After unveiling their new white and gray special paint scheme during the afternoon, Craig Dollansky and the Big Game Treestands #7 team took the sharp looking car to the track for night #1 of the 50th Annual Goodyear Knoxville Nationals on Wednesday.
A very hot and sticky day in southern Iowa saw 50 cars take qualifying time trials with Dollansky posting a lap of 15.775 seconds around the famous 1/2-mile which resulted in the 27th fastest lap. With an inversion of eight for the five heat races, Dollansky started on the inside of row two in the second heat and held down the 4th position and final transfer position when the checkered flag flew. “We were in a pretty good hole after our heat race and it was obvious after the heat that we needed to make a motor change, Rider builds good motors it’s just that we had trouble with bad air and it’s unfortunate to be changing motors at the Knoxville Nationals,” commented Dollansky.
With Knoxville Raceway having such big sweeping corners and requiring an abundant amount of horsepower, the Big Game crew decided to change powerplants under the hood of the Aggressive Hydraulics sponsored sprinter before the 25-lap feature. Starting from the twelfth spot for the opening night feature, Dollansky used a strong run out of turn two on the opening lap to pass a couple cars until a caution came out. With one lap in the books, the remainder of the feature would stay clean and green with Dollansky catching up to Shane Stewart as both would charge to the front of the pack and slice through lapped traffic in the process. In the last couple laps Dollansky was able to work the highside of the track and around Chad Kemenah but run out of time to catch Shane Stewart who went on to take the victory. “We were able to come from 12th up to 2nd but the motor overheated and started to lose power halfway through the feature. We got alot more work to go to get ourselves where we need to be,” said Craig.
With the runner-up finish, Dollansky accumulated a total of 437 points out of a possible 500 on Wednesday and sits 12th in points going into tonight’s second qualifying night.
If you would like to get Craig Dollansky’s autograph he will be at the Dollansky souvenir trailer on Friday at 3PM and Saturday at 4PM.