Keeping Pace

Dollansky Ready for Home State Race at Deer Creek Speedway

 (The Spokesman-Review)
(The Spokesman-Review)

Criag Dollansky will see the surface at Deer Creek Speedway for the first time just a few hours before he straps into his car for a full night of racing, and that is where his years of experience on the road with the World of Outlaws will come into play.

Courtesy: World of Outlawas Sprint Car Series Media Relations

Spring Valley, MN—August 18, 2009—Craig Dollansky has visited numerous tracks in his home state of Minnesota during his life, be it when he was growing up and watching his father Bill race and then when he climbed into a sprint car himself, but one track he has never been to is Deer Creek Speedway, located in Spring Valley, which is about two and a half hours from his home in Elk River.

Dollansky will get to see and compete at the state-of-the-art high-banked 3/8-mile for the first time on Wednesday, August 19 as the World of Outlaws make their debut at the track as part of the Sprint for a Cure Summer Clash.

“It’s always nice to get to race close to home and there are a lot of great fans there in Minnesota that come out to the World of Outlaws events,” said Dollansky. “I’ve never been to Deer Creek but I hear it’s a very nice facility. We’re really looking forward to going there for the first time.”

Dollansky will see the surface at Deer Creek Speedway for the first time just a few hours before he straps into his car for a full night of racing, and that is where his years of experience on the road with the World of Outlaws will come into play. Deer Creek Speedway will hold the distinction of being the only track on the 2009 schedule that is hosting an inaugural event this season for the series.

“We see so many different race tracks across the country, that you try to compare it to something you’ve seen before and what kind of surface you are dealing with and how they have the track prepared,” he explained. “You try to make the right choices going into hot laps so that you are somewhat close and you work from there.”

Dollansky is in the midst of his first season driving for Kasey Kahne Racing which is owned by the NASCAR star as a teammate to Joey Saldana. After having some bad luck earlier in the season, the team recently hit their stride, with Dollansky picking up his first win of the season at Lebanon Valley Speedway in New York on July 26 aboard the DirecTV Maxim.

“We had a whole new team here and some things we had to get worked though,” shared the veteran driver. “We continue to get stronger as we go and I am encouraged by that. I’m real proud of this team and everyone is working hard. Everyone goes into each race with hopes of winning that race. We’ll just keep working hard and try to finish off this year as strong as we can.”

Following his win at Lebanon Valley Speedway, Dollansky began a stretch of six races where he finished seventh or better, with five of those being Top-three finishes, including his second win of the year in the opener of the inaugural Ironman 55 weekend at I-55 Raceway in Missouri, which was the 30th of his career with the World of Outlaws. He finished third both nights at Ohsweken Speedway in Canada at the end of last month and was seventh at K-C Raceway before posting the win at I-55 and a runner-up finish in the finale. Most recently he charged from the 18th starting spot to finish ninth in the Knoxville Nationals.

“I feel like we are getting to the point where we are clicking,” he noted. “Justin (Adams) had been my interim crew chief and he did a great job coming in here and getting some things in order. We now have Bonzai (Bruns) working with us and I enjoy working with both of those guys. I’m looking forward to the rest of the year and getting this team stronger as we go.”

Dollansky and his team recently welcomed veteran crew chief (Dean) Bonzai Bruns to the fold. Justin Adams, the Team Manager at Kasey Kahne Racing, had been serving as the interim crew chief for Dollansky for most of the month of July, with the team picking up seven Top-10 finishes during that span. On his first night together with Bruns, Dollansky won at I-55 Raceway in one of the most exciting races of the season, taking the lead from Donny Schatz with just five laps remaining and holding off the three-time champion as well as Jason Sides for the triumph in a thrilling last lap that saw the trio take the white flag three-wide.

“I’ve always known Bonzai and he has worked with some other good racers,” Dollansky said. “He has a lot of knowledge and we’ll keep plugging away together. Hopefully as we go, we’ll continue to get stronger.”

The Sprint for a Cure Summer Clash at Deer Creek Speedway will serve as the opener of the 2009 Gold Rush Tour for the World of Outlaws, which will see the series compete 12 times in a 25-day period at eight tracks in five states and one Canadian province. After competing this past weekend in sprint car racing’s biggest event, the Knoxville Nationals, Dollansky is looking forward to heading out west as the stretch run of the 2009 season begins.

“Things definitely calm down after the (Knoxville) Nationals,” said the former Gumout Series champion. “It’s a lot of work for everybody getting prepared for that event along, along with getting ready to head out west. Once we head out west, no one really gets back to their shops. There is a lot of work and preparation that goes into it. Hopefully we can have a good Nationals and carry it on from there.”

Dollansky begins the Gold Rush Tour seventh in the World of Outlaws championship standings on the strength of 33 Top-10 finishes with 16 of those being Top-Five performances. He is just 44 markers out of the sixth spot and less than 70 points out of the Top-Five.

“We just want to get as many wins as we can,” stated Dollansky when asked what would make it a good end of the season. “We got buried in the points early in the year, and we’ll try to dig ourselves out of that hole as much as we can. To win races down the stretch is our main goal and to get ready for next season.”

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.





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