Dollansky Focused on Clay County Speedway Craig Dollansky has attended the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa, a number of times as a spectator over the years, but this year he will attend the event as a participant in more ways that ...
Dollansky Focused on Clay County Speedway
Craig Dollansky has attended the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa, a number of times as a spectator over the years, but this year he will attend the event as a participant in more ways that one.
Dollansky and his wife Julie have been instrumental in bringing the World of Outlaws to Clay County Speedway located on the Clay County Fairgrounds and in helping prepare for the series inaugural visit to the track on September 12, as part of the 90th Edition of the Clay County Fair.
When the veteran driver walks through the pit gate on Wednesday afternoon, all he will be thinking about is what he has to do to win his fourth World of Outlaws A-Feature event of the season. He will leave the final preparations for the event to his wife and the rest of the staff that has been tirelessly working to bring the best sprint car drivers in the world to one of the most renowned county fairs in the world.
"It's been a lot of work by a lot of people, primarily the people of Spencer and the Fair Board," said Dollansky, driver of the Karavan Trailers Maxim. "Everything is coming together very nicely. It should be a great event for the World of Outlaws."
The track has been recently reconfigured to measure 3/8-mile around, with 15 degrees of banking in the turns, with clay being brought in to replace the black dirt that was on the track. Also, a brand new Musco lighting system has been installed to illuminate the track. The former Clay County Fairgrounds track was a spacious half-mile that was predominately used for horse racing. Dollansky returned to the facility last week in between events in California for the World of Outlaws, to observe sprint cars taking to the reconfigured track for the first time.
"The surface on the track has turned out very well and there is some good banking on it," Dollansky noted. "It's still a work in progress. After the test there, we are happy with everything that we saw. We have the crew from Knoxville (Raceway) working on the track up there for us and they are doing a great job. I look forward to some good racing on it."
Julie Dollansky hails from Spencer, Iowa and since the event was officially announced on April 24, she has been putting in countless hours making sure every aspect of the event is taken care of. Craig also has made several trips to Spencer as well during the season to help in the preparation and promotion of the event.
"There is definitely a lot that goes into," explained the former World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion. "That is Julie's hometown so we have a lot of friends there and a lot of support. It really helps to be involved in the event with the Fair Board. We're happy to be a part of it and happy for it to be part of the World of Outlaws schedule."
The World of Outlaws inaugural visit will take place in the middle of the 90th Edition of the Clay County Fair, which runs from September 8-16. The first two days of this year's fair already saw well over 100,000 people attend. The all-time record for the event was set in 2003, when 311,273 spectators walked through the gates at the Clay County Fair.
Over the storied history of the Clay County Fair, countless award-winning musical artists have played before a jammed packed grandstand including: Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash, Def Leppard, Toby Keith, Martina McBride, Reba McEntire, Tim McGraw, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Kenny Rogers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and ZZ Top.
Sarah Evans and Gretchen Wilson are among the featured artists playing this year at the Clay County Fair.
"Hopefully everyone enjoys the fair while they are there as well," Dollansky said. "It is the largest county fair in the U.S. I think it will be a good event for everyone to be a part of."
The inaugural event at Clay County Speedway will be the series third and final race of the season in the state of Iowa. After spending nearly a month on the West Coast, the event on September 12 will kick off a busy week for the World of Outlaws that will see them compete in the Midwest three times in a five-day period. Dollansky believes that the event at Clay County Speedway is the perfect way to kick off the stretch-run of the season.
"The reception has been great, especially through the pre-sale tickets," explained Dollansky, a native of Elk River, Minnesota. "The interest is certainly there and there is a lot of excitement around the entire event and the area. It's been a major undertaking for everyone that has gotten this thing going and off the ground. As it comes to completion it should be a really good event."
For Dollansky it will be his first time competing at Clay County Speedway. In the last three events on 3/8-mile tracks for the World of Outlaws, he has finished in the Top-10 each time, including leading a number of laps at Grays Harbor Raceway in Washington, where he finished third after running out of fuel on the last lap. This will be the fifth new track that Dollansky and the series will visit as part of the 2007 schedule.
"I enjoy going to tracks for the first time," he said. "I am looking forward to racing on the track. I was out there when they were testing it and it looked really nice."
Dollansky heads to Clay County Speedway solidly in the seventh spot in the World of Outlaws championship standings, on the strength of 39 Top-10 finishes. He has won three A-Feature events this season, including most recently at Skagit Speedway in Washington during the Gold Rush Tour, where he pocketed $25,000 for his 21st career World of Outlaws win. He is one of just seven drivers that has led more than 100 laps of A-Feature competition this season. In addition to this, he has won the Crane Cams Dash seven times to earn the same number of pole positions.
"Without a doubt, we have been running strong," he said. "I feel real good about this race team. Charlie Garrett has really been working with us on the motor program and getting things ironed out for us. We've definitely been on our game and just have to finish this year out strong, going down the stretch."
With 14 events remaining on the 2007 calendar, Dollansky is focused on winning as many races as he can, beginning with the inaugural event at Clay County Speedway on September 12. He has had a very solid season, especially after adding veteran crew chief Mike Woodring to his team during the first East Coast swing of the season in May. Along with longtime crew member Matt Hill, the team recently added Lester Groves, who is a veteran World of Outlaws mechanic.
"We have a couple of big events left this year, including the National Open (at Williams Grove Speedway) which eluded us last year," pointed out Dollansky. "Hopefully we can win one or two more big races and a few more races overall before the year is up. I'm happy with how well everyone on the team is working together. We'll just keep working hard at it and see what we can do."
On Wednesday, September 12 at Clay County Speedway adult reserved tickets will be $35 with adult general admission tickets $30. Reserved tickets for juniors (15-under) will be $15, with general admission tickets for juniors, $10. For ticket information call (712) 262-4740 or visit www.claycountyfair.com.