Eldora Excellence: Dollansky Wins Knight Before the Kings Royal New Weston, OH -- July 14, 2006 -- Craig Dollansky showed he is one of the favorites for the 23rd Annual Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal, after picking up the Feature win on ...
Eldora Excellence: Dollansky Wins Knight Before the Kings Royal
New Weston, OH -- July 14, 2006 -- Craig Dollansky showed he is one of the favorites for the 23rd Annual Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal, after picking up the Feature win on Friday night. He took the lead on the fifth lap of the 30-lap Knight Before the Kings Royal at Eldora Speedway. He started third in the Karavan Trailers Maxim and moved to the lead after Kevin Swindell flipped while leading in the York Excavating Maxim.
Dollansky then withstood a late charge by Terry McCarl in the Big Game Treestands Eagle to pick up his third win of the year and second at Eldora. McCarl closed within a couple of car lengths on a late restart and showed he too will be a contender on Saturday night.
"It definitely feels good to get a few wins here this year," said Dollansky. "We've been close a few times, and didn't get it done. This team is a work in progress, and just keep at it every night. The car felt really good, and it felt good last time we were here too. We have a good package here. Hopefully we can put together again tomorrow."
Dollansky who started the feature in the third spot, worked his way second on the first lap of the race. He then set his sights on Swindell who had built a sizeable lead in only a couple of circuits. Dollansky used Swindell's misfortune for his advantage and showed that once he had an open track ahead of him, he too could set a blistering pace.
"It's pretty tough when you run above the cushion like that," said Dollansky. "The cushion was pretty deep. I felt like we would have a good shot in lapped traffic because he was good on the open track by himself. This car was running good."
Dollansky endured a few late cautions and a red flag to pick up the $10,000 check in RacinSoles Victory Lane. On a humid night, 30 laps at Eldora was a grind for all the drivers. Tomorrow night, 10 more laps will be added for the Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal, and will test both man and machine.
"I felt pretty comfortable in the car," said Dollansky. "It definitely was hot. I haven't stopped sweating since I walked in the pit gate. It was hot and humid, but that's just the way it is out here. It's great to be at Eldora and winning."
A late afternoon rainstorm threw a curve at the competitors and staff at Eldora. Some extra track preparation was needed to make sure a good surface was in place for the drivers as they tuned up for tomorrow nights event.
"The track was beautiful," said Dollansky. "It's kind of like the Eldora that use to be here a few years ago. If they can work it again tomorrow like this with the hot weather, it should be some great racing."
Though he was won at the legendary track twice this season already, Dollansky knows that a whole new set of challenges will present themselves on Saturday night as the best sprint car drives in the world battle for the $50,000 top prize.
"It's going to take a little bit of luck first of all," Dollansky said. "The format is a little bit different, so you have to get yourself in a position to win that race. You have to make it happen in 40 laps. A lot can happen in a hurry. One thing is for sure right now, that we are feeling really good and we will give it everything we have."
McCarl lined up fourth after finishing in that same spot in the dash. He made his way into the runner-up spot on lap 17. He got close a couple of times at the end to Dollansky, but could not quite make the move for the lead.
"We wanted to come in here and show these guys," said McCarl. "Nobody considered us a favorite. I'm hoping that we can finish this weekend off and impress them, and go home with that crown. That's what I want."
McCarl was fast all night long, as he turned the fourth quickest lap in qualifying with a stellar 52 cars on hand. The Altoona, Iowa native was very happy with the fine work his Steve Fitzpatrick led crew provides him with day in and day out.
"My guys give me a great car," said McCarl. "This is a high-power track and we put a fresh bullet in there from Wesmar. We have the most quick times this year thanks to them and it makes me look good. I think we had the fastest car. I kind of gave some up at the beginning of the race, trying to set up for later. That red flag really hurt us. I think we were a little faster than Craig at the end. Tomorrow night is a big night and hopefully we can pull it out."
McCarl is confident for the Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal, and listed just one key to being successful at the track.
"You always have to be fast at Eldora," he said.
Tyler Walker came home third in the Volcano Joe's Coffee Maxim. Walker had missed a couple weeks of racing as the team sorted out some engine issues. There bad luck followed them in the dash as the native of Los Angeles had to pull into the pit area with a problem under the hood. After an engine swap by the team, he lined up 10th for the A-Feature and showed plenty of speed on the always fast high-banked half-mile.
"We needed some more laps and not to blow up in the dash," Walker said. "It killed us to start 10th. If I would have started in the top four or five, I would have been battling Craig and Terry. We were right there anyway. We needed to get into lapped traffic to be able to pass them or have them make a mistake. Without traffic it was hard to do anything. It was a good race, and Guy (Forbrook) gave me a fast race car."
Walker who has been fast every race this season with the Forbrook team feels very confident that he can battle the 50-plus other competitors and be near the front at the end of the night, looking to wear the crown and robe.
"We're really excited for tomorrow," Walker said. "I love this place. Guy has given me the best chance of winning this race."
Dale Blaney in the George Fisher Racing Maxim passed more cars than anyone on the night, as he started scratch on the field and powered his way to a fourth place finish.
It took him only 21 laps to work his way into the top-five.
"I didn't need the red with ten to go," said Blaney. "The last nine laps I kind of struggled. I could see McCarl and Walker and who knows where we could have ended up. The way the track was, it was hard to pass anyone. Everyone tried to run around the curb. Starting 24th we took a chance and ran the bottom. We started going good out there and stayed out there. We kept rolling."
Kenny Jacobs in the JEI Performance JEI rounded out the top-five.
The rest of the top-10 was Chad Kemenah in sixth in the Racinsoles.com/Underground Utilities Inc. Eagle. Brian Paulus was 7th in the Arnold Maxim. Joey Saldana was 8th in the Mopar-powered Dodge/Curb Records JEI. Daryn Pittman came home 9th in the Titan Garages/Hop-n-Sack Convenience Stores Maxim. Brooke Tatnell rounded out the top-10 in the Race Outfitters/Castrol Eagle.
The World of Outlaws begin their month of money on Saturday night with the $50,000 to win Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal, before heading to Penn., for their second East Coast Swing of the year.
ELDORA SPEEDWAY NOTEBOOK
* FAST QUALIFIER: Brooke Tatnell paced the 52 cars in time trials with an AMB i.t.-timed lapped around the 1/2-mile high-banked oval at 13.200 seconds at 136.364 mph. For his qualifying effort, Tatnell earned five bonus points. The next four fastest qualifiers also earned bonus points, including Stevie Smith (4), Danny Lasoski (3), Terry McCarl (2), and Dion Hindi (1). Craig Dollansky holds the track record of 12.707 seconds established on April 13, 2002.
* QUALIFYING EVENT WINNERS: Heat race winners included: Mean 15 driver Justin Henderson, and Donny Schatz, as well as Tim Kaeding, Jason Solwold. ... Paul May won the C-Main. ... Stevie Smith won the B-Main... Kevin Swindell picked up the win in the dash.
* FEATURE WINNERS: Craig Dollansky's win on Friday night at Eldora Speedway was his third World of Outlaws A-feature victory of the season. There have been 14 different winners in 32 A-feature events to visit the RacinSoles Victory Lane with the World of Outlaws this season. The win list includes: Donny Schatz (March 9 at The Dirt Track @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway, March 31 at Batesville Speedway, April 1 at I-55 Raceway, May 16 at Grandview Speedway, May 30 at Rolling Wheels Raceway Park, June 18 at Red River Valley Speedway, and June 30 at 81 Speedway), Joey Saldana (Feb. 10 at Volusia, June 4 at Terre Haute, June 23 at Knoxville Raceway, July 1 at Dodge City Raceway Park, and July 13 at Limaland Motorsports Park), Jac Haudenschild (May 6 at U.S. 36 Raceway, May 20 at Sharon Speedway, June 14 at The Raceway @ Powercom Park, and July 7 at Lawrenceburg Speedway), Brooke Tatnell (May 7 at Huset's Speedway, May 29 at Orange County Fair Speedway, and July 8 at I-55 Raceway), Sammy Swindell (April 8 at Eldora Speedway and March 10 at the Dirt Track at Las Vegas Motor Speedway), Craig Dollansky (April 15 at Tri-State Speedway, June 4 at Eldora Speedway, and July 14 at Eldora Speedway), Fred Rahmer (May 27 at Williams Grove), Paul McMahan (March 4 at USA Race Park), Danny Lasoski (March 3 at Manzanita), Chad Kemenah (Feb. 9 at Volusia), Kevin Swindell (May 24 at The Dirt Track at Lowe's Motor Speedway) and Dean Jacobs (May 31 at Lernerville Speedway), Daryn Pittman (June 10 at Eagle Raceway), and Terry McCarl (July 3 at Huset's Speedway).
* PRELIMINARY FEATURE WINNERS: There have been four preliminary features run this season by the World of Outlaws. The winners list included: Donny Schatz who won the prelim night June 17 at Red River Valley, Fred Rahmer, who won the prelim night on May 26 at Williams Grove Speedway and Sammy Swindell, who won the prelim feature on April 7 at Eldora Speedway, and Daryn Pittman who won the prelim night at Eagle Raceway on June 9.
* HALF-MILE WINNERS: Eldora Speedway is a high-banked, half-mile oval. The World of Outlaws Sprint Series has now raced 13 times this season on half-mile ovals, including preliminary features. Winners include: Joey Saldana (Volusia, Terre Haute, and Knoxville), Donny Schatz (Las Vegas and twice at Red River Valley), Chad Kemenah (Volusia), Danny Lasoski (Manzanita), Craig Dollansky (Twice at Eldora), and Sammy Swindell (Las Vegas and twice at Eldora Speedway).
* ON TELEVISION: The Outdoor Channel will air at 8 p.m. (ET) on July 19 The 18th Annual Brad Doty Classic from Limaland Motorsports Park. The Outdoor Channel is available nationwide through the DISH Network (Channel 153) and DIRECTV (Channel 606).
* ON THE WEB: The Official World of Outlaws Sprint Series Web site is at http://www.dirtmotorsports.com/sprint. Among the features are updated driver biographies with individual statistics and pictures, race-by-race statistics, detailed track information and race coverage, series news and team press releases. Also, links to the Media Guide and 2006 Official Rulebook can be found at the bottom of the home page.
* LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can't get to a track to see the series, they can experience the excitement of the World of Outlaws Sprint Series live on Dirtvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network. To listen to the audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo. Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
* UP NEXT: On Saturday, it's the 23rd Annual Kings Royal Presented by Crown Royal that will pay $50,000 to the winner, to kick off the "Month of Money." Then the World of Outlaws begin their second East Coast Swing of the year, to take on the always tough Pennsylvania Posse. The Mean 15 roll into Lernerville Speedway on July 18, for the Don Martin Memorial Silver Cup, which pays $30,000 to-win. Three intense nights of racing at Williams Grove Speedway follow with the Summer Nationals July 20-22.