Dollansky Looks to Continue Success at Eldora Each year when the World of Outlaws schedule is released, Craig Dollansky circles certain dates on his calendar. This season he made sure to mark Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 distinctively.
Dollansky Looks to Continue Success at Eldora
Each year when the World of Outlaws schedule is released, Craig Dollansky circles certain dates on his calendar. This season he made sure to mark Friday, April 13 and Saturday, April 14 distinctively. Those are the first two visits of 2007 for the series to the famed Eldora Speedway, owned by two-time NASCAR champion Tony Stewart. In total, the series will compete five times at the track this season.
Eldora Speedway has always been good to Dollansky and his team. He has won five races at the high-banked, high-speed facility in his career. He also holds the track record which has stood since time trials on April 13, 2002. This weekend, he will get two more chances to build on this successful track record, as the World of Outlaws contest two full nights of racing at the historic half-mile.
"I'm definitely looking forward to going to Eldora," said Dollansky, driver of the Karavan Trailers/GATR Volvo Maxim. "It's one of my favorite race tracks. We had a great car there last season. We're going there with our car balanced well, and we'll hopefully get our first victory of the year."
The Eldora Speedway track crew has been working tirelessly over the course of the off-season to resurface and reshape the half-mile. They also have added a new Musco Lighting system that will provide the drivers an even better line of sight as they negotiate the 18 degrees of banking in each turn along with the nine degrees of banking on the straightaways.
"We really don't know what to expect until we get there," Dollansky explained. "Tony Stewart and his crew have been working very hard at putting the new surface on the track. They have made some changes to make the racing even better for the fans. The racing there has always been good in the past, but it was time for some improvements on the track surface. I know they have been working hard at that, and I know that we will get it all sorted out quick."
Dollansky, a native of Elk River, Minnesota won for the first time at Eldora in 1996 in an All Star Circuit of Champions event. He followed that up with another All Stars win in 2000. The former World of Outlaws Gumout series proceeded to win his first World of Outlaws event at the half-mile mile in 2002. Last season he won two straight events at the track including the Knight Before the Kings Royal.
"It definitely is a place we have had some success at in the past," he admitted. "It is one my favorite race tracks that we go to throughout the tour. I've always enjoyed racing there. Last year, I probably had one of the best race cars that I have had there in a long time, and it showed with us winning a couple of races. We have to go in there and have our car handling the way we need it to be. I feel like that is a place we can go win races at."
Dollansky vividly remembers each of his five wins to-date at the track, especially his first, which was exactly five years to the day of this Friday's event, April 13, the same day he also set the track record. Entering this weekend, he has 18 career World of Outlaws A-Feature victories, which rank him among the Top-20 all-time with the series.
"Without a doubt, there is a lot of history at Eldora, and a lot of tradition," stated Dollansky. "It is definitely a race track that you want to be able to win at. Anytime you win there, it's a special feeling. Every time I have won there, it has been a great feeling to get into victory lane at Eldora Speedway. It's always an event that when it's on the schedule, you want to go in there and have a good show and try to win."
The events this weekend will be taped by SPEED for broadcast on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m. This will mark the first of 12 World of Outlaws events on SPEED this season, along with eight races on ESPN2 as part of the "Summer of Money." Also, when the series returns to Eldora in September, the cameras will be rolling again. Dollansky is excited to be part of this television package that will bring sprint car racing to millions of households and introduce many new fans to what is one of the most exciting forms of racing in all of motorsports.
"Everyone is looking forward to the television package that we have in place now," he said. "With the new package starting this weekend at Eldora, I think that is a great track for it to start at. There's no added pressure, but you want to start things off in regards to the TV package as best as you can."
Entering this weekend's events, Dollansky is sixth in the World of Outlaws championship standings, on the strength of eight Top-10 finishes, with four of those being in the Top-Five. He is only three markers out of the fifth spot and just 162 out of the lead with over 70 races remaining on the schedule. He is one of only two drivers that have transferred to each of the first 12 A-Features this season by way of the heat race, not having to compete in the B-Main or relying on a provisional.
The always hard charging driver opened the season winning a non-sanctioned race in Florida, after a very successful off-season trip that saw him win twice in New Zealand.
"Considering some of the things that have bit us this year, that have been out of our control, we are in a good position," Dollansky said. "I think once we start racing more, we can gain the consistency like we had from June on last year. We got into an early hole last season, and dug ourselves out of it, and got to second in the point championship. We've not had the start to the year that I would have liked to see, but at the same time we're still in the game. We just have to get thing rolling. It's going to be a long season and we just have to get our first win of the year under our belts first and foremost, and just keep working on winning races as we go."
On Friday April 13 at Eldora Speedway, tickets for those ages 16-over will be $25, with ages 12-15 just $12, while children ages 7-11 only $6, and kids 6-under will be admitted free of charge.
On Saturday April 14, tickets for those ages 16-over will be $25, with ages 12-15 just $12, while children ages 7-11 only $6, and kids 6-under will be admitted free of charge. For more information call Eldora Speedway at: (937) 338-3815 or visit: www.eldoraspeedway.com.