I-55: Race report

Dollansky Leads Flag-to-Flag in I-55 Victory PEVELY, MO (April 17) -- Craig Dollansky's roller coaster season took an upward turn Saturday at I-55 Raceway. "The Crowd Pleaser," who suffered ankle injuries at Manzanita Speedway in February...

Dollansky Leads Flag-to-Flag in I-55 Victory

PEVELY, MO (April 17) -- Craig Dollansky's roller coaster season took an upward turn Saturday at I-55 Raceway.

"The Crowd Pleaser," who suffered ankle injuries at Manzanita Speedway in February and lost the lead when he crashed with a lapped car Friday, dominated Saturday's World of Outlaws Sprint Series "A" Feature at I-55 Raceway.

"This definitely helps," Dollansky said after leading all 40 laps in the main event. "We had the fastest car last night before we got taken out by a lapped car. I think that with D.J. Lindsey and Rod Fauver I've got the best crew I've ever had, and they gave me a great racecar all night. Along with everyone else who makes this happen: Scott Boyd, VMAC, Hoosier tires, Charlie Garrett engines, and Maxim Chassis."

The $10,000 victory, Dollansky's first of the season, pushed him from 10th to eighth place in the World of Outlaws Sprint Series point standings.

Dollansky, the fifth-fastest qualifier in the 45-car field, earned the right to start the main event outside the second row by following Donny Schatz across the finish line in the Second Dash Race.

Schatz passed pole-sitter Jason Sides in the first corner, but his #15 Parker Store J&J hooked the cushion and flipped in turn two within seconds after the green flag fell in the "A" Feature. Dollansky, who moved up to the front row as a result of Schatz's crash, won a front-straightaway drag race with Sides when the race resumed. World of Outlaws Sprint Series points leader Steve Kinser collided with Fourth Heat Race winner Jerrod Hull and flipped in turn one, forcing a second restart.

Dollansky beat Sides down the front stretch when the green flag replaced the red. Sides drove the #7S Sides Motorsports Maxim past Dollansky in the low groove in the first corner, only to have "The Crowd Pleaser" regain the lead in turn two.

Tyler Walker and Daryn Pittman, who started inside the seventh row, passed Joey Saldana during laps three and five to take over third and fourth place.

Dollansky had the #7 VMAC Maxim 20 car-lengths ahead of Sides when he entered lapped traffic six laps into the race. The 2003 Kevin Gobrecht Rookie of the Year narrowed the gap to 10 car-lengths in dense lapped traffic two laps later, but brushed the outside retaining wall in the second corner early in the 10th lap which allowed Dollansky to extend his advantage.

Sides, who won the Second Heat Race, steadily gained on "The Crowd Pleaser" during the next nine laps, and was 10 car-lengths behind midway through the race.

Fast-qualifier Tim Shaffer surrendered ninth place early in the 29th lap when he stopped on the front straightaway with a flat right rear tire. Fresh rubber on the #83 Beef Packers Eagle allowed Shaffer to race back into seventh place within four laps.

A flat right rear tire on the #14 Elite Landscaping Maxim forced Jason Meyers to stop on the front stretch early in lap 35. Sides discovered his right rear tire was losing air during the caution, but continued circling the high-banked, 1/3-mile oval to maintain pressure in the tire.

Shaffer continued his run to the front when the green flag replaced the yellow, racing past Saldana and Walker to take over fourth place. Erin Crocker bicycled and spun into Kraig Kinser and Jesse Hockett the next time around, bringing out the caution flag and setting up a four-lap dash to the checkered flag.

Shaffer, racing in the middle groove, used a slide move to pass Pittman and Sides in turn one as the race resumed. Pittman steered the #21 Hop & Sack CMC into the low groove in the second corner to regain the runner-up spot.

Dollansky raced away from his closest pursuers during the final restart, and took the checkered flag with 10 car-lengths to spare.

"I was floating around on the top at the beginning of the race, so we were able to save the tires some here," Dollansky said. "I've been here before when the track takes rubber as the race goes on, and I just wanted to be sure I saw it in time because I've lost races that way before. I came back from a pretty tough injury last year, and I have to thank my family, and Dr. (Terry) Trammell for all of their support. It's great to get back to victory lane."

Shaffer's miraculous third-place run during the final 12 laps pushed him into fourth place in the point standings. Walker finished fourth, ahead of Sides, Saldana, Hull, Paul McMahan, Brooke Tatnell and 19th-starting Shane Stewart.

Shaffer paced the qualifying session with a 115.212-M.P.H. lap around Pevely's 1/3-mile oval.

The World of Outlaws Sprint Series' fire-breathing, mudslinging sprint cars will run $51,600 events at Batesville Speedway Thursday and at the Talladega Short Track Saturday.

-WoO-

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About this article
Series World of Outlaws
Drivers Tim Shaffer , Donny Schatz , Steve Kinser , Erin Crocker , Craig Dollansky , Tyler Walker , Brooke Tatnell , Daryn Pittman , Jason Meyers , Jason Sides , Joey Saldana , Kraig Kinser , Paul McMahan , Shane Stewart , Jesse Hockett