Craig Dollansky Looks Ahead to 2009 After Joining Kasey Kahne Racing Concord, NC-- November 4, 2008--The 2008 season didn't quite end the way that Craig Dollansky had hoped, after he was injured at Eldora Speedway in September, sidelining him...
Craig Dollansky Looks Ahead to 2009 After Joining Kasey Kahne Racing
Concord, NC-- November 4, 2008--The 2008 season didn't quite end the way
that Craig Dollansky had hoped, after he was injured at Eldora Speedway in
September, sidelining him for the rest of the year, but with that behind him
now, the veteran driver is gearing up for the 2009 Advance Auto Parts World
of Outlaws Sprint Car Series. He announced live on SPEED on Saturday night
during the finale of the second annual VAULT World Finals at The Dirt Track
Lowe's Motor Speedway in an interview with Dave Despain that he has joined Kasey Kahne Racing and will be a teammate to Joey Saldana next season.
Dollansky will drive the No. 19 machine for the team which is owned by the NASCAR star, who has fielded the No.9 for Saldana for the last three seasons. Looking to ease the transition to a new team, Dollansky will be joined by his entire crew from this season, led by crew chief Mike Woodring.
"We're real excited," said Dollansky. "I'm really looking forward to driving for Kasey Kahne Racing. We have Mike (Woodring) Rob (Beattie) and Lester (Groves) going along with me. Keeping the chemistry of the race team together was very important to me. Working together with the crew from the (No.) 9 car, we'll have two very strong race teams."
Dollansky and Saldana were teammates last year in New Zealand driving for the always potent Salter Motorsports team and will do the same this December, as they look to stay sharp for the season opening 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH at Volusia Speedway Park, February 6-8.
"Joey and I have known each other for quite a while, and there is mutual respect there," noted the veteran driver. "I think that working together with him will help make these teams even stronger. We've already begun that process and there is a lot of preparation going on right now getting the teams ready for next year. Preparation in the off-season is very important."
Dollansky has competed against Kahne a number of times over the years with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series events, as well as with the All Star Circuit of Champions. Kahne's best career World of Outlaws finish was a fifth in the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway in 2002, an event that Dollansky finished third in and that Saldana won.
"I've known Kasey for a while and I have a lot of respect for him," shared the Minnesota native. "It's been great to watch him climb the ladder and become as successful as he is. He's done a great job and he really loves sprint car racing. He has show that by having teams out here with the World of Outlaws, as well as what he does with USAC. We're going to go there and work hard for him and try to win as many races as we can and contend for the championship as well. We'll work together with the other team as well, because we want both teams to be successful."
Dollansky won eight times this season with the Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series and racked up 44 Top-10 finishes, with 32 of those being Top-Fives en route to a seventh-place finish in the driver point standings. He was a very solid third at the time of his injury. With the help of Brooke Tatnell late in the season, Dollansky and his Larry Woodward Racing team wound up fourth in owner points.
"I was very happy with this Larry Woodward team this year and we came out of the box very strong," he said, "You have to have depth out here and be strong all year long and we had that this year. You have to have the resources as well out here and we'll have that with Kasey's team and those guys over there work hard on technology advances. I'm really looking forward to it."
Dollansky finished a career-best second in the 2006 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series championship standings and will be a prime contender for the title in 2009. He has been in the Top-10 in the series standings in each of the last five seasons and six of the last seven. Dollansky will start the 2009 campaign with 28 career A-Feature wins with the series, which is 15th-best all time.
"To win a championship, Donny (Schatz) showed us that we have some work to do," explained Dollansky. "Any team out here is going to have to work very hard to win a championship, because he has won it three years in a row. I know that this team will be capable of winning a championship. We have to work on putting all of that together."
The 2009 Advance Auto Parts World of Outlaws Sprint Car Series kicks off February 6-8 at Volusia Speedway Park in Florida with the 38th Annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.