PHOENIX, AZ (February 23) -- Craig Dollansky persevered and raced in the World of Outlaws' Inaugural Cactus Classic at Manzanita Speedway when many drivers would have sat in the pits last weekend. "The Crowd Pleaser" suffered ligament damage to...
PHOENIX, AZ (February 23) -- Craig Dollansky persevered and raced in the World of Outlaws' Inaugural Cactus Classic at Manzanita Speedway when many drivers would have sat in the pits last weekend.
"The Crowd Pleaser" suffered ligament damage to both of his ankles during Friday's Preliminary Feaure when the drive line broke on Karavan Motorsports' #7 VMAC Maxim. Although he was unable to walk without the aid of crutches, Dollansky raced in Saturday's feature program.
"I have some serious ligament damage and some fluid buildup," Dollansky said. "I can't walk, but I can be lifted into the car and drive and that's what I will do.
"We were running hard and ready to challenge (Paul) McMahan and (Donny) Schatz last night, and all of a sudden -- boom -- the night was done. It looks like some tire rubber got wrapped up in the birdcage, and locked up the drive line. The line exploded, and stuff was all over in the car. I hit the front end on the wall trying to get it stopped."
Dollansky was the second-fastest qualifier in Saturday's qualifying session, then finished fourth in the Second Heat Race. His fifth-place finish in the Second Dash Race put him outside the fifth row in the 30-lap main event.
The 2000 World of Outlaws Gumout Series champion was in sixth place late in the fourth lap of the "A" Feature when Erin Crocker hit the outside retaining wall and flipped in turn four. Dollansky received conflicting signals from fellow drivers concerning the pressure in his right rear tire as the cars were lining up for the restart, so he decided not to pit for repairs. The tire exploded five laps later, sending Dollansky into wall in the first corner. It was later discovered that a faulty bleeder valve caused the tire to lose pressure.
Finishing 15th in Friday's preliminary and 22nd in the "A" Feature left Dollansky in 18th place in the point standings -- 60 points out of first place -- but 95 racing programs remain on the 2004 schedule. Craig has fond memories of Perris Auto Speedway, the next stop on the World of Outlaws schedule. He won the first "A" Feature of his career at Lake Perris' half-mile oval on September 30, 1999.