on a 1/3-mile oval, marking the eighth race on a track that size this season. Including preliminaries, there have been four different winners. Craig Dollansky won Wednesday at Powercom Park and Feb. 26 at Bakersfield Speedway. Steve Kinser won twice at Eagle Raceway and at Grandview Speedway, Tim Shaffer captured A-mains May 6 at Lake Ozark Speedway in Eldon, Mo., and Feb. 25 at Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare, Calif. On April 2, Kraig Kinser won at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo.
In the Stacker 2® Dash to set the inside top six rows of the A-main, Paul McMahan outdueled Shane Stewart to grab the lead as he powered to the checkered flag to earn the pole. Stewart held on for second ahead of Donny Schatz, Terry McCarl, fast qualifier Daryn Pittman and Danny Smith.
In the second Dash that set the outside top six row of the A-main, Craig Dollansky fought off Jason Meyers as the green flag waved and charged to the finish to earn the outside pole. Meyers remained in second, followed by Danny Lasoski, Tim Shaffer, Steve Kinser and Kraig Kinser.
In the B-main, Randy Hannagan raced to the lead off of Turn 2 and pulled away as John Haeni and Travis Whitney traded second back and forth before Haeni finally grabbed the spot after a caution with three to go. Whitney finished second with Scott Neitzel securing the final transfer spot after sliding past Bill Warren in Turn 2.
In the first heat, Jason Solwold shot to the lead in Turn 1 as Brooke Tatnell cut down into second. Todd Hepfner was in third, but Terry McCarl put a late lap slide job on him in Turn 3 before Daryn Pittman also snuck past, leaving Hepfner in the final transfer spot.
In the second heat, Joey Saldana surged to the lead in front of a wild four-car scramble for second. When it all shook out, Saldana won the heat with Mike Kertscher, Tim Kaeding, Danny Lasoski and Kraig Kinser earning spots in the A-feature.
In the third heat, Jason Sides drove into the lead going into Turn 3 and held on through traffic in a strong field as Paul McMahan, Tim Shaffer, Donny Schatz and Craig Dollansky all transferred.
In the fourth heat, Brandon Wimmer dominated early but was forced out with mechanical trouble, leaving Brian Paulus in front of Jason Meyers, Steve Kinser, Shane Stewart and Danny Smith.
Daryn Pittman paced the 35 cars that went through time trials with a lap around the 1/3-mile oval in 11.591 seconds at 102.493 mph. Pittman established the track record of 11.275 seconds in a Gumout Series event on July 10, 2001.
The Outlaws race July 8 at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill., and July 9 at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., before heading back east for the Brad Doty Classic July 13 at Attica Raceway Park.
The Outdoor Channel will air all of the action from the Eagle Nationals at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 6. The Outdoor Channel will then air the Duel in the Dakotas at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 13.