Craig Dollansky and the Big Game Treestands team headed just south of St. Louis, Missouri on Friday to I-55 Raceway in Pevely, a track that Dollansky has finished strong with a top two the last four events including a victory last year.
A field of 31 cars signed in for the first of two nights of racing action with Dollansky piloting the Aggressive Hydraulics Maxim to the 6th fastest time in qualifying with a lap of 10.696 seconds. “We were second fastest in hotlaps and considering where we went out it was a good qualifying effort because about halfway through the track fell off”, commented Craig. Starting from the inside of row two in heat race competition, Dollansky as able to track down leader Lance Dewease and cruise to victory. An inversion of eight for the 8-lap dash would see the Big Game #7 start from third. On the third lap the leaders went three wide into turn one with Dollansky and Madsen making contact. After minimal damage was repaired, Dollansky restarted at the tail of the field and worked his way up to 6th at the finish. “We were battling with Sides and Madsen and got a good run coming out of turn four, racing Madsen I didn’t anticipate him running the bottom”, said Dollansky. “I thought he was going to run the top but I was already committed and couldn’t get slowed quick enough and got the car sideways to try avoid him, I felt bad for him that he got upside down like that”.
In the 30-lap A-Main, the Karavan Trailers sponsored sprinter started from the outside of row three and powered around the highside of the 1/3-mile track and into the 4th position in the first ½ lap. A strong restart on lap 17 saw Dollansky pass Donny Schatz for third and then motor around the highside and past Jason Sides with eight laps to go. As lapped traffic started to plague race leader Tim Shaffer, Dollansky was able to narrow the gap in the remaining laps but just fell short of victory. “We got into fourth on the opening lap and then got past Schatz and Sides. We put a harder tire on for the feature and it seemed towards the end it was coming around. Shaffer was pretty good but we were able to run him down and I thought we were going to get him but the race was over, I was surprised to see the white came out. Considering where we started and where we finished it was a good run for the Big Game team”, commented Dollansky whose consistency has resulted in three top three finishes in the last four races.
The grueling 55 laps of the Ironman 55 is up next for the Big Game Treestands #7 team at I-55, an event Dollansky finished second in last year after leading from the start.